Monday, September 15, 2008

Bar Review: The Telephone Booth, 25th and South Van Ness

After a long day of domestic chores on Saturday, including finally getting the rest of our dusty gear washed and put away, the boyfriend and I wanted an easy night out centered mostly around drinking. We got in touch with our friend Rick and met up at a cute, aptly named hipster bar called The Telephone Booth at 25th and South Van Ness.
We got there around 9.45 and the place had enough crowd to make it seem lively, but not so much of a crowd that we couldn’t get drinks. There was one bartender on duty, and he did a great job of keeping things moving, even when the guy next to me couldn’t count out four single dollar bills in less than ten minutes – the bartender rolled his eyes, looked at me with a twenty in my hand, set us up with libations, and still the guy next to me didn’t seem to get the hint that he needed to pay for his drink.

We were able to find a seat at one of the small tables, and though it was pretty loud, we could still keep a conversation going if we leaned in toward each other. The music was rather painfully post-collegiate hipster rock; I heard The Stooges, The Ramones, and then Madonna’s “Vogue,” which, if I had only recently discovered the first two bands as part of my collegiate experience, would have been cool. As it was I mostly ignored the music, since that wasn’t what I was really there for anyway.

The drinks were cheap, and seemed to get stronger as the evening progressed. Don’t be fooled by those little hotel room water glasses, there’s plenty of booze in those drinks for your buck. There were several drink specials that came in under $7, and even call drinks weren’t more than $5.

The crowd seemed to have an average age of about 27, with lots of shaggy hair, funky eyeglasses, and thrift store blazers, but they were friendly and generally pretty fun. There was a birthday party at the table next to ours and they offered us ice cream, but we declined since we couldn’t settle on a flavor that would go with Jamesons and PBR, or Stoli and tonic. There’s a pool table in back if you need something to occupy your time, but I saw more people leaning against it than knocking balls around. Keep in mind that the place is pretty small, so if you show up with a bunch of people you’ll probably mob the place, or at least have to wait a bit to find a comfortable seating situation.

The Telephone Booth seems like a nice little hipster dive bar that’s off the beaten path enough to keep it from being insufferably crowded or scenster, and if I was looking for a place in that neighborhood to drink with a buddy or two, it would be high on my list of places to check out.

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