America, November 22, 2004
And what ailes me too!
I love working at Tonic, a local restaurant and bar on Mt Pleasant Street. Now I don't really work there for the money, that's for the day job to provide, I work at Tonic for the fun times and good people. See, Tonic Restaurant really does cure what ails you. |
For me, it's the stress of my day job that ails me and once I walk into Tonic, the restaurant or the bar, I feel relief. Populated by Mt. Pleasant locals, its cool and relaxed, with a 'Hi' here and there, you soon get to know the faces that show often and take Tonic speed in stride.
Now that doesn't mean the service is slow. On the contrary, it's the great service that keeps people coming back. Great servers like me, who love to chat and laugh with customers while we sling chow. And great owners who back us up because they really love the business.
Jeremy and Bernie are seasoned restaurateurs; they do this for the love of it as much as the money. Here there is no hard sell or corners cut. No at Tonic Restaurant you know what you're getting is good food at a fair price.
Hey, I should know, I'm the one who comps people when the order is wrong or late. I see what is in the kitchen and how it comes out. And I'm the one who eats and drinks at Tonic day in and day out.
Again, it's not just for the good food but also the fun people. Where else would a random football game turn into a hair-dye bet? Yep, after too much talking, Jeremy and Bernie bet on the Lions vs. Giants, with each throwing down their manes for their teams.
Manes as in whoever lost would take the hair color of the winner and Patrice, the bartenderes, was ready with black and blonde dye the day of the game. So were the regulars, with each taking sides of the bar with a big yellow DMZ stripe down the middle.
Two hours later, after many up and downs, shouts and back talk, Jeremy's Giants lost to Bernie's Lions 28-13, and it was dyeing time. So in the bar, with all to see, Jeremy underwent a dying with Patrice. Then in the kitchen he went with his chemed hair and out he came, blonde. Gotta respect a man who gives up his mane to keep his word.
Then again, they do this on regular occasion, like last week when big talking late at night got Tonic Bar in a duel with Wonderland Ballroom, a Columbia Heights bar. A kickball duel which of course, with my kickball background, I could not resist joining. And this time there was more than manes on the line. We're talking money, $300 in donations to Neighbors Consejo Food Bank.
That and bragging rights that are worth more than a football game. We're talking bar bragging rights, which in the currency of regulars counts more than honor or money. So the stakes were high and turnout was good.
Still, after an afternoon of shouts, screams, beers, and bruises, the score wasn't tight. It wasn't even tracked all that well. How could we with all that mud and booze? All I can say is that once we scraped off the mud and downed the last of the keg, the score was something like:
Tonic Restaurant and Bar: A lot
Funny enough, no one cared, cuz it was all done for fun and love. Fun and love that like I said is why Tonic cures what ails you. And if you excuse me, I'm headed there now.
If you want to join, here's the details:
Tonic Restaurant, Bar, and Grill - Cures What Ails You