Friday, October 15, 2010

Things I Hate About The Bars In DC

My friend "E.W." is a fellow Knight of the Altar. Those of us who serve for the Traditional Mass in this fair city have formed a fraternity of sorts. And when it came to his twenty-fifth birthday, I wasn't about to miss it. Besides, I don't get to take Sal out on the town as much as she deserves. And while I salute my friend with the very best birthday wishes, there are some things neither Sal nor I deserve.

Back home in Cincinnati -- at least this was so for the places I frequented -- the corner bars were quaint places where people came to drink and be merry in the company of their fellows. The places had a character, a history, a unique clientele that could be found nowhere else. It's a different story in DC, though. What they call "pubs" are sort of a joke, and it's more or less the same joke on every other corner. I fail to see why a place that only holds about a hundred people needs to turn the hip-hop music up unbearably high, especially when no one is dancing. Do they really think "Billy Bob's Bar & Grille" is going to be the scene of a Saturday Night Disco Swing Party? I should think not. Then there's always the three or four sporting events on three or four different big-@$$ screen monitors. I'm okay with that, but they should look into the wondrous invention that is CLOSED CAPTIONING.

People don't really socialize in most of the bars here; they "schmooze." I'm not much of a schmoozer. Neither is Sal. The guys were okay, but none of the gals came over to talk to Sal, which is their loss. Those twenty-something chickadees should look half as good as her when they push fifty.

At the end of the day, my host is a gentleman, and he apologized to Sal for the loud music. The manager apologized for the chicken tenders taking over twenty minutes to prepare, even as she was begging me to deliver her from the madness. At least he discounted the order as he was wrapping it up to go. I should mention that there is one exception to the rule in these parts. It's a roadhouse out in Hyattsville, Maryland, quite possibly the last of its kind. Of course, when the new owners took over, they said that the tradition of zydeco bands having dances there would continue. And it did, for awhile. But it's been more than awhile since the last one.

My son is a bartender. Maybe HE'S got an explanation. There could be a sequel in the works.

UPDATE: According to our resident expert on the subject: “Many studies have been done on the correlation between loud music and bar sales. But it's probably a combination of the two. There's plenty of bars that have what you crave in DC. You just have to know where to look.” Well, there was this place called Bohemian Gardens on U Street, and I did take her there for a jazz performance. Yeah, that was a nice place. Hmmm ...

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