433 Eastlake Ave E, 382-4467
What it once was: The Lobo Saloon, a total dive—the very dirty, very exciting kind, teeming with broken-down men and murky clouds of cigarette smoke.
What it currently is: The perfectly fine, fully cleaned up Victory Lounge, whose decor represents a mixture of banality and charm (tasteful photography, coordinated furnishings, sports-broadcasting TVs). The shell is there, but the guts have changed.
Celebrity parallels: If Victory Lounge were a person, it'd be Ondine, a Warhol superstar who traded in his speed and Factory visits for a full-time job and a steady lover. In the book POPism, Warhol struggles with the transformation: "Being with Ondine... was really strange; it was like being with a normal person... I must have gaped at him—I couldn't believe that he was the same person who'd babbled and screeched his way through [a project]... laughing and stuttering and being outrageous. He was saying chatty, conventional things, like 'It's very hot out, isn't it?' and he moved normally—no lurching or lunging or foaming at the mouth. For weeks, I couldn't stop thinking about this new nonpersonality of Ondine's."
Happy hours: Daily 4–7 pm and 11 pm–1 am.
Happy-hour drink specials: $1 off well drinks and drafts (Leinenkugel's, Lazy Boy).
Happy-hour food specials: None per se, but assorted weekday discounts bring $1–$1.50 hot dogs (Monday), $1 tacos (Tuesday), and 10-for-$5 buffalo wings (Wednesday).