Although the vibe at Richard's Bar is far more upbeat and jovial than that of a dank and gritty scene from "The Godfather," don't be surprised to hear the film's theme music blaring from the neon-lit old-time jukebox in the center of this cozy River West dive bar. The walls are littered with a spattering of black-and-white prints, predominantly of the gangster film genre, the feature being a huge "Goodfellas" banner. There's a hint at something dangerous lurking beneath the friendly facade of this place, but after the first drink it's sure to ebb away into feel-good neighborhood alehouse oblivion.
Prices are fairly standard: three large coolers topped with neon-lit slogans proclaiming "Drink and Be Happy" offer up $4 Stellas, PBRs, and everything in between. Have a Jack and coke ($5) alongside what is by far the city's best deal on hard-boiled eggs (75 cents each); you can lounge around for hours knowing affordable nutritional sustenance is close at hand.
Take a seat at the bar rather than at the lone table at the rear of this one-room joint; the crowd will surely welcome you. The room, awash in amber neon light, suggests a snug, communal vibe: imagine the holiday family gathering sans the dysfunctional strife. This is the kind of place to be stumbled into on a bitter-cold winter night, when warmth is the sole objective. After a few drinks while enfolded in Richard's warm haze, next time it's sure to be a planned destination.
Centerstage Reviewer: August Evans