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The Meet Rack

places / the meet rack

Above, long shot of the Meet Rack's main bar; below, the mystery jukebox; bottom, Meet Rack impresario Jim Anderson and the Tucson Weekly's Tish at the Weekly's Uncensoreds on the Road, January 2003.

IMAGES: CIA ROMANO 2003

210 West Drachman
Tucson, AZ 85705
520.798.1235

Patron: What kind of vodka do you have? Bartender: Vodka. Love it or hate it -- not much in-between at this notorious dive picturesquely located on Tucson's old tourist strip. Yes, sensitive souls crossing the threshhold may be challenged. Proprietor Jim Anderson calls himself God with what-else-would-my-name-be dementia. No words can adequately describe the Meet Rack experience. For starters, the bars motto is "Something to offend everyone." It is equal parts neighborhood bar, wannabe sex playhouse, and a personal shrine to Jim Anderson.

-Cia Romano and Kyle Kulakowski, spring 2003

CLUB DENIZENS 411:

The layout is simple: a bar (reminiscent of Cheers) set in the center and a pool table off in back. Covering the walls are segments from Jim's life: his run for mayor, posing with various celebrities, and the creepy oil portraits of his family (the eyes seem to follow you). If Jim's life starts to bore you, the walls also house other random curiosities: Picture a frat house, combined with trailer-trash décor. A sure sign that you are in a classy bar: Multiple pairs of panties hanging from the ceiling.

DRINKS AND MUSIC

The crowd is incredibly diverse (depending on the day of the week or the phase of the moon) ranging from post-preppy college kids to grizzled locals. You can get the usual beers or strange mixed drinks with lewd sexual names. All liquors are Brand X. If you have a craving for a food-like substance to absorb the booze, they serve grilled cheese, tuna melts, or burgers (all for about $3). Expect the food quality to be on par with the alcohol selection. No live music, but they do have a jukebox with 300 songs ALL UNLABELED! Put in a few quarters and pick your lucky numbers.

HELPFUL

The signage (as in Emergency Exit) may appear hand-written on masking tape, so stay sober enough to read same. If Jim AKA God asks if you want to see the sex room, make sure you really want to say yes. Ladies, do not, I repeat, do NOT use the condom machine in the loo unless you want the entire bar to find out that you did. Consider yourself cautioned.

UNIQUE FEATURES

Even more strangeness: If you have a strange penchant for self-mutilation, you can get a brand of Jim and get fifty cents off your drinks FOR THE REST OF YOUR NATRAL LIFE! There have been a grand total of 682 brands seared into various people so far, one even took him on the People's Court saying she was branded against her will. The bar has other surprises in store for the first timer. I won't ruin them for you they need to be experienced first hand. Go up the bartender and say it is your first time here. Prepare yourself to be astonished and amused. You must visit the Meet Rack at least once. Where else can you have an enlightened conversation with God, get branded, and visit a cheesy sex dungeon?

PAST LIVES

The bar opened in the 1960s as Big Ben. In the 1990s it was called B-52 and up to a few years ago it was called Someplace Else. Jim's daughter Halley (behind the bar in the milkmaid outfit) is the current owner.


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