Near the intersection of Stone & Ft Lowell in Tucson, Arizona is this heap of rotting bricks, right across the street from a family owned Indian restaurant and a gas station. Al’s Deadwood Place has been closed for a long time, probably close to ten years, but it still sits here, the ‘cocktail’ sign slowly fading, the cloth long-since ripped from the awning. I only set foot in this establishment once, but the experience was memorable enough.
Deadwood was the darkest bar I had ever been in, before or since. My girlfriend and I sat down at the bar, a chatty woman behind the counter excited to share her high-school son’s academic successes with us. The place was dead silent; no jukebox or radio, just the humming of the electricity and the crunch of ice when our drinks were being mixed. We were probably two rounds of tequila deep before I noticed that there was another man at the far end of the bar, clinging to the shadows, not noticeably conscious. He was slumped over, head down, reminding me of some kind of bar-fly a caricature.
There was nobody else at the bar. Just my girlfriend and I, college-aged and curious about the bar down the street, the chatty-Kathy, and the figured slumped over in the shadows. He reminded me of a generic cartoon drunk, like something you’d see at Moe’s Tavern in The Simpsons.
Who knew how long he’d been there? Who knew how long he’d remain after we left
Only the barmaid, I suppose.
This was easily the dingiest, darkest, dirtiest little hole-in-the-wall I had ever patronized.
I kind of liked it. I’m bummed I can’t go there again.