I realized today after watching Almost Famous for about the thousandth time, that I’m the Penny Lane of bars. I’m not sure whether to be proud or a little embarrassed. I think I’ll go with proud. It takes a lot of dedication to become well known at bars. Especially in busy college towns and areas of cities that see a lot of people come and go. While I hold some places like Hemmingways Cafe in Oakland in a special place in my heart, there are two other places that I’ve honestly become a “bar-aid”. To become one, you need to appreciate and get in the know with the staff and really have a love of the place. Spend far too much time there. Build up strong feelings for the atmosphere and not just because they have great specials. It has to move you, much like music does. Haha who am I kidding, its a bar, it doesn’t get THAT deep.
Two things occurred last night that really got me to thinking about my status at some bars. First, I had my going away party at a bar in Dupont Circle in DC. They hosted it for me. My friends had special drink prices. I was pumped with shots and beers. Given t-shirts. The whole nine yards. I have photos of me with the bartenders and managers. My name even made it to the sign out front! I think it takes a special relationship with everyone there to really become that well known. The owners know me. The crazy thing is that I’ve only been living in DC for 10 months. I managed to create a great relationship with everyone there in a few short months. Probably because during hockey season I was at that bar for almost every game. But after the Penguins season ended, I went missing for a good 2 1/2 months. I guess I made some sort of good impression? Perhaps I said or did something epic while there that I just don’t recall. It will always be a mystery.
Second, Spice Cafe in Oakland closed its doors for the last time last night. Spice was my first bar in Pittsburgh. I went there the first night I was back in the states after my 21st birthday. It was a Thursday. Karaoke night with Frank. I met Josh. Oh Josh. I totally forgot about you, but you were one special ass-hat. After that, Thursday night Karaoke was a staple. Spice was my go-to bar. I loved the crowd. Loved the bartenders. Everything. The guy running Karaoke and I became friends. I think my special relationship with Spice started when my roommate at the time started dating the bar back and we hung out there until all hours of the morning helping clean up and just hanging out with the door guy and the bartenders. I was invited to a special after hours party for Jesse’s going away party. I always get treated well when I go back. Its sad to think that the last time that I was there, I didn’t know there wouldn’t be another Spice cafe night in my future. Though the last time I was there, had one too many shots…
I was a regular. Everyone knew me. The owners knew me. The bartenders knew me. Hell, I had even been to the house of the door guy. Sounds strange, but I assure you, it made sense and wasn’t creepy.
After thinking about the relationships I formed and the time I spent at these two establishments, I started really thinking about how similar I am to Penny Lane. She spent so much time with them, but in the end, was pushed out. I’m leaving the DC area, so the MP will be out of my life, though not completely. Spice has closed, so that era has ended. I guess the only thing I can do is find a new haunt. Find new bartenders to harass. Maybe this is all just a sign that I should open my own bar?