Sign up for our newsletters Subscribe
Now that the nude Sarah Palin portrait is big news everywhere (sigh), you might be interested in the artist, Old Town Ale House co-owner Bruce Elliott, who was literally bequeathed the institution--which dates back to a time when the neighborhood was much more sketchy and bohemian--because he drank there so much. Scott Eden profiled Elliott and his bar for the Reader in 2006; it's really pretty moving and funny, and a nice portrait of someone who stumbles backwards into a life. It's one of my favorite pieces that the paper's published.
About my favorite part is the explanation of why the jukebox is so heavy on jazz (the last time I was there they had a lot of Bach, which made me irrepressibly happy):
"Shortly after he died, Beatrice bequeathed the place to Elliott and Mitchell on one condition: that they remain adamantly opposed to change. Aside from the ever-increasing mass of Elliott’s artwork on the walls, they’ve kept their word. They fix chairs instead of replacing them and allow nothing but jazz on the jukebox: Beatrice Klug once dated a roadie and joined him on a Rolling Stones tour, after which she refused to listen to rock music for the rest of her life."