When the economy tanks, there's nothing like a good brewhouse where you can fill your tankard.
And Tracy's got a new one — Helm's Alehouse, right at the corner of Central Avenue and 10th Street.
The tinted windows might not provide a great feel from the outside, but once you're inside, there's great beer on tap — including a unique watermelon-flavored brew served with a wedge of melon I've not been brave enough to try — and traditional pub fare with a California twist. (Order the jalepeño burger, but you'll regret it if you're macho about it.)
The outfit is run by the aforementioned David Helm, a police force veteran and a great barkeep. He'll talk to you all day, or leave you alone if you're the antisocial type.
It's a great addition to downtown. Here's a round to it sticking around, and beating out the curse that seems to follow whoever sets up shop in that space.