The Continental Tavern

Understand this: Mr. Draft is a working-class stiff, employed, at various times, as a screen printer, social worker, sign installer, FedEx courier, and landscaper, among other occupations too many to mention. Mr. Draft's father was a roofer. His paternal grandfather worked in the textile mills. Mr. Draft's mother wound golf balls at the Process. His maternal grandfather made o-rings and gaskets. So, it is without a condescending cordiality that Mr. Draft says the Continental is a working-class bar. One can imagine it packed with factory workers at 4:00 pm, back in the day, when Chamberlain's was still cranking out artillery shells, Dawson's was still brewing lager, and Valor was still stitching ladies' garments for high-end department sores. The decor is comfortably old-school, with neon signs and sports trophies in glass cabinets. It is not the place to go for a delicate pinot noir, a Belgian-style peach lambic or a trendy Appletini. The draft selection is limited to Bud or Coors, and beer snobs like Mr. Draft drink vodka there. Mr. Cork didn't bother to ask for the (non-existent) wine list and opted for a 7&7. Mr. Mix, as he usually does, let the barmaid (a babe named Courtney, in threadbare jeans) select his drink, only asking that it be "sweet and creamy." She produced something with ingredients that included a pumpkin liqueur and Bailey's, her own creation, that she named, when pressed, a "Pumpkin Surprise." The Barflies applaud Courtney for her inventiveness but Mr. Mix had difficulty drinking it. And that's a first, as Mr. Draft has seen Mr. Mix drink down a shot of extra virgin olive oil. On a side note: a regular patron left his stool at the bar, to go outside for a cigarette. He placed a laminated tag on his pitcher that read: "Gone to smoke. Leave my drink alone." He explained, upon his return, that the tag prevented the barmaid from dumping his drink, thinking he had left the tavern. The flip side of the tag read: "Gone to pee. Leave my drink alone." If this patron could figure out a way to make the tag three-sided, with the third side reading: "Gone to dance. Leave my drink alone.," he could probably market them. Mr. Draft notes that the "gone to dance" is critical, because it is when he has gone to dance that bartenders most often assume his departure and discard his drink...but maybe it's just because they see Mr. Draft dance. Despite the meager draft selection, the Barflies respect the history and traditions of working-class joints, like the Continental, and give it a 7. (Roll Call: Mr. Draft, Mr. Mix, Mr. Cork)

No comments: