Monday, September 5, 2011

Elevator Brewery & Draught Haus and Fleur (and the city impound lot)

To begin, allow me to apologize for the long delay and assure you that while I took a break in posting, we did not take a break in drinking. We've had quite a lot of excitement in the last two months, and believe it or not, it all starts with a perfectly ordinary Friday in June when we decided to catch some afternoon happy hours.

At the start of summer, Boyfriend was promised half-day Fridays at work for the summer months. Half-days turned out to be more like three-quarter-days which eventually evolved into "today is a half-day but you'll still need to stay until 6:30 so we can get all this work done"-days. But back when we were young and naive and believed "half-day" meant, well, half of a day, we made plans to check out Elevator and Fleur, two downtown restaurants that I'd heard a lot of good things about (from the internet, I mean).

Elevator Brewery & Draught Haus is a rather well-known downtown establishment with an extensive food menu and some truly entertaining beer options. You can't beat the atmosphere; I don't know what that building used to be, but my first guess would be either a theater or a church. They offer a huge selection of local and seasonal beers, and the bartenders were able to speak knowledgeably about every single drink on the menu, which is awesome when you haven't heard of half of them and have tried even less. The most impressive drink of that afternoon was the watermelon beer, which sounds disgusting but was unusual enough to be worth a try. It smelled like a watermelon Jolly Rancher, but when you drank it, there was only the faintest hint of fruit. If that alone doesn't sell you on Elevator, the $2.50 drafts until 7pm on weekdays should.

It was when we left Elevator, after about a beer-and-a-half each, that things started to get interesting. Parking in downtown Columbus, to put it politely, sucks balls. We'd driven in circles around the block for what felt like most of my life before we finally found a parking meter on a street perpendicular to Elevator, maybe a block or two away but easily within walking distance. We were in Elevator for maybe 45 minutes, tops, and when we came out again, our car was gone.

Yeah. Yeahhhh.

After a confused and panicked few minutes, we noticed the absurdly small, not-at-all-conveniently-placed sign: no parking Monday-Friday, 4-6pm. During those eight hours every week, that lane opens up for traffic. So even though we paid the meter, the meter accepted our money, and we were away from the car for less than an hour, the good city of Columbus towed Boyfriend's car.

What followed was a flurry of calls trying to figured out who towed the car and to where; a long and hot walk in the direction of our apartment, only to realize the key to the apartment was still in the car; several conversations with bicycle police cops to get directions to the impound lot; a heated argument with Google Maps over where, exactly, "Impound Lot Road" was located; a confusing drive with a cabby who barely spoke English and had only been driving in Columbus for a couple weeks; and, in the end, no less than $200 spent (cab ride included) to get the car out of impound. The highlight of the impound trip was my observation that the ridiculously large city impound lot included no less than two rental moving trucks, one bulldozer, and three school buses.

After seeing a good chunk of the paycheck he had just received that morning gobbled up by the good city of Columbus, Boyfriend was (understandably) thirsty again. This time we headed to Fleur, another downtown bar. Fleur has a great location in a weirdly shaped little building that seems to be made entirely of glass; the sunshine paired with the bright white interior of the bar means that people tend to wear their sunglasses inside. Fleur specializes in fancy and very expensive cocktails, primarily champagne-based drinks and martinis. They also label themselves a "dessert bar," but except for the free cotton candy, the dessert part is pretty sparse. The trick to enjoying yourself at Fleur is to go during their happy hour, Monday-Friday 4-7pm, because otherwise you'll need to sell a couple organs to pay for a few rounds of drinks. Even the happy hour is a bit pricier than I would normally accept for a happy hour, but it's a good discount from their usual prices and it's such a fun bar that it's worth the splurge. Not to mention the fact that the drinks are pretty great.

Our post-car-getting-towed trip to Fleur ended with me driving home, Boyfriend having drowned his car-getting-towed problems in cocktails, which is far less "Mad Men" than it sounds when you consider the fact that he was drinking champagne in place of scotch and was also eating cotton candy the entire time.

Of course, the really fun epilogue to this story is that exactly six days after getting his own car towed for parking in a No Parking M-F 4-6PM Zone on a Friday between 4 and 6pm, Boyfriend managed to get my car towed from the parking lot of our apartment, for the very simple reason that the apartment said they didn't recognize my car, and thus it deserved a good towing.

Elevator Brewery and Draught Haus on Urbanspoon

Fleur - Champagne & Vodka Bar on Urbanspoon

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