Monday night, the Avoca Bar was hopping during the Vikings-Packers football game, and those who attended walked away smiling because their team won and pleased because there was a ton of wonderful things to eat while they were there.
Several people had gotten together and decided to bring in food, so there were about five different kinds of soups, freshly baked bread, buns and garlic toast, as well as cheese, crackers and meat slices.
My friend Mary Klopstad made what could quite possibly have been the best chicken noodle soup I have ever tasted in my life. I ate the first bowl out of hunger and the second just because it was so good. I barely managed to hold myself back from having a third bowl, and what I really wanted to do was just roll around and wallow in it. Yep, it was that good.
On a chilly night, we ate soup and munchies and drank a few beers and watched the Vikings pound on the Packers. What a great night. My parents stopped up for the first half of the game, and everyone cheered, yelled and gasped in unison during each play.
What a great night.
Sometimes walking into the pub in Avoca reminds me of scenes from the TV show Cheers. I always expect Norm to come in for a beer mumbling about a dog-eat-dog world and Milkbone underwear.
It is a place where there’s always a friendly face, where there is always someone to visit with, and where many problems have been solved. And I don’t mean with beer. It is not uncommon for someone to stop up because they need a hand with something, some information or whatever.
Actually, the official name of the bar is the Avoca Municipal Liquor Store, but locals generally refer to it as the bar, the pub, the pop shop, the bank or uptown. Those who frequent from small surrounding towns tend to just call the bar Avoca, as in “I’m heading to Avoca. Stop in and have a beer.”
The building used to be a bank years ago, which explains that nick-name. The rest are pretty self-explanatory.
Last year, construction of a new partition was completed, and the place is much bigger and lighter than some may remember. If you haven’t been by in a few years, stop in and see it.
Just like Cheers, among the regulars you’ll find your Cliff Klavin, Carla Tortelli and Norm Peterson personalities. Sometimes just walking in to buy a 6-pack of pop can be an adventure if you get caught up in one of the odd conversations.
Frankly, I think the Avoca Bar is a large part of the city’s quirky charm.
Making your way in the world today takes everything you got. Taking a break from all your worries sure would help a lot. You wanna be where you can see our troubles are all the same, you wanna be where everybody knows your name.