This week I had two interviews set up. I wanted to interview Bryan Holland and Kristina Vlach. I only had a chance to meet with Bryan because I had been sick all week and had to cancel with Kristina. Bryan Holland used to manage Bayou Blues Café on the Avenue in White Marsh. The café had closed about two months ago and I was going to if Bryan had any input on what went wrong and bartending in general. Like usual, my preconceived notions about how the interview would go were completely wrong and I ended up in another direction.
I found out that for the last ten years Bryan has helped out behind the bar of one of the scariest bars on Belair road, The Coach House. I say scary because it puts last weeks “J.T’s Saloon story,” to shame. The place is a complete disaster and most of the people that frequent the bar during daytime hours do not have a full set of teeth if you combined mouths!
However, Bryan is there on Sunday nights and has drawn his very own crowd that has come to see him for the last ten years. “Sundays are always busier and more fun during football season, but you would be surprised how much fun we have on a regular Sunday night,” says Bryan. I had to know what he could possibly do to keep anyone coming back to a place like that. From the outside it truly looks like a haunted house, the inside is very dark and dreary with an original tin ceiling and the smell of a basement.
So Bryan explained to me that it’s not just about the bar or a drink that he can make someone, it’s about his ideas and how he treats everyone as if they were his best friend. People come in on Sundays because that is when Bryan had the idea to run an 80’s trivia night. He took the initiative to cook up some “dollar hot dogs” and keep a pit beef stand out back running until about 8pm. He has driven people home instead of putting them in a cab, he as allowed people to crash at his house, and even keeps peoples tabs overnight if they come up short on cash.
He really is the nicest guy I think I’ve ever seen behind the bar. Usually bartenders are a bit overconfident, sarcastic and a little controlling, which is not a bad thing depending on where you work. This guy is not your typical bartender he really is charming and so giving its crazy.
I’m not sure how I will use this information yet but I know that there is definitely a story here. I guess I was wondering if I can focus on “hole in the wall” places and how popular they are on certain nights when certain bartenders are working. I do have a problem though; I do not think that places like The Coach House and J’T’s saloon have websites. The Coach House is the oldest bar on Belair road I doubt that they even know anything about advertising themselves online. That is what makes these bartenders so great, it is all word of mouth and their nights are the busiest and most fun. I was just wondering how use linking effectively in my module if there is not a website that exists?