At The L Magazine, a lowly intern like myself seldom gets the opportunity to do any hard-hitting journalism, so when music editor Mike Conklin told me that he was sending me out to do some reporting, I was really excited. As it turns out, the boozehounds at The L had recently passed by Pedro’s, their favorite
after-work mid-morning watering hole, and like animals that sense impending natural disasters, they realized that something was horribly wrong—the sidewalk seating had been taken away! So, Mike wondered, would I march down there and find out just what the hell is going on?
At the corner of Front and Jay Street, Pedro’s is just a short walk from The L’s headquarters. When I enter, I can understand why my bosses are so upset: inside it’s just one little cramped room halfway below ground. The gentleman working behind the counter informed me of the vague but shocking details. Due to permit issues, Pedro’s will not have outside seating for 120 days (When I related this story, Editor-in-Chief Jonny Diamond lamented, “But I’ll be dead by then!”).
Back outside, I started walking back to The L office and, wait, what’s this? Café Baco has sidewalk seating? Seeing the chance to earn some bonus points, I decided to go inside and try to get the story. Baco’s is the exact opposite of Pedro’s. Everything is really fancy, there are live flowers and the air is heavy with a sense of self-importance and the sound of jazz flute. One of the baristas tells me that some people came to look at their outside seating and they gave them a ticket. A fine? A writ of permission? He shrugs and calls the manager. The manager, from a hidden mezzanine perched high above the dining room, poked his head out like the gatekeeper in the Wizard of Oz. “I’m coming!” he says with a thick accent.
Outside, he confessed ignorance of Pedro’s issues saying that he wasn’t one to pry and he wasn’t familiar with the laws. But as we talked I started to get a breezy feeling of self-assurance. Was this guy hitting on me? “I love redheads,” he said, leaning in and touching my hair, “That’s why I came down and talked to you. Would you like to come in for a drink?” Well, it looks like we can’t sit outside there either.