Here is a collection of tall tales from the wee hours.
Here is a collection of tall tales from the wee hours.
I remember the first time I came in to the Barleycorn - with my pal Stu from Scotland and then I ended up living around the corner months later in my first solo apartment, something about the place must have been gravitational. Who knows what particular element pulls people together in any given place for any given time, but there I was watching the Giants play and talking to the people I'd get to know over some five years as it turned out.
Sure, I remember a lot of the fun times, a trip to the racetrack could be called notorious, but Jimmy Doughney would remind me that it only means well-known, but mostly I think of the people. No need to list them, you all know who you are,
and after just getting off the phone with Lani in Hawaii, we threaten again to reunite during my annual trip to see my Dad in Hawaii, and Ric's ex, Kris forwarded me the Chronicle article with Larry sans moustache, and now I sit in my place in Seattle, all the sounds coming back from all your voices, and though it's been ten years at least since I've seen most of you, it feels closer, and Tim seems to want to play that Bowie cover one more time, and I can put three fingers to my sleeve and Larry will know what I mean, while Danny chuckle-snorts about something Dave said that I didn't hear and Alan is at the end of the bar just past Robby, and I think Ellen is due in after her shift, and cabs go by outside, I ask Rob what he's doing tomorrow, "dunno," he says, I look outside and Drew greets me and hangs up his coat and sits next to Scarey, Dawn, and Eric. It's still there, I can see it, I swear.
Thanks Larry, I'll have another.
I am SICK. I truly tried to be at the 'last night', but due to business and family issues, simply could NOT afford to attend from Arizona. So sorry to all.
I will love The John Barleycorn forever. My love to you, Danny, as you were the FIRST I met, to your wonderful wife, Kathy (and her darling sister, Christine). And to Larry Ayre for having been there for me since 1983 as well. Be wonderful to yourself and your beautiful wife, Rachel, and enjoy your darling children.
We shall all get together very soon.
I surely do hope that there will be many, many happy memormences listed on this website.
Christine Susan Harris-Huff, Feb. 1983 to Oct. 2007.
I actually owe my existence in no small part to the John Barleycorn.
My dad is Paul Chrisman, who posted his story of meeting his fiance's friends and getting their approval at the John Barleycorn. At 25 I'm the oldest their three children, and we've been back over the years with our parents. Last year for the day after Thanksgiving my entire family came into the Barelycorn to warm up by the fire with drinks and pizza while watching the tree lighting on the tv. It was a welcome refuge to the tourist ridden Union Square and I had hoped it would become a tradition.
Over the last couple of months I've been stopping in when I can, despite living across town. The Barleycorn has always been a treat that I will sorely miss. Louisa Hanson should be ashamed of herself. She has robbed this city of a true icon.
The first time I ventured into the JB, I was quite alone and thought I was entering a dark mystery. Dennis Sullivan was bartending and John Valentine was holding up the other side. I did not know it at the time, but I had entered a community of friends, and our very own front room. Lucky enough to work there for a while, Larry was one of the best bosses I have ever known. So many friends and memories - picnics, white water rafting, salmon fishing, not to mention nearly every landmark moment...Most intelligent pub mates one could every know - and funniest. (So many people here and gone - can't name them all, so won't try to list.) I miss those who have passed and I will miss the chance to drop in on the JB - where Larry is never surprised to see your face, no matter how long it's been. From '79 there have been many generations..now from outside of Philly, sending love and luck, and sharing the tears for the loss of home.
I just heard this week from Chrissybabes that the Barleycorn was closing and you can't imagine my shock. Being up here in Toronto, I had no idea of the sordid saga that has been unfolding concerning the John Barleycron and the Front Room; when I first heard the news, it seemed like a bad joke, a travesty of the first order.
Some of my fondest memories of my visits to San Francisco and the friends I have made there involve my time spent at the Barleycorn. It's where I received my SF nickname, "Batman", from Mikey on my first visit. Sitting at a table by the window it was decreed that to avoid confusion, I should be given an alternate sobriquet. To this day, many of the people I have met there know me only as "Batman from Canada", and I am proud to be known as such.
It's where Danny converted me from gin martinis to vodka martinis. And I have yet to find a better version of that cocktail served on either side of the 49th parallel. Cheers, Danny!
It's where I arrived unannouced one night all the way from Canada, on the weekend of the NFL divsional playoffs (being in the Barleycorn football pool), to attend the well-known pool playoff party, and spent the better part of the weekend polishing the bar with of my sleeve. Seeing the surprised faces of my friends who walked in to see me sitting on a stool, quaffing a pint, remains one of my fondest memories of my visits to San Francisco.
It's where I spent many hours chatting with, and getting to know, many San Franciscans, having those deep, meaningful conversations about life that can only be had in the wee small hours at a neighborhood establishment.
I raise a glass to the John Barleycorn from many miles away, one of the greatest treasures in the city of San Francisco.