Inner Town looks like a hipster Applebee's, but unlike the corporate king of riblets, Inner Town's kitsch is real. Tiffany-style stained glass chandeliers and a parliament of carved owl-based lamps cast their meek light on a museum of thrift store artifacts that includes a stuffed moose head, a mirror depicting what looks like Dolly Parton performing burlesque, a circular mosaic of the Mona Lisa, a pair of empty-faced Christmas dolls waving mechanical hands and a genuine velvet Elvis. Near the Cheers dart board in the back is a Warhol-esque pop art collage of old toothpaste containers, Domino's Pizza signs and Dukakis and Bush Sr. campaign bumper stickers.
If you want to channel your inner Jerry Lee Lewis, there's a white upright piano ripe for the plinking, and if it's Thursday or Sunday night, you can ply your ivory tickling skills at Inner Town's regular open mic. A few stools down, you might hear Ukie village intellectuals slinging Tarantinoesque banter such as how gastric bypass weight loss made Randy Jackson ("Man, he's got those big weird eyes") and Star Jones ("She was a plump berry ") look weird.
The pool is free, while the Ms. Pac Man/Galaga arcade game channeling 1981 is a relatively money grubbing $1. Thankfully you can afford a few ghost-chomping rounds, because the beer—PBR at $2 and Berghoff Amber and Dark for $3—is light on the wallet. If you're hungry, you're probably out of luck, unless you're courageous enough to sample what are probably hundred-year-old cashews from the illuminated "Nut Hut" coin-operated machine resting on the backbar.
Centerstage Reviewer: Michael Nagrant