As I’m getting older, it seems like the only time I find myself in a bar, I’m with my mom.
Honestly, I’m not sure how she’s going to handle reading that line.
Perhaps I should clarify. I’m currently up from Alabama visiting my family in Ohio. It’s a trip I try to make around three or four times a year–usually my trips coincide with a school break. When I’m here, either by myself or with my wife, we usually make at least one trip out to dinner at a favorite place in the small town where I was raised, Union.
Union, a suburb of a suburb of Dayton, is getting bigger; when I lived there the town didn’t have a single stop light. If I’m not mistaken, it’s now up to two. When I lived there, it didn’t have the Toll House Tavern, either.
The Toll House, situated near the historical location of a toll station on State Route 48, is now a fixture in this small town. The Toll House can be a lot of things, depending on what you’re looking for. We enjoy it as a restaurant with locally-famous broasted chicken, but if you’re looking for trivia on Wednesday nights, a place to meet with friends, or just a great place to tip a cold one (whatever your pleasure), it’s great for that, too.
It’s got the juke box, the neon signs that seem to have been there forever, the pine lap-joint paneling, and, of course, a long classic bar with an array of taps and bottles on display. A dart board, and at least one framed malt beverage poster with puppies. Dark wood beams and a few stained-glass windows round out the decor. Depending on the night, it’s quiet (like this evening, a Monday) or it’s loud and boisterous. If you’re a regular, you know the other regulars, and if you’re not, you feel comfortable as well. Indeed, it could be that place where everyone knows your name.
I’ll be back in a few months, and I’m already looking forward to dinner with the family. Maybe, just maybe, we’ll be back tomorrow night.