Wednesday, June 13, 2012

RE: Pubs, Part the First

It was May of 1991 when I stepped into my first pub. I was in the process of moving from Upstate New York (NOT the CITY, for those not in the know) to Oregon, in which we had picked a little town in the Cascades off the Rand McNally called Oakridge. My wife and I took a month off to wander around a small island off the coast of France by train, thumb, bus, coach and foot. To this day I distinctly remember stepping into my first pub after disembarking the train at Victoria Station in a sizable village called London. My first pint of "Bitter". My first mushy peas. My first taste of British hospitality in its continuum of indifference to sheer joy.

Now I own a pub. But can I say this: What is a pub? As I spend anywhere from 0 to 20 hours a week behind my own bar, also known as running the front of the house, I have encountered the occasional customer that didn't realize that pub was short for public house. As a barkeep, an important part of the job is the disbursement of knowledge and entertainment, so the punter can leave a little better off than they came. And also serve them a proper pint and make them feel at home. Shouldn't a public house be a home? I hope so.

I'm now off my non-blogging binge, and am as unsure as to the grammar of that as the next guy who finds language a right kick in the pants. Thus begins a discourse on pubs. I hope both of you readers will take the time to comment and heckle as deemed appropriate.


Jeff Alworth said...

Wait, 1991? First English pub or first pub period? I thought we were roughly the same age, and I entered my first pub, illegally, in 1987. The Raleigh Hills McMenamins, where a friend worked. I also misspent a good portion of the next few years in the Barley Mill shooting pool. Go in with someone who works at a McMenamins and you never get carded. Or didn't, anyway.

I had discovered Terminator Stout and was besotted. There were about 200 microbreweries in the country then, mind, and maybe ten in Oregon.

Brewers Union Local 180 said...

You lead me to Part the Second.