5501 SE 72nd Ave., oldgilbertroad.com. 3 pm-2 am Monday-Friday, 10 am-2 am Saturday-Sunday. Happy hour 3-6 pm Monday-Friday.
Established: June 2015
Out in the residential crack between FoPo and Woodstock, where there is otherwise nothing but community-center water slides, there is the Old Gilbert Road. The Old Gilbert Road is a fairly new bar located on a corner of Southeast Harold Street. The Tater Tots are plentiful, the beer taps are pretty damn good, and the bands are sometimes so local they don't even leave the neighborhood. But don't mistake the bar for lowbrow: The Champagne cocktails, they're happy to announce, are "classy as fuck."
Somehow, this rough-and-tumble, three-room bar—with its vaguely Masonic logo, world of attitudinal kitsch on the walls, and pool tables in the back—always seems to exist at the exact temperature of the surrounding city. This might come in the form of a Prince memorial consisting entirely of stiff and awful purple drinks for $6, or it might be the grim madhouse theater of the quarterly Gilbert Road Grotesque variety show, which is emceed by a woman dressed like a monkey and has recently declared itself sponsored by George Soros. Most poignantly, the bar's marquee this summer offered up what might just be the most eloquent elegy possible for life in America this past year: "You'd think living in a house full of crazy people would be fun. It's actually depressing."
Bar story: Last year, the Old Gilbert Road's side-room stage hosted a reading of seminal 1963 Peter Weiss play Marat/Sade in which the performer was continually pelted by the audience with cold hot dogs. Everyone was so happy.