Off the clock: A last night at Office Bar #2

Office Bar #2 closes its doors after not being able to afford changes required by the Health Department.
Photo: Sam Morris
Sarah Gianetto

The first time I walked in, I was rewarded with free drinks not only for being female, but also for having teeth. Neighborhood dive bar? Certainly. Sad to see it go? Of course.

Despite the stories of shootings within its walls, having to get buzzed through the door and the odd, drunken ramblings of regulars, I paid homage to Office Bar #2 during its second-to-last night before closing down for good. And I wasn’t alone. A customer paced the length of the bar, repeatedly sputtering, “Thank you. Thank you, everybody. I know I seemed angry, but I really love everybody. Thank you all for tolerating me,” while the maintenance man next to me popped my black balloon. “I hate funerals,” he said.

Peace was gained from my favorite Bloody Mary in town and bartender Bill’s heartfelt ponderings: “I came here from Hawaii to take care of my parents seven years ago. They’ve passed now ... This job was just to kill time and for spending money. It’s the only job and the only people I’ve known. So I don’t know what I’m going to do now.”

As for why they’re closing up shop, Bill reports that Office Bar #2 (not affiliated with Office Bar Nos. 1, 5 or 6) simply couldn’t afford the tens of thousands of dollars of changes recently requested by the Health Department, leading to an abrupt shutdown by the owner. In this economy it’s that easy. So long, old friend.


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