We decided on the 13th Street Bar and Grill since Wes had to walk from his place, over by River Market, and 13th Street was close to halfway. So about 4:15 I started my trek over to 13th and Locust, where the 13th Street Bar and Grill is located. On the way over, I saw the 5-0 bicycle patrol "cleaning up" our streets by rousing some homeless dude. I wish the pic was better, but I was trying to not let the cops know Bull E. Vard, homeless advocate, was on the case. The homeless dude was yelling at them something like "I was just sitting here, I didn't do nothing". Oh well, I had beer to drink so I moved on.
I followed a couple who appeared lost and happy to find a bar into the 13th Street Bar and Grill at precisely 4:30. The place was not quite packed yet and I saw a couple of seats open together at the bar, right by the tap handles (right where I like to sit). The place was filling up rather quickly so I took my coat and placed it on the empty seat next to me. That way I wouldn't have to answer the question "is this seat taken" over and over again. The bartender lady did not get right to me, but she was mixing a drink, so she just gave me a smile and "be right with ya hon". I'm going to go ahead and say that the 13th Street Bar and Grill certainly seems like the kind of place where I would be called "hon" an awful lot. She came right over after she finished with the mixed drink and I ordered a PBR on tap. She even got my pint glass out of the fridge under the bar which was somewhat unexpected based on the crowd they already had.
I had just given away the seat to my right (not the one with my coat on it) to some dude when Wes called and said his friend, Chambord, was going to be joining us on the tour. Zut alors! I had just given away her seat. The crowd was getting pretty thick now (in number and the heft of the patrons) and a line was forming at the door. I noticed that they had security at the front and started to worry that Wes and Chambord weren't going to get in. I saw them cross the street and enter the entryway, but they didn't quite get through the door for 2 minutes. I was sitting at the bar only 20 feet or so away from the door and Wes still didn't see me. I'm trying to paint a picture of a crowded bar but it could also be that the saying is true about going blind from, well, you know, anyway for one reason or another he couldn't see me. I answered his phone call and told him to turn around and then he saw me. At this point I was 3 feet away.
So Chambord sat down and her boyfriend, Weston, stood. Wes introduced me around and we settled in for drinks. I didn't catch what Chambord ordered, but I'm pretty sure it was a Boulevard Pale Ale, Wes got a PBR and Weston got a bottle of O'Malleys Irish Cream Ale. 13th Street also has Bully Wheat and Guinness on tap as well as some crap with a blue tap handle. Chambord really came prepared for the tour later because she brought a pink hard hat, a pretty nice touch. I decided to not tell her about the time I wore a pink hat in my single days but didn't like it as much as my customary ridged hats. You can see her hard hat sitting on the bar in the picture below. I was trying to take a picture of the crowd outside, but, you know, I suck at taking pictures.
It turns out Wes, Chambord and Weston had all heard of this Garth Brooks character and were talking about the show, since they were all going to go later this week. Wes asked about this Trisha Yearwood chic and a passing waitress told us that she goes on at 7:40 and sings until 8:20 and we're going to really enjoy the show. I hate to be cynical about the whole thing, because she only meant the best, but it was really hilarious. I described this lady to my wife Stella this way,
you know that waitress at Red Lobster that creeps me out because she looks like Jay Thomas with blonde hair and lipstick? She reminded me of her only if she'd been smoking underneath her house for 60 years.but, I'm sure she called me "hon" at some point in the evening.
We each had a second beer, Weston got an Anchor Steam this time, a mighty fine beer. Wes and I had PBR's and I missed Chambord's order again. This was going to be a lightning round though, as we only had 30 minutes to drink those and get to our tour on time (it's at least a 5 minute walk, plus we didn't know where McFaddens was located which was where we were meeting). We finished up and tried to auction off our barstools, we had 3 now. As I stood to put on jacket a lady (I use the term loosely) asked me if we were leaving, I said we were if she would pay our bar tab or give me $20 (my version of Let's Make a Deal). She wouldn't bite so we gave her the barstools for free, I'm not a good deal maker. In my defense though, it is tough to negotiate with someone half my height.
For those going to Garth Brooks concerts this week, have a plan. Don't park on the east side of the arena and look around for a bar because you're only going to find the 13th Street Bar and Grill. It's a great place and I highly recommend it for a beer or drink (we didn't look at a menu or try any food) but it gets packed at 5 by every other person who came downtown without a plan for the evening. Parking is not an issue, especially if you don't mind paying $10, there is PLENTY of parking!