Hehe....before we get into things, here's a link to some hangover helpers. You can thank me at Jack's later by buying me a drink. ;)
Today was a two-parter at Jack's.
Part 1 started just before the turnover to the new year. Some friends and I went downtown to see Chris Burkhardt play with his band, The Board of Directors. Fun as that was and as good as it sounded, I had to leave and get on up to Jack's before New Year's hit to get this project started.
I caught a free light rail train and made it to Jack's about 45 minutes before midnight. The heating lamps weren't working out on the back patio but I'd had just enough to drink to stay warm (seriously, a few beers and my metabolism kicks right into gear). The blue moon was right overhead and surrounded by a huge white halo as I rang in the new year with some friends and the crowd.
Spending time at Jack's is fun because you get to hear stories from and interact with the regulars who go way back. You also learn that many of these regulars have histories that intertwine with each other.
For example, I ran into a guy who I hadn't seen since we bought seats at one of the two bottle-service tables that were situated right next to the Jello-O pudding wrestling ring on the back patio at Jack's (Memorial Day 2009, if I recall).
On that particular night, Tod and I had a blast drinking PBRs and getting splashed with Jello-O pudding as the bartenders wrestled a dwarf for three rounds to win back their title. You can find our sorry asses on youtube.
Tod is a sailor and crews large boats. He wears a hat and looks like the kind of guy who'd be at home on a tractor. He lives in a converted warehouse that sometimes sees across-the-warehouse bottle rocket and fireworks battles. Woe be to the man or woman sitting on the couch on the lower level of the warehouse: you are a valid target and poor aim is as likely as gravity to steer a small flying explosive your way.
As it turns out Tod is a good friend of Dean, who is also something of a regular at Jack's (and great to share a drink and hang out with). Dean's always well dressed and put together. Truth be told I'd not have imagined those guys were buddies who'd shared some good times together (including the aforementioned fireworks battles). Hearing their stories was a blast.
Part 2 started at 6 a.m., when Jack's opened back up for New Year's morning business.
Let me say this: as morning food goes, beer and pop tarts go very, very well together. Watching bartenders battle a toaster to remove stuck pop tarts is fun, too.
The morning's activities were off to a rocky start. I made it in time (thank you to Christian and Jenny for letting me sleep at your place!) for opening but the scheduled bartender was nowhere to be found. Fortunately the owner -who was supposed to be resting for a flight out later in the day to the World Series of Beer Pong- was there to get things rolling.
I talked to my buddy Marcus out on the patio, watched the sunrise light up the sky and managed to prevent one enterprising bar patron from climbing the patio fence. Also moshed a bit to Metallica. I like picking up small people and hurling them.
Two hours later the bartender (Travis) did show up, in a blue and orange bowling shirt, blue checker shorts and matching Tommy Hilfiger mini-socks. Verbal abuse and mockery followed.
I figured a new bartender meant the pop tart rotation started over too, so I asked for more. Then Travis threw in The Hangover, some more people showed up to drink (including three other bartenders who work at Jack's), to dance and fuel the jukebox and just like that the party was under way.
Getting burped at by the prettiest lady in the bar was fun (honest!). I'd like to thank the other pretty ladies who purchased and then field-tested Jack's tank tops. That spawned a brief conversation with Charlie about ideas for new logos and looks for Jack's clothing. I can't wait to see what they come up with!
Around 12 p.m., after many beers, a couple friendly rounds of shots and twice watching a naked Chinese man leap from the trunk of a car to visit beatdowns on the heroes of The Hangover, my endurance ran out. Tanisha took over for Travis and I said farewell to Jack's for the day.