Saturday, March 7, 2009

March 13th: SPIRITS WITH SPIRITS at Tom Bergin's

GHOULA meets for cocktails in haunted places on the 13th of each month. “SPIRITS with SPIRITS” is a casual gathering of regional ghost hunters. Open to all, from the curious skeptic to the passionate phantom pursuer. Make friends, find ghosts! Come see the “hot spots” with “cold spots.”

All those who attend will receive a free G.H.O.U.L.A. button. If you already have, please wear it so others can find you.

THE DATE: March 13th, 2009 (Friday)
THE PLACE: Tom Bergin’s Tavern (840 S. Fairfax) map
THE TIME: 8pm to the Witching Hour


Although the name and location of this restaurant has changed since they first opened their doors in 1936, from “Tom Bergin’s Old Horse Shoe Tavern and Thoroughbred Club” (on Wilshire) to “Tom Bergin’s Horse Shoe Tavern” (on Fairfax) to just simply “Tom Bergin’s” (still Fairfax), the famous “horse shoe-shaped” bar that started it all has remained exactly the same. So much so, that at the time of the big move (just a couple of blocks away), loyal customers personally carried the bar (in one piece with the 17 benches attached) just to make sure nothing changed.

“Tom Bergin’s” has achieved immortality for two important contributions to American culture. First, in early 1950's, it became one of the first establishments in the USA to serve “Irish Coffee,” and secondly, the place served as the inspiration, both in look and feel, for TV’s “Cheers.” The character of "Coach” was even modeled after Head Bartender Chris Doyle. Indeed, “Tom Bergin’s” was the original “place where everyone knows your name” as evidenced by the ritual of placing faithful customers’ names on large shamrocks that hang over the bar.

In Ireland, legends of leprechauns, fairies, and banshees are common place, so it is only fitting that Los Angeles’ oldest Irish Pub has its own share of tales to tell. The figure of a woman has been known to walk through the bar area only to vanish moments later, while a mysterious man has also been known to disappear before one’s eyes near the fireplace in the restaurant. Are these two spirits connected to each other? And, who is responsible for the mischievous movement of objects late at night when the customers have left? Could it be a third ghost? If all this seems too disturbing, take comfort in the knowledge there are no leprechauns running around the bar… or are there?

(to see last month's SPIRITS with SPIRITS location...)

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