Bar Beat

Observing Knockers While Knocking Back Beer at Twin Peaks

Changing into a push-up bra before I left my apartment that night was my first mistake. Ordering beer instead of liquor was my second. I was presented with the opportunity to make a third mistake with the amiable gentleman who sat down next to me at the bar, but thankfully my faculties were still mostly intact. And there were much better opportunities to be had. By him, not me.

I had never been to a "breastaurant" before. Not even Hooters. In fact, the extent of my knowledge about breastaurants is that Bikinis Sports Bar & Grill trademarked the term, and as a result I'm not supposed to refer to any restaurant except Bikinis as a breastaurant in my writing. So I guess I still haven't been to a breastaurant.

I have, however, been to Twin Peaks as of last week. The jury is still out on an appropriately punny portmanteau to describe Twin Peaks. I'm thinking something along the lines of "boobar," but the word should connote overly tan chicks in tiny tops as opposed to breastfeeding mothers, which is what I think of when I hear boobar.

I digress.

So I show up, alone, in a push-up bra to Twin Peaks, and for some reason I expect that, because I'm attempting to blend in by flashing my minimal cleavage to anyone who dared to look, I would fly under the radar. It turns out women don't drink alone at Twin Peaks. Were there a bar where scantily clad, muscular, oiled men pranced around in briefs and flexed their biceps while pouring pints, it would probably be more than acceptable for women to drink alone there. Alas, no such heaven yet exists, to my knowledge.

I order a Karbach because it seems to be the only thing on tap that doesn't have the word "Light" attached to it, and I start doing what I was taught in journalism school -- an ethnography. Rather than act like a normal human being enjoying a night out at the local watering hole, I observe my surroundings and take notes on my phone.

Here's a snippet of what I texted to myself in order to remember the evening:

Can't tell if the guys are looking at me cause I'm out of place here or cause they like what they see. Please let it be the first one. Some of the girls are looking at me funny too. Maybe I'm overanalyzing this. Maybe they're just looking at me cause I'm sitting across the bar from them. Maybe they recognize me as the Houston Press restaurant critic. No, that definitely can't be it. Maybe this place just makes me really self conscious. Do you have to have a belly button piercing to work here?

In retrospect, I think the fact that I was drinking for the first time in a while combined with my lack of sleep may have made me a little fuzzy and paranoid. I can say with certainty, though, that it wasn't the alcohol alone that made me uncomfortable. I can't imagine any response other than discomfort (both emotional and physical) when your waitress recommends the Rueben sandwich with the endorsement "I'd have sex with it."

First, that's gross and unsanitary, and second, how would that even...Nevermind. Moving on. Moving on to...the fact that they're playing Creed's "Arms Wide Open" on the loud speakers -- a saccharine, overplayed anthem written by a father for his unborn child. Cause that's what all these drooling men and nearly naked waitresses want to hear at the end of the day. Freaking Creed.

By the end of my second pint, I'm really regretting that I'm not at the end of my second double gin and tonic. And I'm still confused by the 29-degree temperature of the beer. Perhaps that improves Bud Light ('cause really, what doesn't?), but practically freezing my craft brew in no way enhances it.

Eventually I give up on ever drinking comfortably at Twin Peaks. I'm too distracted by tattoos I shouldn't be able to see and the "Real or Fake?" game I'm playing in my head. And by the two dozen big screen TVs shouting football scores at me. It's not that I don't like sports bars. I can dig some cheap beer and a good game from time to time.

What I can't handle is the bartender singing a butchered Selena song in a voice that sounds like it's coming from Alvin and the Chipmunks. And my push-up bra is starting to dig in to my back.

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Kaitlin Steinberg