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Voted Santa BarBara’S BeSt

Burrito 23 yearS

in a row! BreakfaSt

Food &drink

my life

richie D e Maria

Super CuCaS every day!

Burrito $549

w/ Lunch! ive Free Sodans) ce e R ts n e d tu tio igh School S na & Mesa Loca

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Micheltore

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itos Between 10

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Wine $4.50, Beers $3-$4, Appetizers

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Kids (10 and under) $8.99 | Seniors (60+) $13.99

catering available

cateringbymulligans@gmail.com

Family owned and operated for 24 years! 3500 McCaw Ave, Santa Barbara (805) 682-3228 • mulliganscafesb.com THe InDePenDenT

June 8, 2017

W

ith cancer, there’s always something. thought it is, and if this was the place this actuSome gleaming chamber in which to ally was. be inserted, some noxious compound The stools are free-standing. No back door with befuddling or bizarre collateral damage to to this saloon. Some window tables look out at ingest in a variety of ways, or great periods of Dargan’s Pub and, of course, the girls in their mental vacancy wherein you drift around the summer dresses (that are worn all year long edges of mortality as you thought you knew it. on Ortega) as they go to or from the beach or But for some reason, life must go on, so I bistro or to Isla Vista and the crushing demands shuffled off some procedure and enlisted my of academe on the American Riviera. There’s a friend Connery to join me in an copy of the first Stones album by afternoon at The Press Room on bar light, and rock lyrics printed in ransom-note fashion cover the Ortega in answer to a summons from my Pedant Stalker, the Erstwest wall. The drinks are cheap while Blimp Repairman and and strong, Guinness flows, and Hat Fool, written on the back there is, so far as I can tell, always of an unpaid bill for two Long fútbol on the two flat-screens. It’s a bright bar, so the Blimp Island iced teas from the Cliff by Ralph Lowe Room on the Mesa with its bad Mechanic didn’t enter in the music, silent barman, and worn same sort of nimbus of light he pool table. I asked Connery to punctured at The Sportsman or come along because he is both the Cliff. He sat next to me and smarter and younger than I am, and Connery, edged on his stool closer that seemed like a good résumé for a to the jukebox from which a Bowie fest meeting with the painstakingly mysterious was in full swing. He was wearing a fez. With that and his happy-hour ghost who had somehow idenMubarak dye job, he looked like a child’s tified me as interesting during one languid after-lunch glass of wine on ice at Joe’s idea of a Halloween cupcake. I finally Café not far over on State. asked him what his name was, and he The Press Club cocktail lounge said “Bob,” and I said,“Of course it is,” is a British carryover from what they and he ordered a Long Island iced tea. cheekily call the English Channel. The men’s Bob, I said, you know, a fez is more than a loo boasts portraits of Queen Victoria over little pillar you put on your head. “It’s not just a the toilet, Elizabeth I by the paper-towel rack, hat, Bob …” He said he didn’t care what his hat and a Warhol portrait of the current mon- meant and went into a weak, Trumpian screed arch—another incomparable Tudor like the about sensitivity and political correctness and first Elizabeth who allowed us Shakespeare and the decadence of Europe and, for some reason, the hysterical romp past the medieval world the perfidy of the Chinese. His blimp talk I had into what became the English Renaissance, or heard not long ago at the Cliff Room. Bowie was an era that bears her name. The new queen, singing about an American girl, some guy in a now some 65 years into her reign, watched his- vast stadium made a goal, and The Press Room tory dismember Victoria’s empire, the Blitz, had a bit of a tribal moment which passed soon the rebuilding, and then Thatcher and then enough. He laid not enough money on the bar Brexit and now May and Trump—and, well, and stepped out onto Ortega in time, or maybe God Bless Her Graciousness. Victoria scowls even in tune, with the parade that was passing. down and on. I finished my wine, Connery his bottle of water, Inside, at the corner of the bar closest to the and we talked about ottomans and presidentsstreet, there’s a porcelain bulldog smoking a elect in one of the two window seats that look cigar and wearing a Union Jack waistcoat. A out from London to Ortega. sign warns that there is no Wi-Fi and advises As everyone with cancer, I am in the Epitaph patrons to “get drunk and talk.” The music is all Mode, or the Summation Sweepstakes. One British Invasion stuff, messy or clean, certifi- could do worse, and many have, than to share ably iconic or obscure. The matchbooks claim the eulogy or emulate the life of one Guinness, that The Press Room is “the best place to get commemorated by a brass commemoration shagged” in, I presume, Santa Barbara. Con- that reads: “Dedicated to Guinness, The Smartnery said that claim probably wasn’t accurate est Dog We Ever Knew.” It’s there on your right, if “shagging” was what he or Austin Powers just as you come into the bar. n

At the Press room

6527 Madrid Rd, IV Thurs-Sat 24 hrs/Sun-Wed 7am-3am 770-3806

40

Wine on ice, Part 4

independent.com

Santa Barbara Independent, 06/08/17  

June 8, 2017, Vol. 31, No. 595

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