Bar Ovations of the Week

Pascual’s & Jimmy’s

Getting a bunch of drinkers to agree on anything — much less give their whole-hearted applause — is impossible, so it was with wondrous surprise this past weekend as two jam-packed bars raised their glasses and clapped their hands in unison for two very different occasions.

The first, which happened on Friday night at Pascual’s on Victoria, was a goodbye. It was Cinco de Mayo, which meant the scantily clad Dos Equis girls were in full force, passing out beads and fluorescent stickers to the dozens who huddled up to the bar or sat in the naugahyde red booths awaiting their tacos, cervezas, and margaritas. But the most celebrated reveler in attendance that evening was Pascual himself, the short, sweet man who’s owned and run the bar/restaurant for decades now. The ovation began when Pascual was leaving the bar, for rumor had it that it might just be the legend’s last night there given his aging health and the restaurant’s remodeling that began this week. He got two or three full rounds of applause, and waved as he exited the door. It was the warm and fuzzy highlight of the weekend.

But the bar cheering didn’t stop there, for on Saturday night, it was all about new beginnings. After a ceremony/bash at the Rockwood Woman’s Club, the newly wed Leann Anderson (an Indy sales rep) and John Schnackenberg (a longtime S.B. sax player from an even longer-time Carp family) sashayed into Jimmy’s Oriental Gardens around 11:30 p.m. The crowd — which was a mix of wedding-goers such as trumpeter Nate Birkey and singer Spencer Barnitz (who both played the reception as part of The Wedding Band) and strangers — promptly stopped what they were doing to toast and applaud the new couple, both beaming with matrimonial delight.

Two nights in a row with full-throttle ovations at our town’s best bars? Here’s a hearty cheers to that.  — Matt Kettmann

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