As we look around us, we can easily identify many of our social conventions that are vanishing or completely gone. It’s been quite some time since I saw milk delivered. Rail traffic for humans has diminished considerably. And as I’ve previously lamented, much of our learning is on a screen rather than a printed page.
The good news is that the neighborhood watering hole (bar and grill, bar, saloon – pick one) is still alive and well in New Mexico. Its existence came as a total surprise. We read reviews for this venue before visiting for dinner but what we found far exceeded expectations.
Our welcoming moments were warm and genuine. The server was both kind and efficient. Beyond all of that, sitting in the bar vicinity afforded a glimpse of seven good ole boys who were loud, gregarious and seemed to be the type of regulars who were known by everyone in the establishment. We could catch pieces of their conversation but the only one that was loud and clear was the reference to a “certified lesbian.” Hmmmm.
One brave woman attempted to join them at the far end of the bar. She spoke briefly to the man adjacent to her but the encounter was short-lived. He was wearing the obligatory Kobe Bryant jersey but didn’t have a baseball cap that was sported by five other guys. Don’t know why that conversation ended but it didn’t seem to matter.
Since my growing up and college days in Chicago where such venues are plentiful, I haven’t experienced a neighborhood joint such as this. Most likely, it’s my tendencies toward nostalgia that caused me to appreciate it. The food was great, the beer was cold and I was treated as if I had been there every night for the last twenty years – God forbid.
If the regulars and the food weren’t sufficient, our server’s final remarks were the coup de grace. She said, “I’m so glad that you were here. Assuming I’ll see you soon, yes?” My answer was a resounding yes and I’m grateful for the chance to perpetuate what I deem an American institution. Here’s looking at ya! Shalom.