I am finding myself writing less and less these days for so many different reasons I won’t even start to bore you with them. That being said it’s 1am I am just in from the pub (far from sober) and all I can think to do is this.

Much like most other Saturday’s this one seemed to be following a pre-set path. I finished work, went for a run and settled down for a night in front of the idiot box. Then came the spanner, I saw a post on facebook saying that a bar manager was working his last ever shift in a bar. Now this is not the first time he has done this and somehow he always comes back but after a few conversations I found out that this was for keeps and that he was truly leaving. Not a big deal right? just another moment in time! Nah so far from it you wouldn’t believe!

See the thing is that bar one sub-human nobody ever mentions (no not Voldemort, FAR WORSE), this was the guy that took over the last bar I ever ran and for the last 11 years has made it his own! I would love to sit here and tell you I made as big an impact on it as he did but even my ego won’t stretch to that. See this guy, as relatively unassuming as he is, took a failing business and made it one of the best bars in this city (no small accomplishment when you consider this is Edinburgh). But not only that he ensured the future of the bar by leaving a staff that are all to ready to take the mantle and run with it.

I sat where I now type and decided that while I will see him again I needed to be in that bar for his last night. I was not disappointed, in the end everything that the bar meant to him was visible on his face. More than that though how much he meant to the bar was clear in those that had come to wish him well. In a city that is increasingly disposable one of the stalwarts of what will always be its biggest industry was given the send off he deserved.

What he leaves behind is a legacy. A manager that loves the bar and in turn a bar that loves him. Managers of the future linked to the bar by parents who drank there and those who worked with them.

Before I became a boring banker I had a few of these leaving nights and I remember them all as if they were yesterday. They were all an incredibly sweet pain, like losing someone you had loved for years but at the same time you knew you had out grown. I feel privileged that I was allowed to share this night and know that over the years to come there will be more than one like it. That being said I doubt that there will be another Barry, as what he has left behind is not a failing business that needs a savior but an institution!

Advertisements