In one of my favorite Mike Birbiglia jokes, he says when he was a kid, he wanted to be “a comedian, a rapper, or an owner of a pizza restaurant where 3rd graders could hang out.” Later, he made a joke about now wanting to open a pizza restaurant where 28 year-olds could hang out.
That killed me because unless you’re 15, 19, or 20 (which all undeniably suck for basically the same reason), you’re convinced whatever age you are is the best age. When I was 22, I was convinced I knew everything and that I was the coolest person on earth. 27 year-old me looked at that guy and thought, “Really, dude? You’re a fucking douche bag.” 32 year-old me looks at 27 year-old me and thinks, “You’re not much better, moron.” And I’m sure 37 year-old me will scoff at the current version of me and condemn him to dickhead status as well.
This is Phil’s Crummy Corner, an establishment that purports to “only serve alcohol to patrons 25 and older on weekend nights” due to “hordes of complaints from nearby residents about rowdy, loud late-night crowds.” The article goes on to detail some of the complaints from residents and the restaurant’s surprisingly cooperative decision to kick the whippersnappers out.
I really enjoy this article, but for none of the reasons intended. This is one of the dumbest, most disingenuous and flat-out idiotic policies I’ve ever seen. Let’s count the ways of stupidity, shall we?
1) Your establishment is called “Phil’s Crummy Corner.” A name like that is catnip to someone still establishing their own sense of taste and style. I used to gravitate to the shitty by default because I was afraid of getting exposed as not knowing anything (which I didn’t) and feeling like I didn’t belong. So I looked for dives, like the Star Bar in San Diego (which is actually much nicer now) where I met a dude who loved the Metallica song on the jukebox because it played while he won a horseshoe tournament. In prison. I used to (and still) brag about this story from when I was 23.
2. For a place that espouses to be a “family restaurant,” they sure have some odd hours. I know all the family joints in my neighborhood stay open until 5 am on the weekends and until 3 am Monday – Wednesday. I’m sure my 4 year-old nephew would love a nightcap and some mozzarella sticks when we’re up raging out to episodes of Chuggington at 12:30 in the morning. Just like every family!
3. From Yelp, 11/29/13: “Attended a friends birthday party at this location on a Saturday night and it was a happening rocking fun fun place. The food was outstanding -my compliments to the chef especially the pernil and the arroz con gandules was delicious ! The DJ and the music was off the hook! I enjoyed the diversity of the crowd and the owners were very responsive to our needs and pleasant to work with. This is the type of small family-owned business that makes America great!”
Hey, a DJ at a happening, rocking, fun fun place! Unless you’re talking about The Rock-afire Explosion band, you’re not talking about rocking music at any fucking family joint.
4. Literally RIGHT NEXT DOOR is the Jalopy Tavern, open almost the exact same hours and has bluegrass bands hanging out, tons of beers on tap, and outdoor seating. Clearly all of the assholes on this particular corner belong to Phil’s. Not the goofy musicians, people there for $2 Rolling Rock, or otherwise wayward ne’er-do-wells who populate what I’m sure is Brooklyn’s busiest section of successful and uptight tech companies and financial consultants.
5. The thing that’s most annoying about this dumbass policy by Phil’s is placing the blame entirely on people between the ages of 21 and 24. While probably the most garish in their manner, young people are usually far less dangerous than their compatriots a mere few years older. I was WAY more of a problem drinker when I was 26 and in public than I was at any point in the previous five years. Why? Money.
In my early 20s, I was broke as shit, so I was hustling to get that buzz on, which frequently meant pre-gaming with shitty beer at home followed by some time at the bar followed by a jaunt to a house party where the real ridiculous binge drinking occurred.
At the time of my 26th birthday, I was making $36,000 a year, at the time an unfathomable amount of money. I lived in a semi-shitty apartment in a cool part of the city that cost nothing, and had no other expenses. Roughly 97% of my income went toward drinking my face off as frequently as possible. I used to walk home from the bars, walk back to the bar in the morning to get my car, drive to work, and then pretend all day not to be hungover even though I totally was.
You know who doesn’t do this? People in their early 20s. And you know why? No job, no money, and they’re probably face down on some other asshole’s couch after playing Grand Theft Auto and staring absent-mindedly at internet pornography for an hour.
I realize there are real issues in this neighborhood with disturbances and violence and such, but to pin the blame on a specific age group… bullshit posturing and a dumbass marketing ploy.
From the Huffpost: “But some who worked in the bar said they plan to make an exception for some younger customers who ‘are well known to the owner,’ according to sources.”
Ah. Ok, then. So this is a policy with absolutely no teeth designed to achieve nothing. It’s the perfect analogy for America. Which is to say, it’s not young people’s fault.
Thanks to my friend Aaron for posting the article about Phil’s on my Facebook wall and inspiring this article.