published Thursday, August 8th, 2013

In Tune: Best summer bars for vampires, daywalkers

Like the cicadas that reliably emerge from underground dormancy in massive, synchronized swarms every 13 or 17 years, most of my friends would probably describe me as a creature of habit.

Although I can’t be sure, I doubt I’d be as delicious deep-fried as the magicicada — which reportedly taste a bit like asparagus — but like my insectile counterparts, I am certainly a fan of my routines.

My grocery shopping takes almost no time because I buy pretty much the same things week after week and eat the same things night after night; my monthly water bill rarely deviates by more than a dollar; and I can predict, to within a minute or two, precisely how long it will take to complete my biking circuit.

Another area in which I am reliably single-minded is the small circuit of bars where I spend my time each summer when I’m driven indoors by an animal fear of sunburns and sweating.

• As a huge fan of billiards, I love spending Friday nights with a visit to the downtown branch of the Chattanooga Billiard Club (725 Cherry St.). The renovations enacted a few years ago turned this into a mecca for pool, so long as you’re not averse to disrobing before entering your house at the end of the night, lest it smell like the smoky foyer to Hades.

• Another favorite shadowy clime is The Social (1110 Market St.), which lives up to its claim as a “good place to drink,” especially while enjoying a glass of vino with friends at a semiprivate table with a view of the street.

If you’re more of the tanning type, here are some choice alternatives for enjoying the sun instead of avoiding it.

• For a killer downtown vista, nothing beats the view from the deck of the Delta Queen riverboat in Coolidge Park, but you better hurry because a vote in July by the U.S. House Transportation Committee soon may send her to Cincinnati.

• For fans of fried tubers, the tater tots at Pickle Barrel (1012 Market St.) are surpassed only by the bar’s rooftop patio, which is an especially pleasant place to sit back and watch the sun set.

• Since it opened in September 2011, the open-air back patio of Brewhaus (224 Frazier Ave.) has been one of my favorite CBC alternatives. On the rare occasions when I re-emerge into the sunlight, I love to enjoy a plate of creamy spatzle egg noodles and a massive 34-ounce stein of beer while watching the tourists wander across the Walnut Street Bridge.

Yeah, I’m a creature of habit, but a good bar is hard to find, so when I stumble on one, it’s hard to feel inclined to look elsewhere. Think you can sway me? Email me your most tempting alternatives, and I’ll consider going off-script.

Contact staff writer Casey Phillips at cphillips@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6205. Follow him on Twitter at @Phillips CTFP.

about Casey Phillips...

Casey Phillips has worked as a features reporter in the Life department since May 2007. He writes about entertainment, consumer technology, animals and news of the weird. Casey hails from Knoxville and earned a bachelor of science degree in journalism and a bachelor of arts in German from Middle Tennessee State University, where he worked as the features editor for the student newspaper, Sidelines. Casey's writing has earned numerous accolades, including first and second place ...

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