The competition is keen at Legends in Essex



Where: 409 Eastern Ave., Essex.

Hours: 6 p.m.-2 a.m. Tuesdays, 3 p.m.-2 a.m. Wednesdays to Fridays, 6 p.m.-2 a.m. Saturdays, closed Sundays, 6 p.m.-2 a.m. every other Monday.

Credit cards: Not accepted.

Call: 687-5145. Legends is an Essex nightclub that wants to be sporting without going quite so far as to be a sports bar.

The club's name is readily explained by its walls being covered with sports photographs, including such legendary figures as Johnny Unitas. There are other competitive touches, like sports-themed video games, overhead TV sets tuned into game action, a pool table in the back room, and occasional special events like the recent Super Bowl party.

But you're more likely to see patrons rounding the bar and sliding into the dance floor than you are to hear them talking about spring training. This fairly large place was crowded on a visit last weekend, bringing life to a commercial stretch of Eastern Avenue that otherwise closes up shop after dark.

A cultural anthropologist venturing into Legends might make notebook entries on a few things worth pondering: A large percentage of the patrons wear stone-washed blue jeans in what amounts to an informal dress code; some of the women have on miniskirts so tight that guys gladly risk whiplash to watch them pass by, and some of the ladies also subscribe to the baroquely teased hairdo philosophy of Dyan Cannon.

One of the patron lures at Legends is live music by Rob Fahey & the Pieces on Tuesday nights. And almost every night the place is open, there is a DJ to prompt people to hit the dance floor -- not that this easygoing crowd needs much prompting. Other lures include two-for-one drinks on Wednesdays and $1 drinks for the ladies on Thursdays.

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