Colorful cocktails are mixed and fresh hop ales poured as the fragrance of melted cheddar and sizzling bacon teases the nostrils. Old tap handles and vintage steel beer advertisements adorn the walls to the left while freshly prepared comfort food sprouts from the narrow opening into the kitchen on the right.
Suddenly steam emanates from the dishwasher behind the bar and the restaurant fills up with the scent of commercial strength lemon dish soap.
“There she is!” A grey haired woman blurts emphatically, noticing that her friend has just arrived at his birthday dinner. The glossy, translucent paper enclosing her gifts glows in the soft lighting of the beer cooler behind the party’s table as the first round of drinks are poured. His worn denim jacket looks weak at the seams, and the embroidery on his back reads Farewell Mr. D – Our King. The waitress approaches the party with an air of familiarity;
“Where would the Royals like to sit?” She asks.
“Oh it’s nice out let’s go out on the patio,” Ms. Royal responds, walking towards the back door.
Three minutes later the party returns to the interior, frosty breath exiting their lungs as they walk through the rear entrance.
“Maybe it’s too late for the patio,” Mr. Royal chuckles.
A young couple enters the building dawning dazed looks on their faces and sits at the bar as an order for two Coronas is placed. The order prompts a male bartender to sing his rendition of “My Sherona” with “Corona” replacing the name of the songs subject. A female bartender attempts to ignore the routine but can’t help but scoff as she dries a steaming pint glass fresh out of the dishwasher.
A pint of dark winter ale emerges from behind the bar, the glass perspiring from the body heat of couples, friends, families and a birthday party. The aging wood paneling reflects the warm atmosphere as the foamy surface of the fresh pint settles into a thick head.