Is It Happy Hour Yet?

keep-calm-its-happy-hourWell it’s early Monday evening, happy hour. I’m sitting here at Casa del Rey in San Dimas, one of my favorite local watering holes waiting for the NCAA National Championship Game to begin. While waiting I figured I might as well work on my my blog a bit. It’s all part of “beer and blogging” except I’m sipping on a margarita instead of a beer. I’ve been coming to Casa since it first opened up for business more than 30 years ago. The first 15 years or so all of our visits were to the dining area of the restaurant. We had many a lunch and dinner here and celebrated a number of birthdays. My kids really enjoyed the place. In fact my oldest son who was probably about 4 or 5 when Casa first opened, used to walk around like he owned the place. and everyone let him! He never called it Casa though, he always referred to it as ‘Art’s Place.’ (Art was the owner who took a liking to my son) Yeah he really loved ‘Casa.’

Interestingly enough it was this same son who introduced me to the other side of Casa del Rey, the bar. In all the years of going to Casa we never once sat in the bar, not even to kill a little time while waiting for a dining table. That all changed about four months after my son’s 21st birthday. One Saturday afternoon I was getting ready to watch an NFL playoff game when he asked me if I wanted to go with him to Casa to watch the game so I went with him, sort of an impromptu father – son outing. It was my first time sitting at the bar but not my son’s, he chatted it up with the female bartender like they were old friends. It was a cool experience.  Yeah, We ate, we drank margaritas and watched some football. Needless to say, we had a blast! Well that was over 15 years ago. Since then my wife and I have only eaten in the dining area a couple of times. It’s always a table in the bar, or out on the patio.Yeah Casa is my kind of place.

There was a time, not that long ago, when I would have said ‘Casa’ was my number one favorite place to go for happy hour, but things change and now Casa has some serious happy hour competition from a few other places namely Chili’s, Chases, Eureka and Shogun who have comparable happy hour specials and have one thing Casa doesn’t. You see Casa has one serious flaw, especially if you’re a craft beer lover. They doesn’t serve draft beer and have a very narrow selection of bottled beer. When they first opened they had draft beer but when they moved to their new location they went to bottled beer only. The other four places have a wide selection of draft beers including several from some of our local craft beer brewers.  I wish Casa would go draft, but Art apparently believes he doesn’t need draft beer. The place is packed nearly every night so why bother. He’s got a good thing going.

I suppose it best that he doesn’t have draft beer. The addition of draft, craft beer would probably create a bigger problem for me. You see my wife seems to think I come to Casa too often already, draft beer would only make it worse. I gotta admit I do come here often, especially since I retired. I’m usually at least once a week. It’s my friendly neighborhood  go to place and it’s less than a mile from home close enough to walk home if needed. So far I’ve never had to do that at least not yet. Okay the big games is starting enough with the blogging. Vickie just brought me a margarita and some fresh chips and salsa. I’m ready! Sure hope it’s a good game. Woo Hoo! Go Blue Devils!

Just a thought…


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