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Pubs we love: Laundromat bars

Four ultimate suds spots.
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CATEGORIES: Beer   Travel  


These beer-lovers’ laundromats give suds a double meaning.

Asheville, N.C. // THE BAR OF SOAP
THE DETAILS: This laidback laundro-bar once offered just six beers. But before long, owner Sean McNeal embraced canned craft, developing an ever-changing roster of over 100 aluminum-clad brews—a selection so respectable, customers who initially came in to do laundry now swing by just to see what’s new behind the bar. SUDS SELECTION: Patrons are currently sweet on sours like Anderson Valley’s sessionable Blood Orange Gose, a tart wheat ale with a sunny citrus aroma and a hint of brine. CHORE NO MORE: In case all those crafty cans aren’t enough enticement to throw in a load or two, the shop also houses a wall of super-affordable used books for sale, along with cozy chairs in which to peruse them. 333 Merrimon Ave., 828.255.7710

College Station, Texas // HARVEY WASHBANGER’S
THE DETAILS: Determined to make it no mere novelty act, GM (and Texas beer enthusiast) Michael Lair began revamping his parents’ café/washeteria in 2012. He modernized the food, launched an interior remodel, and introduced a craft beer program full of regional treats that’ll make you long for extra time on your dry cycle. SUDS SELECTION: Eight handles pour rotating (and often rare) Texas brews; special events, such as a tap takeover by Austin’s Circle Brewing, occur every other Thursday. CHORE NO MORE: A menu of Tex-Mex bar fare like
chorizo burgers and avocado queso means you get out of washing dinner dishes, too. 1802 Texas Ave. S., washbangers.com

THE DETAILS: From super-energy-efficient machines to complimentary chemical-free detergents to hyper-local food and drink, it’s all about eco-friendliness with a dose of style at this Portland newcomer, which took root in the mind of owner Morgan Gary as she completed an MBA in sustainable business. SUDS SELECTION: With an eye to the environment, Spin offers local-leaning drafts and cans; look for the latest release from StormBreaker Brewing just down the street. CHORE NO MORE: A late-night (10 p.m. to midnight) happy hour menu of food and drink specials accomplishes the unlikely: transforming everyone’s least favorite task into an enjoyable date activity. 750 N. Fremont St., spinlaundrylounge.com

San Francisco // BRAINWASH
THE DETAILS: Established in 1989, this SoMa spot may be the grande dame of the country’s laundro-bar scene, but it’s no dinosaur. Expect a young crowd, stylish staff and an industrial-chic ambience—not to mention scads of machines and a crafty beer list to boot. SUDS SELECTION: Embrace the quirk factor and sip on the refreshing Hell or High Watermelon Wheat, a long-time local favorite from San Fran’s own 21st Amendment. CHORE NO MORE: A packed agenda of evening performances by stand-up comics and bands will keep your mind occupied till your delicates are done. 1122 Folsom St., brainwash.com

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