By Katie Cracchiolo
A ceiling fan clicks as it spins, like a ticking clock as the faint sound of Mumford and Sons slowly starts to fill the room. Glasses begin to clink together as people filter into the room and get settled for the evening.
“What can I get for you tonight?” asked the bartender.
“I’ll take a Guinness Stout,” said the man.
“Coming right up.”
Beer in hand, he walked over to a table in the corner of the room and pulled out a copy of J. D. Salinger’s The Catcher in the Rye and began to read. Behind him was a stage, lined with rope lights and bangs of shimmering fringe, lit up in a bright emerald green. Two speakers about half the height of the wall rest on either side of it. To the right of the stage a dark mahogany, upright piano stands alone in the other corner of the room.
Looking up, a gold disco ball is suspended from the ceiling reflecting the dim lights to all corners of the room, illuminating the worn down wood of the roof of the building. It shakes slightly as the door opens and closes and another group of people enter the room. They approach the bar, order their drinks and cozy up in the only booth available. As the room fills, it becomes warm. The smell of bread, beer, and musty wood becomes prominent and powerful.
Mirrors sit behind the bar, multiplying bottles and glasses, reflecting the action happening behind the counter. A blue spotlight shines on the mirrors, sending a ripple of blue through each piece of glass on display. Wine glasses hang upside down over this light and capture the wavelike refraction as well. The blue speckles shine onto the art on the walls. Each image is different and none are related other than the fact that they are works of art. Images of a rabbit, tiger, lion, man, woman, triangle, circle, square, and mountain range occupy the wall space, along with a plethora of neon signs and posters promoting local musicians and breweries.
As the music from the kitchen starts to soften, the voices become louder. The bartender engages with the men and women sitting at the counter and a small group of women cheers to one another at a small table in the middle of the room.
After scanning the room, the man reading is now sitting at the piano, tinkering on the keys. It’s a happy and lively key, but the beat is mellow. He draws the attention of the room and it goes silent as he improvises a dance on the keyboard. Ten minutes pass and the room is still silent, with the exception of the bartender taking orders. The man decides that he’s done. He gets up and resumes his position in the corner with his beer and book.
The voices start to rise once again and music reoccupies the room. This is a cozy place. A place of comfort and a place that feels like home.