Last night I was at Wilson 96. I used to host trivia nights at Wilson 96 until late last year when I became very busy with my duties at Campagnolo. Also, last year this bar was host to my birthday party. If you know me, you know that my birthday parties typically devolve into scenes not unlike  this music video or this one.  Siobhan, the owner is one of the sweetest most genuine people I have ever met. I feel like we will be long time friends, even though she doesn’t like Dave Grohl.

When I showed up she mentioned that there was a beer delivery and that I could sit and wait until she was done with it. My response was “If I’m gonna work your bar, I’m gonna work your bar.” Then we put away the beer order. I guess she had gotten a case of small cans of PBR sent to her by accident.

A friend of mine’s brother, Graham Playford was playing a solo gig at the bar until ten (he does this weekly). His voice has just the right amount of rasp and he plays something akin to Taj Mahal or the mellower Springsteen jams. At one point a busker of questionable mental accuity staggered into the room to jam with Graham.  He was friendly enough so he hung out for a Bob Dylan cover and then minstrelled out of the bar as if he’d never been there.

It was a Wednesday, on College Street so there wasn’t a  lot of foot traffic  Everyone that came in was a regular or a friend of mine. It wasn’t particularly busy, but everyone in that bar sort of knew each other. As for drinks the two drinks that I made the most were two drinks that I never once made at Campagnolo. Pints of Guiness and Caesars. No two Caesars are ever the same (kinda why i don’t like them, well, that and exactly who came up with the idea to juice a clam, and why would you put that in your mouth?) and the Wilson 96 version has it’s own twists. The rim is lemon pepper and in place of tabasco, they use sriracha. As Caesars go, this seems like a nice version of one.

After Graham had finished his set the night was pretty uneventful, except for being able to work at a pace that allowed me to get to know the regulars, or at least what they had been up to that day. I feel like that’s a part of bartending that gets forgotten when people get too into how hoppy whatever IPA is or arguing about whether to use Cynar or Fernet (always Cynar, if you’re curious).

At the end of the night Siobhan insisted that I get paid in not only tips, but that I take the 12 of PBR as well.

In other news, I have another new date on my bar tour. It’s not on the poster and I don’t think it’s open to the public, but I have been asked to assist Xavier the brand ambassador for Hendrick’s Gin at The Great Hall on the 22nd of September. I love Hendrick’s and Xavier and I have a history of getting into trouble whenever we run into each other. So If you are around, or have been invited to this event, come say hi.