For many people who live in the city the local pub is a place you can go and feel at home. Lots of local pubs are within walking distance which makes for a safe place to have a few drinks without having to worry about how you’re getting home. If you’re a regular the staff probably know what you order and may even know you by name.
The most interesting thing about local pubs, to me, is how willing to forgive and forget we are when you receive poor service or when the food isn’t great. My local pub has all the things I talked about that make it a personal comfort zone for me. The funny thing is that the food really isn’t great yet I continue to go there on a regular basis. As someone who writes about food and can be very critical at times it seems strange that I would let this slide.
Last summer I spent a day in Whistler with my parents and my Aunt and Uncle from Edmonton. We had lunch on a patio in the Village and it was pretty good, as the food tends to be in most of Whistler. On the way home my uncle convinced me that we should go to a pub for some food and drinks that night as they were going home the next day. My local pub was chosen and I met them there later that evening. When the food we had ordered arrived it certainly didn’t win any awards, in fact my dad sent his french onion soup back 3 times because it was cold. Personally I don’t know if french onion soup is something I would order at a pub, it’s always good to stick to the standards, chicken wings, nachos, clubhouse sandwich, the triple crown of pub food. Stray too for from that and you’re in dangerous waters, unless you know that a particular pub has a good menu and/or chef. I know that chicken wings area safe bet at my pub and strongly urged the rest of the group to try them, while at the same time trying to steer them away from other menu items that I knew were risky. I was not successful.
I think the reason I don’t mind the average food at my local pub is that my connection is deeper than just food and drink. There’s a feeling of belonging somewhere and that goes a long way towards making up for its other shortcomings.
Support your local pub because someday you may need them to support you, not that I advocate drinking as a cure to all your troubles. Sometimes it just feels good to belong.