Updated: Dec 9, 2021
MITCH’S LOUNGE was just down from Lakeshore Distributors on E. Exchange Street. It was owned by Mitch and his son Tom. This was the original Cheers Bar for us.
This was back in 1970, and it was the after work hangout for me and John, Paul, and Brian, plus a rotating band of WANNA-BE regulars. These guys were all older than me, so nobody ever bothered to card me. I was 20 at the time.
Great right? Not so much.
Here is the problem, because, when I did turn 21, I could not share the party with Mitch and Tom. I spent that night having quite a few now legal drinks in some strange bars.
I went back the next night and said I just had a birthday and he bought me a shot, no questions asked.
He was a classy guy and when he bought you a drink, he actually took cash out of his wallet and bought you a drink. Some times for the whole group, but always included himself too. He was genuine and he made you feel honored.
When the weather turned from winter to spring, we would go out back to play darts.
Not a fancy bells and whistle's rig, more like a board on a nail, with drunks throwing pointy things at it, and over the fence occasionally. Just like kid's and a frisbee. Just a little diversion from the mandatory drinking and some liars poker.
Drunks do some very strange things.
We were pleasant drunks, but we did have to jog our memories the next day.
Each night, at closing time we would crawl into our respective cars, and miraculously make it home, but on this one particular night, I did not notice the broken tail light on my new MGB.
So, the next day I’m complaining about it a work just as Paul walked over wondering how the red plastic shards got all over his bumper.
Mystery solved with Paul asking "Why did you back into my car?" And all of us reminding him that he left before I did.
Seventy-five dollars later, a new plastic lens, and we were all friends again. No lessons learned but friendships reinforced, and we all took better care when leaving the bar in the future.
Next up is..... __________________________________
SCHROEDER'S CAFE (Anybody got a photo?)
Now this is like a prequel for the Mitch’s Lounge story. Another chapter to the ongoing saga of my errant ways, only this time I’m not underage.
Schroeder’s Café was just down the hill from the University of Akron. The bar was very popular, almost like an initiation to the college scene. We had an amazing “Chuckery” in the Student Union on campus, but there was just no beer. Did I mention no beer?
So, naturally we invaded this fine establishment, between classes, and on occasion instead of classes. The plan was to drink a couple 3.2% beers, eagerly waiting for the barkeep to toast up some "Torpedo's", the best prepackaged pepperoni and cheese sub ever, while we waited to drunkenly to bowl a few frames on this mechanical marvel.
Mark kindly reminded me while I was working on this post about this particular bar feature so I did a quick Google and found this picture. You can see the cornmeal and yes, I can still smell the stale beer and cigarettes! This should have been a required course freshman year. We all definitely aced it.
If you have any memories of these haunts please share your stories in the comments or better yet make a blog contribution.