A Bar Pilot's Guide to LoDa

Whether you’re looking for a secluded night cap or a night-long rager, Mobile’s entertainment district has you covered. And while everybody may not know your name, they’ll at least be able to tell something about you just by where you sidle up to the bar. Which watering hole on the neon-lit stretch of Dauphin Street is right for you?

Moe's BBQ

701 Spring Hill Ave. 410-7427. moesoriginalbbq.com

A little like the new bar itself, you’re still trying to figure out where you fit in the LoDa night scene. You’re laidback and can’t pinpoint a period in your life when you weren’t “finding yourself.” You probably tell people you like hiking, even though you haven’t been in the past year. Whether you’re new to downtown or just extremely well-rounded, this is a safe choice. Nothing wrong with that. But do stop telling people you like hiking.

Best Sips Pitchers of Yuengling, plus the occasional bushwhacker
Pro Tip Order a Thin Mint shot — half bushwhacker, half Rumple Mintz, all the deliciousness of the Girl Scout cookie.

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The Garage

9 S. Washington Ave. 433-2223.

You only smoke when you drink (or at least that’s what you tell yourself). You enjoy your work, in part because it allows you to sneak out before 5 p.m. to join the regular crowd here. The bartenders know your name, potentially due to the bar tabs on which you’ve “accidentally” walked out.

Best Sips Two-for-one domestics

The Bull

†609 Dauphin St., 378-5091. thebullrestaurant.com

You know a dark secret (or 10) about every person here. You also know a couple jokes that would make Howard Stern blush. Once you’ve knocked back a few drinks after work, you have to remind yourself not to repeat either too loudly – even though your drinking buddies have heard them all a thousand times.

Best Sips Vodka and lime

O’Daly’s / Draft Picks Taproom / Dauphin Street Blues Co.

564 – 568 Dauphin St., 725-6429. odalys.com

If you’re at the original, you’re undoubtedly an educated, traveled, fun-loving person (and I’ve probably spilt a drink on you). If you are at the two latest additions, you may still be in what researchers call “party mode, ” though part of you wonders if the fun is nearly over. (Hint: Probably.) Armed with a steady paycheck and a little help from Mom and Dad, all your friends from high school reunite here. Stop me if this sounds familiar: “Car bombs? Car bombs.”

Best Sips Anything but the fluorescent blue Irish Trash Cans
Pro Tip Go for the next U.S. Men’s National Team soccer match and cheer alongside the “American Outlaws, ” the Mobile chapter of the team’s nationwide fan club.


451 Dauphin St., 287-1976.

You are often confused for a member of the band Mumford and Sons (or at least a groupie). Your wardrobe may be a nod to the Great Depression, but not your wallet. As the name of this bar suggests, you have an appreciation for the finer things. You certainly know how to impress.

Best Sips It’s all good, but try the Dark & Stormy.
Pro Tip Talk to the bartenders. You’ll learn something.

Hayley’s Bar

278 Dauphin St., 433-4970.

You’d never say “Let’s get weird, ” like the guys outside, but you’re a pro at getting weird. Maybe you tried to make it as an artist, or  maybe you own a motorcycle. You’re not too concerned with sanitation or appearances. You love your crew and a dark, non-judgmental place where everyone knows to knock before entering the bathroom.

Best Sips The Hayley’s Bloody Mary, complete with beef jerky

Boo Radley’s

256 Dauphin St., 432-1996. booradleysmobile.com

You often find yourself partying well after 2 a.m. You’ve probably seen the sunrise on Dauphin Street and walked out of this place looking like a mole leaving his burrow. At work, you have a reputation for liking the night life. And, although you should know better by now, in those wee weekend hours preceding sunrise, you tend to pull out your phone and let your thumbs make decisions you’ll regret in the morning. Damn those irresponsible thumbs!

Best Sips Boone’s Farm and water. But mostly water.

Alchemy Tavern

7 S. Joachim St., 441-7741.

You know a good watering hole when you find one, and apparently you voice your opinions to the Lagniappe, seeing as this spot won the Nappie Award for “Best LoDa Bar.” There’s something “fringe-y” about you — whether you taught English in Taiwan, slept in an endangered redwood in California or just like to wear a frayed vest around town. You enjoy new tastes and value good conversation. There’s also a 15 percent chance you work at Red Square Agency.

Best Sips Any of the many Alabama beers on tap

LoDa Bier Garten

251 Dauphin St., 287-6871. lodabiergarten.com

You are either a beer nerd, a Germanophile or just have a strange affection for Schnitzel. You count May 9, 2013 – the date Gov. Robert Bentley signed Alabama’s home-brewing bill into law – as one of the top five days of your life. When someone asks about your favorite beer, you have to preface your response with a warning: “You’ve probably never heard of it.” On the bright side, you’re always on the invite list to a BYOB party!

Best Sips Ask Tyger behind the bar. 

With this issue, MB bids farewell and best of luck to staffer and honorary social chair, Ellis Metz, as he ventures to Nashville. 

text by Ellis Metz • illustration by kELAN MERCER

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