We’ve all had the good intentions of going out after work for just one pint. It’s a nice way to blow off steam and bring an end to the week. The trouble with this; going out for just one pint is easier said than done.
It was a Thursday evening; I wasn’t five minutes out of the metro when I had a pint in my hand at L’Abreuvoir, a pub on the corner of St. Denis and Ontario Street. I was seated out back on their sprawling terrace with a few friends celebrating the end of a terribly long four day work week (the worst) and the upcoming three day weekend (the best). The terrace was packed, despite the slightly overcast sky and cool temperatures.
We were only staying for a pint, but that plan was quickly derailed when the bartender came over with shots of whiskey for everyone, including himself. He had overheard someone wish me a happy birthday and rushed over right away with a full tray. I’m never one to turn down a gift so we all threw them back and ordered another pint. By this time a few fashionably late friends showed up for their first draught, and that’s where trouble kicks in. The person midway through a drink is often bamboozled into ordering “just one more” by the latecomers who are just getting started; we’ve all fallen for it. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, trouble is far from a bad thing. It means you’re going to have one of those nights that will come up later in life when you get together with your cronies and reminisce about how amazing that night was.
After 3 or 4 pints we had lost a few more people who had other commitments (which I’m sure they showed up for, drunk) and it was time to move on to the next part of the evening. A few guys had a party to go to on Laval Street and they invited the rest of us to join later. I was starving by this point and I needed some food immediately. Three of us went to an Asian run, Italian restaurant on St. Denis. The food was awful but I ate it anyway. My rule is never to go out on an empty stomach. A steak would have been better, but like sediment, I settled. I had no choice.
After dinner, we crashed the party on Laval Street for a drink before continuing on to the next stop of the evening, the Gogo Lounge. This funky little lounge/dance bar has been around since I can remember. It has been modernized (good-bye record menus, hello giant plastic fruit hanging from the ceiling) but it still retains some of the nostalgic charm from earlier days. We ordered some of the more questionable drinks (white crème de menthe, gross) and stayed out until 3am. The crowd was great, except for one guy who tried to pimp off one of his “girls” onto a friend of mine. The guy was bad news in a small package; four foot seven and 30 pounds soaking wet (that included the gigantic Gucci belt buckle he was proudly showing off). Though it wasn’t much of a challenge, I stared him down and he scampered away with his hos in tow and that was our cue to leave. We knew the evening wouldn’t get better than that.
After a few minutes at coat check, we wrangled up our jackets and made our way to the door. We walked out of the bar onto St. Laurent, into the cool night air and another night of “just one pint” had come to an end. After a quick poutine with my friends, I bid them good night before hopping into a cab and making my way home.