By Chris Dias on December 03 2014
7:00: I’m writing in the present tense as the computer is accompanying me to the Copper Pig’s grand re-opening on October 25th. I’m decked in a new suit and Italian tie (from Italy, no less) overshadowed considerably by a knockout girlfriend at my flank. I want to strut past the entrance like Zapp Brannigan in Futurama and exclaim, “I AM HERE WITH A WOMAN!”
We arrive on time and find The Copper Pig as packed as my veins will soon be with pork fat. We find three seats fringed by an amazing cake, unlabeled bathrooms, and a soon-to-be despoiled virgin kitchen. Tyler Burbee, owner/manager/ bottle-washer, topped with a white bow tie (it’s a clip on, I checked) sashays between tables. I remember the history of the restaurant, the irony of it suffering water damage as the rest of the block burned to embers. I think we overdressed; those at the table across from us sport cardigans and reverse caps.
7:20: We have a great view of the kitchen as the cornbread starts to emerge from the oven. It arrives saddled next to baconwrapped cooked pineapple.
7:30: The crowd is packed and energetic; throngs are mingling. It feels like—dare I say—a real (glasses come off) social house. 7:38: Tyler notices my computer and criticizes me for bringing homework to the restaurant; I reveal it’s all about him. 7:54: The second plate arrives, cranberry orange sirloin kebob. Everyone is drinking. My friend orders something called a flight of whiskey.
8:05: The band, Sound Addiction, finally begins their set, opening with Tracy Chapman’s “Give me one reason”, better known as the “Loco-motion” of the 21st century (too often heard, and no one really knows the words despite being able to hum it). 8:30: A pork slider follows potato bites, both of which are amazing. This whole evening should be replicated to mark future events (Halloween, St. Patrick’s Day, the solstice, Thursday). The Copper Pig has struck a gold mine here.
8:35: My Girlfriend reminds me that I’m holding two-thousand dollars of camera gear. I remark that I held her last night and she was priceless. That couldn’t have been sappier if it ran out of a birch tree, but the comment still has the desired effect. 9:02: I down my second glass of wine, the house brand. Thanks to a prior decades’ aversion to alcohol, I have an unspoiled liver apparently unable to filter more than liquor filled chocolates. 9:18: Finally the dessert, the chefs carve into the pig cake. It doesn’t taste of bacon; obviously Tyler hasn’t been watching Epic Meal Time.
9:29: My friends question my inebriation. I’m only intoxicated by the atmosphere. The Copper Pig isn’t a metaphor of the phoenix; a more apt comparison requires death around water and a rebirth into something greater than what came before. I got it, Tyler Burbee is Gandalf. He’s got the beard. The Balrog would then be a metaphor for the insurance company. I guess that would make Prince George Moria, and me…I don’t know… Pippin? If I ever give Copper Pig a bad review, I imagine being greeted by a staff thump and the outcry, “You shall not pass!”
10:12: I thought we were done eating as more food arrived—a plate of cactus-cut potatoes, beating whatever you can find at a franchise. This was not only a triumphant herald of the Copper Pig’s return, it was one of the best dining experiences I’ve ever had in this town. Although one can’t condone the past, the Copper Pig may emerge a stronger presence in this city thanks to recent events. It has galvanized its reputation as an unfaltering presence downtown, an epicenter for social and community events shared alongside other businesses owned by a younger generation proving this city is no longer controlled by geriatrics insisting on lacklustre Chinese buffets and $10 steak sandwiches. If I may be so bold as to pull another reference out my literary bag, “Le roi est mort, vive le roi!” Or to those that failed prerequisite French (like myself), “The king is dead, long live the king.”