Alex Crick

Namesake: In accounting, this term indicates a negative balance and may refer to a rumored practice from the medieval era, when impoverished bookkeepers wrote in animal blood because regular black ink was too expensive, and which sounds too much like satanic bullshit to be believed. At, the "in the red" slang entries comprise a list of unhappy things, many of them embarrassing and body- related. The Phinney Ridge bar title references its wine selection, while also alluding to the perils of beginning a new business during this melting economy.

Decor: There are lots of maroon tones and mahogany and swirling gold brocades, with chandeliers and fireplaces. Most of the furnishings were culled secondhand from hotel lobbies, so the overall result is something both practical and luxurious—like the way you'd picture Angela Lansbury's house.

Scene at 9 pm on a Saturday: A beautiful woman stands in the hallway, saying things. Everyone watches her.

Happy hours: None, but their day-to-day prices are reasonable enough, with drinks offered daily from 11 am to close and food served Sun–Thurs 11 am–10 pm and Fri–Sat 11 am–11 pm.

Drinks: $5–$8 glass of wine (Sawbuck Malbec), $3.50 micro drafts and cider (Summer Solstice, Spire), $2.50 cans (PBR tallboys, Black Star).

Food: $5 soup du jour, sandwiches, and salads; $5–$8 dips, antipasti, and bruschetta (pork confit, served with brown-sugared apples).

What else: Sat–Sun 8 am–1 pm brings the availability of $9.99 breakfast plates (fruit crepe, vegan hash browns); all come with a glass of champagne. recommended