Pubs are great places to find stories!

I was in Columbia, SC last week doing some work…and going to a conference. I was staying downtown at the Hampton Inn, and as I was finishing up an email when my stomach started the “I want food!” growl. So I thought, I will just take off out the front door and see where I will end up. A half of a block later, I found the Liberty Tap Room…neet bar and restaurant atmosphere. I entered through the side door, and as I made my way through the tables with families, friends, and various people laughing an chatting…I spotted the bar off in the distance. My destination, a quality brew, a small appetizer, and maybe listen for a few stories.

As I climbed up on the bard stool…I noticed the remnants of renovation, innovation.  This old building was transformed into a gathering place, once of industry…now a place to bring industry together for after hour food and spirits. After my first Mighty Arrow, I ordered a plate of chicken nachos to fix the fussing of my inner growl.

After the first brew…it was time for a change, so I asked the waiter for the beer surprise. Give me a pale and do not tell me what it is…but it’s your choice. I have no idea what she brought me…but it was damn tasty. Right as she laid it down in front me, a lady made her way beside me…placing an indecisive order for a drink and a beer. She wanted a cocktail and her friend (her husband) wanted a manly beer. They were looking at this fresco sculpture behind me, commenting on the detail and craftsmanship.

After a few minutes of listening, I piped up and said hello. I noticed they were somewhat quite yet looking around almost like they felt out of place. What did I learn, after three kids and running a small tile laying business, this is the first time they had been out alone to have dinner in probably five years. This was their five year anniversary. They were lost without their kids, their business, and the other things in their life. So I bought them a round of drinks and we talked…well they talked and I listened. These two were totally in love, with each other, their life, their kids, and most importantly, their Clemson Tigers.

I thought I hit the jackpot in Columbia, SC…we were surrounded by Gamecocks. My bar companions that night re-affirmed with everything that was right with the world. Being a small business owner, the desire to have children, having a lovely wife, and our Clemson Tigers.

You never know who you will meet? You never know what connections you will forge. Sometimes it is fun just to go grab a beer in a place where you have never been before, and let the listening ear guide you. It was nice to meet this couple. They had a story to tell…it was fine by me if I meet them again.

Everyone has a story to tell…are we listening?