Brooks – #10 on the Tour

The Bar: Brook’s

The Address 245 Lincoln Street

The Day and the TIme Sunday at five, this was Mother’s Day

The price I can’t remember and can’t find my notes, but I think it was five bucks.

Did they ask me if I wanted a lime Yes

What was the type of gin It was bar gin.

What was the gin and tonic like I must say, up until “The Incident” everything about the place was good and enjoyable. The drink was a pint glass number and it was good, it was not going to get mentioned in the gin section of the Wine Spectator, but it was nice company

The Joint They had stools by the front door outside so people can smoke while seated. Its a kind flourish I am sure. Going in, the carpet was dingy and the place still smelled every cigarette ever smoke in the place. It was ingrained in the very wood. There was a long bar on one side where everyone was. The bar was pretty well crowded, which is nice to see. There is a low wall that divided the joint, the other side where you place pool and darts, though no one was there. They were all drinking and talking. This was neighborhood all over. Everyone knew everyone else. Some were talking loud and joshing with the bartender. A couple guys would go over from time to time to the darts area to talk private like.

General Impressions Before “The Incident” I was composing in my head a pretty positive dispatch for this stop on the tour. I was composing in my head how every neighborhood needed a place to feel like you are part of the crowd. Early on a Sunday and everyone was just doing their thing. It was nice.

And then……

The guy, who was talking to a lot of folk, came up to where I was standing by myself, minding my business. He walked up to me full, so I couldn’t miss him. “Hi,” he said his name and put out his hand. I told him my name (I didn’t say Dante, for those who are interested) and took his hand. He didn’t shake it as much as imitated a pneumatic press. He smiled at me, but the smile didn’t get up to his eyes, ya know. “First time here.” I said it was. “What brings you here.” Now there are a lot of things I could have said, like “I’m a narc on duty” or “I go to bar to bar in town and have a gin and tonic and write about it” which are great ways to shorten my life span. Instead I said, “I was just driving by and saw the place and figured to have a drink.” The guy never stopped staring at me, he nodded with that smile and said “Yeah, this is a good place for that.” Its amazing all the things he told me that were not included in his words. Like, I dont know you and I don’t like that and I got me a strong grip if you didn’t notice before. What are you going to do about it.

He walked away from me, giving me the illusion of choice in the matter. I got the hell out of there. I didn’t leave, I retreated.

Now I could be wrong, he could have just been friendly. But, I’m not wrong. Since then I have been more careful on where my eyes are while I have my gin and tonic, but man, what a welcome. Sometimes a neighborhood bar is for whom the bar considers to be neighbors, so be careful how you look and present.

Amount of Time in the Joint 10 minutes

Will I come back No thanks. I don’t know who my welcome wagon friend was, if he is there all the time, but I don’t need the apparent risk. I was more welcome at Pleasant Cafe than here.

This was hard to write, and that sense of threat almost made me end this little project right there, but I am glad I continued.

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