I am often asked which pub I prefer working at. I definitely have more in common with the patrons that frequent the west end pub. However, there is something comforting that comes with years working at a local dive bar in the east end. I was raised in that neighborhood. It’s unpretentious. People don’t expect wine lists or a cocktail menu, they expect cold beer and friendly service. We (usually) have both. Although I cannot disregard the shortcomings. The bar is situated in a lower – income neighborhood with some criminal activity. Despite its relative shabbiness, it’s the least sketchy in the general region. We get highly intoxicated people stumbling in and I often have to cut people off, or refuse service all together. That is often met with resistance. A few fights have broken out and while my personal safety wasn’t threatened directly, I felt frightened. During those situations, I always had a few trusted regulars who helped me sort things out. There are many people who would protect that place as if it were their own home.
In terms of everyday stimulating conversations? There are not many. As mentioned in my previous post about my experiences, there are often problematic comments being made that just wouldn’t occur in the west end pub. In terms of demographics, there is an overwhelmingly obvious lack of people who are not straight White men. Yet, I stay. There is something keeping me there. Something reassuring and comfortable about that place.
The west end pub has diversity, good food, live music and interesting patrons yet I still couldn’t choose the better of the two.