The Mag Bar (1398 S. 2nd St.) is one of the best dive bars in the city; everything from the worn and weathered exterior of the place, the faded neon lights that can be seen from down the block and the crowd that hangs outside smoking Parliament lights. The moment you step inside this place you can smell the history, the years of nicotine buildup on the walls, the semi-nauseating odor of liquor that has been spilled but missed during cleanup, as well as the faint smell from last evening’s half-assed bleach mop job.
The crowd is always hit or miss, and on any given night you may see the most grunged out punk kid or the most ghetto brother, not to mention all the in betweens. The drinks are cheap, and normally I’m an imported beer drinker, but when here it’s strictly Miller High Life and Jameson Irish whiskey shots. A few of each of those will have me ready to purge myself of the liquids consumed, and if worse comes to worse I might even use the designated men’s restroom there.
It’s so foul that on a busy night while standing at the door for the dude in front of you to wrap up his business you’re either already standing in liquid, or can see it coming underneath of the bathroom door. And once that door opens an even grander spectacle awaits. Graffiti covers most every inch of the interior of this restroom, all the way up toward the 10-foot ceiling, and they have one of those older model hand dryers that is basically a towel in a box that you grab a hold of and pull when the portion exposed gets too saturated. It seldom works, but seriously, who’s washing their hands in there? The main objective is go and get out, because if it’s early in the evening then you’re only standing in half an inch of urine. By the end of the night it’s closer to two full inches.
And don’t even think about doing anything more involved, because not only is there never any toilet paper, but there’s also never been a toilet seat on the cammode during the past ten years I’ve been going.