Located in the only part of the city where ostentatiousness is the norm (Old Town, with apologies to L.O.) and named after a holiday that promotes it, Valentines is a refuge for the subtle comforts of DIY. Electrical cords snaking along the wall power gentle blue lights, while the simple woodworking used to loft an upstairs over the bar—itself a beautifully cut and lacquered chunk of tree—gives the indie-rock bar the feel of a bottom bunk at camp, which it is, for art-school crowds who have nowhere else to go on this side of the river. It even comes with the graffiti. The bar's subtlety extends to its full array of infused liquors, like a lemon ginger-infused vodka, and sweet-minded drinks—they make a mean gin rickey. The only downside is the sensory overload when you walk outside into the fray, amid a picnic table menagerie that blends into Voodoo and Berbati and the club-addled world.
Happy hour: 5-7 pm daily.
Entertainment: Live indie-rock music, DJ nights trafficking in obscurities, occasional poetry and fiction readings.