GLBTs and old-fashioned card games

Print

About the last thing I expected to see when I walked into Pi Bar & Restaurant on a Monday night was a table and a half of middle-aged guys playing 500. That’s the old-timey card game we play with Carol’s folks down on the farm in Iowa.

Pi, which opened last year in the Seward neighborhood, bills itself as “an awesome social club for queer women and their friends.” Their website promises “hot women, dancing, karaoke, trivia, lots of live entertainment, free pool during Happy Hour from 4-8 PM daily, awesome drink specials, and tasty food.,” but not a word about the 500 game. Maybe they are afraid of attracting too many Iowans.

It turns out that it’s a regular game that started around 10 years ago at the Gay 90s, but now is held every Monday night at Pi. Some evenings they get up to five tables, but at this time of year, a lot of the regulars take off for warmer climes. Over the years, they have raised thousands of dollars for Open Arms Minnesota.

Monday night happens to be movie night and half-price bottle of wine night, and every evening from 4 to 8 p.m. it’s also happy hour, which means half-price appetizers, cheap beer, and free pool.

The menu is mostly comfort food, ranging from chicken wings and burgers (mini or large) to chilled soba noodles with a sesame vinaigrette and a G.L.B.T. But a new menu will be coming out soon that will add a bigger selection of salads, sandwiches, and entrees.

Being a cheapskate at heart, I ordered a huge basket of Pi (tater) tots for $3, and three very small burgers for the same price (both are regularly $6.) The burgers were a little dry, as mini-burgers tend to be, but the toppings of fresh sliced tomato, crisp romaine lettuce, catsup and aioli made up for that, especially considering the price. And the tater tots, were crisp, crunchy and irresistible.

Our other entrée was the Gaysian wraps, a do-it-yourself kit of romaine lettuce leaves, carrots, cilantro, red onion and mock duck (or tofu or chicken) with a lively, spicy peanut sauce ($8). We washed all this down with a bottle of 2006 Gnarly Head Zinfandel, which is a good value at $21, and a steal at the Monday night price of $10.50.

The featured movie on the night we were there was Gendernauts (1999) Monika Treut’s documentary about San Francisco’s transsexual community, featuring Annie Sprinkle, among others. Other highlights of the Pi calendar include Trivia night every Tuesday, screening of the TV show L-Word every Wednesday, and Queer Speed Dating.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.