BarView -Clampers, and Tigers, and Bears! Oh, my!

Clampers, and Tigers, and Bears! Oh, my! — The Other Place By Kate Serpa Photos by Philip Johnson

Hypothetical situation: You have been sentenced to die. You know how out of hand you got at Luckyfest after you had all of those car bombs, and the punishment is steep for your St. Paddy’s antics. You must choose: death by pissed-off Siberian tiger, or death by pissed-off grizzly bear. You’re going to be mauled to death no matter which way you go — so who will it be: a serious weight advantage and a biting force so strong it could crush a bowling ball from the grizzly, or unmatched agility, stealth, and a lethal paw swipe from le tigre? I’m asking the real questions here, people.

Phil said bear, but personally, I’m thinking tiger. In my opinion, the entire messy process would be a whole lot quicker, and I’m pretty sure I’d be a huge wuss in a certain-death sort of situation. Speaking of big bites and powerful shots, have you been to The Other Place recently? Phil and I headed over one afternoon to talk with Bobby Christoulakis, owner and manger of the Other Place (and Spinnaker’s) about dive-bar pride, Clampers, and drinking (my favorite).

“We don’t have a single martini glass here,” Bobby told me. “If you order a martini — you’re going to get it in a rocks glass. We are not an upper-class establishment, but everyone is welcome. We have fun here, and you’re going to have fun if you come by, too.” And you know what? Martinis taste the same no matter what glass they’re poured it — it is the quality of your surroundings and company that make the difference, and I will gladly forfeit stems for good talk — plus it looks pretty badass.

I had never been to The Other Place before, and I drank my drinks out of rocks glasses, and I did have an excellent time. In addition to being the longest running bar under the same family in Modesto, the bar is well stocked, they have Lagunitas on tap (don’t tell Dust Bowl I’m cheating on them), big screen TVs projecting the appropriate seasonal games, bartender Christina pouring Sweet Tart shots, an ample stage to accommodate the constant stream of live local music The Other Place supports, and Bobby in the center of it all striking up conversations with everyone who walks in the door, drumming up Clamper support, and being a quality mid-afternoon drinking buddy for me.

Quick Note: A red shirt and a penchant for drinking does not a Clamper make. This fraternal “historical drinking society”/ “drinking historical society” thrives on the preservation of local history, champions charitable community works, and considers The Other Place to be a viable home of Chapter 58.

I’m pretty sure a Clamper wouldn’t have to choose between a tiger or a bear — he’d probably say something tough like “both” and end up winning the whole damn thing. If I said “both”, I’d probably say it with my eyes closed and because I wanted to get the whole ordeal over with faster. On the other hand, if it was me versus ‘martini-in-rocks-glass’ or ‘martini-in-martini-glass’, I could totally be badass and say “both”. That is definitely a fighting match I would win.

2003 Yosemite Blvd., Modesto, CA 209.524.2450 www.facebook.com/theOp209<http://www.facebook.com/theOp209>

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About the Author:

Kate Serpa does not live in Modesto, CA, nor does she attend court-reporting school. She has not played for the piano for a number of years and she is definitely not excited about helping out at the McHenry Museum. She detests drinking, bar hopping, and late night adventures, and thinks girls who dye their hair red are disgraceful. She has absolutely zero sense of humor and is boring as hell.