The Institute and a sizable foreign contingent had planned a meet at Pint's Pub (221 West 13th Avenue) to make the Scottish Representative and his group feel a little less homesick. As I am relearning as a parent, pretty much any outing with an infant — even it's a five-minute jaunt to get coffee — is far more complex logistically than an expedition to Everest. You need infinitely more equipment per unit time, and if you forget anything, like a bottle, a pacifier or especially diapers, it's far more deadly than leaving behind your supplemental oxygen. So we walked in late, of course, and did not receive a traditional British welcome. In fact, we were told that kids are not allowed in the bar area.
Maybe it's different in the U.K. these days, but when I was there a few years ago, a visit to a pub was typically a family affair. Kids of all ages populated the smoke-filled rooms, often sharing tepid drinks with their parents. As a result, getting to the restrooms was a huge challenge, since you had to negotiate the RV-sized buggies favored by most Brits.
It's one thing to be told that you and your baby can't join a group in the bar, but it's another to be told to leave the place entirely because there's no room in the restaurant portion — even though no one else is around. If my party had to leave, my friends decided, then it was time for us all to relocate. Realizing that several hundred dollars were about to disappear before their eyes, the managers of Pint's suddenly found a large empty table in the deserted dining room. Thus were the laws of thermodynamics enforced and matter preserved.
Unfortunately, for the rest of the night, the Pint's staff continued to act like they had done us a favor. It took way longer to get a beer here than at any British pub I've ever been in; since nothing travels as fast as the speed of light, these people didn't even try. But they could try harder on their food. The burgers we'd requested as medium were definitely well-done; maybe they were just trying to protect us from beef infected with mad cow disease. And don't even get me started on the "chips" at Pint's.
Still, we managed to have a good time. The company alone was responsible for much of that — we had no end of fun in the phone booth where the ATM is located (one of our party may still be trapped there) — but the beer may have had an impact, too. The Dark Star Ale was served way too warm even for someone who can stomach warm beer, but we found a gem in the Gael Force Ale.
Pint's Pub has been on the Institute to-do list for quite some time, but now I'm sorry that we burned one of our last fact-finding missions on this establishment. It may tout itself as authentic, but you can't fight the laws of physics.
Our Drunk of the Week is leaving! After several years of fiathful service (and drinnking), Patrick Osborn has been called up to active duty. Toast him with a properly toasted sendoff at Rockbar, 3015 East Colfax Avenue, starting at 5:30 p.m. next Thursday, June 7. For details, go to www.westword.com.