It was a trip to get a secondhand couch for the new apartment. The God-fearing man behind the front desk looked at the delivery address. That's near Duck Soup, he said. He had seen some bad stuff in Duck Soup. His parting advice as he handed over the receipt: "Don't go to Duck Soup." Up his. Duck Soup turned out to be a homely dive joint where the beer was cheap, the jukebox decent, the TVs turned to basketball, and the bartenders thrilled to have guests. Over time, it appeared, it also got some ambition and some dough. After months of renovation, the place has climbed a couple of rungs on the great bar ladder, with new TVs, a refinished pool table, higher ceilings, live music, and noticeable interior lights. Soon, we hear, the bar's also going to get a new name, but we could get no hints on what it will be. The laquered copper top of the bar gleams like a lunar surface lined in pennies. And behind it, an affable blond with all manner of piercings in her face and ears and a too-short T-shirt that reads "Rotten Little Girl" and shows off her tattoos: an upturned bleeding skull on her left shoulder, a line of ghostly skulls on her upper spine, six-shooters emblazoned over her kidneys. She laughs with the patrons, dances a little to the music, and serves a mean $2 bottle of Miller Lite. Her name is Jessica, and though her presence may deter some, you should heed your impulse, not their advice, and go to Duck Soup.