When most of us sit down at the bar, we usually have two things in mind: a drink and a brief but much needed escape from the stresses of daily life. More often than not, we are so focused on this mission that we overlook our surroundings. But if we studied the shelves of liquor we’d likely find the most curious of items: an old trinket, a hand-drawn octopus, scribbled upon note of foreign currency, a random, dusty can of spam. BARTIFACTS looks to trace the origins of these artifacts, one bar at a time.
If you’ve ever been to Grapes & Soda, you may have noticed a small collection of knick-knacks on top of the two shelves on the left side of the bar. There’s a couple of books, a mallet, a faded photo, an unfurled Jay Senetchko postcard and an Endless Summer poster, among other things, but the item that really stood out to me was the hand-drawn picture of two superheroes. From a distance, it almost looks as if they’re holding hands.
Upon closer inspection, it’s clear that the drawing was created by a young artist sharing his very best rendition of Wolverine and Deadpool. Grapes & Soda barman Satoshi Yonemoshi explained that the picture was drawn by his friend’s five year old son. Their visits to the bar were frequent enough that Satoshi would allow the kid to play bartender and make his own mocktails with the juices and syrups he had on hand.
One day this past summer, the young artist pulled up a seat over one of his tailor-made beverages and asked Satoshi about his favourite superhero, who turned out to be Deadpool. He quickly took marker to paper and began creating this masterpiece – a detailed sketch of his own favourite superhero (Wolverine) standing side by side with Satoshi’s. It has stayed in its place of prominence behind the bar ever since.