Paddy Reds Irish Pub (903 Throckmorton St., 817-274-5450) is a classic Fort Worth tavern. Now do not mistake “classic” with the word classy, because that it is not. It’s classic in the sense that it’s a traditional, no surprises, standard bar. You go to Paddy’s to do the things that bars were built for: drink, chat with nice bartenders, play music, meet friends, and smoke ‘em if you got ‘em. Any time I am not sure what I feel like doing, this dark, yet welcoming pub is my go-to.

After too much time at a social event where my conversation skills had quickly depleted, I was ready to hole up on a barstool for a nightcap. Paddy Reds was just what the introvert doctor ordered. Local draft pints were on special for $4.50 so I ordered a Rahr Blonde, stared at the TV and spaced out while I enjoyed my beer and alone time. However, my beloved peaceful retreat was short lived when in walked a group from the aforementioned networking event. My first thought was to cancel the beer I had just ordered. But the bartender was walking toward me with his genuine smile and a cold beer that I just couldn’t reject. I opted to stare at my phone and hope that I would get by without being seen. My plan worked for about two sips when I felt a body next to me and found myself roped into conversation about how we had just seen each other at the thing, and blah, blah. Fortunately the beer had helped to refuel my social tank, so the small talk wasn’t as tortuous as I had feared.

Twenty minutes later I was playing shuffleboard with the same people I had dreaded talking to. I really wanted to dislike these people and their outgoing personalities. But they drew me in and I realized that we had been victims of Paddy Red’s, the Cheers of Fort Worth. All that wooden furniture, wall paneling, and neon beer signage had turned me into a friendly extrovert. The next thing I knew I had exchanged business cards with the networkers and made after party Paddy’s plans for the next event.