IMAGE: Cameron Browne
Thirty seconds have passed since I stepped into the Top of the Hill Tavern (9252 NE Glisan St., 254-1756), and I’m already engaging in the first of the evening’s many high-fives. “What’s a Grape Bomb?” I’ve asked Mouse, the world’s friendliest bartender, in reference to the $5.75 special. “You can’t go to Top of the Hill without havin’ a Grape Bomb!” the gentleman on my left promptly enthuses before ordering one for each of us and introducing me to all the grizzled old-timers seated at the bar. As it turns out, a Grape Bomb is a heady concoction of grape substance, Red Bull and vodka designed to emulate energy-malt sensation Four Loko. It’s instant friendship elixir—within seconds, I’m yelling my life story over the whirring fan, high-fiving everyone within a two-arm radius and considering scrapping 10 years of vegetarianism to try something called gizzards ($2.75).