Galveston

Kevin’s Pub Galveston is by the cruise port, so passengers can have one last drink on land before their beverage package kicks in onboard the ship.

Just remember, the rather unique Texas liquor laws means some cruise ship drink packages are limited or don’t start until you’re in International Waters (or sometimes, the first full day of cruising), so you might want to stop by and fill up, just in case. We can call you a cab. (“You’re a cab!”)

Kevin’s Pub Galveston would also be a useful place to recover from any timeshare presentations you stumbled into while on the island. If you get invited to visit a timeshare, and you are offered accomodations somewhere else, that may be a warning.

Take the time estimate of the sales presentation and multiply by three. Be ready to force your way out. Call us. We can send you a cab.

Barcelona

Kevin’s Pub Barcelona is open for all the tourists staggering off a Transatlantic crossing (a repositioning cruise, usually) that don’t want to learn Spanish in order to get a drink. It is also a place to recover from overdosing on all things Catalan.

Face it, no matter how much you enjoy the treats of Spain, after a few days, you are really going to need some Irish Nachos.

The Barcelona location would be yet another pub in the city – when we were there after one cruise, we found an Irish Pub within walking distance of our hotel. (This may sound remarkable, but I’ve been in hotels all over the world that had an Irish Pub within walking distance.)

Taipei

Kevin’s Pub Taipei would be a small pub, with a unique method of gathering potential customers.

Taipei hotels have an interesting service that should be universal – when you leave the hotel, and the bellman calls you a cab, he hands you a business card. On one side, is the contact information for the hotel in English. The other side has the same information (I assume) in Chinese. So,when you are ready to leave the office, and you realize you have no idea where you are sleeping, you just bow and hand the card to any taxi driver, and he takes you back to the hotel.

So, here’s my marketing plan – print up a bunch of cards with a hotel address in English and the Pub address in Chinese, and bribe the bellman.

Taipei is the only place I’ve ever stayed where I had to book the hotel on a third-party site because the IBM travel agent couldn’t find me a hotel. I ended up on the suites floor and nobody could bitch about the charges, because I had to go. The bathtub had rubber ducks, with a note around their necks that said you could take them home.

Rubber ducks and cards to get you back to the hotel. Genius.

Peoria

Kevin’s Pub Peoria would have to be downtown, in the middle of everything. You could sneak in for a pint after eating lunch on the main square. Hopefully, that will still be a busy place, even with Caterpillar moving their HQ further north.

I’ve been in Peoria twice, staying once in the middle of things for an extended stay with weekends home and once in the suburbs for three solid weeks. Peoria is a good, generic Midwest city, the former home of Caterpillar (although there are about a billion Cat buildings all around the area), and the birthplace of Richard Pryor. “If it will play in Peoria, it will play anywhere.”

When in Peoria, you can go on the riverboat. It’s a lot of fun. I was onboard the first time, and I heard the Captain mentioning their overnight cruises. This seemed strange, since I couldn’t figure out where anyone would sleep onboard. Then I found out they don’t. The riverboat goes downstream for a while, then they dock at a hotel, people sleep in the hotel. Next morning, back on the boat, back down the river. I want to do this!

Peoria is the place I was very close to the hotel staff without ever meeting them in person. I used to upgrade all the time and the flight attendants used to let me take some extra booze with me since they saw me at least once a week, depending on their schedules.

I left all the bottles on the TV in my hotel room. One night, I found a note from the maid, asking if she (I assume) could have the Courvoisier. So, I wrote a note back and said, “Help yourself.” Then, I made it a point to grab a bottle of Courvoisier from the plane every time. One time, they didn’t have any, so I got Bailey’s, and wrote an apology note.

I still hadn’t had met the maid.

One weekend, I got home to Dallas, started undressing, and I couldn’t find my wallet. Oops. So, I didn’t do very much, but it didn’t matter, since I had to go back to Peoria two days later. I got back to Peoria, and asked the desk clerk if anyone had turned in a wallet. Nobody had. At this point, I was freaking out because I needed a way to pay for things. I went to work, checked my email, had a couple of meetings, and when I got to my new room that evening, I looked at the TV, and there was my wallet. There was a note from the maid on it that said, “I thought you would need this.”

Des Moines

Kevin’s Pub Des Moines would have to be built across the street from (or next door to) a Maid-Rite. Loose Meat Sandwiches and draft beer for the win!

I spent a lot of time in Des Moines on a project years ago. Except for the snow, it was an amazing place – and even the snow wasn’t too bad, because if you don’t clear the snow in front of your place, the city does – and charges you, so everybody clears the snow. Plus, many of the buildings downtown have walkways between them, so you don’t have to walk in the streets in the weather (are you listening, Buffalo?)

It’s the Midwest. There is meat, meat and more meat. The steaks were great, the people were great and the pork sandwiches are basically a chicken fried steak (except made from a pork cutlet) on a bun. So, chicken fried steak, schnitzel, veal parmigiana, pork sandwich – the Big Four.

I was there during the Flood of ’93. The motto “Iowa, it’s a great place to grow” was updated to “Iowa, it’s a great place to row.” I came home one Friday, and the water plant was breached the next day. Oops. I called the office on Monday, and asked if everyone was OK, and that I assumed that the weekly staff meeting was canceled (i.e. I didn’t need to fly up.) The reply I got was, “The water’s in bottles, the power’s from a generator in the parking lot, but it’s casual day!” We worked through the flood. The Iowa Cubs minor league team had their Fourth of July party in September. They won in the bottom of the ninth, and then the Beach Boys played.

When I got home, I found out my upstairs neighbors had let a towel fall into their bathtub. The water filled the bathtub, flooded their apartment, blew a hole in the floor (my ceiling) and then flooded my apartment. I called my co-workers in Des Moines, mainly to explain the irony of another flood in my life, and they said, “We’ve got a few thousand extra sandbags we can send you.”

I made a friend at Maid-Rite because I say, “Thank you” as a reflex. After about two weeks in town (going to Maid-Rite at least twice a week), I went back to Maid-Rite with all the locals and the worker at the line said, “Hi Sweetie! Do you want your usual?” The locals were highly insulted as they had been going for years and never been recognized. Say “Thank you!”, y’all.

I also met a chef when I was in Des Moines. It was accidental. I was in a steakhouse in the walkways, and I may have had a drink or two, and the steak was so good, I told the waitress to tell the chef how good it was. (My hazy recollection is that I said, teary-eyed, “Please tell chef this steak was great. I’m from Texas and it’s hard to (hic!) get a decent steak away from home (hic!) but this was amazing.”

She sent him out to the table.

So, I told him personally how good the food was, had an after-dinner drink, and staggered back to the hotel.

Two weeks later, I took one of my co-workers to dinner there since we were both from out of town. Halfway through the meal, the waitress (a different one) asked, “Are you from Dallas?” I said, “Yes, I am” and she said, “Chef thought he recognized you. He hopes you enjoy the meal, and let him know if you need anything.” My friend was speechless. So, if you can’t remember “Thank you”, get drunk and tell the Chef how wonderful the food is.

Budapest

Kevin’s Pub Budapest was the first location behind the (former) Iron Curtain. It is a city I always wanted to visit, because many of the teachers at my prep school (good ol’ Cistercian Preparatory School in Irving) were actually Hungarian refugees. Once you’ve seen a filmstrip of your Headmaster staring down a Russian tank, you think twice about misbehaving (or getting caught.)

Budapest is actually two cities divided by the Danube, Buda and Pest. I’m never sure which one I’m in because I didn’t do very well in geography. I do know that when I was there on business, I was with some other IBMers who were not Hungarian, but lived closer to Hungary than I did, and they got lost and ended up in Pest, instead of Buda (or vice versa.) Let’s just say we were on one side of the Danube and our hotel was on the other. It was a long night.

It’s a beautiful city.

Kevin’s Pub Budapest would be a haven for all the older Americans whose river cruises start or end in the city, assuming the river levels let them get there.

Cedarville

Kevin’s Pub Cedarville would be a pop-up location. Actually, it would be more of a speakeasy – hidden inside the hotel. (I can say “the hotel”, since there is only one in town, like “the gas station” and “the pizza place.”)

Cedarville, Ohio is the home of Cedarville University, which is where my kids teach. (Yes, my son and daughter-in-law are both teaching at the university.) As a Baptist university, there doesn’t seem to be much call for a local watering hole, although there are at least two coffee shops, and they’re adding a Chick-fil-A on campus.

So, any pub would be undercover or at least very subdued. Say, like a doting son and his mother splitting a bottle of Chardonnay in front of the fire at the hotel. (That would be my brother, I detest Chardonnay.)

This would be the pub with the lowest sales in the chain, for obvious reasons.