Next Monday I’ll be reading the ninth chapter of my book The Starting Gate at St. Andrews Bar And Grill in Green Lake. This chapter is titled “Bars: A User’s Guide”, and offers a brief review of the rules everyone should know when availing themselves of that venerated technology, the public house. As reward for close attention paid, I will offer a bonus virtual visit to the Zig Zag in the time of the incomparable Murray Stenson, the most perfect cocktail experience anyone could hope for.
Here’s a quickie excerpt:
Just as there are certain poems that can only be best understood once you have learned more basic poems, Murray will strike the uninitiated as a rather average bartender, friendly, unimposing, as eager to pull you a draft as he is to stir you a handcrafted cocktail. In fact, Murray has a joke he loves to tell:
A few years back a bunch of guys, maybe five, came into the Zig Zag after a Seahawks game. The first four all ordered different fancy cocktails. The fifth guy asks for a Jack and Coke. His friends erupt in outrage. “You can’t do that here. Don’t you know what this place is? This is that place for fancy cocktails. The Zig Zag. And that’s Murray.
“Oh, okay, okay,” the guy says, throwing up his hands in surrender. “In that case, I’ll take a Crown and Coke.”
Murray tells that story, I’m sure, to deflate a little of the pomposity that has blown up around the cocktail scene over the last decade or so, but also to let you know unequivocally that, if you order a Jack and Coke, he’ll happily make you the best goddamned Jack and Coke you’ve ever had.
And here are the details:
When: Monday, November 3, at 8pm
Where: The St. Andrews Bar, 7406 Aurora Ave. North, Seattle, WA 98103
Who: Me, and you, and probably a few others you know
How: Quick and dirty, the readings rarely last longer than 25 minutes.
Why: Why not?