On Friday, the pub at the Civil Life is a dynamic place. Regulars abound, with the day- and the night-shift proving to be two distinct worlds. Every other week, your humble barman comes in early and cleans the pub so we can open up at noon. On alternate weeks, you’ll see Joe manning the bar.
Each Friday, Tony offers a delicious lunch special in addition to some of our regular offerings. Many customers come in specifically for this changing but always tasty meal.
Food is, of course, not the only draw. We support the long-standing tradition of enjoying a pint or half pint with your lunch. With session beers on the board, you’ll return to work sated but sharp and restored for the finish to the week.
There are, however, Friday regulars who, by working slavishly for decades, have earned the right to relax over a few pints in the afternoons. These men and women built America, and in return, they can linger over five-dollar imperial pints while the rest of us are still working.
Early most Fridays, two retirees who stay busy with woodworking can be found chatting over pints of Angel and the Sword. They discuss projects. The very man who turned our unique tap handles is there, and he has an ingenious wooden tray he affixes to the bar so he need not hunch uncivilly over his roast beef sandwich. He effortlessly dispatches his sandwich without losing a crumb.
At the other end of the bar sits a man who, in addition to being one of the area’s great harmonica players, is a crossword puzzle fanatic of no small talents. In less than thirty minutes (sometimes just 23), he effortlessly works through the fiendishly difficult Friday New York Times puzzle. Fuelled only by Ordinary Bitter and spiced nuts, his powerful brain makes quick work of the clues as he neatly and emphatically inks in the solutions.
Near the middle of the bar sits a chemist on lunch break. Who could tell from his casual conversation about beer that he is one of the world’s leading authorities on yeast. Some day, when he receives his Nobel Prize, we like to think that the half pints of Civil Life we fed him along with his lunch played a part in fuelling his important work.
As the day shift is poised to transform into the night shift, an unassuming man makes his way to the bar with a humble demeanor belying his encyclopedic knowledge of music. You know he’s there when the volume edges up and a truly great selection emanates from our jukebox. This man is the great Jukebox Pat. He can identify a Horace Silver song in one note, even in circumstances when ambient noise makes the music difficult to hear. Because of this acute hearing, he is called “The Wolf” by a cranky tone-deaf man whom Pat humors gracefully.
Some Friday, take the afternoon off and come and meet one of these extraordinary regulars. There’s nothing more civil than enjoying a session beer in the afternoon in good company. See you soon.
The Civil Blog has returned. It is predominantly authored by Civil Life Barman, Dr. Patrick Hurley, who can be found tending to our bar patrons on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. He is also responsible for tending to our draft lines, which is recognized as one of our most important tasks. Special guest writers will appear from time to time. We hope reading this blog will give you much insight about the Civil Life and most importantly help you understand a bit more about all of us that work here and the beers we put our hearts into.