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A Germanic Evening

Because the Spaten Oktoberfest was still on tap from Wednesday’s Oktoberfest Celebration (see the 10/8/98 update), we made a concerted effort to go to the Toronado on Friday and Saturday. Here is the breakdown:

Friday Night:

After a great dinner at Suppenkuche, Janet and I decided to finish off a good night of German food with a couple of half-liters of German beer. So, on or way back from dinner, we decided to stop off at the Toronado. As we arrived, there were two seats open at the bar, so we sat right down and ordered up our beers from Pauly. Pauly, as you know from previous entries, is a great bartender… with more than a hint of attitude towards those yuppies that come in and ask for a pitcher of Bud.

The night consisted of me drinking two half-liters of Spaten Oktoberfest and a pint of Twist of Fate. Aah, the Twist of Fate… Pauly told me that the Twist of Fate keg had just been delivered about an hour-and-a-half ago, and was worth a pint, and he was right. There is nothing better than a pint of fresh, cask-conditioned beer on hand pump. If they got the Twist of Fate fresh every night, I would be at the Toronado every night. Oh, Janet had a Guinness and a Spaten Oktoberfest.

Anyway, Pauly was not slinging beers by himself, Steve the barback (bouncer/glass washer) got an instant promotion to bartender due to the enormous rush of yuppies pouring through the doors. It was awful. By 8:30, the crowd of people was getting so great that the yuppies started panicking when they couldn’t get Pauly’s attention within 30 seconds of waving their twenty dollar bill at him. While one yuppie would start ordering their beers, another would start shouting over the first yuppie, thinking that it would somehow endear him to Pauly and make him take both orders at the same time. Wrong. Pauly’s quickly shouted :Are you with them, or are you just interrupting me? instantly humbled the loud yuppie and he quieted down.

Pauly left at 9pm, and Johnny and Kirsten replaced him for the late-night shift. Nothing that memorable occurred, aside from the cash register overheating and breaking down, so they had to use a hand-crank to make the register work. We were home by 10pm. An early, perfect night.

Saturday Night:

Since we knew that they had both the fresh Twist of Fate and some Spaten Oktoberfest at the Toronado based on yesterday’s visit, we decided to stop into the Toronado for a beer or two. We got there at 8pm, and Robert was on shift. Robert is one of our favorite bartenders…. and since he is only a substitute bartender, we never know when (or if) he is going to be on shift. So, when we see him at the Toronado, it’s a real treat.

The Toronado was empty at 8pm, so we thought  that it would be a slow night. Boy were we wrong. at 8:17, I went out to Rosamunde to get a sausage. At 8:23, I returned to find out that this drunk guy had been hitting on Janet for the past five minutes. At 9pm, Johnny and Ian came on shift. At 9:05, Tad arrived. Tad was a little bit giddy, telling bad jokes (how do you make a cat go “woof”… soak it in kerosene and drop a match… WOOF!) and telling everybody that the Hells Angels were driving around the neighborhood. At 9:10, about 25 Hells Angels showed up.

The Hells Angels were courteous, buying good beer and tipping well. Contrary to popular belief, the Hells Angels are not thugs, just hard-core motorcycle enthusuasts. They didn’t pick a fight with anybody, however they were looking for the yuppie in the sport utility vehicle that parked in the motorcycle parking spots. Let me tell you that there is nothing more awe-inspiring than the sound of 20 vintage v-twin Harleys driving down the street… it’s a sound that could scare God.

About fifteen minutes after the Hells Angels left, the Yuppies arrived. Sheesh. They came in so quickly, that within 15 minutes of the first yuppie arriving, they were three deep at the bar. Sigh.

Throughout the whole night, I only had four beers: a Spaten Oktoberfest, an Anderson Valley Oktoberfest and two Moonlight Twist of Fate

Bitters. However, for the first time ever, Janet had as many beers as I did… and she drank them as fast as I did. Janet had two Spaten Oktoberfests, a Guinness and a Lindeman’s Framboise.

If the yuppies keep on coming like this, we’ll have to restrict our drinking to early in the evening. There are enough Yuppie hangouts in San Francisco… why do they have to invade the Toronado?

Posted in The Barfly Chronicles.

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