I've been going out for years and sometimes you just want to do something different. My friend Jose likes to go to fish fries, and this one was the closest to his house. He asked me to go along. We walked in and there were all these old people eating fish in this huge banquet-hall-size room. They had a limited menu with seven or eight different kinds of fish--halibut and trout were two of them. This fish fry had been going on for 40 years. After dinner we headed down to the basement to the Blue Vel-Vet--"Vet" 'cause these guys are all vets. It was totally 60s decor. We went to the bar and started drinking, and more and more people came in after the fish fry. They had this elderly woman who was a lounge singer, and all these old couples started dancing around. It was just really nice to be around people who were having such a good time. Our age didn't matter. We came back for the final fish fry two weeks later. It was the final night because the people who ran it were getting too old and no one wanted to take it over. A guy called the Colonel suggested we try the Moose lodge fish fry, and we're going to check it out. Fish fry or no, the Blue Vel-Vet will still be open every Friday night--and we'll be back.
--John LeMoine, art manager