Scratching the Itch
The PubScout ponders the phenomenon known as the pop-up shop at his favorite pub, TapTime in OIB.
Full disclosure: I detest shopping. For anything.
Maybe it’s built into our DNA, but every other guy I know feels the same. If I need something, I go to a store that carries it, I find what I’m looking for, I pay for it and get out. That goes for food, clothing, shoes, sundries, necessities — almost everything.
Now, I don’t want to get into a big discussion of gender here, but when it comes to shopping, many women are different. That’s not a criticism, just a fact. They go into a store, especially one with clothes and shoes, and they meander. It doesn’t matter if they find something they really like in one aisle. There might be something they like more in the next aisle. Shopping is in their DNA, I suspect.
At least that’s what Christa Berciunas hinted at when I talked with her during a pop-up shop she launched in her already wildly popular craft beer bar called TapTime in Ocean Isle Beach. She and her partners, friend Alicia and daughter Samantha, had racks of clothes and displays of jewelry arranged neatly at the front of the business.
And while the men who entered made a beeline for a seat at the bar, the women were all over those displays like white on rice, spots on dice, cold on ice and cats on mice. (See? We northeast transplants can learn Southern lingo, bless your heart!)
Don’t get me wrong. Taking the missus to a pop-up shop may have cost me a few more bucks than I would have ordinarily spent at the bar, but at least I was at the bar while she shopped.
“Look,” said the pert grandmother, “we do this because it’s fun. None of us is going to retire on what we make here, or take a world-wide cruise from it. We love to shop. So do most women. And not only do we have fun, it scratches our ‘itch to shop.’”
Samantha did these pop-up shops while she was in college, and with more girls than guys at her school, you can bet it brought in more than beer and pizza money.
There’s usually a healthy dose of women in TapTime under normal circumstances, but I had never seen so many females in my favorite pub, and all were holding up clothes on themselves from the hangers, trying on jewelry and even trying on the clothes they considered buying by using the ladies’ room as a dressing room.
Hell, a few of them even used the men’s room when the ladies’ room was occupied. And trust me when I tell you that even the signs in those respective lavatories have a different vibe, as I learned when I once had to use the ladies’ room for a bladder emergency.
God bless women and their wonderful quirks and idiosyncrasies, like meandering when “scratching the itch.”
Most men aren’t meanderers.
Unless we’re in a shop that sells quality craft beer.
But even then, I go in with an idea of what style of beer I want.
Wintertime requires big boozy Belgians — quads, tripels, dubbels and other Trappist beers. For springtime, it’s Maibocks, doppelbocks, Helles and an occasional Kolsch. Summer’s for IPAs, DIPAs and TIPAs — NEIPA’s, West Coast IPAs and good crisp pilsners, preferably from the Czech Republic, but North Coast makes an exceptional one called Scrimshaw, too. Fall? Bring on the lagers, the Marzens, the Oktoberfests, the quality pumpkin beers and the big boy stouts (of which Guinness is NOT one).
And before you know it, it’s wintertime again.
If Total Wine did year-round pop-up shops, I might become a meanderer …
Want to go?
1564 Marketplace Blvd
Ocean Isle Beach, NC
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