Saturday, April 12, 2008

The Delta Lounge, Burbank, Illinois

I actually had a date last night. These last two weeks have been hell because of the move to the new plant. (I have photos of the crack house and the bat-filled barn behind the place, but that's for a later post). I thought that the front office would be hell on any given day, I asked Kelly if she was interested in hitting the Delta, the place that is only a shambling walk from my home. Well, later in the evening I was aghast--yes, the only time I have used this word--when she called me. Well, we stayed there until closing. Its an old joint that I go to and write in my commonplace book, one fellow still calls me Kilgore Trout. Some nights its a bar of aging bikers, from the days of a sawdust floor. Some nights its right out of the film BARFLY. A lot of chin nods to people at the bar or walking by. One of the better moments of the night was when an older guy named Eddie, his face like bark on a tree, bought us drinks and saluted. Maybe he was thinking of his own iceberg memories, of a marriage, or a failed marriage, or a dead spouse. It was fun hanging with Kelly, but I think I'll be writing about Eddie one day...Wayne Oh, a PS: I still think of Delta as a tavern. How many of you guys out there go to taverns and not lounges or dance bars or Applebee's...? Just curious. Every bar is a tavern to me.


Sidney said...

Sounds like a place with character(s).

HemlockMan said...

In all of my fifty years, only during one brief period of my life did I frequent a tavern. It was called "The Binnacle" and was located on the waterfront on St. Simons Island, the slightly less well-heeled island adjacent to Sea Ilsand, well known as home and haunt of jillionaires. Eugene O'Neil once lived there--my mom used to drive me past his house when we'd tour the mansions. Bill Diehl lived there for a while after he got rich. Jack Davis, the EC Comics/Mad Magazine artist still lives there, I think.

Oops. I blather. This is Wayne's blog!

At any rate, The Binnacle was okay. A typical tavern. It was never packed when I'd go with my pals, which suited me fine. I learned to get pleasantly drunk on Vodka Collins in them thar days. I wonder if it's still there?

Glad you had a nice date. A nod and a drink from a weathered inhabitant of the place. Cool.

HemlockMan said...

Forgot to mention:

BARFLY. Great film.

Charles Gramlich said...

Down here we just call 'em bars, and we go bar hopping. Although I have a favorite or two in the Quarter. Particularly, Lafitte's.

Lana Gramlich said...

Barfly was a great movie. "Another round for my friends..." *LOL*
Sorry about the rough work issues. Glad you got out & had a good time, though!
We don't typically go out drinking anywhere. We don't typically ever want to leave our own deck, really...

Anonymous said...

Goldy's qualifies as a bar I guess, or maybe even a Tavern in the old sense. A neighborhood place that even kids could go to with Dad, or if the bill of fare was extensive enough, Mom & Dad.

Pretty safe too. Not much worry that two goofs are going to get into it and one of them will be packing and shoot up the joint. Where I lived on the Sout' Side there were a couple of such places. Gone now, swept away in the tide of AppleBee's & other possessively named national chains. Too bad. No neighborhood flavor to those.

Regulars at Goldy's too. One old guy with a walker who gets plenty toasted. A tall skinny guy, Waitresses mostly Irish and the kitchen staff from south of the Rio Grande. It's lasted though a lot old G's has. And they still make a fresh burger, no frozen patties.


Anonymous said...

Like the old Duke Ellington song, I don't get 'round much anymore. I've been to my share of taverns, along with lounges and clubs. The taverns are, in some respects, the more honest and least pretentious of places, in the Chicago tradition. They are, however, a little nervous of anyone who comes in with "reading material," either for reading or writing -- it takes a while for the regulars not to feel you've walked in from another planet and in some cases, effectively, you have .

When I turned 50, a friend in Texas asked what I thought was the best thing about making it to my half century. I thought for a second and said, "I'm too old to beat up anymore." I didn't realize until later that I was thinking about some of my experiences in taverns when I said that.

The tavern as an institution is dying slowly, which in spite of it being a place of "reputation" (and often not a good one, if "reputation" ever is) is a sad thing. The tavern has been a social anchor to neighborhoods, and there isn't much out there to replace it.

Steve Malley said...

No taverns here, but (thankfully) no Applebees either.

Every bar is pretty much a pub. The one where everyone knows you, that's your local. As in, "Went out last night for a few quiets at the local, but I woke up naked on a boat, and no one here speaks English..."