Thursday, November 3, 2011

Bernard's Tavern

This is the story of how Boyfriend and I got kicked out of one of the most popular bars in the Short North.

It begins, as so many of these things do, with beer pong. A few of Boyfriend's coworkers were meeting up at one of their apartments and then heading out for the night, and we were invited to join. Being that Boyfriend's coworkers are all relatively recent college grads and their company does a very good imitation of a college fraternity, it was almost inevitable that by "meeting up" they actually meant "pre-gaming," which in Frat Talk is, of course, synonymous with "beer pong." All our Colgate friends will be happy to note that Boyfriend and I won all of our games, though I should admit that might have had more to do with the fact that the floor of the apartment was ever-so-slightly angled (in such a way as to give us an advantage) than it does any inherent beer pong skills on my part.

After entirely more beer pong than any group of college grads has the right to play, it was just a quick packed cab ride over to the Short North. As any loyal reader of this blog has no doubt noticed, the Short North is a veritable cornucopia of drinking utopias. The choices are very nearly endless. Despite the fact, I have yet to go out with a group of Boyfriend's coworkers to anywhere other than Bernard's Tavern.

Bernard's is just like Facebook: it's not very good and nobody really likes it, but everyone's there because everyone else is there. I can talk myself hoarse with anti-Bernard's pleas, but we always end up there anyway because that's where everyone else is going. I have no idea who decided Bernard's should be the young college grad hangout of choice, but every time I ask someone why they want to go there, the only response I get is "Well, everyone else will be there," so I can only assume it was some sort of collective hive-mind decision and my lonely input was never considered.

I mean, sure, it makes sense that Bernard's would appeal to that crowd, by which I mean they have cheap, uninteresting drinks (think bottles of Bud Lite). But why it ALWAYS has to be Bernard's is completely beyond me. The place is loud, like every popular restaurant and bar in Columbus--I swear the people here don't understand the Kindergarten concept of an "indoor voice." There's not much seating; some chairs at the bar, a few booths against the wall, and some awkward stand-alone tables in the middle of the floor with not enough chairs to distribute between them. But the worst part is that it's really crowded. And I don't mean crowded in the sense that it's hard to find a place to sit. I mean crowded in that it's nearly impossible to stray from the tiny amount of corner space allotted to you and your group of friends because everyone is packed in so tightly that you have to crowdsurf if you want to get to the bar or the bathroom. Definitely not high on my list of go-to bars.

On this particular Bernard's night, I suffered the usual non-stop company talk from Boyfriend and his coworkers by pretending to think a bottle of Miller Lite is an exciting beer choice. Fast forward an hour or two, and I decide I'm hungry.

Remember that time when Boyfriend and I saw a birthday party of Sixty-Somethings order pizza to the French bar? I've been dying to try that ever since, and Bernard's seemed as good a place as any.

So we ordered Donato's delivered. They didn't even question the order, because it had to be about 1:30 in the morning by then and we were right down the street from the pizza place. The delivery dude called when he got there, and we went outside to collect the pizza, huddled around the tiny little Bernard's table we had finally managed to claim, and had a pizza feast. Boyfriend's coworkers either thought we were insane or really awesome, I still haven't decided.

It took about four seconds for the first Bernard's waiter to approach us and say we aren't allowed to have pizza in the bar. I, being my polite midwestern self who can't stand the thought of causing inconvenience to any poor soul who is just trying to do his job, was ready to turn and run. Boyfriend and one of his friends, however, somehow pulled a brilliant story out of their asses about how we had tried to order pizza from Bernard's, but had been told that the kitchen was closed so we had no choice but to have pizza delivered. I don't know if the poor waiter was just confused or if we'd been tipping him really, really well all night, but he let us alone with our pizza.

Then it was about another eight seconds before the second Bernard's waitress approached us, and she was not as easily convinced. Boyfriend and His Friend even tried explaining that our pizza decision had been endorsed by the waiter we had spoken to only a few moments earlier, but she was having none of it. That's about the time she started swearing. "Get this delicious pizza out of this overrated restaurant right this very minute!" except instead of "delicious," "overrated," and "very," she was actually saying "fucking." Boyfriend, being Boyfriend and with a few beers in him, started arguing back, at which point my poor aforementioned midwestern sensibilities were completely overcome, and, hounded by the waitress's nonstop profanities, I fled the scene with our either delicious or fucking pizza, depending on your perspective.

Boyfriend and coworkers followed me out (I mean, they had no choice, I had pizzanapped the pizza) and the waitress, ah, "escorted" us to the door. Boyfriend, still being Boyfriend and with a few beers in him, demanded to speak with the manager. Me, being me and also with a few beers in me, plopped the pizza box down on top of a trash can, and Coworkers and I went back to pizza-eating.

So, the end scene: there we are, me and two or three of Boyfriend's coworkers, somewhat drunkenly eating Donato's pizza out of a box propped up on top of a trash can, while Boyfriend reams out the manager of Bernard's about how he and his friends dropped who-knows-how-much-money on drinks there that night, were told the kitchen was closed, and get got screamed at by a hysterical waitress, so that now all of Boyfriend's friends were eating pizza out of the trash.

Needless to say, we haven't been allowed back to Bernard's since.*

*That's a blatant lie. I just wanted to be dramatic. We were there last week.

Bernard's Tavern on Urbanspoon

1 comment:

  1. I really really dislike bernard's but this is one of the worst reviews I have ever read.

    Your trying to justify your idiotic behavior and the constant, annoying references to "Boyfriend" make me glad that you are at bernard's and not at any of the bars in the short that interesting people hang out in.