When it comes to picking duty stations in the Marine Corps, it’s pretty much a crap shoot. You list what your preferences are, but in the end it all comes down to what the Marine Corps needs, and not what you want. Somehow, I was able to land Marine Corps Base Hawaii as my duty station, and during my time there, when not deployed, I discovered quite possibly the greatest Irish bar in America: Murphy’s Bar and Grill, located in the heart of Chinatown, in Honolulu. What’s an Irish bar doing in Chinatown, you ask? On Oahu, Chinatown is the hip place for 20 and 30-somethings to live and congregate; Waikiki is all tourists, so us “locals” or mainland transplants like to keep to our own, and that awesome secret is Chinatown. Murphy’s sits on the south end of the electric district, and it has everything that Irishman in you desires: a great staff that will hook you up if you treat them well, a stellar array of rare, craft beers on draft, easily the best social atmosphere in Chinatown, and arguably most important, the best pint of Guinness on the island, if not America. Yes, I just went that far.
Although I only lived in Grand Rapids, MI, for about 8 months, Stella’s Lounge made quite the impression on my stomach and liver. Located in the Heartside district of downtown Grand Rapids, Stella’s Lounge offers a huge variety of old school video arcade games, an awesome variety of local, Michigander-craft beers, and according to GQ Magazine’s July 2012 issue, “the best burger in the world“. Stella’s for me originally was the local, convenient bar, as I lived literally across the street from the entrance on Commerce Ave; however, I probably didn’t go there for a good month or two after moving in because of another stellar, Grand Rapids craft beer bar called “HopCat”. It was at that awesome bar that I realized that HopCat owner also owned Stella’s, so I figured enough was enough; let’s check this place out. When I walked in on that Saturday afternoon last Summer, I was extremely surprised; hit the link for more on this awesome drink, eat, and playery!