Friday, August 13, 2010

Tavern Talk

Back in the spring of 1990, Fred Glassberg and his partners broke ground for the Meadowridge Business Park in Elkridge. To mark the occasion the partnership threw a tent party on the site for local dignitaries and the industrial real estate brokers. It was less than a year before the 1990-91 recession and at the height of the preceding boom. They hired Roger Caplan, who had just started his own business, to put the event together. There was a live band, a catered buffet and an open bar.

As the early evening affair wound down, a group of industrial brokers decided to take the party across Route 1 to the Pine Log Tavern. I thought of the Pine Log Tavern today when I read this article by Larry Carson in The Sun about the impending demise of the 999 Tavern just south of Meadowridge on Route 1. The Pine Log wasn’t as nice as 999. Its regulars included blue collar workers, bikers, and a few of those whose ship had passed by. The place had real character.

When a group of thirty something young men, all in dark three piece suits, full of alcohol and confidence, pushed through the door that early summer evening, the place suddenly got very quiet. In an attempt to immediately neutralize the turf, the young guns announced a round of drinks for all at the bar. I mean how badly could they get hurt? This was a PBR crowd.

All went well until it came time to settle up. The presentation of a credit card was met with a frown as the bartender pointed to dog eared beer stained sign by the cash register that read “In God We Trust, Everyone Else Pays Cash.”

Somehow they had missed that.

There was a bit of panic as the boys emptied their pockets of all available cash to the snickers of the old timers. Thankfully the pot was made right along with an honorable gratuity for the innkeeper.

The Pine Log Tavern was torn down around 1998 and a new business park was built in its place. The recession was finally over.
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