Best Jukebox - 2003
Of the many perfectly good reasons to inhabit a saloon -- clientele, atmo, billiards, booze -- the on-site jukebox is perhaps the most viable. A good jukebox can make even the simplest cocktail more sensually potent, depending upon its array of mood-enhancing selections. The Ha-Ra's box is strikingly eclectic. How about some Waylon Jennings, Johnny Cash, or Delbert McClintock to go with that shot of Jack Daniel's? Or a little Al Green or Marvin Gaye to smoothify your scotch and soda? Dino, Tony, and Ol' Blue Eyes (a lot of Ol' Blue Eyes) are available to accompany your dry martini, and the tequila's especially tasty with Creedence, the Kinks, the Yardbirds, or the Stones doing backup. Anchor Steam's always better with a soupçon of Dylan, Waits, or Paxton, and Lou Reed improves just about any vodka tonic, wouldn't you say? Satchmo, Miles, and the Duke, meanwhile, provide the perfect backdrop to everything from ouzo to Armagnac. Five selections are $1, $2 will get you 12, and for $5 you can influence the mood of the joint for a lengthy 35 tunes. Well drinks are a mere $2.50, quite a bargain to pass a lazy afternoon with James Brown, Nat King Cole, Travis Tritt, Diana Krall, Alanis Morissette, Donna Summer, and B.B. King, among others.