Surrender to the places that seduce you...

The following is the original and the rewrite can be found by clicking here.

Easily missed from the main street if you are not looking carefully; its only marker is a Carlsberg beer sign high over the alcove to the entrance. If not for the neon OPEN sign and THE HOLE IN THE WALL  embossed in gold on a window tucked back in the shadows, you would not know it is there. It may seem you should go down the stairs but don't - That is not the way in.

Inside, the space is narrow and long, with the bar along one wall. There is a rustic feel to the space with the wooden floor, the brickwork walls, and the back lit stained glass over the bar; all complimented by the eclectic style of the booths, the art on the wall, and the music in the background... there is a warmth that invites you to take a seat and sample the many craft beers, try the cocktails they can make or enjoy the food they offer - An oddly familiar sensation of being in a speakeasy takes hold; a bygone era that with a little imagination becomes real. 

The people come in waves, leaving the bar empty one moment and full the next. Standing room only on a Friday or Saturday night with live music filling the air, only ever escaping into the street when the door is opened.

It is a place I keep returning to (alone or with friends), as if being seduced by a forbidden lover. 

I would not go so far as to say I am a "regular" but there was one time my beer was poured and in front of me as I sat down; a brown ale called 10w30 from a local craft brewery. It is my beer of choice, Woodford Reserve is my bourbon of choice, and an incredible bacon cheeseburger is my default for food. 

It is curious how a place can seize you and create a connection never to be forgotten; The Village Kitchen and Pie Shoppe in California, the Ranstead Room in Philadelphia, the Hotel de la Montagne bar in Montreal*, and now The Hole In The Wall - I will carry them with me always. These places spur on the human condition I suppose... they give us a place to savour all of our senses, be a voyeur or an exhibitionist, remain solitary or be social, and allow for engagement in the conversations that bring us together. 

They whisper your name, forever calling you like a great love, "Come join me, I am waiting. We have much to talk about."

Surrender to the seduction, but don't pick just any place.


* I almost broke down and cried when I heard they demolished the Hotel de la Montagne. The bar in the lobby was truly one of a kind.