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Beer cans and Nikki Sixx

Tacoma’s finest dive bar opens in former Taboo spot

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One of my absolute favorite things about New York City is the fact that they throw rockin’ happy hours.

Promptly at 5 p.m. most days of the week, all of the suits scatter from the financial district and roll straight to bars that are playing cheesy hits like “Pour Some Sugar On Me,” a little bit too loudly with the whole bar singing.

Ties come flying off, collars are loosened, people laugh a little harder, the shots and beers flow like lava, and steam gets blown off after a stressful work day.

I’ve always been disappointed with Tacoma’s nightlife scene because we haven’t had anything like that — not until now.

Thank you, Cans, the bar that just opened on Tuesday at 100 S. Ninth St. in the former Taboo space, for providing this exact energy and jockeying to become Tacoma’s finest dive bar.

Cans focuses on fun, affordability, and the less-pretentious; and nothing says less pretentious than a can of beer, of which they’ll be offering 32 different kinds. Sure, they have booze, too, but the focus will mostly be on the cans, from Busch Light and Rainier to Boddington’s and Modelo, and also six different kinds of sub-zero shots: Tarantula, Fireball Whiskey, Southern Comfort, Jagermeister, Captain Morgan’s and Stoli. Seven tap handles will be home to beers such as Blue Moon, Mac and Jack’s, and a new beer called Beach Bum Blonde.

And what goes better with beers and shots than ’80s hair bands, which is what you’ll find streaming on their plasma screens and through their sound system, along with live tribute and cover bands that they’re hoping to include on the weekends on the stage they installed. Expect Motley Crue (Nikki Sixx is SO my boyfriend) and Guns N Roses style. Yes!

In keeping with the fine dive aspect, there’s also a downstairs play room, which features lower ceilings, carpeted flooring, four pool tables, and a juke box.

Happy hours, just like the ones I know in NYC, will run from 4 to 7 p.m. with rotating $2 beer specials and “Wanted Dead or Alive” antics. What’s likely to be their hottest seller are the cans of Pabst Blue Ribbon, and on Tuesdays, they’ll sell for $1 from 9 to 11 p.m. That’s sure to send people round and round.

Proprietor John Tartaglia and his crew have done a sweet job of rehabbing the main space, refinishing the wood, buffing the gorgeous burgundy marble bar, opening up the beautiful clerestory windows, which bring in plenty of warming light and provide great views of Fireman’s Park. And as Tacoma’s finest dive, you’ll also find vintage beer signage, two video games and, of course, a hurkin’ moose head.

In terms of food, expect even more comforts with pub style, appetizer-based goodies such as popcorn chicken, a Kahlua pork and fried PB&J sandwiches priced from $5 to $9.

Cans will be open Tuesday through Saturday from 4 p.m. to close. That’s where you can find me with my fist in the air singing, “Here I Go Again.”

Hey Cans, talk dirty to me.

[Cans, 100 S, Ninth St., downtown Tacoma,]

Tell me where you like to party here.

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