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Sunday, November 25, 2007

Thing 88: Stoney's

Who remembers the old Stoney's? That dirty hole in the wall at 13th & L, with surly bartenders and 30 years of smoke in the walls? Remember how they didn't take credit cards, and you'd inevitably forget until the end of the night, when you were several pitchers of Stoney's Amber Ale in, and you'd have to stumble to the SunTrust across the street and pay an exorbitant ATM fee to cover your tab? Oh, that was just me?

My first job out of college, I worked for 21st Century Democrats, which at that time was located two stories up in the same building as Stoney's. I used to go there all the time. And even though I ended up working elsewhere (ahem, Iowa) and no longer was a regular when it closed, I still mourned the loss.

But now it's back. Resurrected from the dead and around the corner from my apartment. Since moving to Logan, this place has become my local again. (Of course, the new Stoney's has been open a little over a year, but NaBloPoMo is driving me to write about those Things that are mundane in my life.)

It's fitting to write about Stoney's in November, because as the Boyfriend likes to point out, this is a cold weather bar. We like to visit the many patios along 17th Street in the summer, for cocktails al fresco, but when there is a chill in the air, we pull up a bar stool at Stoney's where the grilled cheese and a cold Stella keep us cozy and warm. The door opens with a gust of cold wind, and when it dies down we remember that we are safe and warm, and resume with cheering for the Crimson Tide (or, if it was last Friday, with watching the LSU-Arkansas game unfold in an excess of overtimes).

The bartenders at Stoney's don't mind if you nurse a vodka tonic and do the crossword puzzle after a long day at the office. They put on whatever game you are following if you ask nicely. The pizzas are chewy and cheesy and available for carryout if you live in the neighborhood. The grilled cheese rules, and the super grilled cheese is even better, with tomato, onion, and bacon. The people are a cross section of this neighborhood in flux -- gay, straight, old, young, black, white, sports fans and wine drinkers are all regulars. A lot like the old Stoney's, but with decidedly less smoke in the walls and with credit card machines.