confession time: I used to be a cocktail waitress at Brian O'Brien's

So, what's this about Brian O'Brien's burning down? I saw the raw footage on the Abq Journal's website, but can't find a dang news story about it.

I guess it's confession time: I used to work at that bar. Yes, I worked at the bar with the freaking dumbest name ever. In 2002, I returned to Abq from Europe--where my impending marriage had just crumbled--and I needed to line up some work so I could save up enough money to move to Colorado and start an internship with High Country News. (I had left my previous career prior to leaving for Europe and didn't want to return to archaeology; I needed a transition job between archaeology and journalism and cocktail waitressing was perfect.)

A girlfriend of mine was a bartender there, and she introduced me to the owners. And here's the thing: I loved working there. I worked Thursday, Friday and Saturday night--went in around nine and stayed until closing. I made enough cash to survive and spent the rest of the week camping and goofing around outside. I loved the other women I worked with at the bar and my customers--mostly regulars--were really down-to-earth nice people who had crazy stories to tell about their lives. Also, it was far enough from UNM that we didn't get cheap college students, so I made great tips--and every once in a while, a cute guy would actually come in and there would be someone to flirt with at work. (It wasn't all perfect: one night a biker gang came in and the guys acted like total a-holes and didn't leave any tips behind; another time, I had a guy go into a diabetic coma at my table.)

Anyway, just had to share...I haven't been to BO'B's since I worked there, and I'd actually wondered how the place had fared after the smoking ban. I'll raise a beer to the place tonight at dinner.

Views: 5

Comment by A Saucy Lass on September 30, 2008 at 4:30pm
I just drove by there today. It looks very sad, all crumpled in and burned. I'd never been there before but used to live on Glorieta St & Snowheights, so I drove by it all the time. I have no idea what happened; I haven't read any news about it.
Comment by Steve Whitman on September 30, 2008 at 6:19pm
BoB's used to be a really good neighborhood kinda dive and was home to a lot of good music in its time. Dem Bones, Sultans, Memphis P-Tails and many others. 2002 was a good time there. In its later years it became just a skanky dive with lots of "deferred maintenance". The men's bathroom door was off its hinges leaning against the wall for a couple of years, etc... When I heard it was burning Wed night my first thought was "thats one way to clear a property..." No factual basis for that, of course, but many closed down New Mexico bars seem to burn eventually....
Comment by Laura on September 30, 2008 at 6:37pm
Gosh, I'd even forgotten about the music! I looooved when the Sultans played on nights I worked. And wasn't BO'B a fondue restaurant at some point in the past? I think I remember hearing that -- and that there was a fire there then, too.
Comment by jim on September 30, 2008 at 8:24pm
I think Brian O'Brien's has been at that location as an Irish pub going back to the 80's with the ownership changing at least once. Before it was BO'B there was a Sadie's Mexican restaurant there.
Comment by Phil_0 on October 1, 2008 at 12:30am
It's been closed for at least a year and a half.
Comment by jim on October 1, 2008 at 7:15am
You're right Phil. The sign has been up but the building was boarded up. The last time I went there was several years ago and the maintenance of the place had gone down hill. I remember rough framed 2x4 railings and the door off of the men's room laying against the hall wall.
Comment by cathyray on October 1, 2008 at 8:11am
Steve Whitman is right. I spent a lot of time there listening to the greatest music on earth. I have a lot of good memories of the place. One time we did a Stevie Ray Vaughn benefit there. It was kinda sad to see it go downhill.
I believe the fire Steve refers to is called "New Mexico lightening".
Comment by Keith on October 1, 2008 at 8:34am
BOB's also made a top-notch green chile cheesburger -- one of many places in town where you could unexpectedly find a great one.
Comment by jim on October 1, 2008 at 3:28pm
Their trademark burger was called the "Mean" burger" and as I recall it was a green chile cheese burger with bacon. It may also have had avacado. They also served a "Mini Mean" burger for smaller appetites. I wandered in on several St.Patrick's Days over the years and have always had fond memories of the pub. It was a big place for playing darts. It had really gone down hill over the last few years it was in business.
Comment by Robert S. on October 2, 2008 at 3:32am
i don't think it's linseed oil.. I think it's the homeless. IIRC, they started a fire in the strip mall in that area where the Walgreens used to be (and eventually that strip mall shell was torn down and I haven't driven by in awhile to see if it's just empty land or if there is redevelopment going on.

I think it's odd the firefighters weren't able to notice the fire first. IIRC, you can see the pub from the firehouse across the street and down a block or two unless that firestation next to Qwest's central office has been shut down.


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