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An arfin’ good time at Vickie’s Bar

3/9/2016

It’s Friday afternoon, the sun is shining, and it’s skipping work weather. It’s a perfect day for bellying up at Vickie’s Bar, located just south of Euclid on Second Avenue.

The gang at Vickie’s, from left: Herman, Barb, Michell, Shirley and Dolly with Willie.

The gang at Vickie’s, from left: Herman, Barb, Michell, Shirley and Dolly with Willie.

“What’s up killer?” said a man sitting at the bar as the door closes.

“ARF!” a wiener dog in a purple sweater barked back in response.

“Her name is Dolly,” someone said about the dog. They don’t say if wiener dogs are included in the maximum capacity of 42, which is posted on the sign on the wall.

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Vickie’s was established in 2006, explained a regular named Barb. But according to her, the physical building has been a bar much longer than that. It used to be the 2nd Avenue Tap and Suds on Second and other names, too. She should know. She’s been coming to this location for 42 years.

“It’s just a comfortable neighborhood bar,” said Michell the bartender. (yes, she spells her name without an “e.”) “All walks of life come in here.”

“That’s for sure,” said another person sitting at the bar.

“Amen,” said the person sitting next to the first person.

“That’s right,” more agreement echoes up and down the line.

Michell’s been tending the bar at Vickie’s for two years, starting out as a customer before becoming a friend of the owner and beginning to “sling suds.” She’s still a regular patron when she’s off work.

“This is the best happy hour in town,” said a man named Herman, who is sipping a shot.

“Cuervo,” he said. “With a beer back.”

Herman is known as the “Music Man.” He earned his nickname by always having the jukebox humming. Right now Herman has BWB playing.

“They’re a bunch of jazz musicians with Kiki Bridgewater; it’s a great CD,” said Herman. “A lot of people aren’t hip to them though.”

“ARF!” Dolly the wiener dog barks. She’s definitely hip.

Herman goes on to explain that he enjoys all kinds of music, including jazz, R&B, country and rock and roll. He says he doesn’t sing karaoke, though, even though it’s offered at Vickie’s on Tuesday nights from 8 p.m. to midnight. None of the other regulars admits to singing either. They do all cook, though. A potluck dinner is held whenever there’s a big event or sporting event such as the Super Bowl. No one wants to say who the best cook is. They’re too modest.

“Everybody has a specialty,” Barb said. “We always enjoy ourselves.”

People stroll in, everyone seems to know everyone, warm greetings are abound, and Michell knows what most everyone drinks.

“We’re all pretty much regulars here,” said Barb.

Vickie’s has an enclosed patio for smoking and a pool table. For food, there are Slim Jims and Planter’s peanuts. There are also frozen pizzas, burritos and other microwavable foods, but it’s the people sitting at the bar that attracts people here.

“I started coming here because there are all walks of life,” Michell said.

“There are a lot of blue collar workers,” chimed someone.

“And people with suits,” said someone else.

“Retired people, too,” says another as the chirping goes up and down the line.

“Then you got people like me,” said Barb again. “We’re like pieces of furniture in here.”

Everyone laughs. She means she’s a fixture at the bar.

Herman tips his glass of Cuervo to Barb and encourages his furry friend: “We appreciate you.”

“ARF,” Dolly concurred. CV

Vickie’s Bar

(515) 243-9033 • 2801 Second Ave.
Monday – Sunday, 10 a.m. – 2 a.m.
Happy hour special: Sunday – Friday, 2 – 8 p.m., $3 mini pitchers Tuesday – Sunday, and $2 wells on Monday.

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