The first time I went to Monkey Pants was to race goldfish.
Upon walking in, you get the feeling that this is a place in the wrong type of place. But in all the right ways.
It feels like a bar that has been put in your coolest Uncle’s back house or basement. Leg lamps, velvet paintings, stapled polaroids and fish tanks decorate the place. Surly regulars ready to tell you the history of the place drink at the bar and give the bartenders shit. Also, the place is huge.
If you dig dives (not like in the affected Valley Girl Faux Hipster out to Brunch-ies way), but if you really dig dives with a mission to get you tanked and fed, you will LOVE Monkey Pants. The bar is divided into two areas: The horseshoe bar main area and a connecting larger room. The larger room is where the stage is set and stand up comedy takes place…and to quote Garth Algar: “they got a pool table too”. Several of them.
The stage is set year round to look like a fucking Griswold basement situation. Couches line the walls and there is a fake fireplace on the raised area. I couldn’t pick any of the comics we saw that night out of a line up due to ingestion of spirits, but I’m sure the lighting and the audio matched the setting perfectly, and the performances were great. You know and I know, comedy is better hammered.
Also, on this stage is Karaoke every Wednesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday. And EVERY NIGHT at one AM, if you are a big enough maniac, you can take your shirt off and get a shot for a buck and a penny. You have to respect rituals.
Fridays are saved for the Whiskey boasting $3 wells, $4 dollar Jack, and $5 dollar Crown for you fancy fuckers out there. Also, $7.95 Fish and Chip and $4 dollar Bass for you Catholics.
Literally, if you have the itch, this monument to the time of your life has the scratch, even if you are low on some. Thursdays, there are $2.50 PBRers and $4 dollar hot dogs to burp up all night. Billy (my Brother and goldfish racing partner) and I did our best to drink them dry of the hipsters lager, but they just kept putting them in front of us. Heaven.
I may be biased on the Goldfish Race situation because I won. But I will walk you through it anyway.
First step is walking your happy ass outside where they have gutters set up and squirt guns waiting. Also, getting their big eyed game face on are the fish in a plastic bin waiting to be chosen.
After choosing your fish, they hand you a cambro; Which for you non restaurant industry folk is a shallow plastic pan about the size of canned beer turned sideways open on top.
In general, I like things that look like they are a bit worn down. Some would call this “character”, some asshole started calling it “vintage”, but I like things that look like they have a bit of life on ‘em. A little salt. So I chose the goldfish that had been there. Had raced his whole life in the gutter fish racing game and had the look of a warrior looking to die on his squirt gun propelled sword. I want to say he only had one eye, but memory is a motherfucker and he probably had both.
Fish are dropped in gutters and you guide them to the opposite side of the gutter with your squirt gun to victory. I name my fish “Ghost Richard” aka Ghost Dick. I probably was on a Wu Tang kick or was entertaining the very large part of myself that loves low brow humor.
Upon winning you have your polaroid taken and stapled to the wall inside for forever more.
Long review short:
Monkey Pants is great. Really, really great. You tell me a place that sells 1 dollar Busch beers for you to crush to help them build their yearly “Christmas Tree” that sucks and I’ll show you the figurative door.
The joint is technically in Tempe, but if you are ever in Phoenix. Go. Go there. Go to Monkey Pants. They waiting for you to “Get Your Ass Into Pants.”