The Compleat Rainey Street: Blackheart

Through the rest of July, I’ll walk through every open door on Rainey Street. See the directory here
86 Rainey St.
Hours: 4 p.m. to 2 a.m. Monday-Friday. Noon to 2 a.m. Saturday. Noon to midnight Sunday.
By Mike Sutter | Fed Man Walking | 07.26.12
The best front porch on Rainey Street belongs to Blackheart, and that was double-true on a night when a Critical Mass crush of bicycles by the hundreds passed by, their numbers filling the street from end to end. While we sat on the porch and watched them all, tall and small, a couple of guys in khaki shorts and boat shoes hooted at the cyclists like country-club swells making fun of the grounds crew.
Yes, tourists on Rainey Street, 20 years older than the median age with TV weatherman grins and perfect hair. No law against that, but their group was especially out of place at Blackheart, with its whorehouse decor of fringed lamps, velvet settees and naked ladies on the wall. To her credit, the bartender was friendly to them all. She suggested which beers among the seven drafts would suit their suburban tastes, from the friendly blond fuzz of Firemans #4 and Alaskan White to the pine-needle twang of Real Ale Lost Gold IPA. I even saw Old Rasputin on the tap tree, continuing Rainey’s reign as a destination for beer lovers, because even places with a modest number of taps can pour a handful of interesting glasses.
Blackheart is the rebel in the boy-band of Rainey Street bars, the one with fingerless gloves who likes roots rock and drinks the most. The big backyard patio and wooden stage are built for live music. The August lineup includes Crooks on the 3rd, followed by Whiskey Shivers on the 4th and Wild Child on the 10th.
Your $5 ticket to the hard-drinking life at Blackheart is the Dropkick: a tallboy of Lone Star beer and a rotgut shot of T.W. Samuels bourbon. Why wait until the morning to be sick when you can do it now? For $10, the bar’s namesake Blackheart cocktail brings Bulleit Bourbon with a splash of agave syrup and Topo Chico for bubbles, dressed up with a fruit leather muddle of black cherries. With rye whiskey and ginger ale, that drink becomes the Gingerheart, because two hearts are better than one.
(Photos by Mike Sutter © Fed Man Walking)
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