The Vern (or Hannigan’s Tavern)
2622 S.E. Belmont
Oh my, what an experience! The Vern, called so because the T and A are burnt out on the sign, is one helluva dive bar. The decor is mostly neon beer signs, wood paneling and an interesting mix of regulars.
The Vern comes off as the kind of place the world-weary, blue collar working man’s man goes to have a beer before stumbling home to a sorry marriage and bratty kids. The hipsters have yet to take over and with any luck, they never will.The most interesting part of the night though was my conversation with one of the regulars, which scared me sufficiently enough to probably stay away for awhile. We went there last year too, and I don’t recall feeling so creeped out, but then again, I didn’t have such a conversation.
Let me set up the scene. We walk in, all 15 of us, loudly headed for the bar, annoying the bartender and regulars with our liveliness and general drunken nature. I was wearing the Pub Crawl cowboy hat and my usual going-out attire. A large women, not fat, but tall, burly and definitely bigger than me, wearing a Pabst Blue Ribbon shirt, large boots and a studded leather bracelet sidled up next to me at the bar and this conversation occurred:
Woman: Hey Tex.
Me: Hey Mex.
Woman: My name isn’t Mex.
Me: My name isn’t Tex.
Woman: But you’re wearing a cowboy hat.
Me: So? You’re wearing a PBR shirt.
Woman: Well my name is dumbass.
Me: My name is jackshit.
At that point I felt it would be best if I walked away. I had already downed five or six beers and had run out of witty retorts. So walk away I did.
A fellow pub crawler assured me that the woman was not thinking of beating me up but was in fact hitting on me. That is all well and good but I still felt intimidated enough to leave the hat at home next time.