The other night, I left the kids with my husband and went out with a couple of my closest girlfriends. This is a rare luxury in the life of a parent of two small children. (Where are my fellow parents? Can I get an Amen?) I put on my best pair of black cutoff shorts and dressed them up with a chambray button down and finished off the look with bright pink lipstick. (Why am bothering to tell you what I’m wearing? Well, when it’s the first time you’ve been out on a Saturday night in five months, you too might be a little excited to wear something that won’t get peanut butter on it.)
We started off the night at The Milias Restaurant, where we had a heaping plate of calamari and tempura green beans, ravioli, and a couple cocktails. Service was as incredible as usual, and my Greyhound was made with real squeezed grapefruit juice.
After dinner, normally we would have walked home and called it a night. Pajamas are the best. But that night, we wore our party hats because we had heard that Bartender’s Union was finally open.
The warm light from the new bar flowed out to Monterey Street. We poked our heads in, eager to check it out. But before we could, Bar Security came to us, asking for IDs. Not only do they card at the door, but they check your ID to make sure you don’t have any DUIs on your driving record. I was impressed. Super classy, right?
Classy is exactly the feel that Dustin Evanger, Bartender Union’s owner, is going for. Before Bartender’s Union, the building had been a string of dark dive bars. Now it’s been completely remodeled, with a rustic wood paneled wall, modern glass bottle pendant lighting, and steel tables. On one wall, there’s a list of “union rules.” Drunk drivers suck. Don’t grab the bartender. Keep it Classy, Gilroy. We don’t drink in your bed -- don’t sleep in our bar. And my personal favorite, Don’t bro me if you don’t know me.
I had a strong cosmo, and my friends had Midori Sours. The service was quick and friendly, and the drinks were great. The atmosphere was fun and upbeat, not seedy or sleazy whatsoever. The three of us left with super cool trucker hats that say “Bartenders Union. Local 408” on them. I wear mine on the days I don’t have time to wash my hair, and it reminds me of a super fun night out.
Overall, I’m thrilled that Gilroy has another watering hole option, especially in downtown. With every wood paneled wall and new pendant lighting, we are seeing downtown Gilroy revitalized. As a local (and as one who lives five blocks from downtown), I’m hopeful.
I can’t wait to take my husband here. Hopefully it won’t be another five months until I get out again.