Friday, March 30, 2007
Good Guys Finish Last (Again)
If you were making up one of those interminable lists about the important things in life; i.e. The Right Stuff, what would you jot down? Mom? Apple pie? The deep blue sea? The Beatles songbook? Barney Fife's bow tie? If I hadda go there, somewhere between Yaz's 1967 stats, filet mignon, and every single frame of Mean Streets I'd have to include a good, reliable, all-purpose drinking establishment. A bar. Not a pub, or a nightclub, or a performance space, or a restaurant accessory, but a pure out-and-out watering hole. A bar. What do I want from a bar? Not much. A straight-up drink, decent service, no frills or nonsense,a shot that's not served in a thimble, exemplary camaraderie, and the warm glow of well-being provided by drinking alcohol in a comfortable environment. Did the recently closed Decatur have all that? In spades, mofos, in spades. What a crying shame, a frightening waste, and a terrible loss its sad and wrongful demise is. In a short time the place had become an oasis in the West End, a joint that rock and rolled with the verve, balls, and smarts of it's proprietor Joanne Seddon, a watering hole that squeezed together young pups, old dogs, salty dogs,and real (bow-wow) canines within it's limited confines, and did it with tough love, beer sweat and a ton of humor. Although The Decatur's lifespan was a horribly short one, it will certainly hold down a place in the alcohol-infused memories of those of us who drink our way around La Prov. I used to tease Joanne that she had accomplished something a bit more special than opening a successful bar and establishing a highly personal tone--She (a smart and devoted Red Sox fan) had somehow miraculously turned a whole clientele comprised of hippies, anarchists, surly rockers, hard drinkers, fast tawkers, avante-sophisticates, and funky but chic artists into a teeming, rabid, foaming-at-the-mouth mob of Red Sox devotees. RIP Decatur. I will lift one (or three) for you this weekend, saluting your rise and bemoaning your fall.