Of Bars, Booze, and Bartending - Proving "Coughlin's Law" Invalid Since Feb '05

Friday, March 13, 2009

Vernon Manor Closing

Now, this news just breaks my heart.  Truly.

Here's just a little bit more from the Business Courier. The Kentucky Post has the best story up so far, of the mainstreams.

This place was a city landmark, and anyone who worked in this industry knew somebody who worked at "The Vern."  They always had such wonderful stories to share about Cincinnati; funny, relevant, downright strange at times, and almost always laugh-out-loud hilarious.  Back in the day (yes, even the 90's!), all the rock stars were still staying there, and servers and bartenders from other establishments couldn't wait to be regaled with Vern stories, when our shifts ended and we'd all meet up to gossip about our night's work.

A former employer of mine operated this hotel, and although I didn't work at that property, I know and care deeply about the excellent people who worked at the beautiful, historic Vernon Manor.  There is so much I want to say about this, but probably shouldn't... just a little more time, and I'll open up.

But for now, it's just a very sad day for Cincinnati, and especially for the loyal, wonderful employees of The Vern. Hang in there, guys.

The most famous words ever uttered about the Vernon Manor: "Have to get to K-Mart. 400 Oak and Burnet.  400 Oak Street.  400 Oak and Burnet in Cincinnati."

Now Main Street's whitewashed windows, and vacant stores
Seems like there ain't nobody wants to come down here no more
They're closing down the textile mill 'cross the railroad tracks
Foreman says "These jobs are going boys, and they ain't coming back"
To your hometown
Your hometown
Your hometown

- Bruce Springsteen, "My Hometown"

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Wednesday, March 11, 2009

So, They Laid Off The "Cheers" Bartender

And all this time, I thought it was just me...

I'm telling you, old-school bartending is a dying art, and I'm growing ever more concerned.  How do you let this kind of treasure go?!?  Thirty-five years behind the bar, and *poof,* he's gone.  This is not the kind of employee you can simply replace, you know? What I wouldn't have given, to have sat on one of his barstools, slowly stirring my Manhattan, just listening and watching... thirty-five years.  Wow.

Since Sam Malone and Issac from "Love Boat" are my personal bartending role models (yes, I'm serious, and will answer all of your queries one day), I have to admit that this one really, really hurts.
Eddie Doyle was the guy who really did know everybody's name, at least when he started working at the tavern that inspired the television show "Cheers."

To the tens of thousands of tourists that later passed through, Doyle remained behind the bar to offer a smile, a beer and tips about where to find the Boston that wasn't shown on TV.

Now Doyle is out of a job, laid off from "Cheers" after 35 years. The bar's owner has said a tough economy and sagging business forced the move, which was one of several layoffs.

Doyle said he's not bitter, just surprised and a little sad.

It pains me to see the era pass.  A hearty toast to the Bull & Finch Pub, and especially to their staff.  To you, Eddie Doyle.  Cheers, and best of luck to you!

(By the way, I never realized the following lyrics are a lot weirder than those we heard on TV all those years. Awesome!)

Roll out of bed, Mr. Coffee's dead
The morning's looking bright
And your shrink ran off to Europe
And didn't even write
And your husband wants to be a girl

Be glad there's one place in the world 
Where everybody knows your name 
And they're always glad you came
You want to go where people know
People are all the same
You want to go where everybody knows your name

- Gary Portnoy, "Where Everybody Knows Your Name"

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Monday, March 09, 2009

Greetings, Atriots!

Not bar-related, but it's always nice to get a link from Atrios.  I had written him yesterday about Tamarack Ski Resort closing in Idaho, as an indicator of just how screwed the economy is.  First new US ski resort since the 70's, and it's gone, after only four years in operation.

Good stuff in the Idaho Statesman, too.  "River of Money," indeed.

Actually, to make this a bar-related post, may I offer up the perfect Après-ski Cocktail?  Couldn't be simpler.  Make up a nice batch of hot chocolate, pour an ounce and a half of Bailey's Mint Chocolate (in my experience, this is sadly the only recipe it's good for; top-notch delightful here though) into a large mug, top with the hot chocolate, stir gently, and add a healthy dollop of real whipped cream.  Mmmmm!  Boozy, wintry heaven.

And no ski resort required, either!  In this economy, though, you might want to make it a double.

Time, time, time, see what's become of me
While I looked around
For my possibilities
I was so hard to please

But look around, leaves are brown
And the sky is a hazy shade of winter

Hear the Salvation Army band
Down by the riverside, it's bound to be a better ride
Than what you've got planned
Carry your cup in your hand

And look around, leaves are brown, now
And the sky is a hazy shade of winter

- Simon and Garfunkel, "Hazy Shade of Winter"

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