Final Four Results presented by The Greenville Grrrowl
The Handlebar (3) v. Gene’s (2)
This is 1991 Duke v. UNLV all over again. Should have been the final match-up not a semifinal. Totally different crowds. Totally different looks. Gene’s was founded in 1957. This happened to be the same year many of the UNLV players were born and like UNLV, Gene’s seemed unstoppable. But now . . . now Gene’s has suffered the same fate as many others in this bracket, not only closed but building razed, with each passing year fewer people to recall when it was on top.
Result: The Handlebar advances.
The Hot Dog King (1) v. John Paul’s (4)
Have you had lunch downtown recently? Did you pay less than $10? Congratulations you have performed a miracle. It was not always so. Hot Dog King was across from city hall (the old one . . . and the new one) and was the closest thing Greenville had to a big city delicatessen line (except it was hot dogs that were being dished up). The place was no frills, there were good-natured insults for slow-moving regular customers and businessmen were just as likely to be in line as hard-hatted construction workers. You could walk in with a $10 and walk out with a $5 and feel satisfied.
Ironically this long-time Greenville workday lunch spot was next door to Soby’s, the restaurant that ushered in a new Greenville downtown dining scene in 1996. Ultimately this “new downtown” would make it hard for cheap eats like HDK to make it as the rents are raised, and thus the King’s run comes to an end in this bracket. Main Street is forever changed.
Result: John Paul’s advances.
Handlebar (3) v. John Paul’s (4)
When John Paul opened his restaurant in 1990 in an old Skateworld, it instantly created a palpable buzz and the wait even on a weeknight was hours long. Sure the ribs were tremendous and the decor unusual and cool, but the real treat was seeing the proprietor himself, complete with an eye patch. John Paul has been bagging big game this whole tournament and it looked like he might have one more in him, but then we remembered the mothership once landed at the Handlebar. You will need a bigger gun and two good eyes to take down George Clinton and his P Funk. Along with George Clinton, what do fellow Grammy winners Alabama Shakes, Bone Thugs ‘n Harmony, Old Crow Medicine Show, Miranda Lambert, Joan Baez, John Mayer, Steve Earle, Hootie & the Blowfish, Guy Clark, Jason Isbell, and Zac Brown have in common with David Allan Coe, Bret Michaels, Amos Lee, Nappy Roots, The Avett Brothers, Chairman of the Board, the Ying Yang Twins, and Robert Earl Keen? They all played the Handlebar. The Handlebar was Greenville’s live music scene for 20 years, in two separate and totally unique locations, a place to see up and comers and old favorites in a wide range of genres.
While The Handlebar may no longer be cravin melon, tonight they are sipping sweet tea and celebrating a Not My Boys championship. BRING IT BACK.
Result : The Handlebar wins.