When the Barflies' entered Campino, Mr. Cork was heartily greeted by the owners, who were, evidently once his neighbors. Located on South First Street, Campino is a non-descript place, with a minimalist draft selection (Bud and Bud Light) and on the night of the Barflies' visit, only one other patron, who quietly played cards with the owner, Manny. His wife, whose name Mr. Draft does not recollect, was the bartender. She mentioned that business was drastically off since the Michael Bianco factory raid of March 2006, in which 361 of their employees, primarily Guatemalan and El Salvadoran illegals, were arrested and deported. Mr. Cork and Mr. Sazurac drank espresso with their liquors of choice on the side. Mr. Draft ignored the Buds and opted for a Sambuca on ice. In short time, the bartender made it known that her husband, Manny, wanted to buy the Barflies a round. Campino is the first establishment visited by the Barflies in which such a gesture was made. And it is appreciated. Manny's wife poured Mr. Draft a small glass of two Cape Verdean rums, one clear and one dark, which was potent and had a nice afterburn of molasses. The decor of Campino is a hodgepodge of intent, and items on the wall beyond the usual beers ads include a carved wooden whale, a metallic matador, a harpoon, Red Sox banners, and the hear-no-evil, see-no-evil, speak-no-evil monkey trio. But it still has a sterile feel to it. The bar is covered with Formica out of a 1960's suburban kitchen, and the walls are covered with a plasticky, textured material that Mr. Sazurac noted is the same substance used to cover the walls of temporary shelters put up by FEMA in post-Katrina Louisiana. It looks as thought the walls could be hosed down with a power washer, if need be. The Barflies thank Manny for the round, and wish him nothing but good fortune. Campino rates a 5. (Roll Call: Mr. Draft, Mr. Mix, Mr. Cork, Mr. Sazurac)

No comments: