Thursday, October 05, 2006

The Rock-It Grill

The most recent of my beloved American bar experiences - not strictly one of the 'corner bars' I spoke of in my last post, rather bigger and grander than that, but still nicely downmarket, unassuming. A particularly welcome find in Old Town Alexandria, an area I stay in a lot (an old University buddy and his family live there, and are good enough to allow me to make them my regular base for visits to other friends on the East Coast during my extended holidays in the States once every year or two): a rather high-tone neighbourhood, where most of the other bars, alas, are painfully expensive and lacking in any real character.

The Rock-It, I suspect, is going to become one of my great favourites - if it is still there when I next return. It has all the required elements. Long bar, a good height for leaning on? CHECK. No daylight penetrating interior of the bar? CHECK. Extended 'happy hour'? CHECK. Decent selection of draft beers? CHECK (Yuengling, Sam Adams, etc.). Pool tables? CHECK. Excellent bar food? CHECK. Outrageously pretty and vivacious young barmaid? CHECK. I'm easily pleased.

I happened on the place quite by chance one afternoon a few months back, lured in by their Tuesday lunchtime promotion of half-price burgers. When I discovered that their 'happy hour' began at 3pm and went on for four or five hours, I was sorely tempted to waste the rest of the day there. However, my budget on that trip was so narrow that I could only afford a big drinking session - even at 'happy hour' discounts - once more before I left; so, I scurried self-denyingly out of the door just a few minutes before the magical 3pm....... to return a few days later with my friend Caren. For a bender and a half.

I can hardly wait till next time.

6 comments:

The British Cowboy said...

I feel obliged at this point to tell you that Molly Malone's is no more. It is exactly the same place, now called, I believe, O'Patterson's, with the same bar staff, but new management. It has been slightly redesigned to be more bar like and less restaurantish, though, which is a good thing all told.

Caren said...

Oh my god. I had soooooooooooo much fun.

Granted I got sick when I got home. The 40 minute metro ride was what did me in. Ah, I'm so proud.

Froog said...

Oh, the pace of change in modern life - I can't cope with it!

At least this sounds as if it may be only a small change, perhaps even an improvement. So long as Patrick is still behind the bar...

Swordsman said...

Have you ever seen the TV advert for it? The clientele look as if they all come from a gene puddle.

Froog said...

No, I didn't know they ran to TV advertising. Is it a chain? I don't see how one bar, even a large one, can afford TV advertising, even on a local station.

'Gene puddle', huh? That would be me!

And re; the 'Mollie Malone's' namechange: Mollie's is a twee, crappy, embarrassing, ersatz name for an Irish bar (in the same category of cringeworthiness as Rosie O'Grady's and Durty Nellie's); at least, O'Patterson sounds like it might, just possibly, be the name of the owner - which is the dominant tradition in Irish bar-naming. A definite step forward, I think.

The British Cowboy said...

Patrick is indeed still behind the bar. The changes are somewhat of an improvement, though, unfortunately, they have made the place more popular, and hence more crowded.