Saturday, January 02, 2010

If and When....

JK, the Aussie boss at 12 Square Metres, has been dreaming of expanding his little bar for.... oh, ages, probably ever since he first opened.

Those dreams had suddenly started becoming more concrete, more attainable over the past month or two, but negotiations with the somewhat batty woman who owns the adjacent house had grown so protracted that they still seemed more likely than not to fall through right up until the moment last week when a new agreement was finally signed.

During this period of mounting excitement, it's become something of a catchphrase of our dear laoban to say things like "If we expand the bar.... we can have a quiz night", "If we expand the bar, I'll have a malt whisky tasting every month", "If we expand the bar, I can get a draught beer tap in", "If we expand the bar....." I had suggested he might get a series of t-shirts made up commemorating these fanciful ideas, which, until a week or so ago, seemed rather unlikely ever to come to fruition. The other regulars and I, viewing the proposed transformation with a little more trepidation than optimism, might occasionally object, "If you expand the bar, it won't be 12 square metres any more."

And now, oh my god, that could all be happening within a week. JK caught us on the hop by changing his mind about when to begin the rebuilding, and then changing it back again - without telling us (first he was going to knock through on Friday, then he said Monday, then.... Friday it was)! It was a cruel shock to the system to wander down there for an early evening drink yesterday and find the place gutted, ringed around with piles of rubble. I'm also a bit peeved that I missed the last night of the old bar (although there was really no way I could have made it down there, since I was hanging with Dr Manhattan - who's bust a ligament in his foot and can't walk anywhere; once we'd made it to Amilal, we were pretty much stuck there for the rest of the night).

JK's hoping to be able to re-open before next weekend. And I'm sure the refurbishment will be handled tastefully (he's got some beautiful pieces of timber for the new bar) and will preserve as far as possible the cosy ambience of the original space.

But it won't be quite the same. I feel lost, homeless.


The Weeble said...

I'd always mentally responded to these if-and-whens with the timeless Yiddishism -- "Az der bubbe vot gehat baytzim vot zie geven mein zayde." ("And if my grandmother had balls, she'd be my grandfather.") Hard to believe it's actually happening.

Pub quiz, eh? Alc had invited Jim and me to start a pub quiz at Amilal, but we both balked on account of (a) our staggering laziness, and (b) the fact that it would bring in people -- new people. Might be worth trying at 12m2, though.

Froog said...

I'm not sure if it will actually happen, but JK was talking about having an individual quiz - which would be a unique draw in Beijing, and fits my anti-social tendencies.