We discovered that our former coworker wasn't tending bar but was there playing pool. Even though it was early in the evening, there was a decent sized crowd and the bartenders were making every effort to be as quick and efficient as possible, keeping the line nice and short. The drinks were cheap (I paid $8.50 for two well drinks that were quite satisfying), the pool tables were cheap as well at $0.50, and the overall vibe wasn't so much a seedy dive bar as it was pool hall and sports bar. The crowd does change a bit as the evening carries on, seems a little bit more rowdy/rough (like a dive bar) and I was told that it's because there's live music at 9:00PM on the weekends. I unfortunately didn't get to stay for the DJ, not that I particularly wanted to, but...well, here's the story.
After I cashed out my credit card at the bar, I had gone back to my stool near our pool table and was sipping a glass of water while my coworkers finished up what would be their final game. This was probably around 8:30PM (I'd look at the credit card receipt, but for some reason it shows 2:00AM tomorrow). A man who I later found out to be an off-duty doorman approached me and told me he needed to speak with me outside. I followed him out and he stated something along the lines of, "I don't care whether you did this or not, but...I need to know if you stole a roll of quarters tonight."
"No." (WTF? And if you don't care, why are you bothering to ask? Plus you're not even working tonight!!!)
"Because we have a witness that says you did," he told me.
I told him that I had gone to my car earlier in the evening to get some quarters for my coworkers and I to continue playing pool, and shortly after that one of the bartenders had walked by and asked if I had happened to pick up a roll of quarters (when that happened, she did say, "I just sold them one," indicating the next table and she began looking around on the floor near me). In retrospect, I do remember a few minutes prior to her stopping by someone from the next table over said something about quarters.
I asked the off-duty doorman if he wanted me to empty my pockets.
"And I'm not letting you back in."
"So you're gonna call it a night for this place. If you have a problem with that, you can take it up with management tomorrow," he told me.
I said, "Okay," and turned to go to my car. My coworkers started shuffling out just as soon as they could cash out their tabs.
Needless to say, I won't be going back. I'm really not certain why they wouldn't have called the police if they thought I was stealing from the bar or from other patrons. Obviously it had already been decided that I was getting kicked out since the doorman didn't frisk me or ask me to empty my pockets, and told me that he didn't care if I'd done it or not. Perhaps one of the regulars didn't like the way I looked at him or something (there were two guys that were more or less cradling each other as I walked passed to go to the restroom - I looked and smiled because you just don't see gays out in Vancouver, and I sure as hell wouldn't ever PDA with another guy in this place; later they were not touching each other and I'm not sure if they had been doing that as a joke or not).
Or maybe I'm just super paranoid about getting tied to a bumper and drug through town.
There's signage near the pool tables detailing rules for the pool table area and that you will be "86"ed from the establishment for breaking those rules...antagonize somebody while they're trying to set up a shot, set a drink on the table, stab somebody with a stick, and all that happens is you can't come back? Sounds light to me. No mention of thievery though.
And seriously, quarters? I'm not 8, and this isn't the arcade. I paid - and left gratuity by calculating twice sales tax - with my American Express card. I sat at the table and didn't interact with anyone but my coworkers, my former coworker, and the staff all night. I only had two drinks over the course of 2 hours and drank a glass of water between them and then had two more after the last one, so I definitely was NOT drunk. I wasn't rude to anyone, and even when I realized that I was standing in the way of another man's shot while I was setting up my own I stepped away and made sure to apologize as I know nothing of pool hall etiquette. So unless I had some kind of a stroke, during which I took this alleged roll of quarters and ate them, then miraculously recovered from said stroke in time to finish my drink, pee, cash out my tab and ask for a refill on my water...
In the parking lot, my coworkers all apologized to me and we decided that the evening had been killed so we all went home. I called one of my friends and had a good laugh on the way.
I'll be sure to update this if I hear some metallic clanging in the bowl tomorrow.
Charlie's Tavern & Grill
3315 NE 112th Ave
Vancouver, WA 98682