Emma Street Bar and Tap
I'm very proud of my friend, who very recently opened his own bar in neighboring Springdale, AR. Less than 20 minutes from Mickey Finn's is the Emma Street Bar and Tap, a shotgun style speakeasy with a L-counter bisecting the servers from the patrons. But make no mistake, the counter is anything but a divider. Built from a hollowed out brick and mortar, there's an undeniable newness that craves to be worn, scratched and used until it exposes the true patina that lies beneath.
I want to be clear, though. Buck's joint is not a dive. It's a class act with taps from local breweries like Apple Blossom and Core Brewing, a (real) top shelf of fine liquors, and in spite of its carriage house format, there's ample seating of high tops, bench tables and a deck built around a massive elm. Did I mention live music? Circling back to the billiard thing... the one thing you take away from being at Emma Street Bar and Tap is that it's home to all, rich or tryin', and Buck is one person whose name you don't want to forget.
The Man With The Plan
If you ever worked in a Small Business, you know that there's just something different about it. Each sale matters a little more and your customers know you by name. If you lived in Fayetteville, that goes two-fold. Almost eight years ago, just out of college, I worked at a little pub called Mickey Finn's. Buck Ahrens was a fixture there. He bartended, but also spent a few nights hanging out with a small rock glass of Crown twinned by a glass of coca-cola (no ice). He'd take a sip of each, then swagger over to the pool table and drop 4-5 balls in one turn. And that's if it was a hard game. As a matter of fact, I probably spent a hundred dollars worth of quarters playing against Buck before I finally won.
But he was a gracious winner, and on the rare chance that he lost, he took it in stride. You're probably wondering why I'm even talking about billiards. The thing is, Buck would play anyone-- pro or novice, because like me he just enjoyed the game.