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Saturday, October 16, 2021

Column: The plight of Funk Night

G Street Pub is renovating, and it’s about time.

If you’ve spent a Thursday morning nursing a hangover and washing the bottom of your Vans with acetone, you understand my concern. If you’ve received a public urination ticket because a muddy bush seemed more appealing than G Street’s actual facilities, you understand my concern. I feel like we could do a whole “You know you’re at G Street when…” segment, which doesn’t bode well for the current ownership.

As much as I love Pabst Blue Ribbon at bargain basement prices, selling a pint for a dollar on Wednesdays can only lower a patron’s expectations so much, at least with respect to the interior. Just because an establishment is tacitly designed for us to binge drink until we vomit doesn’t mean it should feel like it is. Its presentation should strive to make us feel like we aren’t violent drunks, even when our behavior suggests otherwise.

Don’t get me wrong, I love the dive bar feel of the place. Somehow, drinking awful beer there gives me a more hearty sense of accomplishment than drinking awful beer almost anywhere else. When I look around at the battle-hardened interior, I feel like I finished my pint in the face of overwhelming odds.

So it is with this irrational sense of accomplishment in mind I’d like to spend a few moments addressing the new ownership (this has been building up since my 21st birthday, so bear with me): My feet shouldn’t get stuck to the floor when I’m strutting my best stuff. I shouldn’t have to buy another four dollar shot because I’ve only racked up a $14 tab, and bartenders shouldn’t get to hold my debit card hostage if I don’t. The bathroom should have more than one stall if you let 200 people inside at a time, and if not, pay off the Davis Police Department so we can take our “business” outside without having to register as sex offenders.

And get rid of the pool tables! I frequent the pool tables; in fact I’ve won the Sunday 8-ball tournament and still cannot justify smelling everyone’s armpits on the other side of the bar while four pieces of furniture occupy an equally large room behind us. Break down the wall, get rid of the only tables you can’t put beer on, play actual funk music on Funk Night and make the bar double-sided. Hire another bartender if you have to. I know a certain columnist with curly locks and a little boyish charm who could use a job.

And install new air conditioning. The condensation makes it look like a whorehouse from the sidewalk.

I offer this constructive criticism from a place of profound adoration. I understand it’s a miserable prospect cleaning up after us night after night, like Sisyphus pushing that confounded boulder up the hill, only to watch it roll back down. But Sisyphus never made a five to one margin on every keg he emptied, so I can’t tell you how glad I am that G Street’s new ownership is considering making the people who keep the place running feel more at home.

This isn’t to say Davis’ other establishments are leaps and bounds ahead of G Street either. Davis students don’t exactly drink in ultra lounges. However, when I was a freshman, I took a date to the original Soga’s on E Street (may you rest in peace). I can’t speak for her, but I had an incredible steak dinner that I still haven’t forgotten (the entrée, not the date). Four hours later, completely unbeknownst to me, the place would transform from an elegant eatery to an adored nightlife location. Obviously I wasn’t 21 yet, so when I raved about my steak fries to an alcohol-legal fraternity brother, his reaction was, “Bro, why would you take a girl to eat where we puke?”

I would love to give this reaction to one of my first-year brothers. He would take a date to G Street Pub during the day because he knew it was at least sanitary, at which point I’d point out (by reminding him that’s where others go to puke) that their staff must jump through hoops to clean up the mess we make.

I propose a toast over dollar pints to a rosy dream vision of the new G Street Pub. If the renovation is impressive, meet me there on opening day. The first round is on me.

JOSH ROTTMAN encourages you to drop page 3 off at G Street Pub if you’d like to see any of these improvements made. He can be reached at jjrottman@ucdavis.edu.

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