Monday, December 17, 2007

The Mystery of Gabby's


Once in a while, you see an establishment so weird you just have to stop and wonder why it even exists. We found one a while ago. Eric and I were on our way to Psycho Suzi's to get a pizza (I'd recommend the Suzi Quatro - spinach and white wine sauce), driving down Marshall in Northeast. Looming on our left, a huge illuminated sign bearing a caricature of Gabby Hayes, the cowboy movie sidekick noted for saying stuff like "Flim-flam wrackin-frackin gol durn whippersnapper!" Below it, a second sign reading "Gabby's Saloon and Eatery."
Yep, somewhere back in the mists of time (probably somewhere in the neighborhood of 1975, judging by the architecture) someone thought it would be a great idea to build a restaurant concept around a b-movie character actor. If this happened today, there would probably be Seann William Scott "Stifler's" chicken wing joints in every tourist trap.

Disapppointingly, once you're inside, Gabby's looks more like a 70's rec room than an excursion into high-plains Hollywood kitsch. It's all barnwood panelling and beer signs, and is full of chubby hip-hoppers eating cheese curds and drinking Miller. I have to wonder how they decided to adopt this place as their own: it doesn't exactly scream 'urban'. But then, who should hang out in Gabby's? Grizzled 49'ers? Discarded cinematic sidekicks? Thuggy kids in logos or wholesome white-hat heroes? Does Gabby's really 'fit' anyone living in 2007, or does its nonsensical quality make it the perfect anonymous dive?


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