While out and about on my various travels to bars across this great city of ours, I sometimes stumble upon a place that’s slipping. Perhaps the drink quality has diminished, or the staff is preoccupied with texting instead of running the food that’s been sitting in the window for 10 minutes. I am careful not to call someone out publicly — because, hey, everybody has a bad day, or a bad week.
But yesterday, I stopped in at a bar and restaurant that’s usually been really good, but lately seems to be slipping in attention to detail. My friend and I rode our bikes across the Big Four Bridge yesterday afternoon and decided to grab lunch at Big Four Burgers + Beer in Jeffersonville. I had spent a Sunday there a few months back and loved their $2 bloody marys — you can’t get a deal like that just anywhere!
We made our way up the stairs to the bar on the second floor, and we immediately noticed a change in temperature of at least 10 degrees. It was unusually warm and stale. The friendly bartender explained the air conditioner was broken in that part of the bar. OK, no big deal. That happens.
I ordered a bloody mary while my friend ordered a beer from their extensive draft list. I could see the bartender struggling with the foam that was pouring from the tap. “Maybe it’s the first beer of the day,” I thought to myself. After she dropped the beer off and went back to concoct my cocktail, my friend took a sip of her pale ale and finished with a frown. It was completely luke warm, which explains the foamy pour from the tap. I watched the bartender that afternoon try and pour many other beers, and all were foamy and warm. Some people were polite and choked down the room-temperature brew. But others returned the beers in favor of an ice-cold bottle selection.
My friend asked the bartender to put her beer in the cooler while she enjoyed a colder one in bottle/can form.
A quick temperature adjustment to the beer cooler would fix the problem. I watch enough “Bar Rescue” to know that all the foam the bartenders are dishing out of the beer glasses is money going down the drain. As a place that is frequented by runners, walkers and bikers coming off the bridge, cold beer should be a priority.
One other complaint was that the lights were broken in the women’s bathroom — a simple fix by a manager who is present and tuned into his restaurant.
On a positive note, my $2 bloody marys were delicious and came loaded with olives, peppers and spice. I had three, and then switched to an ice-cold Bud Light bottle. Our food was also amazing — we split the Henry Baines Burger with garlic fries and a side of fresh cooked pork rinds. All three items made it worth the experience.
Let’s hope this was just a bad week at Big Four Burgers, and that the air and draft beer cooler will be fixed. If I didn’t care about the future of this bar, I wouldn’t be mentioning it.