“I knew this place existed – I just had to find it” a guy announced as he walked through the door.”
How does one choose a beach bar?
It’s easy, when there is a beach, and bars. Start at one end of the beach, pop in and order something tall and cold. Or, frosty and cold. Cold.
Strolling along the upscales a block from the sand, it occurred to me that there is one kind of clientele, and then there is me. They – no aspersions intended – drink from crystal and lean their forearms on linen. The silverware is, well, probably some rendering of silver. To quote the great Southern Historian Shelby Foote – “Big plates, tiny food. Makes me angry thinking about it.”
Me, I’m looking for little places, basic menus, big portions. Wooden tables, faux leather cushions. A server with a smile, a bit of flirt and a lot of brass.
She’d been a kindergarten teacher, she said. Could there be a more perfect server. Two locals – weathered men with tans not chosen, but earned - wandered in, ordered the mere basic of beers and paid with quarters. She patiently counted out them out, smiling broadly when it looked like the proffered currency would cover two inexpensive brews. “Never been to the East Coast,” one of them commented. “Except Parris Island, and all I got was yelled at.”
Parris Island, of course, is boot camp for East Coast Marines.
Lynche’s Landing, an Irish pub in the heart of crab and conch country. The featured drink was an Orange Crush – OJ, vodka – what’s not to like for a land-locked scrivener from Denver. Why not take a chance on a little bar with a bit of the ‘tude. I ordered the Crush, and a cup of Irish stew.
My great grandfather was Irish, from Donegal. He was a two-fisted laborer who took life as it existed, not as he wished it to be. He moved to America when the opportunity presented, raised a family and taught his grandson to love his adopted country, one that gave far more than it took.
The stew arrived with a length of bread. The soup was amazing. Good stews go easy on the salt, heavy on ingredients. The meat was tender, the potato held together perfectly in the hearty broth.
Of course there was soccer on. And (American) football.
Everyone who ventured in stayed. The newcomers had a pretty good idea of how to choose a beach bar. It’s about the company, the ambiance, and when we all ventured back to the beach… It’s about loving the life.