A sturdy lineup of tasty libations is ready to meet your thirst. Photo by Cody Neathery

While bars attract many labels, here at this new Near Southside haunt, you will not find a lounge or a dive or anything else that begs to be labeled. Although visually, both can be interchangeable when attempting to describe Down ’n Out, it’s just a regular bar, a local spot where anyone can come and feel at home. Catering to the neighborhood is so important that upcoming plans include opening early one morning a month to accommodate hospital workers after overnight shifts.

Walking into the Down ’n Out for the first time during their Sippin’ Santa Tiki Pop-Up, I caught owner Eric Vickers and told him that his new place has an old school vibe.

“Yes!” he said. “That’s a huge compliment, exactly what I was going for, a place for people from all backgrounds.”

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Vickers, a commercial real estate broker by trade who helped helm deals for nearby Nickel City Saloon and Love Local Coffee Shop, always had a dream of nabbing a place to call his own. Nickel City owner Travis Tober believed in his vision and opted to partner with him, taking over a former sports bar on the corner of South Main Street and Rosedale Avenue.

Although there is visual evidence of Tober’s influence, the bar design is all Vickers. Dual pool tables hovering over checkered floors greet you along with a spacious seating area with scalloped, turquoise-hued vinyl booths and high tops near the bar, all of which can be rearranged to accommodate tail shaking. Neon lights and wood paneling outline the premises. And the stone accent wall with globe light fixtures?

“That’s a reminder of my youth, all of it,” Vickers said. “The wood paneling, the vinyl seating, the stone wall — those are all memories I pulled from visiting my grandparents’ house.”

Ironically enough, they’re all trendy, a full nostalgia circle along with the excellent timing.

To operate what can be a complicated business, he knew he needed an industry veteran to take control of the bar. Longtime Fairmount maven and former Heim Barbecue bartender Nick Snow fit perfectly. Vickers will be the first to admit he is learning the industry as he goes but gives all credit to Snow.

“Nick will be — and hopefully already is — the face of the bar,” Vickers said. “I’m not a bartender by any means and don’t claim to know anything about bartending. That’s why we brought Nick in. He’s our guy, and he runs the bar. … Also, the music runs the bar.”

Happy hour is 3-6pm Mon-Fri with $3 Bud drafts, $4 frozen boot shots, and $7 specialty cocktails. The ones calling your name are spins on classics, like the Mountain Dew Margarita, a spicy gimlet, and an Oolong Island Iced Tea (a boozy blend topped with cola). Frozen beverages stay tropical, like the Pandan Pina Colada, the strawberry ginger daquiri, and a playful blend of both known as the Miami Vice.

Down ’n Out will soon release a monthly calendar that includes karaoke, DJ dance parties, pool tournaments, and local sports when in season (and they’re always in season). Food so far has consisted of in-house taco pop-ups and a frequent food truck named Oye Chico churning out impressive Cubano sanguiches.

If being a regular bar translates to somewhere that isn’t stuffy or gimmicky, or an attempt to mimic a dive bar or an Irish pub, then the Down ’n Out capitalizes on just that.