Open Bar

The Red Carpet Lounge
March 23, 2012

Year opened 1976

Distinguishing features Red carpet, of course, and booths, plus five video-lottery machines. Thursday is Steak Night: $14 for ribeye, salad, bread, and two sides. Smoking was banned in 2008, but resinous walls still evoke a more decadent past.

Who drinks here Blue-collar locals, plus journalists, lawmakers, legislative staffers, and lobbyists from the nearby state capitol.

Signature drink Watermelon shots (vodka, pineapple juice, orange juice, Southern Comfort, crème de almond), $1.25.

Celebrity sightings Nick Nolte (he’s married two local women); Leslie Nielsen (the Airplane star was a fan of the Mountain State). One longtime patron swears she saw former First Lady Rachael Worby bark for a Red Dog Beer, as was required under house rules when ordering that brand.

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Off the record If someone invokes the “Red Carpet Privilege,” it means everything you hear is on background.

Nickname Carpay Rouge.

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The Editors are the staffers of the Columbia Journalism Review.