The Low Down on the Johnnies Tavern Meat Up
Posted by cmh gourmand on November 3, 2008
3503 Trabue Rd
614 488 0110
The Cliff Notes version of the Meat Up reads like this: About twenty five people showed up on a beautiful day. The hamburgers were good – the medium rare burgers seemed to get the highest praise. I think I was one of the few people to get a roast beef sandwich as well – (I did it for you loyal readers). The sandwich was simple with some horseradish on the side. It melted in my mouth. Johnnies has cold, frosted mugs for beer and cans of pop (soda to some of you). I forgot how much I like Coke in a frosted mug – my freezer now has frosty pint glasses at the ready. I had heard that the bartendress was awesome – she was. She kept the beers and burgers flowing for over thirty people without breaking a sweat but she was quick to break a smile. We raised $25 for the Haiku Help Fund – Rachel Widomski Medical Care Trust. This cause has fallen off the radar a little bit over the last couple months. So we passed the mug around to keep the momentum going for a good cause. We all had a good time and I saw a few new faces.
Johnnies is the type of place that you can easily drive by and not think twice about it. It is in a part of town that is somewhat forgotten and well off the strip mall path. But Johnnies has something that many places do not – Mojo. The whole is greater than the sum of the parts. This is a comfortable place to sit down, eat a quick meal with a domestic beer and head on your way – simple.
John Lombardi is the proprietor. His grandfather opened the place in 1948. Not much has changed since then. Mr. Lombardi (the grandfather) lived next door and walked to work every day. John lived in the same house for quite some time before he took over Johnnies. San Margherita was the Italian part of town long ago. Things have changed over time. If you take a long look at the backyards of the remaining houses you will see old grapevines, leftovers from the days when the community grew grapes for wine and food. One house in the area seems to be making a run at grapes again, maybe a vineyard is in the future. Johnnies has history and memories and nice people that work there… that works for me.