Wednesday, December 2, 2009

The King is dead. Long live the King!

(Quick note: I am about to go away for two weeks, but I WILL be updating this blog. I promise. To keep your interest, here is a short post about one of my favorite restaurants.)

We first found the King’s Head Pub as newlyweds. It’s a traditional British pub in Campbell that was as close to the “real thing” we could find. Bangers and mash with a side of mushy peas is one of my comfort foods and theirs warmed my heart at first bite. They even had the caber used by the Campbell Clan in the annual Scottish games hanging above the bar. (For those not familiar with the event known as the “caber toss”, picture someone picking up a telephone pole and chucking it as far as they can, trying to make it flip end over end when it lands. I am not making this up.)

Even though it was about a 20 minute drive from our home in Mountain View, it became a staple of my routine. I worked in a Network Operations Center at the time and it was extremely stressful. On Thursday nights, a group of workmates would meet up at King’s Head to essentially start Friday’s festivities a day early because we had reached maximum stress tolerance before the end of the week.

Thursday night was Celtic Jam night so there was a core group of fiddle and bagpipe players, but there were usually at least 5 other random people that would show up with penny-whistles, drums, more fiddles, or guitars. It was always high energy and made you feel like you were in another world rather than Silicon Valley chained to a desk all day.

Often we would play a game called Munchkin which you can click the link to read about, but rest assured it is very very nerdy.

Fast forward five years. We have returned from Amsterdam, my job is stressing me out, our housing situation is stressing us out, and other stresses are impatiently waiting outside ringing the doorbell. A light bulb goes off above my head and I tell Wife, “We’re going out for dinner, I’ve got an idea.”. We start driving up the highway and as we get close she asks, “Are we going to King’s Head?”. I smile and say “Maybe.”

We pull into the parking lot and something is not right. I see a wall painted bright red and pull the car closer. That’s when it hits me.

It’s a club. There is a sign out front announcing it as “The Spot.” I see a pack of twenty-something guys in muscle-tshirts trying way too hard to look cool. The King's Head is gone, replaced by something foul to me. I haven’t even parked and I can tell that it’s a scene I want no part of. We drive away to find solace somewhere else.

I spent the next few hours in shock. If I had a dog for years, that I had spent time with and loved, and suddenly that dog turned and bit me – I think I would have had a similar feeling. Am I sure that just happened? Why did this happen? What do I do now?

Their website is still up if you want to peruse the ghost of a place I once loved - if you click the "Celtic" link at the top they even have some pictures of what I am talking about (although they say it was on Wednesday, they must have changed it at some point).

I like to think that sometimes, on a real quiet Thursday night, off in the distance, you can still hear the bagpipes playing.

1 comment:

Leanna said...

ARGH! I remember hearing about this from someone (Probably Robert..or one of my rennie friends..) a few months ago that it wasn't there anymore. That's so depressing :(
They used to have the most amazing jam sessions. A ren faire friend of mine one time brought his instrument over there and they let him jam with them, what cool peeps!