At lunch I go for walks along 82nd, which is the busy-but-out-in-the-middle-of-nowhere street that has old women driving baby blue Olds Cutlass Supremes, men on Harley’s and Mac trucks painted purple, all driving quickly by. Today I passed by the man with the visor and the Sleep Country sign. The other man who stands outside with the sign pointing to the bedroom store has a trucker cap and a white mustache that traces the edges of his face. They both know me by now, and we smile and nod at each other in that casual acknowledgment that guys can do. The man with the visor smiles and says, “We get paid on Friday.” I can tell that a bit of his bottom teeth are missing, and I wonder how he ended up with this job.
I’m not criticizing by any means. But standing outside for 8 hours a day means only one thing; you’re gonna get a beer afterward, and if all you have to do is cross the street, you might as well. So I got a Lagunita’s IPA here:
What can I tell you about BJ’s? They celebrate their patio, where there’s a pool table instead of their food like most pubs. But it’s a home for someone. A home with signs insisting on a one drink minimum, and a mobile attached to the ceiling that says ‘Red Neck Wind Chimes’ and has four empty semi-crushed cans of Milwaukee’s Beast attached.
So I think you can figure it out. It’s small, and they have benches instead of booths, but it’s the kind of place I could see a bunch of people gathering for a NFL game and having a riotous ol’ time, everyone leaving all smiles. The glow of the neon signs of bad beer and reflective surfaces of ads for cigarettes and even worse beer are all over, so someone put a lot of time and effort into making this place a proper dive bar.
I’ll admit, it’s not my kind of dive bar. Bartender was a good one and gave me a solid pour but the seats are just too uncomfortable for me to feel like I could kick back and relax.
But I was able to get free wifi. Maybe not theirs, but someone’s. One could almost argue that it’s a dive bar of the future.