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Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Argus Lounge - 3187 Mission Street

The Argus Lounge was the perfect conclusion to my Friday and my week. My day started without obligation… I took the day off in honor of my birthday which was on Thursday and spent my morning managing my fantasy- football and baseball teams before heading to an afternoon matinee, Pineapple Express (a good movie for those of you who haven’t seen it), followed by a trip to the gym. I then counteracted my workout with a little Mission on Mission.

The Argus had an unhurried vibe as couples sat together catching up after a long day’s work— libations in hand. The dimness of the bar mellowed my mood but the overly amplified melodic troll of Willie Nelson kept me alert. The bar was decorated with a stuffed peacock and bulls’ skulls. Across the serving corridor, a naugahyde booth sat under a four picture, framed series of Jesus’ last supper. A DJ stand near the entrance promised that this place would come alive later in the evening.

The bar’s ambience and dĂ©cor squared perfectly with its namesake, the Argus Panoptes from Greek mythology. It also explained the cryptic peacock feather on the bar’s exterior sign (with no wording).

Taken from the lounge’s website http://www.arguslounge.com/: The

“Argus is a monster with a hundred eyes. He was thus a very effective watchdog, as only a few of the eyes would sleep at a time; there were always several eyes still awake. Argus was Hera’s servant; Her last task for him was to guard a white heifer from Hera’s husband, Zeus. Hera knew that the heifer was in reality Io, one of Zeus’ many girlfriends. To free Io, Zeus had Argus slain by Hermes. Hermes succeeded in putting all of Argus’ eyes asleep with boring stories, being disguised as a shepherd. To reward good service, Hera had the hundred eyes of Argus preserved forever, in the tail of a peacock.”

Happy Hour was a time for being lulled into relaxation as Mindy, the bartender, served my evening’s delicious nectar, Prohibition Ale.

Sitting between Queen’s Nails, an edgy art gallery that regularly shows established and emerging artists (sometimes tame but mostly not) and High Bridge Arms, a gun shop that’s been in business at the same location since the mid-50s, the Argus is surprisingly less animated than its neighbors—but for a Friday night before Labor Day weekend it was the perfect stop for a relaxing elixir.

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