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Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Bouncer Plays Grown-Up at Cybelle's Front Room

Posted By on Wed, Apr 13, 2011 at 1:00 PM

From this week's Bouncer column:

Now that I am an adult, I realize that I spend most of my days trying to recapture the feeling of being a child pretending to be an adult. Every time I check into a hotel, I feel like a kid who has escaped the field trip and is having a solo sleepover. Whenever I board an airplane by myself, I feel like a very responsible little lady, and I make sure to connect with the flight attendant so that she knows I am traveling alone and may need some extra assistance.

I get the same feeling when I go into a bar by myself. In fact, I am convinced that adults who frequent bars by themselves are rekindling their childhoods. You feel like a 6-year-old who is left in the kitchen with the proverbial cookie jar, or that lucky fifth-grader whose parents didn't regulate her Halloween candy intake. Bars are not your job, or your house, or your relationship. They are a naughty escape.

I can't really say that there is anything outwardly "naughty" about the lounge area of CyBelle's Front Room in the Inner Sunset. But if you are lucky enough to score the sofa area by the fireplace, you can definitely feel like a little kid having a Mixed-Up Files sort of adventure. I showed up too late to sit in the lounge, so I took a table directly behind it, essentially the same area, only less cushy. It was the now infamous Giants-Dodgers opener, and everyone was dressed in orange and black and drinking pitchers of yella American beer.

The Front Room puts the "parlor" in pizza parlor. The space is Victorian, with dark greens and maroons. There is a painted portrait of a lady I like to call Mama Maloni over the mantel, and cozy tables on two levels.

Tim Lincecum was pitching. He looks like someone who would play Little League in my hometown, and I could easily picture him with some Big League Chew in his cheek, wearing a Plumbers and Steamfitters jersey. I used to ride my bike down to the park at the end of the street to watch the games. I had crushes on various players, principally a kid named Abe, who was short but could throw a mean fastball. He was a little fish in a tiny pond; although he was the Man in Little League, he was never good enough to develop into a professional player. He was pretending. He was acting like a grown-up, and we treated him like he was a star major leaguer.

I looked at the menu. CyBelle's has one of those red, yellow, and green monstrosities with oversaturated photographs of the selections and about 12 subsections of sandwiches, pizzas, and salads. Still, it was fun to sit there and order whatever the hell I wanted, with the game on, with bottomless drinks at my beck and call. I ordered a pizza so gross that even the waiter took pause: jalapeño, anchovy, capers, feta, and garlic. I call it the Date Eraser.

... continue reading this week's Bouncer column.

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Katy St. Clair


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