Best New Bar - 2010
The Silver Ballroom
You see it spelled out above the bar as soon as you walk in: Retox Center. Sobriety, like elevator music, serves an essential function in life, but inside the Silver Ballroom, it's hard to remember what that function is — or, for that matter, why anyone bothers making elevator music when they could be playing punk rock instead. The Silver Ballroom pays homage to the Holy Trinity: Pabst, punk rock and pinball. It's got the only purely punk jukebox in town, and what better way to enjoy the satisfaction of getting your ball to orbit the moon on the Apollo 13 pinball machine than to let Black Flag assail your eardrums? This ain't no bar for martini queenies or those who don't enjoy their inebriants with a side of tattooed geniality, but the Silver Ballroom's DIY ethos — including Jack Daniel's light fixtures and a handmade bar inlaid with concert posters from bygone punk-rock shows — plus south-side clientele, affable proprietors Shelly and Steve Dachroeden, and, oh yeah, pinball (!), make it the kind of place you'll want your ashes sprinkled after you die.