Amid Old Town's thorny sea of coke-seekers, panhandlers and sweet-toothed tourists, Valentines' big red doors might well be the only surviving rose. An alley-located haven in which, on hot days, the bartenders spend a significant portion of their time keeping neighboring Voodoo Doughnuts eaters from soiling the recently-wiped picnic tables, Valentines is a westside bar for eastsiders. A small two-story joint, the place still draws indie-rock crowds across the river for weekly live shows ("crowds" being the 20 people it takes to pack the place), when they aren't hosting DJs on weekends—a small concession to the club-hopping crowd which probably keeps the place solvent. Apart from popping cans of Rainier, Valentines crafts well-made cocktails out of house-infused liquors, such as an astonishingly fresh-tasting pepper vodka, which the bartender blends quicky into a secret drink she calls "Peppa, do you love me?" ($8), a spicy tribute to the Stockholm syndrome she says she feels while gazing at the varied fuckery of contemporary Old Town through the bar's two-story windows.
Happy Hour: 5-7 pm daily. $3 wells, $4 beers.
Entertainment: Indie music and art shows on the weekdays, DJ sets on the weekends.