Burlesque bingo and ice cream cocktails? Yes, please. Who can say no to campy fun and liquored-up sundaes?
When I mentioned the monthly event at the Fountain on Locust to a few friends, everyone said, "Count me in." However we made the mistake of not making reservations. The place was packed, and all the good seats near the stage were taken.
We sat at a booth and noticed voices coming from a speaker in the wall. We turned the volume knob and heard "Soap Hospital," the story of Dr. John and Nurse Jennifer, told in two-minute installments. Joy Grdnic Christensen, the Fountain's wonderfully quirky owner, plays one of the "Soap Hospital" characters. If you see a tiny blonde wearing something outrageous when you visit, that's probably her.
After a few sips of our drinks we forgot about the 20-minute wait to get them. We savored every drop of Love Potion No. 9, described as an X-rated peanut butter-and-jelly flavor with Chambord, Frangelico and vanilla ice cream ($8.59). The Wicked contains vodka, dark creme de cacao and chocolate ice cream ($7.99).
Both were so delicious that it was hard not to drink them in one gulp and order Round 2 immediately. We were thankful for the slow service because it forced us to slow down.
On a related note, service delays on a busy night are OK, but being rude — as our waiter was — is reprehensible. No customer should ever be scorned for asking for water.
We tried to let that slide because the rest of the night was so enjoyable. The burlesque girls (and one boy) — the Randy Dandies — prided themselves on being "attention whores." They encouraged cat calls and wolf howls. The crowd obliged. Overall, it was as wholesome as girls in pasties and ruffle panties could be. The show was definitely more flirty than tawdry.
By the way, there was savory food, but why waste the calories on that when you can have the Bearcat: vanilla ice cream, hot fudge, creamy butter pecan, hot caramel, fresh bananas and whipped cream ($6.99)?
• Bottom line: If you haven't had the pleasure of visiting this vibrant Art Deco environment, do your inner child a favor and go. It deftly mixes innocent nostalgia and bawdy humor on the menu and beyond.