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The Ungrand Opening

March 31, 2012

This is a photo taken by Peter Carter
looking into the mirror applied to Mountain Charley's ceiling within the huge chandelier

Six months ago I pretty much wrote an obituary for the classic Los Gatos institution, Mountain Charley’s Saloon. Even as I was writing it I was privy to the possibility that the place might be taken over by its founder’s family. However, Charley’s was a big part of my history and a big part of many of my friends’ history and it had been knocked around pretty badly for the last bunch of years. I wanted to make people not familiar with its entire past, the good part of its past, aware of the place and its people when it was at the heart of so much significant and substantial activity in this town. Truly, it was more than “just another bar ” (and restaurant, back then).

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Well, the founder’s family did re-acquire the place. Last night the founder’s son, Joe Farwell, reopened Mountain Charley’s, with little fanfare and a modest attitude. The constant, endless and very supportive crowd that packed the house from six in the evening until closing is the true testament to the significance and substantialness of the “good part of its past.” The generosity, high spirits and good will of the town’s folk who celebrated this reopening last night, a resurrection if you will, were not there to be part of the “in crowd,” to get a tax write-off for some charity or to win something for having the right raffle ticket. These folks were there to give thanks for all the great memories, all the great “vibes” that the old place had given them, those things that will always put a smile on their faces. They were there to pay tribute to this place, give thanks and to rekindle the hope that this place will yet put more smiles on their faces in the years to come.

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