232 SW Ankeny St., 248-1600, valentineslifeblood.blogspot.com. 5 pm-2:30 am nightly.
Despite looking like some 1970s Aspen fondue hut, Valentine's is more 1919 West Bank in character, a defiantly bohemian holdout in Old Town's fratbag-and-Voodoo triangle. The place even serves absinthe (the real stuff, with wormwood, for $10); you almost expect to see Toulouse-Lautrec watching the poetry readings and alt-comedy shows from the upstairs loft. Adding to the European atmosphere, the crêpe window next door will deliver its confections to your table so you can enjoy them along with a glass of Fernet ($7) or a Gin Rickey ($5). Ooh là là. AARON MESH.
What to drink: The ginger-infused Jim Beam cuts out the middleman from a whiskey ginger. Get it with soda water and a lime.
Happy hour: $3 well drinks, drafts and house wine 5-9 pm nightly, and all night Wednesday.
Entertainment: Live music, DJs, readings, movie screenings.