When This Group Gets Together, It’s A Fun Party
When my friend Suzanne sent out a Facebook invitation inviting her friends to Old Tony’s for her going-away gathering – she’s moving from here in Los Angeles to Atlanta – visions of Fire Chiefs began dancing in my head.
Fire Chiefs are this classic old-fashioned bar’s signature drink, a kind of Mai Tia on steroids, a dark red concoction you can’t get anywhere else in the world. I welcome the opportunity to have them anytime. Old Tony’s is a Hawaiian-style bar right over the crashing waves of the Pacific Ocean on the Redondo Beach Pier.
It just so happened this gathering was on a Friday night and I was ready for any drink after the week I had, let alone a Fire Chief, so much so that I could not wait for the crowd.
I arrived just before 6 p.m., and the place was jumping. I got the only seat left in the upstairs “crow’s nest” circle bar, a barstool on the very end by the waitress station. The seats swivel, so I was able to wheel around to watch the coming sunset over the water and also observe the others in the bar.
There were some idiots in there, a group of large, obnoxious out-of-town guys who were acting as if they owned the place by asking the bartender all sorts of stupid questions. The bartender, a man in his 60s who has likely made half a zillion Fire Chiefs, was cranking out drinks in a one-man assembly line, and was about to blow his top at them.
One ordered a Coors Light. A Coors Light! You can get that anywhere but you can only get the Fire Chief here. Why even come to Old Tony’s in the first place if you’re not going to have a Fire Chief?
I was about halfway through my second one when the group of friends came in and that kind of accelerated my drinking process. Next thing I knew, I ordered another one and before I knew it, that one was gone.
By this time, the bartender was so slammed that it would have taken some time to get another drink and, not being one who likes to break my buzz momentum, I went to the downstairs bar. I took a girl with me and with no wait we had one in our hands. I then repeated this with another friend when she arrived at the bar.
By this time, our group had overtaken the crow’s nest and I was a buzzing blogger. I was hardly alone for there’s something about the Fire Chief – or, more appropriately, Fire Chiefs – that accelerates the social scene in the bar. Not only were we buzzing but so was the entire area.
It is at this point that you probably expect me to write about something really crazy that happened, but other than bumping into each other a lot and smiling and laughing, that was about it.
But that was good enough on this Friday night. And Suzanne, good luck in Hot-lanta where we all know you will be having a few Fire Chief flashbacks. Particularly on a Friday night.