Thursday, February 12, 2009

Must Have Been Some Awesome Bar...

We moved into our home in 1990. At the time, I was just starting law school, and hubby (then boyfriend) and I were living together, along with various and sundry other housemates (who have since been replaced by our kids).

As soon as we had the telephone connected, the calls began.

(Telephone rings)


"Hi..... uh, is this Tequila Dan's?"

"Tequila ... What's that?"

"Tequila Dan's, it's a bar. Sorry, I must have dialed the wrong number."

* * * *

(One minute later, telephone rings again)


"Oh, I guess this still isn't Tequila Dan's, huh."

"No, no it's not. It's a house."

"Ok then. Bummer. Well, bye."


Similar conversations took place over many weeks, then months, and finally I asked one of the wrong-number dialers what was so great about Tequila Dan's?

He said, "I dunno, it was just a fun bar. Good drinks. Kind of a dive, though."

* * *

Fast forward to my graduation from law school, three years later, and we were still getting calls every month or so for Tequila Dan's.

* * *

A couple of years later, the calls had pretty much stopped, I thought. But then I got another one as I was making wedding preparations in 1997. And another shortly after the birth of my first child in 1998. Several more as Y2K approached; presumably folks were looking for some place awesome to celebrate, or to sit and watch as the world descended into chaos, if you believed the end-of-the-world-doomsayers.

By then, the internet had been invented (but not by Al Gore), so I googled it and found a photo of a "Tequila Dan's Mexican Food" restaurant sign; the caption said it was on 48th Street in Phoenix.

I wasn't sure if it was the same place. None of the wrong-number dialers had ever called it a restaurant. They all just called it a bar.

But anyway, here is the photo I found:

* * *

I hadn't thought about Tequila Dan's for at least five years. And then, during halftime of the Super Bowl a couple of weeks ago (yes, in 2009), the telephone rang, and the call brought a smile to my face:


"Uh, hi.... Is this Tequila Dan's?"

"No, I'm so sorry, it's not, but can I ask you a question?"


"What is it about that bar? I've lived in this house for nearly 19 years and had the same telephone number the entire time, yet folks are still calling, asking for Tequila Dan's! It must have been quite a great bar, eh?"

"Yeah, wow. I just found this old matchbook from there, and I just thought I'd call and see if it's still there."

"Where was it?"

"Oh, it was on 48th Street in Phoenix."

"Well, it's apparently gone now. Sorry. So what was so great about that bar that you're calling it, 19 years later?"

"I dunno. It was just a fun bar."

This is wrong (and hilarious!) on so many levels. First, who keeps a matchbook from a dive bar for 19 years? Second, who calls that bar during halftime of the Super Bowl? Aren't you already ensconced in a bar or a friend's house or at home drinking and watching the game?!? You're not seriously going out right now, are you? Third, what is so friggin' awesome about this dive bar that people are still calling it NINETEEN YEARS LATER?!? No one has ever really answered that question, other than to call it a "fun bar." Fun is good, don't get me wrong here, but it's not much of a description for a bar you are calling nearly two decades after it apparently has closed....

All I know is, if I ever open a bar, I'm calling it Tequila Dan's. And using my home telephone number.


Bella@That damn expat said...

Haha great story!

Were most callers men? Maybe Dan was a pimp.

Or the women were easy for free.

And tequila cheap.

Hell, I'd call that bar nineteen years later :-P

Dr Zibbs said...

I'm going to call Tequila Dan's now and ask for Legal Mist.

Dave said...

Bella may be on to something. Maybe it was a front for something illegal or interesting to men with strange cravings. I gotta wonder if matchbooks are still around?
Could be quite a collector item. Maybe you should have asked the Superbowl guy if you could buy the matchbook with the name and number on it.
Now that would be a keepsake.
My fax # is one digit off from a major banks, and I get some pretty confidential faxes loaded with financial info. I off course never read them, just shred and inform the faxer of his/her error.
Or at least that's my story, and i'm stickin to it

SkylersDad said...

I like Zibbs idea. We should all start calling that bar asking for you, that would be wonderful!

Laura said...

Um why are they calling a bar anyways? I've never called a bar unless I left my credit card there. Don't you usually just go?

Candy's daily Dandy said...

I sooo want to go have a drink at Tequila Dan's!!
The silver lining here is that even though the phone calls are annoying, I believe there must have some some serious good karma associated with that place. Look at it like every time the phone rings for Tequila Dan's, it's good karma calling!

Great story!

LegalMist said...

Bella -- I've wondered that, too - whether it was a front for something else all those callers were looking for.

Dr. Zibbs, and SkylersDad -- I hope you were responding to my post and not Bella's comment. I don't want you thinking you're calling a whore house and asking for me....

Dave -- you are so right!! I should have asked the dude to send me the matchbook - It would have been a great souvenir! I wonder if they sell them on ebay...

Laura -- I know, it does seem a little odd, doesn't it? Most of the calls were morning to mid-afternoon, so maybe they were calling to see what time it opened or something.

Candy -- me, too. If people are calling the place after 19 years, it must have been good. I totally want to go there. Which is why I may yet open a "Tequila Dan's" myself... And although the calls were a little annoying for the first year or so, after a few years they were more amusing and entertaining than annoying. By year 19, I am positively thrilled to get one -- makes me smile and laugh to think someone loved a bar that much that they are looking for it 19 years later! I've always been nice to the callers. Perhaps they will all come to my bar when I open it. :)

Johnny Yen said...

When my family moved to a Chicago suburb and got a new phone number, we suddenly started getting calls for The Spaghetti Bowl, a popular pizza and past place in that town. When we passed by the place, and saw the phone #, we figured out why we were getting the calls: their # was 246-4668, ours was 246-6448; if you transposed the fours and sixes, you dialed our number.

At first, we were nice about it and told the folks what they'd done. After a couple of years of it, we tired of it and started taking (and ignoring) the orders. I wonder how many angry phone calls the place got from people wondering where the hell their pizza was.

dizzy mom said...

My first thought was a brothel. Now that I think of it I used to work there. It WAS a brothel.

~E said...

What's not to like about Tequila Dan's?? Anyword/place starting with the word "tequila" has got to be good.

tequila shot
tequila chicken
tequila refried beans
tequila mockingbird......


get it? mockingbird?? HAHA I kill myself.

where was I saying?

LegalMist said...

Johnny Yen -- when I was a kid, our telephone number was similar to the Sears Catalog order number. My Dad "took a lot of orders" at 3 a.m. -- I am sure those people wondered why their stuff never showed up, too.

Dizzy mom -- thanks for filling us in on the true scoop!

~E -- haha, I love it! Thanks for the chuckle!