Virginia  Logpage

tom@americantom.com

 

The crown. The mark of royalty. This symbol denotes a tavern with an overall excellence that exceeds the norm.

 The foamy mug marks a specific  feature that is noteworthy.

Normally when a bar goes out of business the location will never again house a tavern. Often the liquor license is sold to a distant entity.  The phoenix marks pubs that have defied the odds and reopened after having been silenced.

Not every pub that says its Irish is Irish but the ones that are and the ones that have great St Patrick's Day events will be identified with this brand.

The screw. The sign of gross injustice or disservice.  AmericanTom believes that people go to their local watering hole to escape their day to day grind and troubles.  In a way, servers and barkeeps are like actors - orchestrating a great play whose cast are their customers. Some of the things that can generate a screw are: great disparity between how regulars and visitors are treated, rudeness or utter incompetence.

Most businesses have a neutral attitude toward motorcyclists.   The HD logo marks taverns that openly welcome those who arrive on scooters.

Inflation sucks. It sucks away your buying power.  If you can still buy a beer for one dollar - you will see this sign.

Seafood is a class of food all by itself.  Clams have little competition - few foods are better when done well and few foods can cause more problems when improperly served. See the clam next to a bar's name and it shows where tasty clams have been enjoyed!

I like Reading, PA. In spite of being Pennsylvania's most dangerous city there are a lot of cool things to do here. One of the best is that "our" beer is back. You can have your big, national (and often foreign-owned) brands.        I  am happy that Old Gus has come home!  Taverns serving this delicious brew will have this icon.

Have a cold one on the deck!

IRELAND'S FOUR COURTS
"The Home of Irish Hospitality"
2051 Wildon Blvd    Arlington, VA  22201   703-525-3600
   www.irelandfourcourts.com  

     

2: The Mug Club costs $70 to join and then entitles you to fame, fortune and a small discount on your drinks  4: Jessi and Phil

 

<1-2008>  Dr Dremo's is one block away and doesn't open until 5PM so we walked uphill to this just-discovered business. "The Home of Irish Hospitality" is a lofty slogan and it would probably have been met if our server wasn't recovering from a company Christmas party the night before.

This is a nice place but I again experienced culture shock at beer prices - $5.50 for a Lager, excuse me that's a YUENGLING Lager south of the Mason-Dixon as use of the generic "Lager" only brings a Y-Lager above the line.

Surprisingly, the food prices weren't so bad and my quesadilla was really good. 

I won't comment on the folks I met here other than to say that their friendliness seemed superficial.  I have met people in bars, said a few words and when they leave they utter a "Have a good one", "Take care", "See ya", etc.  The two pairs of females I met weren't open to idle tavern chit-chat. 

The opposite of this behavior was the guy who earns the "Coolest Dude of the Day" award - Phil.  Reminding me a bit of "Kramer", Phil related several interesting tales of his work as a civil servant including placing artwork in foreign government buildings, a recent trip to Iraq and his military service as a medic.

He is the kind of person that makes a place like this.

 J. BRIAN'S TAP ROOM
200 Hanover Street #200A   Fredericksburg, VA   22401   540-373-0738

           

 

      

<4-30-2006>  While traveling on Rt 95 I exited at Fredericksburg to visit the tourism center. Never having been in Fredericksburg I was surprised at the beauty of this town of 20,000.  The trees were in bloom and the downtown bustled with people shopping at the dozens of interesting stores and eating places.

 Across the street from the tourism building was an archeological dig at the site of the former Indian Queen Hotel.  It seems the lot is destined to become a modern hotel and the city laws require an archeological study before construction can begin.  Sadly, the law does not require a delay in construction until the dig is complete and the team's 3 weeks of work would soon be coming to an end. Apparently the work was wildly successful as they found not only the artifacts they were expecting but the remains of the original building.

One of the workers was J. Brian, shown above in the pink t-shirt.  As we chatted about the dig he told me about his pub and soon we were walking up the street so I could check it out.

This small taproom was crammed with signs and decals and trinkets. The workers were as busy as the walls with the kitchen's main door dumping them into the barroom before their left face into the dining room.

My barmaid was Kelly who efficiently tapped my $4 Yuengling Lagers.  To my right was a regular named "Hoggy".  His southern BBQ sandwich arrived and looked fantastic. He confirmed that the taste was as good as its appearance.

On  the day of my visit the original Wurlitzer was broken so the background music came from the owner's Ipod.  The dining room seemed to have its original wooden floors and the street-side deck looked like a great place to sit, eat and drink a beer.

My only gripe during my 2 beer stop was Kelly's inability to return with a J. Brian's t-shirt.  I asked three times for her to let me see the J.Brian's merchandise that was prominently listed on the bottom of the menu.  I left without a shirt but with the desire to return and eat.

 

SULLIVAN'S RESTAURANT & TAVERN
100 1/2 North Main Street   Blackstone, VA  22834   434-292-7942

 

<5-2006>  I have heard numerous people refer to Blackstone, VA as "Blackhole, VA".   I was pleasantly surprised when I had the chance to explore this town. There are many nice homes, a downtown with shops and businesses and a host of 'modern' stores including a Walmart.

The selection of taprooms did seem limited so we chose to spend a few Friday night hours at this downtown pub.

Sullivan's is on the 2nd floor.  Steep concrete steps lead to the tavern.  I  wonder if any drunks have ever fallen down them? 

The doorwoman was collecting a $5 cover - a bit odd as nothing inside seemed worthy of a cover charge but there probably isn't much competition.