i have what may be the saddest news in the entire world.
costello’s in st. paul, our bar – our precious, darling, hole in the wall, dive bar – is closing forever in february. and now i don’t know what to do with my hands. or my beer-drinking parts.
Mister Man and i have been regulars at costello’s since i first moved to the neighborhood in 2010. we were so excited to discover a small place within walking distance that served food and drinks and always had either the baseball or the hockey game on for us to watch since we never had cable.
we made ourselves at home there immediately, and let me tell you, when i say we were regulars, i mean they knew our names there. you know the cheers theme song? “sometimes you want to go/where everybody knows your name”? costello’s was our cheers. and even though that doesn’t seem like that big of a deal, it was a dream of MM’s and mine to have a place we could go and they would set down our “usual” and we could chat the night away with our bartender and waitress friends. our hearts swelled whenever we walked through the door and brian or nancy would yell “hey guys! there’s a seat over there for you!”
the people who worked at costello’s are some of the nicest i’ve ever met in st. paul. the night we got engaged, after meeting our parents at the fancy w.a. frost’s, we went to costello’s to tell them the news (and they bought us champagne to celebrate). we went to nancy’s going away party when she retired. we hugged brian goodbye when he moved to west virginia (and then hugged him when he eventually came back “home”). we introduced our friends kari and sam there. we even joked about buying a plaque to install on the bar so we’d always have our spots when we came in.
we weren’t there every day, but it was a rare weekend that we didn’t stop in to say hi and have a pint. oddly enough, some of our most serious conversations about our future together (marriage/how many kids we want to have/you name it) were had in the second booth on the right. the only reason we were sad to move into our house was that we were no longer walking distance to costello’s and were losing our regular place. but we always had the reassurance that it was just across town.
a new bar and restaurant will be opening in its place in april. and you know what, it doesn’t sound like a half bad place. and it’s going to be GREAT for the developing neighborhood. but i still feel like it’s the end of an era. costello’s will always bring me memories of when Mister Man and i were just starting to get serious, making decisions about life together, and our first year as husband and wife. and who really needs a plaque for that?
anyone else get nostalgic about physical places like i do? is it odd that i have such a strong attachment to a dive bar? don’t answer that. or do, but just be kind.