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Consumer's guide to the Square

Summertime When the livin' is easy Fish are jumpin' and the cotton is high.

By George Gershwin

To some of us the change in seasons is signalled more subtly. Vodka-bitter lemons give way to gin-and-tonics; club soda is replaced by quinine water. Below is a highly arbitrary listing of some local establishments specializing in liquid cuisine.

Cronin's, on Mt. Auburn St. near the Treadway Motor Inn, is our personal favorite. The drinks and food are good, generous, and reasonably priced; the waitresses are friendly and efficient, and the music is always good. The early '50s decor, including wooden booths, makes this a pleasant, relaxed place to down some chillies with friends.

By contrast, Father's Six, located on Bow St. next to the cleaner's, is a raunchy, sticky-floored hole designed for people who want to get loaded as fast and as cheaply as possible. If you don't mind being proofed at the door, and fighting your way through a forest of sweaty, drunken bodies to a sticky table where you can drink, listen to blaring bad jukebox music and look at posters advertising specials on the walls, you'll like Father's.

Farther up the block, on Mass Ave, you'll find the local Big Pink--the Hong Kong Restaurant, or simply "the Kong." Although the food found in the first floor violates Geneva convention provisions regarding biological warfare, the bar upstairs has wonderfully tacky decor, moderately-priced good drinks, and a jukebox featuring Frank Sinatra singing "My Way." Local high school toughs take over on weekends, but during the week, Dino DiLaurentiis is right--"People gonna love Kong."

One Potato, Two Potato . . . three potato, four. Bad drinks, high prices, don't go in the door.

33 Dunster St. is pretentious and overpriced, but sometimes a pleasant place. There are too few barmaids, and service is slow as death. But they've got Guinness Stout on tap.

Located on Brattle St. underneath the Truc complex, the Club Casablanca (or the Casa-B, as the regulars call it), is the place to go to meet the kind of people your parents sent you here to meet. Not surprisingly, the drinks are fairly expensive, but they're good and there's often good jazz. Watch out for the alligators.

Jake's on Boylston St. has a nice downstairs bar. Drinks are okay, if a bit expensive, and there's often good live folk music.

Jonathan Swift's is a schizophrenic place. Before 8 p.m. on weeknights you can get huge drinks for 90 cents. On weekends, though, there's a cover, and a live, usually country-rock band.

For drinks, loud music, and maybe a genuine bar fight, try the Oxford Ale House on Church St. If you're really up for some good brew, though, you'd do better to check out the Warsthaus, in the Square, which stocks more varieties of beer and ale than anywhere else around.

Finally, for those who prefer fermented grapes to grains, several local restaurants have varied wine collections. The Wine Bar, on the second floor of the Garage, has a fine--if expensive--selection of wines, which go very well with their excellent desserts. You might also try the Blue Parrot and the Ha'Penny, which are both located on Mt. Auburn St.

Here's mud in your eye.

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