|lee, mooka & me|
Thirty one years ago a couple of friends of mine graduated from college. Being sensible guys and needing jobs they did the sensible thing...... they bought a bar. At first it was just the business that they bought but a few years later they purchased the building. It was built in 1874. Since everyone had already hung out there in the first place.... not much changed in the beginning. Then the ripped out the added 'drop-ceiling and restored the old tin one. And they bought some large antique lighting fixtures.... and put in a keg cooler in the basement and a new tap system that could accommodate 27 tap beers. And bought oak bar stools. Added copper topped tables. When the business owner who leased the second store front in the building retired, the put and archway in the wall, built a second bar to have music events. A third bar in what had been a garage was later added... as welll as a patio.
The thing that never changed though was the people that stopped in. Friends, folks and fun lovers.
Not bad for not knowing what you are going to do after college.
And the friends part is not an exaggeration. You always...ALWAYS know someone when you drop in. Or if you didn't know them.... you soon do. A few weeks ago the previous owner of the bar visited from Florida. Mooka J. I hadn't seen him in about 30 years. He sounded the same, looked the same and still had a laugh that would scare a bull moose. (and frankly, sounds like a bull moose) I introduced him to one of my newer friends, Lee who writes a wonderful blog about all the craft and micro beers available in Oshkosh. He calls it "Oshkosh Beer". Real original, huh!
Mook and Lee hit it off real well and soon we were related stories of the 'Old Days'.... when we were all a little wilder. There were a lot of, ah, characters that used to hang out there..... Mad Dog, Kid Curry, Bruiser, Baby, Red Fred, Sweet Roll & his brother, Hard Roll, No-eyes Martin, Wheels and HIS younger brother, Spare Wheels. Some of them are no longer around. Gone way to early.
But it was a good time. Talking with Mook reminded me why I will never go to an Applebees or a TGIF.... or any of those cutsey bar-restaurant dealees. I still favor small cafes and pubs and restaurants. The food maybe better somewhere else, the beer may be cheaper..... but the folks you find at a place like Oblio's are irreplaceable. They are there because YOU are there and You show up because two college room mates didn't have jobs.
|"it's my bar"!!! have a beer!!|