A longer time ago than I'm happy with I decided to write this blog. When it began, it wasn't simply about going to the great bars. Every Bar in Lakewood was about exploring all the opportunities and leaving my comfort zone. This week's bar was the epitome of this idea; though a favorite among some of more talkative Facebook commenters. The Spitfire Saloon is bar #56 and the #1 bar I wanted to visit when I began.
I spent my next two bucks on a Fat Tire Beer by New Belgium. I found it disappointing, perhaps hot had temporarily changed my palate. It seemed to be clean but had a secondary taste that none of us could place. I came up with lame, if lame had a taste, this was it. It had a super dry finish as well. Fat Tire Beer was quite drinkable and had a great price for the evening, but I don't think it lived up to expectations.
My second beer was (picked by the bartender) Monk Blood by 21st Amendment. It had a dark reddish color, like it's name sake, and almost no head. The beer had a cherry mixed with other good stuff flavor. It didn't have much alcohol taste and was super drinkable. At 8.6% alcohol this may be the most dangerous beer I've ever drank. I'm not the biggest fan of cherryish beers but by the time you finish the first can, you want another 6 pack of em.
There are items to catch your eyes all over the bar. Between interesting stickers, TVs with the Indians game, a half dozen custom made arcade games built by the owner, two claw machines, an interesting selection of people and a dog. The bartender was friendly, talkative and helpful. He was able to accurately pick out a quality beer both with specifications and without.
There was a diverse selection of people in the bar. You had your old men, a higher percentage than normal amount of tattoos and dark rimmed glasses, and a woman that both got shot down by one of the guys watching baseball and brought in her own sushi. There was no face stabbing and everybody was having a good time. The bar was fairly busy on a Thursday evening.
The arcade games, 3 of which are built into the booth tables, were full of old school console games. I started on Solomon's Key. This is a puzzle game, where you can create and destroy blocks, shoot fireballs that you find, and then die in frustration. My Nintendo skills did not translate into the arcade controls raising my frustration levels and causing arm flailingness to occur. This may simply be a side effect of the Monks Blood. I then moved onto Super Mario Bros. I figured I'd get a ton of play out of a quarter. I figured wrong. I found myself incompetent at controlling my jumps and only made it to the 2nd board even with two extra lives. Saddened by my newly found abundance of fail I moved to a different booth with different games. I didn't write down the next game's name. It starts with a large ape lighting your tent and butt on fire. You then angrily attempt to climb a mountain to smite him while avoiding neon green monkeys and an endless assault of monkey testicles...
“When we opened their was no bar that catered to people that thought, dressed and lived outside the norm. People would go to just whatever bar, even though the owners thought they where undesirables.” -Spitfire Punk
I love this bar. I feel biased writing about Spitfire Saloon at this point. It's got the basic makeup of the type of bar I'm looking for. It's excited about what it provides and to whom and builds community. It's a dive bar but has a fantastic selection of beer. If it doesn't have the beer you want, they'll have an alternative you'll like more. There's crazy arcade games all over the place. They have a scary basement bathroom, this is preferred over mediocre and disgusting bathrooms. They make their bands happy. This bar is not for everyone. But if you aren't happy with the other bars you've found, then you're probably looking for bar #56, Spitfire Saloon.
1539 W 117th St. Cleveland
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http://punkrockbar.com <-Can you believe they were able to get this website?