Stuck on the Scene – The Red Tub and The Whig

Last night I went out. Thursday night. College night. What the hell am I doing going out? Fear not, I went out with a specific place in mind. It’s called the Red Tub, and it’s on State Street just a few doors down from New Brookland Tavern. I’d heard it was laid back, and wanted to check it out. I walked the sidewalk up and down twice before I found the door. It’s 134 1/2 State Street.

Opening the door, I proceeded up a narrow staircase and was immediately impressed to hear Louis Armstrong drifting down. Stepping in to the bar, I knew this place would meet all expectations. The music was old jazz, and just loud enough to hear over the murmer of quiet conversation. The walls were black, decorated only with artwork that’s for sale. (And I think I may save up for one of the paintings. I couldn’t stop looking at it all night.) I grabbed a pint of Newcastle and sat myself down so that I could admire at the painting.

Towards ten o’clock, people started filing in and the tables filled up quickly. Even at capacity, you could still hear the music through the people, and still hear the conversation at your table. This is a place that will see me again, and again.

In my quest to find a quiet, laid back bar, I went to The Whig last Friday night with Team Richardson and a friend of mine from high school who was home for the holiday. I had a few Newcastles (not my beer of choice, mind you, but my beer of circumstance) while checking out the place with my friends.

The first thing you notice is the jukebox. How many places still have a jukebox in them? I didn’t browse too deep in the selection, but what I saw makes me want to go back and look through the rest. (I mean, really, out of the few places that still have jukeboxes, how many of them have The Clash?) MY only complaint was that the jukebox was too loud.

The next thing you notice is the customers. Never in Columbia have I been in a place with such a diverse client base. There was a table of lawyers sitting next to a booth of hippies. (Forgive the stereotypes, please.) There was a good mix of color, too, which is also a rare find in the bar scene.

Another point of interest was the kitchen. I didn’t eat the food, but Team Richardson gave it a good review. I might have to try their chili next time I visit. And I will certainly be visiting it again.

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