GoLocalProv | The Neighborhood Beer Emporium

Monday, January 23, 2023

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My education about beer drinking began at Collins’ Tap, a Mount Pleasant neighborhood strip mall frequented by professional beer drinking masters. It’s where celebrants fill cups, take them out, and empty them every Friday night, sometimes as quickly as a sword swallows them. It was Friday evening.

The angelic, jovial, glowing red-faced, smiling Mr. Collins owned the tap and slid up and down the bar as if on a seaplane. As an efficient counter to the demi (cone-shaped glass dime a dozen), he knew that after five fill-ups, one was worth taking home, and that was among the many reasons why the tap was a destination.

We were drawn to Collins filings like a magnet. The familiar smell of beer laced with a heavy dose of nicotine and cigars filled the place with the incense of the tavern. And the senior regulars Bibsey, Whitey, Muggsy, Sudsy, Barney, Leo, Flukie and Jigger became our friends.

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Friday was the best because I caught up with friends who were ready to celebrate their weekend with the neighborhood crew. The stop might be a final destination for the evening or an interlude on our way to another stop, or if you’re not at the Yankee Clipper Diner (thank you for your patience, Laura), our end-of-the-evening wrap-up retreat.

no music. two tables. no TV, no football, no entertainment except for the locals; Just beer and chatter. The shelf next to the striped mirror is adorned with sumptuous pickled eggs and delicious beef bacon.

The regulars took their usual seats at the bar, and Pepsi finally settled in like chairman. After a while, he looked at us with the eyes of a rheumatic beetle. One evening, with a soft whisper, he fell off his chair, resting on his back. “He’s dead,” I was afraid. Boys carried him. “It’s fine. It happens all the time.”

“Cry white, cry.” Whitey was the rare one who didn’t, hence the reason he pitted him on. Taciturn, regular patient, he would sip, linger longer, linger longer, then tap twice or scratch his finger on the bar when he wanted another. white? Why were his eyebrows white?

When I started medical school, they called me Dr. ‘Hi Doc. How are you doing’?

“Thanks, but I’m not a doctor yet.”

“Sure. What does it feel like to cut up a dead person in this anatomy lab?” Had I chosen to, I would have dazzled them with the marvels of the human body. I was not. I just wanted to complete my mission as one of the neighborhood boys. I loved that.

The action took place in the bar. This is where I learned what a bookie is. On a rare occasion, someone might pass a slip of paper. At certain moments they spoke softly and sometimes even exchanged money. “How do you remember all these bets, keep them in your heads?”

“What are the stakes?”

I liked the place. living haven. Even when the day was sunny and clear, it became brighter when I entered that bar. It was fun.

Dr. Ed Iannuccili is the author of three popular memoirs, “Growing up Italian; Grandpa’s Fig Tree and Other Stories,” “What Happened to Sunday Dinner” and “My Story Continues: From Neighborhood to Prep.” Now, he has written his fourth book, “A Complete Collection of 500 Word Stories.” “.

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