Matthew Cassillo plays in alternative rock band Migratory Animals. They are popular but not yet huge, which means they play lots of shows in off-the-beaten path cities and towns throughout average American suburbia. Wanting to end gig nights with a few drinks, they usually find the only places to do so are chain restaurants. Thus, Matthew has become a connoisseur of chain restaurant imbibing and offers us some tips for the best places to get your drink on.
“Ruby Tuesday is a family-friendly establishment and you get the overwhelming sense they’d rather not sell alcohol at all. There is limited selection and they seem almost surprised, not only that you ordered a drink, but that you had a preference for the liquor used, and truthfully, that you even walked in the door at such a late hour.”
“Applebee’s is the most cost-effective option but it is also the type of place where you ask the waitress what type of scotches they have and she responds with an ‘Umm…’, then goes over to the bartender, who runs a Google search from his phone, before pouring you some Dewars.”
“This is the place you go after the most trying of days. I have never gotten so buzzed so fast at a chain restaurant. It almost seems like they’re trying to get you drunk, which is appreciated in a world where watered-down drinks at chain restaurants have become the norm.”
Miller’s Ale House
“Their pitchers and buckets of beer are cheap and it actually has a deliberately cultivated dive atmosphere to it. Everything is weathered wood and the booths look like giant church pews. You feel like you could exit onto a wharf somewhere in New England to board a fishing boat for the next three months. Sadly, you won’t. You’ll exit onto a street in your hometown and run into everybody you never wanted to see again from high school outside having a cigarette. Out of all of these places, however, this is the one you are most likely to leave with someone of the opposite sex who you didn’t arrive with.”
The Cheesecake Factory
“‘The Factory’ is the ultimate, top-of-the-line chain-restaurant drinking experience. The place is done up like the inside of King Tut’s tomb, and the seemingly endless selection is mind-boggling. Their large booths accommodate big groups, and the high backs on the aforementioned booths offer an impressive feeling of privacy, no matter how loud you get throughout the evening. It’s also an incredible place to find yourself hungry, especially for those of us who dare to drink heavily and eat cheesecake in the same sitting (which I do).”