Monday, June 21, 2010

Give a Hoot: The Owl Shop

Hans and Mendez decided to celebrate the first day of summer with a little class. Where else can one go to relax but, the only cigar lounge in town: The Owl Shop. How better to celebrate than with libations, friends and sandwiches? Mendez went to the blog phone. "I'm going to call Dorian."

"I'm right here," came a voice from the couch.

Dorian had just arrived minutes before and upon stepping in suggested the trio to go to The Owl Shop. Hans and Mendez were too caught up in a game of Cat's Cradle. "Cup and Saucer" was Hans' automated response. Dorian, adjusted his ruffled sleeves and finished his martini. "Remember to leave behind your exploding cigars. This is a classy place," he warned.

The Owl Shop stands next to The Anchor like an older, cooler brother puffing away. For some reason, or loop hole in the state of Connecticut's penal code, The Owl Shop is the only bar/ business where you can smoke tobacco legally. Chain smoking is a sign of respect.

The interior has more wood and leather than a medieval themed adult store. The leather chairs are for people who have perfected lounging the day away. You can play chess or listen to the classic rock. The Owl Shop hosts live music on Wednesdays. We recommend the outside for the fresh and slightly less tobacco filled air, if that's your thing. There are always new friends to meet when outdoors.

Dorian suggested the spot for its 'prime real estate'. Beginning in early April, The Owl Shop digs its two patio tables and suspended space heater out of storage to provide spring heeled New Haven-ites with much craved outdoor seating. This sidewalk patio stays in high demand throughout the spring and summer. The tables stay while the space heater is returned for another seasonal hibernation, until autumn's chill peppers the air.

Libations are enjoyed while the three wait for their sandwiches.

"Best cup of coffee in town," Mendez says proudly as if to no one. Hand controlled brakes squeal. A gentleman dismounts his bicycle.

"Did you say best?" the gentleman says, lighting a cigarette. "'Cuz last time I was here you said that it was the second best cup of coffee in town." He now winked at Hans and The Dorian Gray of Bullshit Artists. He extended his hand and a smile, "Mr. Golden."

He invited himself to sit with the trio . Obliged to share their 'prime real estate' with a fellow coffee and food lover, they dusted off a neighboring chair for him. "Man, you guys look like you like music. Well, I like music too, in fact I like it so much that I make music. You guys look like you like hip hop. Well, between you and me, or me and you,there is a Mr. West who is asking me about my music. I put him on hold 'cuz I have a Mr. Birdman on the other line. They keep calling and calling me, and I'm like seven figures; cut the check. Snoop calls too. No one wants to cut the check. They want the beats but they don't want to give me the check. I have two dollars to my name but I come here for the tea and the honey. I'll be right back."

The sandwiches arrived, while Mr. Golden eyed the cheese and fruit from inside the doorway.

Mendez enjoyed the brie, pesto and green apple sandwich, choking only a little on the eight dollar price tag. Hans argued with Mendez on the bread finding it to be too crusty. Mr. Golden came back carrying a cup of tea and side of honey. One of the waitstaff carried out a snifter of cognac behind him. "Best tea and honey in town," he said, lifting the snifter.

Dorian asked why Mr. Golden had only two dollars to his name. "Well, my wife won't let me have a motorcycle, so she bought herself a necklace. What can you do with jewels? Nothing. I like gold because you can sell it. I had a 7, ooo gold chain the size of a jump rope, my wife wanted me to buy her a cell phone, so I sold the chain. She can't have the money. What did I do with the money? Gave it to the church. I'm always giving my money to the church, or the homeless. There's a man out here walking these streets with sneakers I bought him. It's like what Abraham says in the bible, 'You don't know what you got 'til its gone.'"

"Wasn't that Joni Mitchell?," Dorian asked.

"Something like that. God was the one who said that to me. I'm always speaking to God. My wife drives me crazy, I talked to God and God said to divorce her."

"Wouldn't God speak against divorce?" Dorian asked slightly bewildered from both Mr. Golden's speech and the opium filled hookah he kept in his breast pocket. The bloggers viewed the hookah longingly. Mr. Golden continued telling stories of Birdman, Wayne and the Super Friends. Mendez concentrated on his coffee. Rich with strong hints of cocoa, it is worth the wait for this individually brewed delight. The beans, which are co-op, high elevation grown, could replace the jewels in a king's crown, if he is a man of fine taste.

Even with this strange passer-by telling tall tales, The Owl Shop is a great place to relax, enjoy conversation with friends and enjoy some of the quickly disappearing hallmarks of civilization; manly fine cigars and excellent coffee.

The Owl Shop

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