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An Early Evening

Last night, we made our usual Saturday night trip to the Toronado. We got there around midnight, figuring that we would be able to get seats at the bar, but for some reason the yuppie crowd was in full force. Still, we were able to get one corner seat… so I sat while Janet stood, which is normal as Janet prefers to stand… and I prefer to sit.

The plan was to stay until last call (about 1:30am) and then head home to get some sleep. Since at 1:00am I was just starting my second beer (a Speakeasy Prohibition Ale, my first beer was a Lagunitas Lagunator… Janet was exclusively drinking Guinness), it seemed that it would certainly be an early night.

However, when last call was… well… called, Ian came up to us and said that we were cool to stick around after the bar closed. You see, Ian is not only our bartender, but he’s also a friend… and on busy nights like this, since we don’t have time to talk while the bar is open, it’s common for us to talk for a few minutes after the bar closes. Remember California State Law: no alcohol service after 2am, but there is nothing illegal about talking after hours.

So Janet and I decided that it would be worth sticking around late to talk to Ian. Still, we weren’t interested in having any more to drink, so we stopped

drinking our beers and started nursing them so they would last until 2 am.

2 am came by, and the crowd left, leaving only six or seven locals slowly finishing up their last pints of the night. I decided to use the restrooms before Tad started sweeping/mopping the floors. When I came back, Janet told me that Ian had came by and for some reason Johnny (the other bartender) wanted everyone to clear out.

The net result? Janet and I nursed our beers until they became warm and flat, and even though Ian wanted us to stay, Johnny’s desire to clear the bar out overrode Ian’s request for us to stay.

In all reality, it isn’t a big deal… hell, 99.99% of all people at the Toronado have to leave before the doors shut at 2:00 am sharp. Nor do I have hold any animosity towards Johnny. For all I know, he was having a bad day and just wanted to be able to quickly clean up and get out of the bar.

Still, it’s now almost a full day after leaving, and something just isn’t sitting well with me about last night.

Posted in The Barfly Chronicles.

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