In the beginning, there was the Terry Tavern (or the Scary Tavern), which was a dive that only attracted the kind of drinkers who never have a first drink nor a last one—they are always already drinking. Not long after the end of the last century, the Terry was replaced by Adobo Taco Lounge, an establishment that tried to go upscale but ended up going nowhere. In 2003, Adobo Taco Lounge was replaced by the Quarter Lounge, which began by trying to strike a balance between the original dive and the previous owner's bougie ambitions. After a couple of years of mixed results, the Quarter Lounge got real, abandoned all efforts to attract the elusive big spenders, and became one of the most easygoing bars on Pill Hill.
The kind of drinker the current Quarter Lounge attracts is essentially Deleuzian. And what kind of drinker is this, you might ask? The French post-structuralist philosopher Gilles Deleuze once stated that drinking is a matter of figuring which is the last one. If you did not reach the last one, you feel disappointed, you feel all that time you spent at the bar was wasted, you arrive home perfectly sober. But if you went past the last one, you get a horrible hangover the next day. The right last drink leaves you satisfied when you leave the bar (you really are drunk) and you wake up fresh the next morning. These are the kinds of drinkers you find at the Quarter Lounge—they have a beginning, usually after work, and then spend their time looking for the last bottle, shot, or, in my case, glass of red or white wine.
During a recent visit to the Quarter, I saw a young man order something that has always troubled me—a bucket of beer bottles. Now, why this bucket business? Why is it so popular? Why can't people see that it's so sad? Like chilled champagne, a bucket of beer is not inconspicuous or quiet. When placed in front of you, it yells: "Let's party!" But clearly there is no party going on. There is just you and a bucket. The young man's bucket contained four bottles of High Life and cost a total of $9.50.