Saturday, March 24, 2012

Old Towne Pub

I had a super birthday yesterday. Thanks for your good wishes here, in email and on Facebook. John and I took the day off. We had planned to go to Clocker's Corner for breakfast, however I'm not one to sit outside when it's even slightly cool, so we went to Old Town instead. We loved--I mean loved--the food at the Market on Holly, but oh, those ultra-hip stools! (Note to MoH: ultra can be hard on the hips.)

We caught this scene while strolling on Holly Street. At last I know the location of the Old Towne Pub. The place has a mystique about it and it's not easy to find. Even though the Old Towne Pub has a Fair Oaks Avenue address the entrance is actually down the alley next to Cafe Linda's on Holly (speaker warning: music on that link). Surely this alley has a name because all Old Town alleys have names, don't they? But I couldn't find said name on the map. Obscurity is part of the Old Towne Pub's charm. And, if I'm not mistaken, history is, too.

I believe there's been a drinking establishment hidden deep down this nameless alley since Old Town was plain old town, if you know what I mean. It's had more than one name over the years. I'm not a Pasadena old-timer; I've been here just over six years. Do you know the stories? Let's hear them.

29 comments:

Cafe Pasadena said...

I'm glad u loved the Market on Holly. What did u get for breakfast? And how was the service??

Linda said...

My stomach's rumbling with all this talk of delicious food - writing this before breakfast.
Do all restaurant workers smoke? I sometimes wonder, seeing similar scenes here outside kitchen doors.

Kalei's Best Friend said...

I've never eaten there but the menu looks scrumptious... then again, I've never had a bad meal in Pasadena.

BaysideLife said...

So glad you had a great birthday. Hidden pub in an un-named alley--sounds like a place worth ferretting out.

Petrea Burchard said...

Cafe, John had the breakfast burrito and raved about it. I had the croissant sandwich, which was delicious. We both had fresh-squeezed orange juice, which was divine.

Linda, I don't think all restaurant workers smoke. In fact, I don't see a lot of smokers around here. I came here from Chicago as a smoker more than 20 years ago and was such an outsider it was one factor in my quitting.

Petrea Burchard said...

I have had one inedible restaurant meal in Pasadena, Kalei. J and I asked for everything to go. We couldn't bear to send it back to the kitchen because the service was so friendly and everything was lovely. Then we took it outside, found the nearest trash can and dumped it. But I'm not a restaurant reviewer. I won't be publicly revealing the name of that place.

Petrea Burchard said...

I may go in there one day, Bayside, when it's early and I want refreshment. Because of its history I'd like to see it. I'm afraid I'm past the loud music stage, but they have a reputation for great local bands so if people are looking for live music this is the place.

Kalei's Best Friend said...

But was it fair for you guys to pay for something that was inedible? and yes, I realize you did not want to hurt feelings even tho the server really has nothing to do w/the prep of the food... who knows, maybe the cook was new? As I was told by someone who use to work in a restaurant to never send the food back cuz they may do some unmentionable things to it....

Steve Scauzillo said...

I will definitely try Market on Holly. And that pub. Both sound divine. Happy birthday, by the way (belated).

TheChieftess said...

Glad you had a delightful day Petrea!!!

Cafe Pasadena said...

I blogged about TMoH a couple of times last year. They have a brunch menu on the weekends. I like the service/people - they treat me well. Lettuce know, on your blog maybe, your review.

Petrea Burchard said...

Fair? No, but life isn't fair. We wouldn't have eaten it anyway, and why be unkind? I guess we just weren't in the mood.

Petrea Burchard said...

Yeah, it's a great place and there are a couple of good chairs, but they were taken. The outside seating has chairs, too. The rest is stools (argh). But the food is awesome and the people are sweet.

Petrea Burchard said...

Thanks, my dear.

Laura Monteros said...

Just a little bit of snobbishness here...Despite the names Old Town Music and Old Towne Pub, there is not an Old Town in Pasadena. It's "Old Pasadena". Just like there's no Rose Bowl Parade. hee hee, you can shoot me now!

Katie said...

Sounds like you had a wonderful birthday, with delicious food. Love this photo! The brick and the pink blooms go really well together. The hidden pub looks like the perfect place for a clandestine meeting with someone at 2:30 pm on a weekday. And great sign about the possibility of getting your access to the alley revoked. Sounds like something a school marm would say.

Petrea Burchard said...

Hi Laura, I don't think it's snobbish. It's like me calling it Hahamongna Watershed Park instead of JPL, which is the local vernacular. Obviously I don't walk my dog at JPL, I'm sure they wouldn't allow it and Boz is no astronaut. I'm just trying to make the distinction.

But I've never heard anyone call Old Town "Old Pasadena" except on their website, and since I don't think anyone's going to mix up the two, I'm sticking with the local vernacular.

Petrea Burchard said...

Katie, I want to get a shot of Holly Street with these pink blooms all up and down. Union Street has some too, they're just lovely against the old buildings. Pasadena's Urban Forest Service does a fantastic job.

LGreenWriter said...

Sorry I didn't check your blog yesterday - happy belated birthday to you.
: )
Now I know why I'm drawn to this site, aside from the obvious reasons...you are an Aries. I am surrounded by them - my mother is one, my father was, my boyfriend is, my close friend in Dublin is, my favorite of my daughter's friends is - my existence is positively flush with Aries. It's a wonderful thing!

Bellis said...

So - you're a goat! Or is it a ram? As for the trees, their name is etched in my memory. I once wrote an article about a Caltech alumna who lived in Japan and wrote poetry (Jessica Goodchild - wonderful). To illustrate the article, I wanted cherry blossom. My photographer said he'd go out and find some, came back with a lovely blossom photo, and we published it. Some time later, a wealthy donor mentions to us that he was sure it wasn't cherry, it was a tree called tabebuya. Aaargh - my photographer was not an accomplished botanist, and I hadn't noticed the pink blossom was trumpet-shaped. All I could do was congratulate the donor on his sharp eyesight and arboreal knowledge.

But I digress. I don't think Old Towne Pub is my sort of place - at my age, I'd ruin the ambience. But I'm going to give TMOH and Cafe Linda's cafe a try. I rarely walk down Holly and had no idea they were there. Thanks for the information!

Bellis said...

Another error - I'm not having a good day. It's Jessica Goodfellow, http://www.jessicagoodfellow.com/index.html

Petrea Burchard said...

I like to think so, but of course I'm biased!

Petrea Burchard said...

Okay, that does it. For a few minutes there, Blogger wasn't letting me comment on my own blog.

We'll be moving soon, folks, I'm just prepping.

I'll go with you to both restaurants, Bellis. The Market on Holly to try more of the menu, and Cafe Linda's because I've never been. That block of Holly between Fair Oaks and Raymond has lovely shops and restaurants.

Susan Campisi said...

Wow. I really love this photo. I know Holly Street quite well (I eat lunch at MOH at least once a week) but I've never noticed the details you've captured here - the street lamps, the tile under Cafe Linda's window, or even the Pub sign. Maybe that gate is usually closed or maybe I'm too busy thinking about what to eat to notice. I told Ibarionex yesterday that your blog helps to open my eyes to such gorgeous details that I fail to see even though I pass by them all the time.

I've been to the Old Towne Pub once, last summer. It took awhile to find it, hidden as it is in that unnamed alley. The place has a gritty, hole-in-the-wall charm. I would've loved to hang out there in my younger days but the night I was there I couldn't wait to get out on the patio to get away from the loud, live music. I met a guy my age who grew up in Pasadena and he said the pub has been a local hang-out for years. I bet he could tell some stories.

May I join you and Bellis at MOH or Cafe Linda's? I like them both.

Petrea Burchard said...

Yep. I think we're going to have a good time.

Mister Earl said...

Glad you had a happy birthday, P.

The Old Town Pub (fka the Loch Ness) wasn't always hidden. It was in the corner of the parking lot that used to be on the corner Fair Oaks and Union. But alas, the Container Store now sits on the parking lot and hid it away.

Petrea Burchard said...

Thank you, Mister Earl. I knew it had had at least one other name. In fact I remember reading a story about the Loch Ness by Larry Wilson. I didn't know how the Container Store figured into the mystery, so thanks for cluing us in.

For those who don't know, the Container Store sits where the original City Hall once stood.

Janet Swartz said...

I have the name for your mystery alley: Hayes Alley. Working for Old Pasadena Management District, it has been a pastime of mine to collect the alley names when I run across them and add them to our printed maps. Some have fallen into disuse. The alley behind the De Lacey garage and parallel to De Lacey Avenue, is Marmora Alley completely contained between Fraser Alley (north-south) and Martin Alley (east-west). I, too am a fan of the Market on Holly, great food and great people! I can also vouch for Cafe Linda's... fresh, delicious Thai food, also nice people! Happy belated birthday... great post, as always!

Petrea Burchard said...

I wondered if it was Hayes! Thank you, Janet. The alleys in Pasadena can be intricate and the maps I've seen didn't mark that stretch. And I never knew the name of Marmora Alley, although I've walked there a million times.