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Since the dawn of time philosophers have debated, “What is a bar? What is a restaurant?” Sometimes there are no easy answers. There can be a very fine line between “bar” and “restaurant.”
So what?! Who gives a shit?! What’s in a name?!
Mainly the presence of shitloads of filthy little varmints. That makes this issue one of no small consequence.
As always I will cover all points of view as if to give the reader an understanding of the issue. I will be fair. I will be impartial. I will be partially inebriated.
Also, as always, illumination will be provided by Wikipedia:
A bar is a retail business establishment that serves alcoholic drinks — beer, wine, liquor, and cocktails — for consumption on the premises.
A restaurant is a business which prepares and serves food and drink to customers in return for money …
There we were in a mystery business of some sort. Was it a “bar” or a “restaurant?” Let’s find out. It’s Litmus Test Time boys and girls!
- I was drinking a beer called a “pint.” My wife was drinking a Bloody Mary. In addition to beer and wine all sorts of liquored-up beverages were available from shots to cocktails. It was the kind of place that could make any sort of alcoholic beverage. I informally refer to this sort of establishment as a “full bar.”
- Out front, lined along the sidewalk in front of the business, there were scads of patrons who had temporarily exited to smoke their guts out.
- Televisions were spaced around the room every 20 feet or so. They were all showing sporting competitions.
- The walls were plastered with colorful posters for beer, brands of hard spirits and various local sports team logos. There were plentiful neon signs blazing various brands of beer.
- A sound system blared rock music.
- On the side of the room was an actual bar. (Not to be confused with the establishment known as “bar.”) This was a long counter where patrons could sit. Behind the counter was a giant mirror and many rows of shelving containing millions of colorful and variously shaped glass bottles. These bottles all contained booze.
- A few feet away were pinball machines and a video game that simulated the tracking, shooting, disemboweling and skinning of gentle forest creatures like deer.
- A pool table.
- The menu offered selections diverse selections like burgers and fish and chips.
- Little placards on the tabletops advertised the daily scheduling of a time period known as “happy hour” twice a day. Yes, there are two happy hours. This place may well be happier than Disneyland.
Yes, clearly, we were in a restaurant.
Don’t all classy restaurants have “Trophy Hunter Bloodthirsty Rambo Edition” in the center of the dining area? It’s a subtle way of reminding you where your paleo proteins came from. That raw elk was probably nabbed by the chef earlier today.
Yes, clearly this was a restaurant. There could be absolutely no doubt. This was evidenced by the screaming. Yes, I can still hear the screaming. Sometimes at night I close my eyes and hear the screaming.
The screaming emanated from small creatures that sprinted to and fro and darted amongst our feet.
My wife asked our server, “Why do they allow children in bars?”
“This is a restaurant,” she replied.
In their defense “restaurant and bar” is part of their name. Additionally, the website says they are “family friendly.” But what the fuck? If this place isn’t a “bar” I don’t know what is.
Yes, they served “food.” You know, all the classic dishes you see on Top Chef, Iron Chef and Hell’s Kitchen. Amazingly, though, they didn’t offer risotto and John Dory. I wished Gordon Ramsay was there. “Fuck off, you. You call this a restaurant? It’s a bloody bar you fucking donkey!” It was no small coincidence they served the bare minimum of “food” as required by OLCC law.
While we ate family after family streamed in. Small kids were in tow. Kids that were bored shitless. Kids that climbed over the pinball and hunting games like CGI scenes ripped from Lord Of The Rings. I almost yelled, “We’re under attack by the orcs!”
Quick question: What kind of family values are you trying to teach?
- Mommy and daddy sure love alcohol.
- Bars are good places to hang out.
- Smoking is more fun than you.
- Hunting isn’t something you do for food or for survival. It’s a game.
A big family came in and our spidey sense was tingling. The party consisted of several adults and several children. About once every five minutes an adult would come over to the pinball area and yell at a kid, then go sit back down. The kid never left the machine. (Another thing being taught. We only speak in meaningless platitudes.)
After ordering up on booze, all of the adults except one promptly went outside to smoke. We had a lovely view of this activity through the ginormous plate glass windows. The adult left behind with the kids looked miserable. Never leave an alcoholic smoker behind! (Lesson: You kids are not wanted.)
The dad got his turn out front. (Each time they opened the door a noxious cloud of ciggy death smoke floated in.) Apparently they were having a speed-smoking competition out on the sidewalk. Puff, puff, puff! Then the dad decided to come back in. I watched as he carefully examined the front of the “restaurant” for a place to balance his lit cigarette. He wasn’t ready to say goodbye just yet and he was also decidedly frugal. Why waste what might be able to kill you later?
Satisfied with his smoker’s perch, he came back inside. He wasn’t temporarily rotated out of the game. Apparently this was like an NHL competition and spending time with the young people was the penalty box.
Soon he bounded back out the front door and with a singular focus of will was quickly reunited with his lighted. (I think this is also the name of a hit song.)
Society celebrated in silent approval. The next generation was in good nicotine-stained hands and being well-trained to take our shitty-ass place. The only thing remaining is to give this post-millennial generation a cutesy name. How about GenFucked or GenDoomed? Or iGen? (The “i” is for Idiocracy.) BRAWNDO!
Oh, and by the way, are you still in the mood to eat out? This was one fine “restaurant.” I give it five crayons!
Teach Your Children Smell.