Walter Mencken 11 a.m., May 24
Happy (Hour) Blues
Dang. Just missed the Blue Line heading south. Standing at the Fitth Avenue trolley stop. Fifteen minutes to kill.
Hmm. Talking of blue…
I start wandering down Fifth toward the House of Blues terrazza (1055 Fifth Avenue, downtown, 619-299-2583), filled tonight with Beautiful People (the women) and pallid, sweaty-faced men wearing pork pie hats. Musicians. You’d know ’em a mile off.
Spot a sign saying the magic word: “Happy Hour, 4-7pm. $2 domestic draft.”
Hmm. I could view this as a business venture. I mean who knows? Maybe the guy on the stool next to me will be a musician looking for songs. I’ll help him out, sell him my hit “Knead Me Now,” get famous, not need no happy hours ever again.
Turns out this out here is a private party. So you walk through the patio, in past the Company Store, and to a long bar they call “Crossroads.”
Set myself up at the end, next to this guy Jerry.
“Quesadilla,” he says, when I ask what he’s eating.
It’s nice, on a long square plate, with tomatillo sauce looking green and evil in a little bowl. “Happy hour. Five bucks.”
So now we’re talking food. For five bucks they also have a dip with chips or cornbread with maple butter and manchego cheese and jalapeño mixed in there.
They have $6 and $7 specials too, like two pulled-pork sliders for $6.
Cornbread! “Comes in a pan, really good,” says Brock the barman, by way of assurance. So I order that and the whatever beer, Bud Light, for $2.
Bottom line, it is way filling, sweet (love the maple butter), and sure makes a good liner for the Bud Light. Jeff gives me a big chunk of his quesadilla (excellent), and I slightly regret not trying the sliders.
I look around, at the schmoozing couples, the Day of the Dead art, the long Spanish lanterns. Goth meets Zorro.
“What’s with the patio party?” I ask Eileen.
“Out on the Satchmo?” she says.
“That’s what we call the patio. ‘Satchmo.’ Upstairs is ‘Hooker,’ the downstairs space is ‘Big Mama.’ It holds around 1000.”
“So what’s with the Satchmo party?”
“Movers, shakers,” she says. Leaves it at that.
That’s okay. Even if she threw out names, I’d probably have to pretend I knew them. Except I know that Britney Spears and Justin Timberlake have been through here.
I suddenly wonder about Eileen.
“Are you a singer on the rise, paying her dues?” I ask. Hey, maybe I could help her with a hit song.
“Honey, I don’t even sing in the shower,” she says.
Sigh. Fifteen minutes of chasing fame are up.
Time to get back to the Blue -- or is that Blues? -- Line.
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