For the past three weeks, I've tried to convince Sarah to go with me to Strega Nona for two dollar martinis. The last two weeks she was either busy or hungover, but last night she agreed. I was excited because, even though my obsession with the dirty martini is over (thanks to watching what were several of them fall project in the alley behind Julia's house that one time), two dollar alcohol is two dollar alcohol and two dollar alcohol is always a good thing.
So Sarah called when she was on Southport and I walked out to meet her in front of Strega Nona. As I crossed the street, however, I noticed that the side looked somewhat differently. Since I don't really walk north of the 3700 block on Southport, I figured something could have possibly changed about the street, but I doubted it.
Then I realized that Strega Nona was no longer there (which explains the broken link above).
No, the building is still there, but the facade is completely repainted with a brand new awning advertising the establishment's new name: "Take Five". I walked to the front and looked inside, and it's a sports bar. Another fucking sports bar. That's exactly what Wrigleyville needs. And here's the best part: It's called "Take Five" because everything on the menu is five dollars. CLEVER, HUH?! That's just what I need: more drunk Cubs fan stumbling around my neighborhood. I mean, it's nothing new, but now they're going to be cheap, drunk Cubs fans.
I felt like a big idiot, but I was also angry because I had eaten at Strega Nona less than a month ago. I don't understand how they had time to repaint the building and hang up twenty plasma TVs in less than a month. And without warning! Couldn't our waiter (who, as I remember, sucked - just like everyone who worked there...hmmm...) have mentioned something? "Oh hey, before I take twenty minutes getting your check, I thought I'd let you know we're closing next week."
Sarah and I ended up at Guthrie's, though, and we had a good time. Paying three dollars for PBR, though, is hardly a consolation.
It really doesn't come as a surprise that I managed to not notice that one of my favorite restaurants, one that is about two hundred yards from my house, had closed. I mean, I'm the type of guy who doesn't realize until 9:30 that he's wearing his underwear on backwards.
Which I did.
I am twenty-two years old.