**Today’s Special comes from our good friend at Odin Brewing, Mark Leavens. Mark’s great discussion with Joe Meitl, Kitchen Manager at Seattle’s iconic Atlantic Crossing Pub, is the basis for today’s article. You might have seen the AC on ESPN during the World Cup? Yeah, its a pretty big deal.***
What catches your eye in today’s fast-paced, materialistic, and consumer driven society? Is it bright colors or catchy slogans? What about somebody dressed up like a stupid fucking gorilla? Yeah, maybe you look, but most likely you hate obnoxiously fake primates and get the hell out of there.
But once you’ve regained composure and a leisurely stroll down the sidewalk, you’ll then pass numerous sandwich boards featuring that establishment’s latest pitch to get you inside: ‘Happy hour 4-6, trade your gold for cash, buy one foot get the second foot free pedicure.’
Boring! I don’t read those and I can’t imagine many of you do either. I’m American and I’m struggling with ADHD or just too damn busy to be bothered by a sandwich board! But the other day I ran into a board that actually got me to stop, AND read, AND then enter the building!
Brilliant! An astronaut floating in space and sneezing blood all over the galaxy after their mask implodes. Now this is what it takes to get me to stop AND focus AND read the other side AND go inside. I had to meet the creative genius behind the board and have a beer, of course.
Joe Meitl of the Atlantic Crossing Pub works as the Kitchen Manager and has a direct line of sight from the kitchen out to his eye-catching work of art:
“We originally got the board as a way of promoting our daily specials and events, and for a while we were using it for exactly that. I used to get frustrated at how few people actually stopped to read it.
At first I started adding little notes to the bottom, just to see if anyone would catch it. ‘Arm wrestle the bartender for a free glass of water’, or ‘Stripper Pole is getting installed this weekend!’ and still I heard few comments on it.
I was eventually convinced that no one was reading it, not even the bartenders. That’s when I decided to start having fun with it.
My sous chef (Jonus Brown) and I started drawing comics, writing song lyrics, and insults. One of my favorite boards was a response to the sandwich board that the pet store just a few doors up from us, puts out everyday. They rarely change their board and I was tired of seeing, ‘Lots of Baby Budgies and Cockatiels for Sale,’ and so my next board’s response was, ‘Beer Battered Baby Budgies and Cockatiels for Sale.’ No one said anything about that one either. At that point we had essentially stopped posting specials and were just having fun with it.
Since then, I have noticed more people stopping to read it, which feels good. We get a lot of foot traffic on this street and if I can make a few people smile on their way to work then it is worth the time.
It does take time though, and a hell of a lot of creative energy. I sometimes feel like I am simply building sand castles, because everything I create is either eaten instantly or erased within a week. I’m lucky the owner, Gareth, has an open mind and a busy schedule, that the bartenders here have a good sense of humor, and of course my favorite amendment is the first one. I’d like to think I’ve offended at least a few people, and of course I’ll keep trying.”
Please do Joe, because if being people are being offended, they probably deserve it. Plus, we all need to slow the hell down and laugh a little bit more. So thank you for slowing me to a stop, and drawing me into the Atlantic Crossing Pub.
If you’ve never been to this Roosevelt neighborhood pub, you may have already seen a clip from the latest World Cup that was shown on ESPN and won an ESPY for best reaction shot.
I recommend checking this bar out and grabbing a bite to eat. They serve the full menu until ONE A.M.! And as Joe would say, “we have smoking hot bartenders!”
And at the very least, avoid the gorilla and check out Joe and Jonus’ sandwich board! Who knows what they’ll come up with next?