Friday, March 18, 2011

The Dark Room Bar

I went to the COOLEST bar in the world this week!

The bar - called the Dark Room - is on the west side of Cleveland in Broadview Heights. In other worlds, it's a hell of a haul for old Doctor Zombie's Jeep of Doom. I ran out there on Tuesday to meet some guys from Zombie Squad... and am sooo glad I did.

But - the indignities of distance and the questionable locale of being on the West Side of Cleveland (a land populated - I've been told - by cannibals and vile sodomites)aside -- the Dark Room is well worth the jaunt.

The Dark Room is a themed bar, but entirely different from the myriad chains and franchises that seem to spring up every few months. Where most themed bars are variations on the same old theme (namely; wing joints, or gastro pubs, or Irish pubs that are only Irish by virtue of their name - preferably something with an 'o' and an apostrophe), the Dark Bar is unique because it appeals to everything that Doctor Zombie holds near and dear to his heart.

The Dark Bar - you see - is a HORROR MOVIE THEMED bar!

You can imagine my geekish, gore-hound delight upon entering this den of pure horror goodness!

I arrived at the Dark Room at around 7:30 - a half hour early because I can't seem to figure out the time change between the east and west side of the Cuyahoga River. I ordered some wings, which turned out to be very tasty, and had a Great Lakes Brewery Conway's Irish Ale.

My first impressions of the Dark Room are that it is exactly what my dream man cave would look like. It had horror movie memorabilia, Halloween decorations, and movie posters galore. It had shots with names like the Camp Crystal Lake shot, the Zombie Shooter, and the Captain Spaulding. They had several big screens that - true to their claim on the website - played horror movies all night. When I got there, they were playing one of the Final Destinations, and then they moved on to House 2 (a true 80's classic!), and Sleepaway Camp (Yeah! Hermaphroditic serial killers!).

Their website loudly proclaims that they are a hardcore heavy metal and industrial music spot - so you can imagine my surprise when I came in to find several bald, tattooed, metalhead regulars at the end of the bar with the remote to the jukebox -- gleefully playing and singing along to Depeche Mode, The Cure, OMD, Frank Sinatra, The Smiths and other assorted awesome, but decidedly NOT heavy metal music. I think there was also some New Order, Peter Gabriel, and Backstreet Boys. All I know is that I wound up singing along to most of the songs with the black shirted and tatt'ed regulars... much to my delight!

While I waited, I talked to Mary - the bartender. I explained I was meeting members of Zombie Squad and that we were investigating the possibility of doing a fundraiser/charity event. She said that they do host charity functions and fundraisers (in fact there was going to be a 15 year reunion fundraising this weekend for one of the local high schools.) She gave me the number of the person to contact about details... and told me she'd give her a heads up that I'd be calling.
Interesting aside - when I explained the disaster preparedness angle with the metaphor of the Zombie Apocalypse (If you can survive the Zombie Apocalypse, you can survive any natural disaster) she said that she and the bar regulars had their own thoroughly thought out zombie plan. Their plan involved coming to the Dark Room ala The Winchester in Shaun of the Dead. As it worked so well for Shaun and Ed, I found no fault with their logic and felt it most certainly would not 'exacerbate the situation'! Pig snacks for all!

Mary also thanked me when I complimented her on how incredible the theme was and how I was envious there was nothing on my side of town anywhere near as cool as The Dark Room.

She said that she loved the bar, as well as the regulars who had a fanatical loyalty to the place. Case in point - it was Tuesday night and there were probably a dozen or more people there. She said it's a sign of how great a bar is when she and the rest of the employees get off their shift - or come in on their night off - to hang out and drink there. I couldn't agree more. In fact, her shift ended while I was there, and she walked from around the bar to sit and drink with some of the regulars. She and they were still there when I left.

About this time, my wings arrived (from a kitchen with a morgue sign over it, and that had bloody meat cleavers, butcher knives, and various severed limbs hung from the ceiling on meat hooks). Again - tasty! I'm talking about the wings, not the severed limbs, by the way... although I'm sure they were quite delicious as well!

So, several frothy adult beverages in, and while bathing in the horror movie goodness of the Dark Room... I fell totally in love with the Dark Room. I continue to lament the fact that there is nothing like it here on the more civilized side of Cleveland. It's almost criminal!

So - to recap. Horror Movies. Tasty wings. Cool atmosphere.

That is all, besides the fact that it makes me very very very sad that we don't have a bar like this on the east side. I'd totally become a regular if we did...

I highly recommend this place!

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