A Tribute to Doors Gone By – #ThursdayDoors

Tunxis Grill
This is the main entrance to my favorite restaurant.

When Connecticut joined New York and Massachusetts on Sunday in closing bars and restaurants, I thought about the bars I’ve been to, and the bartenders whose company I’ve enjoyed. I’ve always been one to sit at the bar and dine at the bar when traveling. Most of my encounters with bartenders have been positive. That’s why Cheryl is tending bar on Saturdays more often than Skippy. The stories shared when Cheryl is behind the bar are from pleasant visits and enjoyable conversations. Skippy is called in when a bartender is not so good, or when a good bartender makes a comical mistake. Neither occasion will be happening in the near future. – the bar is closed – all the bars are closed.

I’m going to share some doors today that you’ve already seen. Bar doors. From Tunxis Grill (here in CT), The Molly Wee (New York City), and Jacob Wirth’s (Boston). Although, Jacob Wirth didn’t make it long enough to meet this crisis, they closed in June 2018 after a fire led to extensive damage. Later this year, the bar might reopen as JW’s Sports Bar – I hope to be able to check it out if they do.

In addition to wonderful doors, all three of these bars have/had a most excellent bar staff. I’ve never been to the Molly Wee when I wasn’t served by a friendly Irish man/woman with a genuine interest in making me feel welcome. In the 1990s, when I was visiting New York City on business a few times each year, the bartender remembered me in October from prior visits in April and June. He greeted me with “welcome back!” and he remembered my fondness for Brooklyn Lager. I was amazed.

Our daughter, Faith has been with me at least once in all three bars, and I’ve had the pleasure of sharing a few drinks with good friends at all three venues. I hope that Tunxis Grill can survive on takeout and delivery orders until the ban is lifted. I hope the Molly Wee can weather this storm as well. I will do my best to transition to ordering by phone instead of in-person. It won’t be the same, but I hope to help them stay in business.

As for the bar at No Facilities, well, since it’s a fictional place, it will remain open for business and mayhem as usual. If you’re not familiar with the bar, check out my newly revised “About” page.

Today’s doors are offered again, as they were before, in conjunction with Norm Frampton’s fantastic weekly blog hop called Thursday Doors. Each week, Norm invites us to share photos of and stories about doors from around the world. No need to keep your distance – this parade is 100% virus free. Just head on up to Norm’s place and join the fun.

Thanks for reading, and please take all necessary precautions to stay safe and healthy as governments around the globe work to get a handle on this virus.


73 comments

  1. The last door is a beauty, but I like all the old wooden doors too. These look like three great establishments who know how to serve the public successfully. In one of the Molly Wee photos, looks like you’re photobombing your own shot again. Lol. And you talk about Maddie! 🤗

    I too hope all these businesses that have had to close down for now, or may be open but only on a limited basis, can survive until this is over.

    Be well. Be safe.
    🐾Ginger 🐾

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Ginger. I think I did catch a reflection in there. I should take Maddie there. The Molly Wee is owned by the Reilly family. Our second Irish Setter was named Reilly and our third was named Mollie.

      I do hope these businesses can survive the forced closures. I hope we get ahead of this virus and they can open sooner than currently expected. I hope people remember how to socialize.

      Take care and stay safe.

      Like

  2. A nice retrospective here. I haven’t been in a bar for a drink in a long time. When next I can, I’ll make a point to find a bar with a great front door and have a drink in honor of you. 🍻

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I know with the Molly Wee and Jacob Wirth, it was the appearance that led me through the front door. There are literally two Irish Pubs on the same block as the Molly Wee, and there are five restaurants within the block that Jacob Wirth’s was on. Go in, sit at the bar and hopefully you have a bartender that knows how to talk. If not, call him ‘Skippy’ and smile.

      Take care, Ally.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Love all your dor posts, hate that your bars are closing. :(
    I look forward to more “virtual” bar stories. :)
    This craziness is the nightmare we all thought (or prayed) could never happen, now that it has, it’s nice to be able to keep our blogger buddy connections! Hang in there, Dan. Keep sharing and providing us with good stuff!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Dan I think that bartender remembers you because you talk to people. Really talk to people. And while it may be small talk that is the thing that sticks in our memories. We may be behind closed doors sheltering in place. I think you have managed to open a few today. Cheers Sir.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks John. The bartenders in these places are/were very easy to talk to. It’s such a unique connection, when the right people solve the world’s problems over a beer. It’s true that these are the conversations we remember. Cheers!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Bravo Dan. Somehow, some way, we’ll get through all of this craziness.
    You know…Tunxis Grill kinda looks familiar ;-)
    When everything is back to normal I’m looking forward to sharing a drink or a bite with you again my friend. Take care and stay safe.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Hi Dan – I too hope small businesses and independent owners can survive this virus … so challenging for so many. Interesting about the names … Reilly, Mollie and now Maddie … take care and all the best – cheers Hilary

    Liked by 1 person

  7. A great public service post, Dan … and great doors.

    This will be a very difficult time for many industries, and anyone involved in the Hospitality industry will be among them.

    Toronto also forced closure of all restaurants and cafes, and it’s going to tough going for so many people who depend on them for a livelihood. Last night we used Uber Eats for the first time and ordered from a small local restaurant we didn’t know. The food was amazing.

    Like you, I hope people will support their local businesses to help them weather this storm.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Joanne. I’ll be doing take out from our favorite places on my regular basis. Now that I’m not having a beer or two when I order, I might be able to afford to order and extra time ;)

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Ya know, I don’t think I have ever read your ‘About’ page, but I did now. A very good one, too. Down herein sunny Florida is Spring Break…..kids ticked off because the bars are closed. You wanna slap them and say, ‘What don’t you get??’ Beach is staying open (we have a huge beach) but hotels are down 50%…..where are these kids staying? Take care, Dan. I am so happy when I see all my blog buddies in my Inbox. That tells me life is good and we will get through this. Oh, and those old wooden doors….such beauties.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Sorry, you’re coming up against so many businesses that have been closed. I didn’t grow up with bars, only restaurants. But since we live on the country side, it has been longer than a year, I went to the latter:) Guess that being an artist is a solitary life anyways, so I am used to this part. The uplifting side is that people out of the woodwork have been calling us to see how we are doing! Comforting to have friends and family who think about us (probably because in their eyes we are “old”??? Am laughing, because our friends are at least 20 years younger than we are).) Good you have time for your garden project, and I forgot to mention your great captures of the snow – we got a dump too:) Hurrah:)

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Beautiful doors and a super story to go with them. I can’t imagine any bartender remembering me. Of course, I don’t remember them either. Oh, I take that back. I used to go to the Buena Vista on trips to San Francisco. One night I hosted an informal get together there after a business dinner. I paid the bill and remember tipping 20% since my guests (clients) really got out of hand and the staff didn’t toss us out. I happened to come back about a month later and when I walked in with a couple of co-workers the bartender yelled, “Quiet in the house John D. Rockefeller has just arrived.” He waved me over and we had a good laugh. Of, course, I had to leave another 20% tip. Impressed the hell out of the co-workers though.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ha ha! That’s a great story, John. I had to pick up a couple of those “apology required” bar tabs. They do tend to make you feel more generous. I do try to tip well, but nobody is confusing me with John D.

      Liked by 1 person

        1. Yikes! I only ever had to pick up one huge bill. I must have done the math on the tip 10 times in my head before writing it down. The bar bill was more money than I had ever spent at one time, and that was before dinner!

          Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks Deborah. We liked the Italian restaurant that was in part of the building that Tunxis Grill is in. There were two other businesses there. The Italian restaurant failed after more then 20 years. The owner of Tunxis Grill bought the building, and expanded the restaurant to take up the entire space. The first time I went, I was impressed with the new doors.

      The corner entrance to the Molly Wee was one of the first things I liked. I never thought about how important doors are.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Hi Dan,
    As much as I really loved all these beautiful historic doors, what really stood out to me about your post, was your deep love and appreciation of people and also how these people bring these places to life.
    As you know, I do a lot of research and from that perspective I’m interested to see how this virus situation unfolds. How is it going to affect our communities? How will people respond? What does it mean to be living through this and what do I want to record or capture about it? How are we going to get through it and survive?
    Then, there’s the emotional response where myself and many I’m close to are at a high risk of both catching this disease and having a poor outcome. I have friends who have lost jobs and businesses I’ve been going to in some cases for years and I want them to stay in business. I want to support them, yet I need to isolate as much as possible and picture us crawling out at the end of all this to see who and what has survived. I hope it’s not that dire but it’s certainly shaping up that way in Italy.
    Take care and stay safe.
    Best wishes,
    Rowena

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It will be interesting, Rowena. Right now, it’s a little scary. I’ve been doing most of the shopping. Most of the people I see seem to be taking this in stride; they are polite, and willing to share a smile. There’s a smaller group of people who are visibly stressed and then there are jerks (who I think have always been jerks). I’ve been making a point to tell the cashiers how much I appreciate them being there. I just hope this passes fairly quickly.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. These are really hard times. Who would have thought a virus could do so much damage. I feel for our economy . . . for the whole world. I pray this will be over soon and we can get back to our normal routine.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. It’s a lovely ode to pub doors, Dan. After a day of doing my taxes, I’m glad I saved it for now. The Molly Wee always charms me, but I’m very intrigued by the name “Tunxis.” You know me and names. Hugs on the wing.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Teagan. The bar is on Tunxis Street, which runs along the Farmington River. About 25 miles upstream, Tunxis Community College is on another Tunxis St. The Tunxis were a group of Connecticut Native Americans.

      Maybe it means “people who lived before taxes.”

      Hugs.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Ah! That’s cool. “The name Tunxis is said to be the indigenous term (in the Native American Wuttunkshau language] for the “point where the river bends” in the middle of the Farmington River between the towns of Farmington and Southington Connecticut.”

        Like

        1. I didn’t know that. The Farmington River bends a lot. It’s one of a few rivers in the country that flows north, south, east and west at some point. The River makes about a 90° about 1/4 mile from the bar.

          Like

  14. It occurred to me the other day that all these closures could affect your doors posts, Dan. But you’ve certainly given us a good selection today. Good thing you’ve long been inclined to take extra pics!

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Very sad about JW. I agree that a friendly bar staff is the key. A good bartender is invaluable.
    My ex and one of my boys are restaurant workers and it’s killing them to be out of work. Lots of good bars and restaurants are going to go out. It’s sad

    Liked by 1 person

  16. I hope we don’t lose near the bars and restaurants indicated. :( I sure hope yours makes it. I don’t have a regular place anymore. (RIP Los Rancheros)
    Wirth’s doors are memorable, I don’t remember the pumpkins tho, so good call :)

    Liked by 1 person

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