“Norm!!!!!!!!”

31 Aug

So, I’m not starting my beer blog necessarily with a piece about a great beer hall, or my love of beer, or necessarily even the “great” beer that they serve here, because truly they’re not known for their beer… but I have to give credit to the local pub that I truly believe every beer drinker needs to have.  For me, that place is the Four-Faced Liar, and even as I type this, I’m sitting outside on a glorious late summer Sunday afternoon, having a simple Bud Light draft, and I couldn’t be happier.  Well, I could be I suppose, if they decided to put Sierra Nevada back on tap! 🙂

One of the shows I grew up watching with my dad was Cheers, and while there are more parts of it that I loved than I can count (Sam & Diane vs. Sam & Rebecca, Woody, Carla, Frasier & Cliff… not until Friends was there such a dynamo group!!!), who didn’t secretly wish that everyone in the room would “cheer” out your name when you walked in, a’la Norm???  I guess that even though I was only 8 or 9 at the time, I always wanted to have a place where, truly, everybody knew my name.

Now, at 30, I definitely have that place: The Four-Faced Liar.  I live in the West Village and around the corner is a great local Irish pub that, over the 4 years I’ve lived here, I’ve come to frequent… frequently!  After introducing her to the bar, my friend Eileen put it best, I think…  Given my 105 square foot apartment and its inability to serve as a place from which to entertain guests, she astutely observed that the Four Face is like my living room.

Whenever I want to hang out with friends, I suggest that we meet up at the Four Face, whereas most people with homes or apartments of regular size might invite friends over to hang out in their living room, or even their backyard if the weather is nice.  With their outside tables, the Four Face gives me the entertaining options of a living room, dining room and outside patio!

I was introduced to the Liar by my friend Eva who, at the time, worked a block away at, what was then, Boxers.  She was good friends with one of the bartenders, Denver, and after she got off her shift we’d come down the block to the Liar & she’d sometimes hop behind the bar & guest bartend, & other times we’d just hang out & have drinks.  Ultimately, especially after Eva moved out to Oregon, the Liar, and her friend Denver, became a piece of community for me in this neighborhood.  I do live in the best neighborhood, IMHO, in NYC, but the problem is that at the time none of my friends lived here, and I don’t (blessedly) have roommates, and so sometimes I long for a little interaction, and lucky for me the Liar is just around the corner.

A few years ago I was working in Times Square and Halloween happened to fall on a Tuesday, and I ended up working late.  There are two times a year when our neighborhood turns into an absolute madhouse:  Gay Pride, and Halloween.  I love one, and absolutely HATE the other!  Gay Pride runs down 5th Ave, and then turns and winds up snaking along Christopher, and so it doesn’t directly affect me, as I live just East of 6th Ave.  The Halloween parade, however, runs straight up 6th Ave, and once they start setting up the barricades, you can’t get through.  So, coming home from Times Square, on a Tuesday night, not even thinking about the Halloween-connection, I took the 1 train home to Christopher, which lets you off on 7th Ave.  That means I had to walk an avenue to 6th, & then cross 6th to get to my apartment.

Fat chance.

I walked through the throngs of girls and queens dressed as sluts, and guys dressed as terrifying demons of all sorts, and realized that I wouldn’t be able to get through, even after pleading with cops and explaining to them, dressed in work clothes & toting my laptop, that I lived across the street and alllll I wanted to do was go home.  So, I backtracked half a block and went into the Liar and, miraculously, there was a seat open at the bar.

Denver was working and as soon as he saw me, he said “you can’t get home, can you?”  Obviously I wasn’t with the Halloween party crowd and he knew where I lived, and the fact that he automatically knew why I was frustrated, and then poured me a beer, on the house, without me even having to ask, is the perfect example of what makes this bar, and the guys who work here, so amazing.  It’s truly a piece of community, of family, in this neighborhood and, as Norm did Cheers, I love this bar.

~HH~

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