The Local: Claudia’s

claudia's barThe Centennial hops come easy off the Country Boy IPA by Everybody’s Brewing.

Claudia’s has more TVs than a man should see in one space. Plus two poker tables, two pool tables, a trophy case and a projection screen that’s right next to a television.

The guy next to me talks hockey playoffs on the phone.

It’s the purest sports bar I’ve been to, of all I’ve been in along this journey. It’s easy for me to imagine a time when the four flatscreens were huge, hulking ray-tube televisions and smoke filled the air. Claudia’s isn’t just unrepentant about being a sports bar, it’s a haven, a bristling cactus to outsiders who do not love sports like they do.

I approve.

Just like beer bars are for beer lovers, so Claudia’s provides a place for people who want to gather and celebrate more physical achievements of the human spirit. It does it so well, how can I criticize it?

I mean, sure, the beer selection is limited but that’s like complaining Avatar had a hackneyed plot–I’d be missing the forest for the trees.

I have a friend who, after a painful divorce, arranged his work schedule so he could come and watch football every Sunday and Monday at Claudia’s. All day. That was what he did, rebuilding himself back up around something he loved. He only did it for one season but it was what he needed and I like that story for a lot of reasons. Most importantly, though, I think I like it because he went and hung out with strangers in order to make himself well and it worked. A bunch of strangers helped him, whether they knew it or not.

It can be difficult, sometimes, to point to the kindness of strangers in this world.  Yet it exists, albeit quietly, if you go outside to experience it. That’s what a good bar is for.

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