There's something sweet in the task Mary Jane Mahan sets out to accomplish with Love at the Pub: An Insider's Guide to Craftsmanship, Conversation and Community at the Brick Store Pub. Mahan takes a small business Decatur's Brick Store Pub and turns it into a mythological realm, a place so magical and wondrous it deserves 224 pages of exploration and worshipful prose. Likewise, she takes three small business owners, Dave Blanchard, Tom Moore and Mike Gallagher, and poses them as visionary geniuses.
Mahan's prose goes well past the verge of adoration and awe. "Mythical," "visionary," "exquisite," and "brilliant" are all words used in abundance to describe the owners, the place and the experiences had within "those hallowed brick walls." If it's somewhat over the top, it's also endearing to take the success of one small pub in one little town and raise it to the level of legend. Love at the Pub is primarily a celebration of the little guy: the small-business owner, the waiter, the bartender, the beer-drinking enthusiast.
By the time you've made it through the preface, the forward, the acknowledgments and the introduction, you'll know a few things about the Brick Store and its owners. There are no televisions at the pub. They treat their employees well. They don't serve "lite" beers, or any generic domestics. It was named the No. 2 beer bar on the planet by Beer Advocate. There's no neon signage. They don't serve pitchers. And yet, they're not beer snobs; their aim is to educate and breed connoisseurship and conversation, not to exclude. This set of ideals is repeated again and again throughout the book, serving both as a guide to future business owners (don't be afraid to be true to your vision) and as a reminder of how starved we are for authenticity, even in our neighborhood bars.
(Photo Courtesy iUniverse)
I'll second the comment on the gnudi. It was outstanding. Love the wine list, too…
Hey Bliss, you provide the prices for everything but the ramen.
Chateau de Saigon has a 10 page menu.
Andrew is my cousin & I am so happy for him & proud of him…
He is a Jerk off
He has two planes- both Cessnas (206 and 414). The internet is hard.