244. Cuban Coffee Queen
Monday, April 13, 2015, 6:30 PM
But it’s a smoke screen, baby. CCQ not only has/is a bar, but they have great Happy Hour deals.
Though I thought Lobo’s was a dang cool hang, I have to admit that I almost never went there. Hop 136 here, in fact, nearly twenty-two months ago, was the last time. Oh well. Like Luther said to the parking garage dude in 48 Hours, “I been busy.”
It’s always cooler under the tree, and not just because of the shade. Go out after midnight and walk around; when you’re under a tree, the air is cooler. Trees breathe opposite of us; they take in CO2 and give off oxygen. More than that, as part of that chemical process, as the atoms mash through each other, negatively-charged ions get shaken loose, and these pour out of trees like IPA from taps. These negative ions have a physical effect on we, the people. They block the flow of cortisol, a stress-inducing hormone. So, you hang out under trees, your stress level drops. Gotta love those negative ions, baby.
We — that, you’ll recall, would be B&J and I — were the first Happy Hour customers of this day. The HH at CCQ starts at 6:30. We were a couple of minutes early, but Steve, our slim, 25-year-old barkeep, judiciously granted us HH pricing to avoid the stupidity of us sitting there thirstily for two minutes before ordering our drinks.
There was one other customer there. He was a nice enough guy, but he was a little too eager for company. He took up a spot right next to us, as if we had suddenly become a party of four. He felt free to be a part of our conversation, too, which so far just dealt with food and drink options here. It wasn’t oppressive, but it was a little much. We weren’t rude to him, but we did pay very little attention to what he said, and we kinda gave off Go-Away vibes in his direction. And they worked, after a short while.
This was a …s…l…o…w… night for Steve and his staff. Two similarly-aged guys were in the kitchen making a racket and playing with what looked like big squirt guns. Even though we weren’t bothered by it, Steve still did his duty and gave them a reprimand.
I decided that their hands were simply too idle, and the devil was workshopping them, so I ordered some food to keep them occupied. How noble, yes? The HH pricing was too good to miss; I opted for the $4 BLT. Such a deal.
Jan got the best deal of all, though: a mason-jar mug o’ Sangria for a buck. One U.S. dollar! That’s all. Amazing.
We were hoping that we’d find Tim at work here, but it was a night off for him. I hadn’t seen him since his stint as manager at World Of Beers had gone awry. He got raw-dealed by the G.M. and told WOB to stick it. It was pretty obvious that he had found a much more mellow job running this place. I’m sure the negative ions have a lot to do with that.