Thursday, September 1, 2011

"Talk of the Town"

"Talk of the Town"
6" X 6" Oil on Raymar Panel

Nestled on the corner of Edgar and Louisiana Streets in the near downtown area of Evansville, Indiana, is our favorite Friday night dining establishment – Talk of the Town Pizza Bar.  Patronized consistently by neighborhood residents, people from all areas of town also flood its intimate interior for lunch and dinner, and to visit with Suzanne and R.J., the bar’s owners and operators.

Suzanne and R.J. opened Talk of the Town in 2003, and continue to reside in the upstairs apartment.  Sporting an always clean and tidy appearance, the bar’s d├ęcor is classically nostalgic:  dark green and white checked linoleum floor, black and white tiled ceiling, neon signs, and photos and posters of yore on the walls, with nary an open spot. There’s a total of a whopping four booths, one of which is considered “the family room”!  The bar accommodates 12 customers on padded bar stools, 2 of which are in ……”the family room”.

R.J. can routinely be seen in his chef’s hat, lost in his blues music as he diligently performs his accomplished art of making delectable pizzas, sandwiches, and the best salads on earth!  And then there’s R.J.’s counterpart, Suzanne, who, no matter how busy, with boundless energy frequently single-handedly services the entire restaurant, serving as hostess, bartender, waitress, bus girl, cleaning lady, dishwasher, phone operator, sous chef, etc., all with an admirable work ethic and cheerful countenance.

As we enter, oftentimes, R.J. begins making our salad “our way”, and Suzanne pours our drinks without needing to take our order. If we call in a carryout order, she wants to know why we’re not coming in.  If we don’t show up for several weeks, she lets us know we were missed. 

We don’t know their last name; they don’t know our first names.  (I’m the “Friday night redhead!)  Nevertheless, we exchange some type of personal information almost each and every time we visit – i.e., kids, vacations, births, deaths, illness, relationship issues, and even church.  They are our friends, and friends to many who enter.  Talk of the Town is more than a pizza bar that serves food that rivals none!  I guess you could say that it’s just a place that satisfies – in a lot of ways.

How did we find this cozy little joint that some have coined as “Evansville’s best kept secret”?  Well, after all, it IS the “Talk of the Town”!

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