Like many of you, I’ve been enjoying a summer full of outdoors time with my dearest friends and chosen family in this good town of Lawrence, KS. Despite the oppressive heat that makes you question your judgement when you choose to have drinks outside, we feel it’s worth while to be baked by the sun to make up for the months of the year we are stuck inside. A side effect of this hot weather and patio furniture is one we are all too familiar with: your sweaty thigh peeling away from your chair. I’m going to explain my very personal opinion of my favorite couple of places to grab a drink in Lawrence over the summer and how their patio furniture made me feel physically and emotionally.
5. 8th Street Taproom – 87 feels like 89
Seating style: wrap around metal, hole-y benches with nice little stands to put drinks on
Absolutely no shade in sight, properly baking with your friends on the patio where the metal benches leave a signature honey baked ham pattern on your leg.
The drink prices at the Taproom are fair, the folks that hang out there are lovely, and the music that is playing is often records spun by the bartenders themselves creating a charming ambience inside of the establishment. Once you walk onto the patio and into the elements it doesn’t have quite the same charm, although there is some pretty solid people watching to be had there. A group of ladies walked by while we were sitting there and one of them shouted about ‘what a great time they had in Boulder, CO but no one could remember what that really yummy shot was called.’
When peeling my thighs off of the metal bench at the end of my drink, it had felt as if my thighs had fused to the fibers of the bench itself thus taking a portion of me with it as I stood up. It was big ouchy for sure making this my least favorite of my top 5 favorites. If you are glutton for punishment and love the feeling of your skin peeling off of metal, get your butt over to the Taproom this instant.
4. The Bourgeois Pig – 93 feels like 101
Seating style: Just got new chairs, black and white checker, wicker certainly an improvement over the old metal, hole-y chairs.
As you can imagine in this very specific level of heat we were the only ones sitting out on the front patio at this time apart from an incredibly old man smoking a cigarette and drinking a hot, black coffee. The view from the front patio of the Pig is nice depending where at your table you are seated. Some folks get a view of the Pig which is an adorable brick building, others are facing the not as charming brutalist architecture of the US Bank and Weavers (but if you are into brutalist architecture, you’ll love that view!). The drinks are quite expensive but they always have a cheap beer on special for those trying to save a few bucks on a sunny afternoon. Also, really lovely and affordable caffeinated drinks are available as well for those that are not looking to indulge too much on a sunny afternoon. They have a nice little back patio area but I don’t usually catch a spot back there when I go because it’s often full of other happy customers.
I’m sure you were starting to wonder how my sweaty thighs fared? The peel of my damp thigh from the wicker furniture was not too painful but you certainly feel the wicker fighting to stay attached to your thighs and bottom as you pull away but it lets go of you before putting you in harms way.
3. Lucia – 96 felt like 99
Seating style: Metal all around. Metal stools and metal, hole-y benches.
The metal stools weren’t so bad, it wasn’t really a peel of the skin to get off of the stool, it was more of a slip and slide. So much sweat had formed on my thighs that I was just slipping all over that metal stool. It certainly was nice to not have the chair pinch me, but it was not good for the ego to feel that much of a flow of sweat beneath to lubricate your exit from the chair. The metal, hole-y picnic benches are great for conversation but as we have learned from all other locations that have those metal hole-y chairs, they really don’t feel good when you stand up from them, leaving an intense indented pattern in your epidermis making you feel the furniture has claimed you and left its mark for good.
There were three maniacs wearing pants and they refused to comment on their level of sweatiness.
Lots of perks about the Lucia patio like, that one hook game, big jenga, concrete floor twister board, and a really pretty backdrop for taking photos. They could certainly use a couple more fans to cool folks off and to help push along the wild, hot garbage scent that was emanating around us. But even with the heat and the hot garbage, it certainly wasn’t killing our vibe, we stayed there for several hours. The drinks are affordable and folks were real nice.
Bonus: they were celebrating the 9999 victory while we were there, so heck yeah for that!
2. Mass Street Fish House – 88 feels like 91
Seating style: wooden benches and padded chairs
-Thighs slide from the wooden bench like so much Leo from Titanic into the briny deep – Quote DJ Mr. E. Beef
Very solid coverage from the elements – great big umbrellas, immense shade from the building in the afternoon, but luke warm water was served (alongside delicious cocktails)
Everyone at the Fish House was super nice and the seats were slippery from all the sweatiness but most was absorbed straight into the woodgrain of the bench. A friend of mine sat in the padded seat cushions on the chair and said sweaty stickiness occurred for them and that the cushion nicely absorbed their sweat without leaving an unsightly sweat stain on the cushion for you to be embarrassed about later on. You certainly pay for this kind of luxury as the Fish House is not the most affordable place to get your afternoon drinks but it offers great coverage from the elements.
1. Replay Lounge – 84 feels like 86
Seating style: wooden booths and tables, leather stools, and metal, hole-y chairs. A large amount and variety of seating.
Mostly covered with lots of fans located around the patio.
I chatted with folks around the venue to see how the different seating made them feel and local burlesque star, Lazuli Stardust, was seated on a leather stool and said with this amount of heat and the level of sweatiness made them feel that the leather stools were very homophobic towards them personally. The wooden booth seating is ideal for patio enjoyment. The wood has been become soft and smooth from years of butts sliding across them and sweat soaking into them. Folks in booths were the happiest of all the Replay attendees. They also have a handful of the metal, hole-y chairs that leave big, ol’ fishnet like patterns on people’s flesh. Or Fleshnets. Everyone’s legs were sweaty as can be but were still rather jolly regardless.
I’m sure you all have your own opinions on patios and they are all valid as well. These are just mine. Much love to all these bars but especially to the Replay Lounge which will always have my heart and soul.