Dear Charlies: A Love Letter To My Favorite Bar
Wow. Well where do I start. We have been through a lot together over the past 2 and a half years. Quite frankly you have been my most loyal friend since moving on to Arch Street. I guess I should take it back to the beginning.
The Phillies had just won the World Series, and as the town celebrated with a parade, you sat nestled quietly between the over-priced art galleries and over-priced clothing stores of 3rd Street. While all others hung their banners and beer signs you still proudly displayed your odd caricature art and over-sized Elvis picture. You were strong and content with your station in life, and with that I felt an instant connection to your simplicity.
It was a first date of many we would share. From drinks with friends, to first time meetings, and even that one time I pretended I was good at pool in the back. You became a place for celebration, and whenever there was good news to share it was usually done in one of your booths. I’m not sure how it became that way, but it was and I’m glad you were there.
As months went on I went through changes while you…stayed the same. When I was down and looking for friends, I came to you and tried to find them sitting next to me at the bar. I offered to go bike riding with that strange British guy and even discussed massage therapy for an hour with the girl who always picks up food to go. They stand out because, let’s be honest, there weren’t that many people there. And that’s the way I liked it. Like an inside joke with low lighting. I watched others come and go yet you remained strong with a warm helping of Mac N’ Cheese. It was a true friendship.
When all the strangers went home and I met this amazing girl from Maine I decided to bring her by. Like meeting the parents, I hoped that she would like you. She did!
And so it continued until last week when we stopped in for a birthday drink. An after-dinner after-thought, but one of the best I’ve ever had. If I would have known it would be the last then I would have stayed longer. I would have taken more pictures, played pool, found out why that other bathroom was always unfinished, and certainly would have drunk more.
But really when given the time to think about it I’m glad that it happened this way. You went out just as you came into my life. Unassuming and quiet with lots of charm.
I found your doors chained this week as you ready to move. “They’ll still be up the street” they say. “It’s not like it’s going anywhere” I hear. But you and I both know that it won’t be the same. There’s a good chance people will actually hang out there now, and as they should. You have good food and Victory on tap. But the traffic of Market Street will most likely wash away your charm and fill your halls with the normal dredge of Old City on a Friday night. I don’t think we’ll ever be able to go back to the way it was. You’ve moved on and I’m alright with that. Just let it be known that I thank you for the time we spent together and I wish you luck in your next level. Cheers!