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ZAGAT's Eye for the Single Guy

Every year the good people at Zagat produce ranking guides on everything from restaurants to PDAs to top golf courses. However, they consistently miss one of life’s most important, yet frustrating, and inefficient activities. In other words ‘pulling’, ‘picking up’, ‘tuning’, ‘spading’, ‘getting some’, ‘getting jiggy’, ‘hooking up’ and other phrases about which mothers warn their daughters. Indeed, Zagat’s guides fail by answering the wrong questions. Who cares what kind of music the DJ is spinning, whether the drinks are overpriced, or what over-hyped ‘celebrity’ might be present – what guys want to know is how likely they are to get some quality digits. With that in mind, the Harbus sent two normal (albeit really, really, really, ridiculously good looking) guys on the scene to research the top spots in the area. The results of their extensive research follow.

The Hong Kong 3 Chicks
‘An oldie but goody’. If you’re looking for a classy girl whose conversation spans fine wines, postmodern art, and classical Greek mythology, what the hell are you doing at the Kong? However, if you want a special type of girl who can guzzle an amalgam of low-grade alcohol and fruit punch through a straw while pumping her fists in the air, this is the place for you. Harvard undergrads and fake IDs abound, but watch out for the townies, particularly after 5 or 6 Scorpion Bowls. To complete a truly romantic evening, stop by Tommy’s House of Pizza and eat out before walking her back to her nearby dorm room.

Grafton Street 2 chicks
‘A classy haven’. With its wide selection of imported lagers and mahogany furnishings, Grafton remains a mainstay for the discerning HBS single man. Despite its cramped size, puny TVs, and lack of a beverage served in a bowl, it often serves as an appetizer for the entrees served later at the Kong. Grafton is a bar where you have to work hard for the digits, but perseverance is often rewarded with a happy combination of high quality at low quantity.

Brother Jimmy’s 3 1/2 chicks
‘An emerging favorite’. Amateurs will find the downstairs bar of the recently renovated ‘House of Blues’ small, non-descript, and not worth a second visit. Professional man-whores, however will find that the upstairs bar spreads out before you like some sort of magical trolling paradise. Beers are priced to move at $2, the big screen TV is set to ESPN and stretches from wall to wall, and the ratio of Harvard undergrad women to men is the best in the Square. Come for the Southern style ribs, stay for the alligator fish bowls, and leave with a fistful of numbers.

Wonder Bar 4 chicks
‘A hidden gem’. The name says it all and there are more BU undergrads lurking here than Democrat Presidential nominees in Washington. While the two floors segment the market into live jazz and hip-hop enthusiasts, both are crawling with pickup opportunities making it close to impossible to walk out without a number. In our detailed empirical research, this is also a bar where the H-bomb explodes frequently and successfully.

Bus Stop 1 1/2 chicks
‘A public good’. Any woman who can down a pitcher beer in 3.7 seconds is someone worth getting to know, and you’ll find them aplenty lining up for the infamous boat races. Tread carefully on Wednesday nights, as HBS hookups are common, but number exchanges are not. On other nights, the crowd is smaller, but somewhat more liberal. He-sluts who are happy to compromise their Toyota-like quality standards will sleep contentedly and never alone.

Red Line 1/2 chick
‘An uncomfortable environment’. Every time we entered this place we were strangely reminded of a Seinfeld episode where Kramer goes berserk watching two roosters attack each other. The dance floor, the drinks, the bar, and your chances of picking up are all small. Indeed, there is more sausage here than at Oktoberfest. Resist the temptation to get involved in any Austrian cockblocking games. Move along.

La Boom 0 chicks
‘A desolate smoo wasteland’. Our Spanish is a bit weak, but last time we checked ‘Boom’ didn’t translate to ‘stick fight’. Our South American sectionmates have confirmed this. Despite being modeled after a popular Cancun destination, La Boom disappoints with no TVs, expensive drinks, and a total lack of promised nubile nursing staff. Frustration is guaranteed, as to walk out of here with numbers is about as likely as staying awake in class on a Friday.

December 1, 2003
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