I am currently taking a Journalism Feature Writing class to complete my BA degree, and this short article is what I turned in for my first assignment. My instructions were to make an observation of something and write a 300-500 word feature article about it.
Leave me a comment letting me know what you think about my story, or how you think I can improve it.
(The pictures of the recall signs and petitions are mine and the rest are from ABC)
The ABC’s pretty old-school
They were unassuming, mostly groups of 20-something millennials, a few families and older couples thrown in, enjoying a relaxing night out at the Corner Brewery, A.K.A. Arbor Brewing Company (ABC) in downtown Ypsilanti.
Dinner at the local brewpub seemed like a low-key place to grab a quiet dinner and a good beer. Entering through the front doors of the industrial-looking, vintage, red-brick building leads people to much more than the expected.
The ceiling is open ductwork, the floor original wood, and many of the windows are metal-framed, single-pane, barn-like windows. There is a host/hostess station just inside the entrance where friendly greeters direct you to the left to order at the bar, or to either side of the entrance for a seat.
The room on the left holds the L-shaped bar, overhung with huge mug-racks holding hundreds of different numbered mugs. Above them is a chalkboard listing all the brews on tap for the day—their name, the hops measurement, a short description, and the price.
This bar-side of the building has booths against the walls, barstools lining the long side of the bar, and tables between the two. In the far corner is a door to go out to the “beer garden” patio.
The unexpected sight includes the worn couches, a coffee table, and bookshelves holding cards, puzzles and games, all gathered around the portable fireplace a bit to the left of the entrance doors.
If people ignore the cash register and parking lot, the atmosphere at ABC might lead them to think this was a home game room or den.
Taking a right turn at the front doors leads people into a large open room with tables and chairs spread throughout. One wall is painted in chalkboard paint—on this day in early May it was covered in multi-colored flowers and curly writing saying “Happy Mother’s Day.”
The unexpected sights include a pull-down video screen and a banquet table in front of the chalk wall sporting bright red signs screaming “Fire Gov. Snyder – Sign Here.”
Looking past the attention-getting red signs, people will find more signs of unusual restaurant activity—the groups of people are playing games.
Computer games on mobile devices, card games with two people sitting across from each other, or a large group spread over several tables with a huge board and multiple decks of cards.
There are also tables holding what appears to be a group of friends all out with their small children. This isn’t such an odd sight for a restaurant—what makes it different is the clipboards holding Recall Petitions covering the end of a table.
Looking around the welcoming room can make a person feel like a kid again, excitement bubbling up at all the new stuff there is to see and do.
Are they in a room with strangers and lots to do people-watching, or at a family reunion with kin they haven’t seen in ages relaxing with food and drinks?
It doesn’t take a marketing expert to come to one conclusion: Bloody genius—whoever runs this place is a genius. Time to go join the party.