711 SW Ankeny St., 226-2508. 5-10 pm Monday, 4 pm-midnight Tuesday-Wednesday, 4 pm-1 am Thursday, 5 pm-1 am Friday-Saturday.

"Ours are really aggressive beers," says the barkeep, warning me off the house taps after I initially order a guest Kölsch. She's right and wrong: The slaughterous-sounding Chernobyl Stout is 13 percent ABV but perfectly companionable, like a melted Mast Brothers bar. The surrounding atmosphere resembles a flea market staged in a used bookstore, with amateur paintings of barristers and bridges, and men in scarves playing chess. The reading selection is eclectic: You might be drawn to the textbook Thinking About Women, but I recommend taking a seat at the orange-shaded lamp farthest east, and picking up the 1954 hardback All About Whales. "The total weight was 300,707 pounds," one paragraph begins. "It wasn't a fat whale either." This is a great book. It will take you approximately three Chernobyls to finish. You will be extremely happy, and you will know a great deal more about whales.

Drink This: Like I said, it's a very nice stout.