I don’t like most of the bars surrounding the Bad Genie Rock Lounge (789 N. Jefferson St.). Perhaps this is why. Toward the end of the night, a young lady, whose legs could disappear behind a fence post, was leaving Taylor’s with a wavering step. Her man followed behind as she crouched in front of a bush, where I swear she pulled a beer out of the foliage, and continued walking in the street. He scolded her for not being able to produce the car keys, but with a little more concentration, she located them, and they kept walking on opposite sides of the cars. But I suppose our activities leading up to this point weren’t exactly commendable either.
The Bad Genie is a bi-level establishment with the bar area in the front room. We went to the second level, which had a small space for the musicians directly to our left and bar tables to the right. We were there to see a friend of a friend’s jazz band play. Drink orders were a challenge with the loud, groovy tunes – though it was clear, this wasn’t the cocktail server’s first rodeo. The beer and liquor selection is nothing out of the ordinary, except for the scorpions. I’ll get there. The red walls make a cozy interior with some typical indicators that they’re hip to the sixties. A bold painting of the Yellow Submarine logo hangs above the bar and the dancing Dead bears color the live music area. The band interacted in a way that put the improvisational aspect of the music at the forefront and made the performance all the more entertaining. They were incredible musicians and smiled throughout their entire set.
I walked over to my friend, and he told me the cocktail server said they offer scorpion shots. I didn’t really believe or understand this concept, but we were off to the bar with inquiries and the intention of partaking. The bartender grabbed a small jar and, bam, she dangled a scorpion from its tail. “That is large,” we each said, slightly speechless. The top of the jar assured us that we were not in danger: “W/O Stinger” was handwritten on the lid. The bartender encouraged us and said she’s swallowed at least 10, mostly to make the men feel inferior and a little uncomfortable. So after about five minutes of throwing around tentative glances, she lined up four shots and dropped scorpions in two of the glasses. I grabbed one and my brother took the other. Time moved slowly as I tried to work up the courage. “One, two, three, cheers.” I knocked mine back and set the glass on the table with the scorpion still inside. I was relieved though I’m pretty sure I knew what I was doing. My brother didn’t touch his. Tired of the build up, my friend put my scorpion in her glass and took it down. Her hand was immediately over her mouth and she furiously pointed to our friend’s beer. After a little chewing and a swig of High Life, she succeeded. Handing back our friend’s beer, he refuses, “No, you keep that.” After a high five or two, our sick fascination continued.
I wandered off after a little bit, drawn back when I heard my brother’s name being chanted to shoot the scorpion. Of course, the man behind the provocation wanted nothing to do with the insect. Our fascination stretched a bit too long, and finally someone who hadn’t been around for the build up grabbed the scorpion and ate it.
By the time we put the “Fear Factor” business behind us, the Bad Genie was shouting last call. I liked the Genie, and I’ll to go back and see if they consistently book good bands. There was a decent crowd but nothing obnoxious aside from the crazy scorpion people.
In other news, don’t forget to about the new Alternative and Modern Rock music festival naming contest. The winner will receive the ultimate VIP experience. Vote now!
2496 S. Wentworth Ave.
Thursday, Jan. 28
The Hardcore Comedy Show.
720 N. Milwaukee St.
Friday, Jan. 29
This Friday, check out the Miss January official party with $5 tall mixers and $100 bottles of Three Olives grape and cherry. Doors open at 10 p.m., and the first 200 patrons get a free 2010 swimsuit calendar.
Benno’s Genuine Bar & Grill
7413 W. Greenfield Ave.
$1 off all taps, and three sliders for $3.
223 N. Water St.
I’m excited about this one. From 9 p.m.-close, take advantage of $1 slice night.
3007 S. Kinnickinnic Ave.
Blackbird offers one of my favorite happy hour specials: Free tacos from Hector’s, 4-8 p.m., or until supplies last. Also, $4 margaritas and $2 Pacifico and Corona.
2265 S. Howell Ave.
Every Wednesday starting at 5 p.m., enjoy $10 off bottles of wine.
Polish Falcon’s Nest 725
801 E. Clarke St.
Open Bowl on the oldest lanes in town. And it only costs $3.25 a game plus $1 for shoes.
1905 North Ave.
Hey ladies! Free drinks until midnight. Everyone else pays $3 for Stoli drinks. Not bad. No cover.
Hi-Hat Lounge & Garage
1701 N. Arlington Pl.
Ladies Night: DJs Kid Cut Up and Steve Marxx. Two complimentary drinks for the ladies.
Kenadee’s Ultra Pub
718 N. Milwaukee St.
Bitch Pleeze Fridays: Ladies drink free mixers every Friday from 10 p.m.-midnight. Kenny Perez provides the music. No cover. No dress code.
Brocach Irish Pub and Restaurant
1850 N. Water St.
From 3:30 to 6 p.m., try happy hour: Half off all top-shelf Irish and scotch whiskies. 20 oz. pint of Guinness and shot of Powers for $6.25. $5 wines by the glass.
Bryant’s Cocktail Lounge
1579 S. Ninth St.
Half-price Depression-era cocktails, including the signature Old-Fashioned, from 5-9 p.m.