This bar is, at its core, a symbol of nostalgia for me.
It represents the time in my life when many of my friends lived in the same neighborhood. It plays the part of an old familiar watering hole that may not have really been that special but seems that way because of its reliability. Because it wasn’t as full of frat boys as the other bars. Because it always has free potato chips.
So when I walked in yesterday for a quick drink before heading to a New Year’s party and saw the upstairs section was open, I was pleasantly surprised to find out the second level, typically only open for special events, was lovely. It was cozy, and festively decorated, and warm. We sat on a couch by the fireplace and a cloud of that nostalgia enveloped me.
When I asked whether the glasses with the bar’s name were for sale, I was told I could have one for $5. While deliberating, one of the owners came by and gave me one for free. We finished our drinks, I tipped extra, and we continued into the night to celebrate the start of a new year. It was a perfectly fine evening, but the best part was without contest the short time at Ryan’s Daughter.
There’s obviously something to be said for new things–I say it all the time–but sometimes the old thing, in a new light, is exactly what you need.