Between Isaac Fitzgerald's glowing writeup in The Bold Italic and this awful video from Thrillist (PRO VIDEO EDITING TIP FROM SOMEONE WITH ZERO VIDEO EDITING EXPERIENCE: if you're going to make a video as a way to sell a glorified coupon for comfort food, don't use shitty GarageBand track. Rather, put a 15-second title screen that reads “Grab Your Fucking Bong” and then play Soul Island by The Meters. It's sorta like Dark Side of the Moon and The Wizard of Oz, but with New Orleans funk and an a short made by an unpaid college intern), it appears that Clooney's and Clooney's-based restaurant The Galley are getting a fair bit of press. Ordinarily this would be a good thing for a business, especially one like Clooney's and The Galley that don't seem to attract many customers after 4pm, but I just don't see Thrillist and Bold Italic readers embracing the place.
See, Clooney's is one of the few bars left in the Mission that you can go to on a weekend night and not leave the place wanting to move to a secluded cabin on the outskirts of Lincoln, Montana. And for good reason. The bar's yellowing interior resembles the Hollywood set of a ghastly, Nebraska backwater dive which five road tripping youths enter before being dismembered with a dull butter knife. Quentin Tarantino's wet dream is to film a witty tête-à-tête between Steve Buscemi and a bewildered yokel in the back of the joint. It's just not the type of place that people who concern themselves with cutting-edge graphic design and saving a buck fifty at The Jelly Donut with the assistance of their $100-a-month iPhone get behind.
Then again, self-ascribed “foodies” in this town have surprised me in the past. Bender's initial popularity could easily be traced back to its incredible Weird Fish Satellite (R.I.P.) and Mission Chinese Food always seems to have a wait despite Chronicle food critic/false prophet Michael Bauer saying it has “the best food served in the worst surroundings.” Maybe The Galley will make it more than six months after all?
I went to Clooney's a few months back to see if The Galley could recapture the glory that was Bender's circa 2009. When I got there, it quickly became apparently that the only thing on the menu I could eat was a PB&J for six bucks. Six-fucking-bucks. The only way you could get me to order a PB&J from a restaurant is if the sandwich possessed the ability to make me orgasm. The cook told me it wouldn't make me orgasm, which I'm guessing is for sanitary reasons, so I didn't order any food.
I sat at the bar with my friends, looking at the taps trying to figure out what to order. An old man from across the bar drunkenly yelled at me to order a “Working Man's Martini.”
In my five years of semi-professional alcohol consumption, I had never heard of such a beverage. I pressed the geezer for more information.
“It's a pint of Busch with two olives dropped in it.”
It sounded like a con, but I ordered it anyway. Turned out to be delicious!
So I sat at the bar, drinking my “Working Man's Martini” and proceeded to listen to the old men harass the cooks at The Galley.
“What's the special today?,” asked a man no younger than 60.
The cook muttered something back with four or five adjectives that neither impressed the old men nor myself.
“Can I give you money right now to go to the Safeway, buy me a steak and potatoes, and cook that up?”
The cook muttered something back that was essentially “no.”
“Then what the fuck good are you for?,” and all the drunk old men laughed.