My significant other is the ultimate multitasker, never doing fewer than two things at a time, often closer to five. For him, the bar at the Movie Tavern is a little piece of paradise.
There it is possible to simultaneously eat, drink, watch television, talk and read. And when the stars line up as they did on the opening night of 21, one will find other distractions, like the conversion of dining tables to card games, complete with dealers in low-cut blouses, timing out short rounds of blackjack to keep the impatient occupied while waiting for the film to start.
It seemed improbable to me, I must admit, that a bar so off the beaten path (behind Richmond Road and off a side street) has so many devotees. Months ago, I discovered the bar by accident when going to see a movie. Apparently, once people get a taste of the place (no pun intended), they return for the bargain-priced food and drink, as well as the spontaneous possibility of watching a flick.
I've never seen it empty.
”We are the only bar in town that can offer its patrons a $4 ticket for a first-run movie, half off all pizzas and $1.50 domestic draft on Sundays through Wednesdays. You can come in, get a movie, pizza and a draft for under $15,“ says general manager Bryan Kersey. ”On Friday and Saturday nights, there is standing room only at the bar.“
It's also a great place from which to people-watch the moviegoers, who run the gamut from families with young children to seventy-somethings on a weekend date to logo-sporting college students. There is only one group missing.
”The one demographic area that we don't appeal very much to is the teenager,“ CEO Jeff Benson told me via e-mail. ”As you are probably aware, we don't allow unaccompanied teens (18 or less) in the theatre on Fridays and Saturdays after 6 pm, I believe. We don't want to be perceived as a teen hangout where parents come drop off their kids.“
In addition to pizza, the bar serves a broad range of dishes, including a big juicy hamburger with fries for $7.49, meaning you really can have dinner and a movie. And naturally there is a signature drink, and naturally, since this is Wildcat territory, it is called simply ”The Blue Thing,“ a be-true-to-your-school concoction that would be cheap at twice the price: 14 ounces of Sauza Gold tequila, margarita mix, and Blue Curacao (a bitter orange liqueur dyed blue that will give your lips a necrotic cast) for $5.99.