Monday, August 11, 2008

Memories of Nevin's

Through the magic of Facebook, I reconnected with Don, who managed Nevin's Pub in the mid '90s. I used to cocktail at Nevin's to make some extra cash during grad school, but I also spent many non-work nights there with baskets of clam strips and cream cheese balls and pints of McEwan's, hanging out in the front room with my best pal Joanna and other friends who couldn't bear to be away.

Saturday, Don and I caught up about what everyone has been doing since 1997. We've both left the restaurant business, but we laughed about all our crazy mishaps like no time had passed.

He used to quiz us at the beginning of our shifts about the restaurant's history and the menu:

"How many ounces is the burger?"
"How do you ask for change?"
"Tell me about the Irish bacon." He was so disappointed when I couldn't.

But he was also a good-natured guy, so all would be forgotten by the time he'd have to help me schlep food to the tables. He could carry an armful of plates and never lose the pencil he kept behind his ear.

I, on the other hand, wasn't a good server (which probably doesn't come as a surprise). Even though I gained a command of the menu, I was ill-equipped for the job overall. From experience, I've learned that if you're carrying a tray of beers in one hand and a basket of fries in the other, it's better to drop the fries if something needs to go.

Still, I miss the days of Monday night Scrabble and shepherd's pie. And to this day, if I'd need to order a bunch of drinks for friends, I'd do it Nevin's style: start with the Guinness, then the mixed drinks, then finish with the beers (darkest to lightest). I'd make you proud, Don.


Troy Thiel said...


Don Browne and I were talking yesterday about hanging out in Milwaukee one of these days (one of my favorite things to getting over for Bucks game (was at the Wednesday overtime game) or Brewers or just hanging out on the North Side or River West....he says you live near Burleigh...the Art Bar and new Alterra are city...much more dynamic than Madison...we moved here in 03.

You were a fine server..what's a few dropped mugs? Smartest person in the room I remember too!

Don will connect with you when we figure out a playdate...maybe county clare for an old times sake guiness and bangers and mash!

Naomi said...

Thanks, Troy! I'm in for County Clare.

Troy Thiel said...

sounds like a plan! dang, just mentioning it makes me want to come over there for dinner and guiness...and Schwartz's bookstore on Downer..and a flick at the city you live in!