ivar’s is an institution around here. we usually take out of town visitors down to the water front for our fill of fish ‘n’ chips after a stroll through the market. the workers are always wearing great t-shirts that say things like “keep clam”.
yesterday ivar’s turned 105 and for its birthday you could get your second entree for just $1.05. deals like that draw all kinds of people, waiting in the same, slow-moving line wrapped around the building. an elderly couple caught my eye. the loving husband found his feeble wife a spot where she could sit out the wait, while he took his spot in line behind us. we finally caught up to where the wife was sitting.
we eavesdropped as they teased back and forth about whose idea it was to come to ivar’s in the first place and why they were waiting when they could have eaten already somewhere else. finally we ordered and maneuvered through the packed restaurant to find a seat. there was one open table that could sit four. we invited our line neighbors to sit with us.
they taught us about what this area looked like 50 years ago, how much it’s grown, how their neighborhood has changed and where their children and now grandchildren have gone off to. they teased each other some more and repeated some of the same stories, but it made for a perfect unexpected double date. we said our goodbyes as more birthday deal customers waited in line.