Like its neighbor a block or so down the street (Snuffy MaGee's --- sorry I forgot about your big "G" last column), Elixer is a potentially fatal place to drink.
Located at the corner of South Goodman and South Clinton, Elixer occupies a sharply angled space that fills one of five wedges around the intersection. (The fifth wedge is made by the intersection of Henrietta Street, which enters from the northeast.)
Sitting at the bar, you're only wooden walls away from whatever vehicle may begin careening at high speed through that spider web of civic engineering.
Maybe I'm just paranoid.
Two years ago, right around Thanksgiving, a car left the pavement known as Pittsford-Palmyra Road and smashed into MacGregor's Grill & Tap Room of Perinton (which is actually in the Hamlet of Egypt). I grew up just down the road, and spent many a college summer night and winter break drinking drafts and eating fish fries in that ancient Egyptian watering hole, often in the impacted area. I cringed at the news of the crash, though I was several states east at the time.
The scene at Elixer is predictable, in a sense --- most every night has a theme.
Tuesdays are "Dead Phish" nights, where Dead Phish-heads can swap bootlegs and pretend they're in a stadium's parking lot. Wednesdays there's a make-a-craft happy hour (they recently made a flurry of paper snowflakes), followed by salsa dancing lessons and real chips and salsa. Thursdays are techno ("Jungle DJs").
On Fridays of late, The Zone takes over, beer-pong is played, germs migrate to new hosts, white blood cells die in battle... (see last column). Saturday is Karaoke with Meghan.
I stopped in early one Saturday evening, after a late matinee at The Cinema. I recommend going there then.
For one thing, it's empty. The bartender can give you her full attention, and she can create credits in the jukebox with a wave of a remote. It's a magical, peaceful time.
The bar itself is rather bare-bones: beer mirrors, a pool and electronic dart room, a staging area of sorts. The graffiti on the plywood walls of the women's bathroom is so crudely sexual and misogynous, it's a wonder there aren't crowds of porn-addled UR students hanging out in there every night.
Sunday has no theme. "Make it what you want it to be!" suggests the fluorescent pastel chalkboard.
According to that schedule, Mondays are "Lights and Siren." Thinking "Techno night, again?" I asked the bartender what happened then.
Turns out, every time a cop, ambulance, or fire truck blows through the intersection, sirens wailing and lights flashing --- "It has to be both," she says --- everyone there gets a free Elixer shot (vodka and some fruity chick-liquors, apparently).
Not that I'd ever want one of those, but opportunities to abuse this game sprang immediately to mind: "I live near here! A buddy 'stationed,' so to speak, at my place, could call in a combination overdose-fire-'terrorist alert,' while I sit here innocently reaping the rewards!"
Sure enough, there's been abuse, the bartender says: off-duty firemen running out of the bar when their on-duty buddies stop at a light.
"That doesn't count."
It was then that I was struck by a surreal vision: a car crashed through the wall where the couch is; the driver dazed, doubly shocked to see people laughing, cheering, and pounding purple shots around the wreckage.
Please, drive safe.