BEHOLD this small slice of Lower Petworth in Washington DC.
Temperance Hall: our charming neighborhood bar and much-needed bit of good vibes on Georgia Avenue has been sold to the owners of the nearby Wonderland Ballroom. This has caused a mighty ruckus amongst the Temperance Faithful, and I'll be damned if I can figure it out.
The Wonderland, once the darling bar of Columbia Heights, is now criticized by the hipper-than-thou, simply because it's doing well. It's popular, even. Hell's Toilets, dude, even the accursed "Orange-Liners" are showing up.
As if success was a bad thing.
The fear is that Temperance Hall (soon to be christened "The Looking Glass Lounge") will become some kind of zombie clone of Wonderland. Que Horror!
Perhaps I'm too naive and forgiving, but I love both establishments. Each have their merits: Wonderland has its chili-dog and Dragon Stout, and Temperance has its garlic-fries and Overholt rye. Life is good.
But would the knee-jerk whiners shut-the-hell-up please? It could've been infinitely worse. See the shredded corporate hellhole formerly known as DC's Chinatown, or even Silver Spring for examples. Temperance could just as easily have become a Starbucks.
Incredibly mad props (whatever that means) to Blogger Brethren Prince of Petworth, who has been tracking this story with a depth and clarity which far surpasses any other local media. Many of the comments on his posts showed just how insane folks can be. In a nutshell:
The name sucks, the beer selection is gonna suck, the menu is gonna suck, the popped-collar folks are gonna swoop in from Arlington and destroy our little piece of the world....
But through all the bitching, it's clear what an impact this little bar has made on the neighborhood. There was no finer place to be when a DC United game was on the tube and the sacred nexus of Garlic Fries/Old Overholt was plentiful.
We visited the place last night, to see what changes had taken place already. One positive sign was a Guinness tap, to the far right of several others which I didn't make note of... I mean, hell, if there's Guinness, the others don't matter.
Then, I was shocked and very pleased to find we'd been sitting next to the Good Prince at the bar the entire time, without realizing it. It was like a spontaneous summit meeting between two mighty superpowers.
Yes. Another Overholt please.
The brisk December sky looked down, smiling, upon humble and happy Temperance Hall. I'll reserve judgment upon the new place until it's up and running.
But, *snif*... I will miss the old gal...