Presented in no particular order…
1. Shitty Wok, South Park
Why yes, generic Chinese restaurant guy stereotype. As a matter of fact, I would like to try the Shitty Chicken.
2. Satriale’s, The Sopranos
Knowing what we all know about what went on in that place, I’m not sure I could enjoy a sandwich in there. I really don’t want my capicola being sliced on the same slicer that was used to hack up hundreds of corpses. But the ambiance alone would make it a worthwhile trip.
I am aware that “Cheers” does in fact exist as a crappy Applebee’s-style chain found in a bunch of airports. No thank you. I want the real deal. Half the characters on that show shaped who I am today, which is sort of pathetic when you think about it. Nevertheless, it leaves me nostalgic for a neighborhood pub with all of those archetypes.
4. The Diner, Seinfeld
The food didn’t ever look particularly good. The ambiance was standard diner fare. But think of the highjinx that you’d get to see in that place.
5. The Boar’s Nest, Dukes of Hazard
If nothing else, you could sit in there, drink beer, and watch Daisy Duke’s hot ass all day. But you’d also have the sheriff with the speech impediment, his awesome dog, the proprietor named after Jefferson Davis (and a last name of Hogg, no less, which guarantees that the food will be good), and undoubtedly the best TV grits this side of Mel’s Diner.
6. Los Pollos Hermanos, Breaking Bad
Que bueno, indeed! “They became known as ‘The Chicken Brothers'”. I’m sold. It looks like some badass version of KFC, with far more spice in the food. And besides, you want to stay on Gus Fring’s good side.
7. The dry cleaners in The Jeffersons
When I was a wee lad, I thought adulthood meant coming home from a stressful day of dry cleaning, yelling some smartass remarks at the maid, peppering your language with the word “honky”, walking around with a strut, and pouring yourself a scotch out of a fine crystal carafe. I’ve sort of missed the mark. All the same, I’m all for flipping some business in George Jefferson’s direction.
8. Moe’s Tavern, The Simpsons
In all honesty, I live this life now without needing yellow patrons, a gargoyle bartender, and the stench of vomit and view of spiderwebs. You can’t tell me that a night at Moe’s wouldn’t be a blast. You just can’t.
9. Sanford and Son
Oh, the wonders you could find in that horrible junkyard. Just go, you big dummy!
10. Any bar on Mad Men
They’re the personification of Rat Pack Cool. I don’t think I’d dress well enough to hang in those places but I’d respect the hell out of any of the patrons. It’s a guaranteed appletini-free zone.