Should a drinkery be disqualified from being considered the best dive bar in Austin if they sell cans of Pearl, the oldest and cheapest beer in Texas, for $4.25?

Not necessarily. After all, they’ve got to keep the lights on one way or another.

A far more egregious sin for a dive bar is hiring a snarling harridan to serve that beer. Walking into The Jackalope a few weeks ago I smiled as a pleasant rush of old memories carried me toward the bar.

I was there on opening day a decade ago. Back then, Ed’s Cucaracha was my favorite bar in Austin, and I was excited for the opening of their sister bar in the adjacent space. Jackalope immediately went into heavy rotation for my drinking dollars (not a slight sum as back then I was still in my 7 nights a week David Allan Coe-drink/fight/fuck mode.)

How’s the current incarnation of Jackalope?

After depositing a dollar on the bar, and receiving my second eat shit and die look from the harpy/bartendress, I beat a hasty retreat to the outside bar where a more civil fellow is pouring beers.

Nashville Pussy is on the hi fi, and the sun shines down on the patio, breaking just right off the fetid mud puddles dotting the ground. A pair of neo-Bohemians are idly shifting about discussing gigantism and yellowbelly vs Coors Light.

It’s a nice scene.

It’s a roll of the dice as to whether I’ll return to Jackalope. On one hand, cans of Pearl that routinely go for a couple bucks in Central Texas dives, run double that here; on the other hand, I have zero interest in spending an evening in an emergency room having my boot surgically removed from a sour pussed bartender’s ass.

There is no 3rd hand.

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