There’s no cocktailing like sad cocktailing: A funeral wake to acknowledge a departed pal to the tune of “Danny Boy” or a busted-up relationship that sparks up the portion of your brain dedicated to writing country songs in which beer and whiskey play starring roles.
Or when it’s last call, and the bartender flicks the lights on, jarring everyone into a brief spasm of sobriety before they re-sink back into despondency while the bartender (sadly) picks up your glass and pours you a cab.
It is time, now, to close up the honky-tonk that is the Long Beach Petroleum Club, which will close its doors forever on March 31, almost 64 years after it first opened to members, on Sept. 22, 1955.
The Bixby Knolls Good Spirits Club will observe Last Call at the venerable institution at a gathering starting at 6:30 p.m. March 20 in the club’s circular and suave Linden Lounge, where tuxedoed oilmen and their mink-coated wives presided back in the days when no one was mad at petroleum.
There’ll be plenty of memories from Baby Boomers talking about the sunny afternoons lounging around the club’s massive outdoor pool while eating hamburgers and drinking Shirley Temples and Roy Rogers, and the Sunday evenings at the mammoth buffet. There’ll be lamenting about how could this great institution, built right in the middle of the mid-modern era, fall so far from grace, and what coulda-shoulda been done to preserve the place. There may be a long shot chance at a rescue, but it’s slimmer than a gin-and-tonic straw.
You don’t have to be a card-carrying member of either club (Good Spirits or Petroleum); just show up in your best loungewear and enjoy one of the evening’s curated cocktails: The Roughneck, 3636 Special, The Wasp, The Motorman, Black Gold or Texas Tea.
Appetizers will be available for ordering.
Tim Grobaty is a columnist and the Opinions Editor for the Long Beach Post. You can reach him at 562-714-2116, email [email protected], @grobaty on Twitter and Grobaty on Facebook.
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