Where real people are

Stores with a corner entrance are great because anyone can walk by and peek inside without being obvious they are on the fence about going in or not.

For The Tipsy Crow, it was their black and wooden-colored old style sign that persuaded me to head in. The sign had an illustration of a black crow and the store name in an antique letterpress font, reminiscence of Raven, BlackBird and the like in San Francisco. It’s cool art, so this must be a cool bar with craft cocktails.

Only two men were sitting at the bar in the darkness a bit dimmer than the 5pm sky outside. There were two screens, one playing a football game, the other just charts. Punk music was blasting in a hallow, mellow tone. This is not the craft cocktail kind of bar that the sign implied, but a neighborhood sports bar.

But turn to your right, and the tall back booths suggests something else. Secluded and cozy, with a retro style Budweiser wallpaper and antique-sih decors, the booths implies this is a place serious about drinks and quality conversations. Enabling conversations seems to be a common indicator for places putting craft drinks over alcohol.

There’s more. There is a lower floor with lounge and dance room. There is an upper flow (up the heavy wooden staircase) with more lounge and a library. In the late evening, crowds will get noisy and active downstairs depending the game or event that Tipsy Crow has in store that night. They have a monthly calendar, each day carefully planned to a recurring theme with twists and surprises. And they hold up to the  expectations for hosting themed nights.

It happens later, though. After 8pm. On the Monday before Christmas, 4:30, there are only two guys chatting with the dark-haired, wide-smile girl bartender. I walked in and Jennifer poured me cheerful greetings and an introduction to the Drink Exchange, a good icebreaker and the reason I came here.

The charts flashing on one of the screen was the current drink market. As demand for aliquot goes up,

Tipsy Crow is a place not to be defined by the type of drinks, but by the kind of times people want to enjoy.

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