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January 25, 2012

Bar Belle: How to save a life

I swear I’m not making this up. A recent study shows that people who don’t drink die sooner than people who do. I’ll do a toast to that! I’ve been trying to relay this message for years by conducting unofficial experiments I call “happy hour.” It’s true, Mom. Time magazine says so. According to the article, of the 1,824 participants, 41 percent of moderate drinkers died prematurely compared to 69 percent of nondrinkers. Holy martini, Batman! Even heavy drinkers came out ahead of the teetotalers — at a not too shabby 60 percent.

I’m hoping I fit into the “moderate” category, which is defined as those fun folks who drink one to three drinks per day. Of course, I don’t drink every day — I’m no Ricky Gervais — so I assume you’re allowed to save those three drinks and apply them to the weekend count. It’s a rollover plan I can subscribe to.

So how do the scientists explain the findings of this study? Well, they were unavailable for comment because they were all down at the local bar, but there are theories out there. One is the social aspect. Those who drink have more friends and are out more, thus are happier and more content than the nondrinkers who are forced to watch “Ghost Whisperer” on Friday nights. An article about the study, found on the Mother Nature Network site (mnn.com), says that strong social networks are essential for maintaining mental and physical health. And nondrinkers showed more signs of depression than barflies like me. Buzzz.

What should we take away from this? I certainly don’t recommend you go out and drink every night — that would crowd up my bars. But I do think you should remember that being social is an important part of your overall health. Don’t feel guilty about looking forward to drinks after work with friends. Don’t be too hard on yourself if you and your table of friends finish off two Dundee Dips in the span of a football game. Don’t feel guilty about inserting the F-bomb into a Reba song during a night of karaoke. Don’t beat yourself up if your DVR is full and your house hasn’t been vacuumed since Thanksgiving. And most importantly, don’t fucking drink alone. Invite me over — my place is a mess.

11 feet of whiskey
I caught up with Matthew Landan the other day to figure out what this chill dude and former owner of Derby City Espresso is planning with his new Haymarket Whiskey Bar, slated to open Feb. 4. Situated in the same East Market location that DCE was, in a building that dates back to 1885, the Haymarket will feature more than 50 whiskeys, 50 craft beers and seven rotating craft drafts, as well as all the wine and spirits that come along with owning a liquor license.

Landan gave me a taste of absinthe while he talked about his new offspring, and while we dodged the painters and construction workers who were ripping the former DCE a new bunghole. Coffee just wasn’t paying the bills, he said. And NuLu is in need of a decent whiskey bar with fair prices and low pretentiousness. Of course, the place will have live music most nights, as any honky-tonk worth its weight should. And in true dive spirit, Old Forester is the house bourbon and will be available every night of the week for $3 a shot. Cincinnati’s Hudepohl Amber Lager will be $3 a pint as well.

Landan is certainly excited to bring his conception to fruition. What has him most giddy, however, is the 11-foot “Whiskey By The Drink” sign that will be attached to the building’s exterior soon. He pulled up a photo of it on his iPad and showed it off like it had just won first place in a fourth-grade science fair.

The Feb. 4 grand opening will include music by the Whiskey Bent Valley Boys and The Shovel Bums. Admission is $10. Doors open at 9 p.m. Check out facebook.com/haymarketwhiskeybar for details.

Drunk Texts of the Week
• Bowl-blockers: cundiff and williams
• Its like peeing on yourself and considering yourself miles davis
• Dont judge a band by its covers
• Maybe dick juice turns into sugar
• Who calls it dick juice?

Send your drunk texts to shavens@leoweekly.com. My blog is at barbelle.leoweekly.com. Word.