Like so many dives in off-the-radar neighborhoods, Trading Post #3 is, from the outside, the kind of featureless corner joint that makes you crane your neck as you stroll past to catch a peek through the open door. What you'll see is five or six old neighborhood guys who pretty much live there, watching the game and putting back $2 bottles of Old Style. Looking for something harder? The bar's got a bottle or two from your preferred phylum of poison; if you're looking for a draught, you'd better like Old Style. (If you've got a hankering for an appletini, you're in the wrong part of town.)
German beer steins crowd the mantle above the bar, along with assorted tchotchkes normally relegated to basements around the heartland: glass figurines of Dutch children in traditional dress, faux deer heads mounted on plastic plaques, small wooden signs bearing pithy chestnuts such as, "God only made so many perfect heads in the world. He put hair on the rest." There are more trinkets than shelf space, so the heavy-footed bowling trophies are banished off to the side, atop two refrigerators in the less-trafficked corner of the bar.
When it comes to hole-in-the-wall watering holes, this place is the genuine article, from the floor-to-ceiling wood paneling to the framed vintage rifle beside the dartboard to the wooden outhouse-style seat rigged to the throne in the "kings" room. And, like all pretension-free dives, it's a great place to head on a weeknight for an empty barstool, a cheap macro-brew and a little anonymity. At least until your second visit.
Centerstage Reviewer: Sharon Hoyer