The Bean Bar

beanbar-1I was in Detroit recently. I had to walk from the Holiday Inn to Cobo (a description of the hotel: One elevator smelled like fish; the other contained a broken Miller High Life bottle.  The swimming pool looked like several bathtubs welded together.  When I looked out the window, I saw two abandoned 10-story buildings. There was a warning by the TV that said “Do not answer the door, even if they claim to be from housekeeping.  Call the front desk immediately”).  Since I’ve recently taken up coffee-drinking, I thought this would be a good opportunity to expand my horizons beyond the local gas station’s selection of Chock Full O Nuts brand java.

Right across the street, on the ground floor of the Westin, was WBC Coffee.  Once I managed to cross the street (because of the non-existent traffic), I noticed that there is not a front door.  So I walked toward Cobo.

Right across the street from Cobo was The Bean Bar.  There was no line, no one was sitting at a table.  The only person in there was the older woman at the register.  Here was my conversation:

Clerk: Can I help you?

Me: Yeah.  Can I get a large hot coffee?

Clerk: Did you say large “hot” coffee?

Me, confused: “Yes?”

Clerk, visibly upset: “OK.  Just checking.”  She then tried three different carafes and they were all empty.  So she started making a new pot.

Since I like milk in my coffee, I said, “Since we’re waiting, can you put like an inch of milk in the bottom of the cup?”

Clerk, visibly upset: “Yep.”  She then poured the equivalent of a wet sneeze into the bottom of the cup.  Then, trying to fill the silence of waiting for a brew, she said, “You know, my father wouldn’t take a cup of coffee unless it was stirred with Pet Milk.”

Me, obviously confused: “Pet milk”?

Clerk, obviously confused at my obvious confusion: Yeah.  Pet Milk.

Me: Like milk from a dog?!

Clerk, audibly upset: Did you grow up in Michigan!?

Me: Yeah, up by Flint.


This is Pet Milk, by the way

Clerk: “It doesn’t matter – Flint, U.P. – you should know about Pet Milk!”

There was a dull silence.  I asked for a little more milk.

It was the best cup of coffee I’ve ever had.



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