Stay hot when it’s cold and beat bad bar lineups

Tuesday, April 7th, 2009

It’s tough to survive winter without raging alcoholism, so there’s a good chance you’ll hit the bar a few times in the next couple of months. Lineups, however, can be problematic when you’re wearing a polo shirt or miniskirt during a snowstorm. Here’s everything you need to know about where to get drunk without getting frost-bite.

The Ceeps " The Ceeps line will be long, but at least you know what you’re getting " they don’t hold a line unless they’re at capacity. This winter, you’ll miss the coat hooks next to the bar, which were removed presumably because coats were being stolen. You’ll have to pay a couple bucks for coat check, but cheap Ceeps brew cancels that out. Show up early and dress warm " you can get away with a sweater at The Ceeps, anyway.

Molly Bloom’s " Molly’s presents a valuable alternative when The Ceeps line hits the corner at 8:30 Saturday night. If you don’t feel like hiking through the snow to hang out with first-years at Jim Bob’s or dealing with the claustrophobia of Jack’s, cross the street, grab a few brews, and warm up at London’s favourite Irish pub.

Jim Bob Ray’s " Jim Bob’s line has been surprisingly short this year " its usual crowd of first-years and high-schoolers is hitting Jack’s instead. Coat check can be tough to get to, but it’s a necessity since you don’t wear the warmest clothing to the meat market. Line-skipping might leave you out in the cold, but if you want the stripper poles, you’ll just have to bite the bullet.

The Barking Frog " The Frog’s line is tough to predict; sometimes it moves, other times it’s frozen. Your biggest problem will be coat check, unless you don’t mind waiting on the staircase for an hour. If that’s not your idea of a fun night, don’t bring a jacket. Also, the coat-check line blocks the main bar’s ATM, so get cash before you arrive.

Club Phoenix " The Phoenix is a great winter option since there’s no pressure not to bring a coat. In fact, popped collars on leather jackets are mandatory. Turn up the heat in the Honda Civic and have a good time.

London Taphouse " Coat check is free, so this is a nice winter destination if you’re forced to wait in line. Just hope they don’t charge you that pesky cover.

GT’s " The good news is GT’s never hits capacity, so there’s a virtual guarantee you won’t line up. The bad news is there’s a good reason it never hits capacity. That being said, GT’s is a decent escape from the snow.

Jack’s " While the line has been shorter this year, Jack’s can be troublesome in the winter since you never know what you’re getting. The line might fly by, or they might hold it just to make the bar look busy, so your wait could be anywhere from 30 seconds to an hour. You’ll also have to line up for coat check downstairs " the upstairs check was removed.

Winter clubbing tips:
• Knowing what time a bar lines up at can be the difference between scoring a table or waiting in line all night.
• It’s understandable if you want to arrive later to avoid buying drinks. The solution? Pre-drink earlier. Beers in the shower and drinking with dinner are fair game.
• On the grander scale of things, $2 isn’t a lot of money when you’re dropping $40 on liquid cocaine shots. It’s well worth the investment to wear a coat and check it.
• Just go early. You can pay for one extra drink at the bar, or you can stand in line for an hour and a half in the snow, in which case you’ll just sober up anyway.

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