Sunday, November 02, 2008
Thanksgiving Eve in Pat’s
We were talking in the KMRL chatroom the other night about our favourite holidays and Thanksgiving got a lot of votes. Hecubus brought up the many Thanksgiving eves we spent in Pat's and how awesome those nights were.
Pat's was a dive bar, it was my Cheers for 10 years. It was my second home and much more than just a bar. The decor sucked but the jukebox was good and it had been in business forever. Luke owned the place, he got it from his father who had run the place and he ran it with his two sons Mike and Jeff. It was a generational bar, people would go and drink in the same bar their parents drank in. They had a cranky old waitress named Rosie who was rumoured to spit in people's food if they insulted her but she loved us.
Luke was like a second father to all the regulars, he knew everyone by name and he knew how to run his bar. He would cut people off when needed and he was quick on the buy-backs. Mike and Jeff were young and goodlooking and it was just an all around homey bar. I almost had a thing with Mike, unfortunately for me Mike had a fiance but this isn't about my sins.
Twice a year Pat's was guaranteed to be packed, standing room only and that was if you were lucky. St. Patrick's Day and Thanksgiving eve. Thanksgiving eve was the night when people would appear out of the woodwork, it was like a tradition. The college kids would come home and people who hadn't been in Pat's since the year before would make the annual trek for the night.
We were a pretty big core crew, getting a table was serious business. I got there at around 6PM one year just to grab a table big enough for myself, Faith Anne, Danielle, Darkstar, Hecubus, The Bear, Michael, Pat Hunter, Joe Z and Liz..
It was a big drinking night, you couldn't go up to the bar to get a drink without ending up doing 5-6 rounds of shots with old friends, new friends or strangers. I think I topped off at 17 shots of Jager one night along with my usual double wild turkey and Cokes. And the Goldschlager, Christ that stuff was nasty. The Irish Mist. Oy.
It was a huge hook up night too but I guess that walks hand in hand with the excessive boozing. No one left Pat's alone on Thanksgiving eve unless they wanted to. Darkstar and Hecubus were man-whores, it was always interesting to see who they left with. I was with Michael most of the time who was usually too plastered to do anything after the bar but babble meaningless drunken "I love yous" and fall asleep at odd times.
It was such a good feeling in Pat's those nights. Everyone was happy, even the usual crowds that liked to bait each other would stop for the night and share a shot. 20 somethings just new to the bar would sit with 50 somethings who had been in Pat's for 30 years and sing along with the juke and share some wings.
They would clean up, too. We would be so plotzed by the time we left we would leave huge tips at the end of the night. I would drop a fifty on the bar at the end of the night and I wasn't alone.
Ritual would then dictate stopping in the lot behind the diner (which was about half a block down from Pat's) and smoking a joint or a bowl before hitting the diner for the mandatory 3AM Thanksgiving eve feast of potato skins and me in front of the lobster tank talking to the lobsters. They knew us well at the diner and we'd sit there for as long as it took for the coffee to work enough to make it home.
I loved those nights. I loved sitting at the table and watching the door the second it opened to see who was coming in. I loved flirting with people knowing it was just once a year flirting but it was so much fun. I loved sharing shots and buying rounds and the stupid sentimental shit drunk people say when they're making impromptu toasts. I loved hearing Michael confess his undying love knowing full well he wouldn't remember saying it until I reminded him. I loved being surrounded by kickass friends and fun people. I loved knowing I'd go home and wake up to a day of family, food and closeness.
It was my annual ritual for a little more than ten years and some of the happiest memories I have.
I hope it's a great Thanksgiving for everyone, I really do.
Oh, Kittyn how well I can relate to this Post. I too had a 10 year love affair
with a certain Bar in Manhattan, The West Fourth Street Saloon, from about
1983-1995 when they shut the doors for the last time. I even had the last
drink poured there. your story sound almost identical to mine. my memories
of the staff, the Holidays I spent there, the jukebox, the customers that crossed
various age groups.. and just that atmosphere, the little “in jokes” that we all
shared. I was 17 when I had my first drink in there, and now at 43, I STILL keep
in touch with two of the regulars there, my close friend Les, and my Friend Liz.
who just celebrated her 63 or 64th Birthday who has lived on that block for 35 years. I cry when I think of how that neighborhood has been destroyed, by developers and the Mega Wealthy Eurotrash and Yuppies, the Tourists and the Greedy. West Fourth Street was killed by Greedy Landlords who QUADRUPLED THE RENT
IN 1995! the building was demolished a few years ago. I STILL have my memories, and one evening when I waa walking past the place before it was torn down, I managed to steal a large Wooden Sign bearing the name of the place and I saved ONE empty matchbook. people who know ME, cant figure out WHY
I loved that place, it really wasnt that memorable to the average person walking in. but for those of us who were a part of that crowd, it will never be “just a Bar”on 11/04 at 09:30 AM
http://www.monogodo.com/2008/11/08/ive-been-tagged-6-random-things/monogodo on 11/08 at 07:51 PM