It’s been hard to place, the reason for this dip. Nothing really has changed in my life. The kids are growing into pretty fantastic young adults. I’m still in an awesome relationship with a woman who makes me laugh - constantly. Sure - work sucks, but that hasn’t changed in 16 years.
So what then could it be? I was reading an article (wish I could find it and link to it for you) on the importance of a “third place” in a persons life when it dawned on me - I haven’t been the same since the Kildare House closed!
When I say the “Kildare House”, I mean the Kildare House. Not “O’Maggio’s Kildare House” (no offence intended to Vito Maggio who has been steadily investing in the ‘hood) but the old, sometime stinky, frequently gritty, always homey version. From Mongo to Kit, Mary to Cindy, the frequent ”spontaneous” (which is what I thought for the longest time) gathering of celtic musicians and even that dink Clinton Hammond(!) - this place was MY third place. The vibe has changed.
It still looks the same. Still has those awesome booths with the cool flip-out stools on the end. Still has bar towels on the wall (probably not the same ones, though. Those could have walked out on their own) and football on the telly. This place smells clean and the wait staff wear uniforms. The new patrons wear perfume when they visit and eat their meals off those fancy square plates! I had bangers and mash when I visited and it was obvious the chef(!) placed a high regard to its presentation!
It’s like a restaurant now, and I miss the pub.
Yeah. I miss Heath and the gang, but have accepted the fact that they have gone on to the next phase in their lives and are not coming back to the neighborhood pub.
It’s funny how much the lack of a good third place has bored a hole in my happiness quotient. So, I am going to step up to the plate and find me a new one! It’s going to take some rigorous research, visiting each contender at different times of the day to gage their vibes. Plenty of pints will need to be hoisted to ensure a consistency of pour. It’ll be tough, but I think I’m up to the task.
I’m going to need some criteria to judge them impartially. Quality of the barside conversation, diverse demographic of clientele, feeling of inclusion, etc.
Any suggestions from my fellow Walkervillians? Where do you hang now that the pub is closed? Whata kind of criteria did you use to make your new third place, well - your new third place?
Honestly, I want to know! This is serious stuff!