Tuesday, September 16, 2008

My Boyfriend Stopped Smoking and More About My 10 Year Love Affair

The headline caught ya didn't it? I am not talking about a flesh and blood boyfriend! I was at Hops & Barley's in Luzerne, PA for the first time since the Pennsylvania smoking ban on Saturday, and then again last night. I admit, I am not the biggest fan of smoking cigarettes and don't really like going home smelling like smoke. However, now that people who smoke have to go outside every time they want to light up, the conversation stops. I hang out with a lot of fun smokers. So if we are at place where smoking is banned, my smoking friends must up and leave every so often. It interupts the good times. Does that make sense?


So the headline comes from my Miller Lite induced realization last night that Hops and Barely's has been the constant in my life. Yes folks, my longest committment is with Hops and Barley's.

Think of the men I've had the past decade.
The jobs I've had the past decade.
The addresses I've had the past decade.
All have changed. Everything but my love for Hops and Barley's.

I've swayed from Hops and Barley's when I lived in the boonies-- meaning I didn't go as often. (We were taking the only break our relationship ever had.) It accepted me back as if I never left.

One of the owners of Hops came up to me one night a few years ago and said that when he Googled "Hops and Barley's" most of what came up was something I wrote! I thought about it. I've written little reviews of Hops on local bar sites. Some articles I've written for the Weekender were set at Hops and they are archived on line. I've blogged a lot about Hops. I thought that was pretty funny. I don't show up as early in the search engines now thanks to local directories exploding -- but back in the day if you were looking for info on Hops and Barley's in Luzerne, PA, you got stuff I wrote. Ha! On that list is an article I wrote for Associated Content on Best Corner Bars in NEPA, an interview with CCR's original drummer Doug 'Cosmo' Clifford where I told him I had the number to "Down on the Corner: memorized on my favorite bar's jukebox, a review I wrote of Jessica Andrew's Who I Am CD, my old Geocities page,


So, I was telling the peeps I with this realization of my relationship with Hops last night, including the bartender who's been there the whole time Hops has been open- 14 years. Today at work I was told what hotel I am staying at when I go to San Francisco for Online Market World 2008-- I immediately clicked on Restaurants and Bars on the hotel's menu and you're never gonna believe the name of the laid-back bar inside the hotel: Barley 'n Hops. Wicked coincidence.

Tonight I was going through a bunch of boxes of pictures that I never put in albums from over the past ten years or so.... soooo many of them were from Hops. It was weird to see the hair length and weight change and even the people I was in the photos with change- but the background is all the same- Hops! It's like it was one giant, decade long party. Maybe when I am feeling really motivated, I will sort through them and grab one or two per year and put them in order to see the progression!

So, this blog post is my ode to Hops & Barley's in Luzerne. Best food. Best Staff. Great beer selection. Best Crowd. Some of my best memories!


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