It was rivalry week here in Cleveland as the Browns played their biggest rival the Pittsburgh Steelers. I was lucky enough to be offered tickets to the game by my buddy Brad and I simply couldn’t pass up the chance to watch my two favorite teams do battle. Yes… I like both the Cleveland Browns and the Pittsburgh Steelers. Don’t ask. In any case, we decided to make a day out of it and started out with some pre-game tailgating at the Barley House on West 6th. I’d actually never been to Barley House so I was kind of excited to check the place out.
I got there at about 11:00 or so, and by then the place was packed. They’ve got a nice big bar with plenty of seating but with so many rabid Browns (and Steelers) fans there wasn’t a seat to be had anywhere. I’m guessing you’d have to have been there at about 9:00 when they opened to have actually gotten a seat. Brad met me at the door with beer in hand and we were off and running. The Barley House was running some great specials and they’ve got great little hidden bar toward the back which made getting a beer much easier. The downside to this back room was the SMOKE.
Don’t get me wrong… Despite my involvement with KillTheCan.org, I’m not one of these guys who thinks no one should be allowed to smoke. If you want to kill yourself, feel free. However, when I’ve been used to a smoke-free bar environment in Cleveland for that last couple of years and then I get hit in the face with cigarette and cigar smoke like I’ve walked into a smoking club… then I’ve got an issue. Quite frankly, what was really shocking to me was that Barley House was allowing it to happen. I’m not up on the local laws, but I’m sure there are some pretty stiff penalties (hehe… I said stiff) for allowing patrons to smoke in your establishment. Epic fail on the part of Barley House.
Speaking of epic fails at the Barley House.
I’ve see a lot of stuff in my day. I know that when people get drinking, especially day drinking that starts in the early morning hours, they tend to get a little bit rowdy. I also realize that when it comes to the lines at the bathroom they tend to get rather long. Listen up folks… If the bar is packed, don’t wait until the absolute last minute until you have to piss. Make your way toward the bathroom before you have to piss. In other words… don’t be like this guy.
Yep… that’s right. This dude was taking a piss… while standing AT THE FUCKING BAR. And I’m not speaking figuratively here. He was literally standing at the bar, dick out, taking a piss. And get this. All the while he’s talking to (hitting on) the bartender. Don’t get me wrong. I’ve seen plenty of people piss in public. Hell, if you spend any time in the Pit tailgating for a Browns game you’ll see just as many females as males using the woods, parking lot and grass as their personal urinal. This just sort of rubbed me the wrong way. Call me a prude.
Public pissing and smoking aside, the Barley House was actually pretty epic. As I said before, they were running some awesome drink specials, had a great little tailgate going on out on the back patio with some awesome food, a DJ and a slew of people generally having an awesome time. Speaking of the DJ. DAMN was dude spinning some tremendous tunes. It’s not often that you hear The Karate Kid tune “You’re The Best” but low and behold there it was. That alone puts Barley House near the top of my list of tailgating spots in Cleveland.
And then it was on to the game. I have to once again thank Brad for inviting me to the game and for the EPIC seats. Talk about a perfect way to take in a ball game! The beer was nice and cold and combined with a couple of hot pretzels I was in heaven. I’ve got to say…. there’s nothing quite like Cleveland Browns Stadium on a Sunday afternoon when the hated Pittsburgh Steelers are in town. Not only are the Browns fans extra amped up, but there are so many Steelers fans in the house that the environment is awesome. Every play the crowd is roaring regardless of who’s got the ball. In the end, the Browns beat the Steelers in a turnover battle for the ages. Charlie Batch threw an interception every 3rd possession, the Steelers fumbled like it was their job, Brandon Wheedon looked his age, got a concussion and the Browns pulled out (hehe… I said pulled out) what ultimately was a pretty exciting game.
And just like that, Browns / Steelers week here in Cleveland was over. The walk back to the car after a long day of tailgating is always a tough, but always well worth it!