A Drunkard’s Guide To The Worst Pubs On Earth (And Some Further Away Than That)

Biker bars, strip clubs and vampire hangouts are a start. 

As a horrible, unrepentant alcoholic, I have visited more than my fair share of bars in my day. Most are decent places where a guy can take an honest load off while tying one on.

But some pubs are downright dangerous and should be avoided at all costs. For those out there who are rookie drinkers or perhaps just not very smart, here are some suggestions for bars you should stay away from.

Right off the bat, and I hate to sound racist, but you should stay away from any bars that have vampires. So, for instance, there's a bar down South called The Titty Twister. Pretty much everyone who works there is a vampire. I would also avoid any bars in the Santa Carla, California beach area. That whole community has some serious vampire problems.

Unfortunately, you can't always tell which pubs will end up throwing some vampire nonsense at you. I was at one dive bar just out in the Midwest one time and a bunch of leather jacket vampires came in and ate everyone in sight, starting with the place's nice waitress. Luckily for me, I was in the bathroom for most of that, but it looked pretty grim.

Any bars that seem like they could be fronts for drug operations need to be avoided as well. Not that there's anything wrong with drugs, but what happens with these places is some badass stud usually comes along and causes problems. If it's a sexy Spanish mariachi guy, you can bet he's just going to shoot everyone in sight regardless of how guilty they may be. If it's a somewhat chubby man with a dark ponytail and delusions of spirituality, you probably won't get shot but chances are really high that you will either have a bone broken, be thrown through a glass window, or both.

I would segue this advice into a broader avoidance of biker bars and/or strip clubs, especially if you're drinking in the 1980s. Not only do you have to worry about vampires and action heroes, but you'll likely run into at least a couple Terminators. If so, just give them your sunglasses and slowly back away. They tend to send out Terminators in pairs - one good, one bad - so you have a good 50/50 shot of only losing your glasses. But who wants to deal with that stuff when you just want to have a drink in peace?

I've noticed that English bars are generally unfriendly places. I once got thoroughly thrashed by this mustached guy simply for asking where the "bathroom" was in an English bar. The more blue-collar the pub, the more likely you're going to end up drinking your teeth. There was one bar I remember called The Slaughtered Lamb. The jerks at this place totally had an out of control werewolf problem, but no one wanted to tell me about it because if the werewolf ate me, then it'd likely leave the rest of them alone. Luckily it got a couple other guys instead. Really, the only English pub I've ever been a fan of was The Winchester, and it was destroyed by zombies.

Space bars. Avoid those as well. Again, I hate to sound racist, but space bars have some serious Alien problems. And whenever you do your drinking off-planet, you're walking away from nice things like laws and police protection. It's the final frontier out there, so if some bug-faced dumbass wants to start some crap, you basically have to cut off his arm or shoot him mid-sentence to have any chance of getting out of there alive.

So in which bars can you drink? Luckily, there are plenty of places you can go. For instance, I know a bar at this place called the Overlook Hotel. It's totally empty, but as soon as you need a bartender, one suddenly appears before you. He'll pour your drinks and listen to your problems all night long, and when the time comes to pay your tab - POOF! - he's gone again. Don't take any family members, though.

I also know a really great bar that seems to break all the rules I've stated above but ends up being a good place anyhow. The Double Deuce in Jasper, Missouri, looks like it'd be one of the most dangerous clubs in the country. And a long time ago, it was. But now they have this guy working there named Dalton and he keeps that place in line like you wouldn't believe.

If you like slightly higher class fare, one hidden gem is the Korova Milk Bar. No, they don't serve anything but drugged milk. But it is quite relaxing and the sexually charged atmosphere all but guarantees a last-call hook up. A lot of gangs come to this bar, but keep to yourself and you should be okay.

Generally higher scale places tend to season their drinking atmosphere with stuff like track lighting and modernist architecture rather than violence. So if you see sawdust on the floor, maybe try the place next door. But there are always exceptions to every rule. If you're drinking somewhere with a mechanical bull, for instance, I implore you to put your balls back on and have the best night of your life, even if it ends up also being your last. Those things are harder and harder to find.

Anyway, follow these very simple guidelines and you should live long enough to see the second rise of Prohibition. Of course, there are no guarantees in life. Stupid vampires and Terminators are pretty much everywhere. But it's always been that way. And if you can't control your destiny, might as well have a pint to help keep you from giving a damn. That's what I say!

This was written for the "Cheers! A Celebration of Pub Life" issue of Birth.Movies.Death. in honor of Edgar Wright's The World's End. See The World's End at the Alamo Drafthouse tomorrow