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Home Plate Tavern

I really didn’t like this place.

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Let’s stop pretending you don’t want to know what’s inside Home Plate Tavern. You pass by it on a regular basis as you drive down South Sprague Avenue. The sign catches your eye, but you’re too scared. Is it the neighborhood? Is it that there’s nowhere to park? Is it the fact that it has almost no windows? Well none of that is going to stop BanditoBetty and me from going in. That’s what we’re here for. That’s what the Bar Exam is all about.

We parked in back, climbed up the wooden ramp, and entered through the heavy back door. It took us a minute to gather our senses. The lights are so bright — yikes! I expected this place to be dark, dank and closed in. It was the exact opposite: plenty of open tables, darts, pool, beer posters, and toothless mullets chatting away. An incredibly beautiful vintage beer cooler lined the wall. The 113-year-old bartender immediately asked us what we’d be having while the only other two females in the joint sized us up. Let’s see — our beer options were domestic, domestic, or domestic.

They had six standard domestics on tap. The beautiful cooler I mentioned above housed nothing but the finest canned beers including Milwaukee’s Best, Olympia, and I think I saw some Colt 45 in there. All I know is the closest to microbrew they had was Alaskan Amber.

Just about everyone in Home Plate tavern had some form, shape, or variety of mullet. I tried to count the number bar patron teeth, and I got to 22 total visible teeth before the two female barflies glared a hole in Bandito’s head. It was painfully obvious we were invading their territory. We finished our beer and headed out.

As we drove away, we were still pondering the reason behind the blinding wattage of lights in the Home Plate Tavern. That’s when it happened, one of the best BanditoBetty quotes to date: “Those were the ugly lights, you know the lights they turn on at the end of the night when the bar is about to close. And you look at the person you’ve been talking to all night and you say ‘Damn! That’s ugly!’…Well, there’s no amount of darkness that’s gonna hide the ugly people in that place, so they just keep the lights on all night long.”

Home Plate Tavern

Food: Who the hell knows, we hauled ass

Beer: Cheap and domestic

Mullet count: Everyone

Bar Exam Dive Grade: Grade A

[Home Plate Tavern, 1042 S. Sprague Ave., Tacoma, 253.272.9713]

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