Last Call: Wednesday, September 15, 2004
Sleepwalking Bartenders, Eskimos, Steelers Fans!

It was so un-American. Here it was Labor Day, and the gainfully employed were out playing with their dinghies on the lake and barbecuing dead animals. OK, but did all the bartenders in town have to take the day off, too? The metropolitan minority was pretty much left with Bennigan’s, Bennigan’s, and Bennigan’s. Where was a body supposed to get a decent pour in this town on that manic Monday?

The answer’s so obvious it makes your head hurt — hotel bars! And there’s no four-star fountain more comfortable, more cool than the one at Kalamatas (200 Main St, in the Worthington Renaissance Hotel). It rates “kick-ass” on both the I’m-rich-but-not-really and the friendliness scales. Last Call, sporting cut-offs and a “Who Farted?” t-shirt, was treated like internet-fortune royalty by otherwise zombified barkeep Philip. Seriously, if the curtains had caught fire, Prince Valium would likely have limited his reaction to a shoulder shrug. So before Last Call wears out its welcome ...

The city — and Last Call — returned to normal a day or two later. That’s when your columnist, feeling the heat and fully recovered from Monday, dropped by the Eskimo Hut (5518 W Vickery Blvd) for the best brain-freeze in history — in an automobile, anyway. The place (the former location of Railhead Smokehouse Barbecue) is essentially one big Snoopy snow-cone machine where you can pull up and grab yourself a frozen daiquiri, without leaving the comfort of your vehicle. Sound dangerous? Well, Last Call’s checked, and while there’s no evidence indicating an alarming amount of drunk-driving accidents near the Hut, something tells your columnist that stopping by while cops are on patrol might not be ... eh, whatever. ...

As a blue-blooded Texan, it’s Last Call’s duty to alert you Cowboys die-hards of dastardly infiltration by ... Pittsburgh Steelers fans. J&J’s Blues Bar (937 Woodward St) is just crazy enough to celebrate the Cowboys’ all-time rivals — and in broad daylight. Owner Jim Schusler has been pushing for a black-and-gold fan club here for a while. It’s only been over the past few weeks that his dream has become a reality. “I’ll have the Steelers on every time they play,” the Pittsburgh native said. “There’s bound to be two, three hundred people out there who want to watch.”

So what’s the plan to reel in the geographically challenged mill workers, er, Steelers fans? “We [advertise] it on the internet, I have a big banner out front, and a lot of word of mouth,” he said. “We’re gonna run an ad that says Terry Bradshaw’s gonna be here ... but he won’t.”

What of rabid, offended worshipers at the altar of Landry and Parcells?

One Weekly staffer, another Pittsburgh native and long-time Steelers fan with a really bad haircut, isn’t too worried. “As long as Cowboys fans don’t throw their martini shakers and BMW keys at me,” he said, “I’ll be all right.”

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