Thursday, January 30, 2014

R.I.P. Brian O'Neil's: Goodbye Old Friend

Last night was an end of an era.  At least for me and my friends it was..  You see after this Sunday Brian O'Neill's in the Rice Village will be shutting its doors.  It will then be remodeled and rebranded into something completely different.  The reason I say that last night was an end of an era is because my friends and I have been going to what we affectionately call Brian O's in one form or another since 2002. It was also one of my first reviews when I started blogging.

I first discovered  Brian O's back in 2002 when my college roommate and I were hungry and in search of a place to eat.  Living in an apartment very close to the Rice Village, we decided to explore. We happened to chance upon Brian O's and wandered in.  It was then that we noticed that Brian O's had a weekly Wednesday special of half priced burgers.  My roommate and I decided to come back that Wednesday.  It was that first Wednesday of many that we also discovered that Brian O's had a glass special, where, if you bought their glass, you got cheap refills on beer as long as you had your glass.
Original Brian O'Neil's Glass

After that we were hooked.  My roommate and I spent many a Wednesday night there throughout the school year.  That is where I first sang karaoke. Since my roommate and I were having such a good time, we started inviting other friends.  Brian O's is where we watched Rice lose the second game of the 2003 College World Series.  One of my friends was almost turned against Brian O's due to a bad order and a vindictive waitress.  Luckily he was not soured enough to not come back.  As time passed, more and more friends started to show up on Wednesday.  Next thing we knew, it was our weekly tradition.  Show up at Brian O's on Wednesday before 7:30 for half priced burgers and cheap beer.  Show up after 7:30 and we will have already ordered without you.  Those were the rules.

As time went on, some of the faces changed and some of us could not always be there, but the time and the place remained constant. It became like an old warm comfortable blanket.  It was where we could meet on weekly basis to converse and discuss the events of the week or plan for the upcoming weekend. Even after some changes were made to the menu and they changed the glass special (bring your own up to 32 oz), the time and the place remained constant.  Even if you could not make it this week, you always knew there was next week as the time and the place remained constant.

Brian O's did not only serve as our weekly meeting place.  We also had other event there.  I remember more than one birthday celebration being had at Brian O's.  I had part of my bachelor party there as well as the rehearsal dinner for my wedding.  Brian O's has been a part of my life pretty much since its beginning.

But as they say the only thing that ever stays the same is change.  It was announced via Eater Houston that Brian O'Neill's was shutting down to remodel  and rebrand with a whole new menu.  Now while Brian O'Neill's is not technically closing, what it once was will be gone and I can't help but feel a little sad about that.  Last night was the last Wednesday of what had been a great weekly tradition.  Last night was our last hurrah.  Some of us even took our old Brian O's glasses.

We talked and cajoled like have done for so many nights, but we also reminisced a bit.  So, as the night ended, it was like saying good bye to an old friend.  Farewell Brian O'Neill's, you will be missed but not forgotten!

Brian O'Neill's Traditional Irish Pub on Urbanspoon

1 comment:

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