The Bar Tab

On a cool Wednesday night, the crowd at Broadway 5050 (say “fifty-fifty”) is even-keeled and calm

Broadway 5050
5050 Broadway
11am-1am Sun-Thu, 11am-2am Fri & Sat
Price range: $4.50/pint
On a cool Wednesday night, the crowd at Broadway 5050 (say “fifty-fifty”) is even-keeled and calm. Patches of friends are sprinkled at tables munching on remnants of saucy chicken wings or individually attendeding to Full Wood Nachos, and a lovey-dovey couple are stowed away in a dimly lit booth, making the 5050 a pleasant respite for conversation and good cold beer.

Scanning the environs and making the lightning-fast booth-or-bar choice, accomplice and I decided on the latter and headed for the comfy leather seats. An attentive bartender greeted us, pitched a politely inquisitive “smoker?” and offered an ashtray — uncommonly friendly service. Owner Don Lassiter’s fancy for anything Elvis is revealed by a life-size statue of the King radiating an eternal rock ’n’ roll greeting at the entrance; there, I suspect, to bid you an evening of indulgent carousing.

Relaxation comes easily in the bar’s vintage atmosphere, created by old records lining the wall, neon signs, images of Bettie Page and the black-suit-and-skinny-tie-wearing deuces of Tarantino’s Reservoir Dogs. The sleek, weathered bar snakes along the left side of the restaurant, while comfy retro booths and tables are ample for fans of 5050’s signature rectangular hamburgers and shoestring French fries.

The bar keeps a healthy selection of 14 beers (and a pear cider) on tap; I suggest trying the Belhaven Scottish Ale. Served in a chilled pint, it strikes a balance between the fruity thickness of a hefeweizen and a sweet, full-bodied ale. You can also get a well-poured Black and Tan, and their “Guinness is good.” As far as specials go, the 5050’s “Pint Tuesdays” is a worthy investment — I have my own at home — for the price of the glass, you can get $1.50 domestics and $2.50 imports (excluding Guinness). The $2 all-day-every-day Lone Star and Tecate deal will do the trick after a hairy day at the office, too.

On Friday and Saturday nights, five or so live music acts rotate through the spotlight so you can cultivate your allegiances while sampling the variety. The 5050’s crowd is eclectic, drawn by the plasma TVs, billiards, and a unique shuffleboard. You can stay updated on the game and talk about the upcoming burlesque show in consecutive moments.

In addition to the sparkling qualities of the bathroom, another aspect is worthy of note. The wall-mounted chalkboards encourage delirious messages to flow from soused minds in pink sidewalk chalk, and moving testimonials can be found among the enlightening litany: In case you’re wondering, “Charlie still loves Leanne” and “Smelly was” in fact “here.”

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