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They call it Lamar’s

June 15, 2010

jennybadman

A sign nearby asks patrons to refrain from peeling off the wallpaper.

This is the velvet wallpaper at Lamar’s Restaurant, a must-see spot in Chattanooga. The website calls it “Chattanooga’s favorite place after dark.” I can tell you this. You must go.

Truth. It’s not much to look at from the outside. But honestly, you don’t really want it to. The slightly-dodgy-dingy thing works.

Truth. It’s still decorated for the holidays. And someone’s birthday. Which is good. Adds festive spirit.

Truth. By far the best jukebox I’ve ever encountered. Billie Holiday. Chaka Khan & Rufus. Michael Jackson. Aretha Franklin. Portishead. Marvin Gaye. Ella Fitzgerald.

Truth. Stiffest drinks ever. In fact, you’ll think it’s a joke at first. I ordered a vodka cranberry and watched Mr. Gerald, the stoic but adept bartender make it. He filled a low ball glass with ice, poured in vodka until full and then added the merest whisper of cranberry. I mean, the liquid in the glass barely had a glimmer of pink. You’ve been advised.

Truth. The fried chicken and shrimp they serve is apparently the stuff of legends. I did not have the opportunity to eat, but I can report that no less than four people stopped by for take out chicken orders and were asked “Half or whole?” upon placing their order. Seriously.

Truth. This place should be on an Esquire list of Best Bars With Stiffest Drinks & Delicious Chicken. At the very least.

Truth. If you go, I will totally come with.

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3 Comments

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  1. Jamin #
    June 15, 2010

    Sounds like a dream to me! But I think I’d put Pinkie Master’s jukebox up with the best of them. When Kate Smith’s God Bless America comes on, everyone stands up and salutes. The only way to really know for sure is to head to Savannah. You two can judge for yourselves… and rest your weary heads on the padded bar.

  2. Steven #
    June 15, 2010

    I used to go through Chattanooga quite a bit. I remember seeing the long awning. Now I wish I had stopped in a time or two.

  3. Emily #
    June 16, 2010

    Truth. I had a wonderful time with you, and I look forward to the next.

    “Lets have one more and split it.”

    Yes indeed, any day with you!

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