By Sophie van Well Groeneveld
I first went to Enid's after a week of passing the Monday all night happy hour sign on my commute out the apartment: $3 well drinks, a well price indeed. I invited Phoebe along, we had both recently moved back, and were not yet adjusted to the cost of drinks here so could only mentally handle happy hours.
I don’t remember that much about this first night. I successfully ordered a bourbon lemonade. I say successfully because ordering the lemonade that I thought of as lemonade in the US only successfully happened twice. Schweppes don’t make a lemonade there, only ginger ale. I constantly tried to describe a drink that wasn’t too lemony, but also not too sweet. I was already the bartender’s worst nightmare.
Enid's, 1999, since before you moved here.
Phoebe and I sat at a dark wood booth in the space, Can’t Hardly Wait came on. Could this be love, The Replacements playing in a bar? A couple of hours later, a couple of drinks later, Left of The Dial came on. Two songs in one night? What was this place round the corner from me?!
It was decided, a $3 drink and The Replacements, I was coming here every Monday. The second week, it was a different bartender. I tried to explain my mixer, he said they didn’t have it, called me Lemonade Girl. I ended up with sprite, then soda, none of it was right. Later on into the relationship I found the balance of half sprite half soda, even later I lost my sweet tooth, and praise the day, became the simpler customer of a soda gal.
Then ensued for the rest of the semester: I would come out of my 9pm class every Monday, meet with Phoebe, head to Enid's. We’d leave between 12 and 1 on everyone else’s least favourite day of the week. This continued for a year.
Then Ivy moved into the apartment. I mentioned my Monday night traditions. She went a week I couldn’t make it, and had befriended the bartender I had never gotten to know, who she called Andy. Ivy reintroduced Andrew to me, we acknowledged that we knew each other but I never sat at the bar. Andrew and I had a friendly interaction, our cold past behind us. Phoebe didn’t come to Enid's as much now, she had a 9 - 5. My late start for babysitting led to my lifestyle of always being at the bar.
Now I always sat at the bar. Andrew would give me a free shot at the end of the night – one for the road. The road being the two block walk from the bar to my apartment, I would always go from being a pleasant tipsy, to a dizzy vision from that shot and waste it on the walk home.
I started to go to the bar on my own now, if others couldn’t come I was going to Enids anyway. I knew all the regulars. Kat would host a monthly goth night with Andrew. Goth night entailed the disco ball being turned on at 10pm, a fog machine, tables cleared for a dance floor that only we would fill. Kat behind the decks above the bar, playing Sex Dwarf by Soft Cell at least twice.
One Monday, Andrew told me he wasn’t drinking for two weeks, I questioned if I should change my consumption. I was sick and got a tea that week, although part of me recalls I still got whisky in it. A rotation of Ivy, Shira and I would sit with Andrew at the bar every week, catching up on life.
I haven’t described this bar yet, it was a big bar by New York standards. Corner bar overlooking a park with lots of windows, but unless it was their busy brunch, it was still darkish inside. On Monday’s sometimes a big crowd would come through – mainly brought by us if we decided to try and celebrate something there, but often it was just 10 people.
One night, as I had arrived at Enid's first, I was relaying to Alex, a newish busboy we’d befriended, that I was leaving. My visa was expiring. Alex said, if it makes you feel any better, you won’t be missing out because Enid's is closing. The news wasn’t public yet. I didn’t tell anyone most of the night because I wasn’t sure who I could tell except for Ivy who must know immediately. This was too much. Off the back two of my roommates each moving out of the apartment we had shared for two and a half years, now our favourite bar was closing. The bar which we had a patch for as the only decoration on our horrifically empty dirty white walls, the bar that was the name of our wifi password, the bar that we brought any new love interest to, the bar that we once went to three times in a day, the bar where we made a petition and wrote letters to management to bring back the old nachos, was closing. Enid's was the most stable thing I’d had since I’d moved back.
It was decided, a $3 drink and The Replacements, I was coming here every Monday.
Before I started going to Enid's, if I was meeting a friend at a bar, I would wait outside, not wanting to awkwardly perch inside for half an hour while my friend was late. After becoming at home at Enid's, I would go to any bar and confidently whip up a bar stool while I wait and make friends or read my book. Whenever a friend came to stay with me, the second they arrived I demanded the first thing we do be to visit Enid's. If they declined due to jet lag, I left them to sleep while I went. Whenever I came back from a trip or family visits, it was the first place I went.
I left 20 days before their closing party, maybe for the better. It was the last place I went before I left. I didn’t order any drink or food, I was too sad to have an appetite for anything. Enid's, 1999, since before you moved here.
First performed at Gutter Street Nights: One For The Road. November 2019.