For those of you who don't know Freddy, it's a small town. We have approximately 40000 people. I think I know 90% of them, and the minute I decide I have met someone new, I discover I know their mother, brother, sister or husband. It really is a small town. And in the way of all small towns, people care. Case in point: our local watering hole.
For the past several years we have frequented a fine little pub by the name of McPail's Taproom. The proprietor of this excellant establishment being Scotty. We love Scotty, he is like kin to us. The bar staff know us and can pour what we want without us asking, in our own personal steins. They know that India never gets black pop, no matter what and that Kate seldom drinks more than one Irish Red, but often will have a couple of good single malts. Recently our pub was ruined. Through some very odd circumstances the pub changed hands, Scott and the gang stayed on, but it is all wrong.The atmosphere is strained the regulars aren't coming back, and the bar has been renovated -badly. The new owners don't understand their patrons and the patrons are leaving. in droves.
I have to point out that this particular pub was one of a dying breed. There was no TV, it didn't serve food, but you could order in, you could bring your dog, your kids and your knitting. We have celebrated engagements, marriages, and births there. We have cried a few tears there, and we have shared many laughs, loves, and friendships there. We have greeted new friends and said goodbye to old friends, accompanied by fine microbrew, and good single malts. The floorboards were worn, the chairs a bit rickety but it was home.
Yesterday, I went in to the pub and hung out with Barry the bartender, we ordered in supper, and shot the shit for a few hours. Two more ofthe old regulars stopped in for a minute, and had their beer elsewhere. Near closing time they came back to share the walk home. We sat and chatted about the situation, four of us looking around the place where we used to feel at home. The conversation was deep and the subject was our feelings about the pub, and the situation Sipping a beer, acknowledging that it will never be the same again. It is the end of an era. I looked at the guys and thought, where do we go from here?
10 months ago