If you are in the least familiar with Chippewa Street, you know that drinking establishments come and go, only to come and go again.

However, for some time, one constant has been the Chocolate Bar. Surprisingly, Club Watch has never visited what has become an iconic Chippewa location. With that in mind, we set out to experience the Chocolate Bar's staying power.

With my gal pals busy, it was with a slight groan the Sig Other agreed to go. We invited Cousin Kelly (a younger, hip gal) along to show us the ropes.

On the surface, the Chocolate Bar is viewed as a "chick" place straight out of "Sex and The City," and in part that's true. After all, martinis, chocolate and tons of sweet desserts … what else could a gal want?

It's a wide open, yet cozy place. The bar to the left and lots of tables both up and downstairs. The dessert kitchen is visible from pretty much everywhere on the first floor.

Along the back wall, hilarious T-shirts hang on the wall (and are for sale), expounding the virtues of chocolate.

"Nobody knows the truffles I've seen."

"Forget ‘50 Shades of Grey,' give me 50 shades of brown."

And a little more risqué: "I melt in your mouth, and in your hand."

Scoring a couple of seats at the crook of the bar that flares into the dessert case, we plopped down, ready to have a cocktail. Kelly pointed out the handy purse hooks under the bar. Nice!

Our cute bartender (wearing a "Dark Side" T-shirt) handed us drink menus. Martinis, specialty drinks, wines, beers, smoothies and spiked milkshakes up the wazoo! And nothing is really cheap, except beer, which starts at $3.75. There's a Megatini to share with friends that runs $69.95 … 35 oz. of your favorite specialty martini. Add $30 to that for a classic martini. Can you say Chocolate Chaa-ching?

Sig Other broke out of his beer habit and ordered a McKenzie's Black Cherry Hard Cider ($4.50). It was a Cherry Lemon Drop martini ($9.95) for Kelly, and after a little consideration, I went with a special from the summer drink menu … a Garden Martini of blueberry, elderflower, honey and basil ($10.95).

Settling in, we observed the mixed crowd of mostly couples and groups of gals.
It was funny to note that most guys appeared to have taken the "When in Rome" attitude when ordering. One guy was sucking down a milkshake as he chatted with his gal. Another heavily tattooed fellow was drinking a bright red martini on what looked like a first date. Good for him.

The bartenders did not stop for one second. Martini after martini. Specialty drink after specialty drink. Milkshake after milkshake. No shortcuts here.

At one point, I asked our guy, "Do you ever wish you worked at a shot and a beer place?" to which he replied with a smile "All the time"! And with that I ordered a Chocolate Martini ($9.95). Rimmed with shaved chocolate and served with a slim chocolate straw, it was a deep, dark chocolate delight in a glass.

It was at this point the bachelorette parties started rolling in.

Single guys, take note (and throw aside your preconceived notions of this place). We counted no less than five brides-to-be escorted by gobs of gorgeously dressed gals ready to party. Surely there were some single ladies in these crowds?

High heels and cute summer frocks, giant blinking rings and one group with straws shaped like, well, the male anatomy were just some of the things we saw. The only thing missing? A group of guys to flirt with.

With all the martinis and chocolate shots (Belgian chocolate cups filled with liquor $3.29 each) being consumed, it would be like shooting fish in a barrel.

Also of note, nice-looking food coming out of the basement kitchen and, of course, spectacular-looking desserts, like the Make Your Own Smores ($11.95).

Be sure to look in two places for a good laugh. In the bathrooms, flat-screen TVs loop the SpongeBob episode where he works as a traveling chocolate bar salesman, and above the front door, you can watch Lucy and Ethel stuff chocolate candy into their mouths along the factory line. It never gets old, and neither will the Chocolate Bar.


The Chocolate Bar

Where: 114 Chippewa St. ?(, 332-0484)
Scene: A chocolate lover's paradise.
Dress: Semi-sweet and flirty; atmosphere is decadent.
Hours: Open at 11 a.m. daily, Sunday at 3 p.m.
Drinks: Four new martinis on the menu – Chocolate Covered Pretzel, Fruit Loops, White Coconut Curry, Carrot Cake. Happy hour from 3 to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday. Martinis & Manicures from 7 to 10 p.m. every Monday; buy a martini and get a free manicure. Martinis & Massage from ?7 to 10 p.m. Wednesdays; buy a martini and get a free five-minute massage.