Friday, April 30, 2010

Funeral For a Friend: The Blue Pearl

The Blue Pearl is a longtime friend to New Haven Eats it. Hans sort of remembers the first time he blacked out, thanks in part to the Blue Pearl’s cocktail menu. Mendez remembers the first time he made out with a drag queen. It’s difficult to hear the difference between Daniel and Danielle when your prostate is being massaged, or so he says. The Blue Pearl is and was the only building located on Court Street, a side street adjacent to the federal building and banks of Church Street. The other buildings on Court are forgotten corpses: the now future of Our Pearl after its final dying gasp. Is this what they refer to as “The Beautiful Death?” Half priced drinks and fondue are its dying wish: that those who were friends should celebrate the life and times of the deceased. The Blue Pearl is like a pirate ship; a relic of New Haven unfairly cut down due to some unknown reason. Perhaps The Amistad needed more restoration, tug boats are cute, and the Titanic grossed millions, but we at New Haven Eats It still say, “yo ho.”

Mendez once wore a velvet blazer, checking his pompadour in their mirror. “I am Mr. Saturday Night,” he said to his reflection, holding his nose with his right hand: Beautiful dining room, stinky bathroom. A dust bunny once threatened Hans for loose change in that men’s room. Quarters where given and trespasses forgotten. The Blue Pearl is (was) an Emerald City of sorts: the glamour, the place to be, run by midgets and colored horses. At the time of Mendez’s first visit he was amazed; such lighting, such decor, he had never been in a drinking establishment so appealing before. “Where are the drunks, the sad stories of wasted lives, the vomitorium?” He asked a patron in a form fitting dress.

“This seat is taken,” She said.

We’ve referenced the Pearl before. Erin was “shouted out” in “Rotten Tomatoes: The Heirloom,” as being one of the best bartenders in the city. We’d also like to give Ben major props for making the Blue Pearl not boring. Televisions would show vampire movies instead of sports and the beer menu rotated more than Linda Blair’s head. Like “Jurassic Park,” and the novels of R.L. Stein, The Blue Pearl will forever be a reference point for New Haven Eats It. Like legends, it will never die.

At 6:30, the patio door closed fearing the winds of change that forcefully blew throughout New Haven: a death sigh, hoping to extinguish the recently lit candles (do we have room for another Elton John reference?). Hans, Mendez, and our good friend Britt (see “Comfort Food: Clark’s Pizza and Restaurant and Tropical Delight) sat on a comfortable couch and enjoy the ambiance of talk. We also noticed that we were in very rare company: the women at the Pearl outnumbered men 20 to 3. James Bond wouldn’t know which way to turn his head in a place like this. He would enjoy their martini menu. Maybe he would stray and go for the Zebra in Pink Pajama (free recipe: pomegranate vodka, triple sec, pineapple and cranberry- provide your own estrogen). The martinis are made strong, with a fury and purpose that would karate chop Bond into a hangover. The music went from schmaltz to boogie-ville over the course two songs.

And to think the Blue Pearl just started Brunch-a-billy, a most delicious combination of breakfast food and rock-a-billy music. For ten dollars you got both your grits and Little Richard. While typing this, the candle keeping the fondue warm- the recently brought out fondue- just went out. Customers shouldn’t have to struggle to keep their food warm unless the menu states so, but we are not ignorant to the poetic symbolism presented to us with our cheese and vegetables. The fondue’s vegetables are slightly boiled or something to give them a limp, damp effect. Like the French and Disco culture which conceived and raised fondue, the outcome is dated and slightly off putting. Good vegetables, with their color and nutrients, are forced to walk the plank into a saturated fat murky depth of melted cheese (“yo ho”) ruining both good vegetables and cheese in the process. Like polyester this unholy combination of ingredients leaves one feeling uncomfortable in ones own skin and likewise should remain unawaken in the old section of Time Square. Let sleeping dogs lie, we say, unless you really want to play fetch.

We hypothesize that the fondue was the nail in The Blue Pearl’s coffin. Yes they held a niche market, but holding that market is like holding a bees’ nest: you’re the only one crazy enough to do it, but you and your customers are also the only ones getting stung. Forgive our angry and hurt tone, our hatred for fondue (really, Mendez’s- Hans thought the fondue menu was cool, they are the only place that did fondue), but with a drink menu, ambiance, and staff like that The Blue Pearl should still be with us: Always there for those nights when velvet blazers are necessary and a little “strange” is a must. Mendez remembers a night when The Pearl was occupied by dozens of Southern Indian women, each more beautiful and exotic than the last and another night when Hans’s sister brought a “Single and Horny Young Woman Anonymous Sex Group,” in for cocktails. We are not saying that The Pearl was always packed wall to wall, or that, like every other bar in town, it did not have its nights when it was more of a tree house for dudes who don’t want to drink alone at home than a bar, but when something beautiful is dying no one remembers its blemishes. Like with arteries, too much sausage can ruin a bar.

Hopefully this humble post will serve to comfort those, who like us, lost a good friend. Hopefully it will keep the memory of a great place alive; so that when future generations pass the real-estate and see a glorious shell with a pungent Starbucks inside they can wonder what it must have been like when artisan cocktails where poured and the Blue Pearl glimmered by sun and moonlight.

With roses placed on the tomb we say adieu,

and we will never forget, we will never cease to miss you,

Hans and Mendez

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