Dozen Street Bar & Lounge
This is a bar on 12th and Chicon. Less than ten years ago, it was one of the more dangerous corners in the City. Here's the breakdown: There was a city wide campaign to clean up the prostitution, drugs, and gang violence that lived on this block for years. The police built up cases against the "top ten" offenders and put them away.
Fast forward to 2014: A woman from Philly arrives in town, opens a bar, and it is cool. Inside you pass two back-to-back pool tables before arriving at a mandolin handle-shaped counter to order your liquor or beer. Keep walking and there's a stage to the left plus a "living room" area to the right with colorful lamps.
The bar is dog friendly and you'll find the owner usually brings hers. She reminds me of the phrase "brass tacks." This is the first question she asks when I walk in: "Is shit-ton one word or two." Her past includes being a founding director of a Theatre company - which speaks to the distinctive decor.
There are hipsters who come here but they're the kind who bring back empty glasses and beer bottles. The music is Spotify and the head bartender knows his blues well enough to pull the likes of Lucille Bogan out of it. The beer is cold. Its kept in a typical cooler, but I'm told they have to watch it so the alcohol doesn't freeze.
Go in the back and you've entered an outdoor patio that includes original artwork such as the painted "12th and Chicon" grafitti by the door.
In closing you'll like being in an area of town that has an edge where you can enjoy the company of friends. It should be added that its interesting people watching, and if you're the kind who looks for something unique then you've found one of the better places in the City.