I’m never likely to turn my hand to raising a barn or building a trebuchet, so for the most part, I don’t care that I can’t tell beech from birch. However, being able to say what kind of wood went into the countertops and tables of bars would be useful for my line of work (“bar appreciator” is probably what I’d write on a resumé), at least for providing better descriptions than “blond wood.”
Thinking back, what I probably mean to say every time I say “blond” in relation to wood is “unstained,” but whether it’s high-quality hardwood or recycled pallets, the natural wood look is a signifier of the mid- … what are in we now? “the teens”? Anyway, in the way that sunken living rooms, chunky orange plastic, Abba, and the chalky white remnants of huge rails of cocaine are hallmarks of ’70s design, a muted, rustic look is popular among 2014 bars. Including The Local. There’s wood on the walls.
Admittedly, that association is about a thin as “oak” veneer on a ’76 Country Squire, and, frankly, there is very little that’s rustic about this place. Sure, the dark hardwood liquor shelves, recycled wood cocktail tables, and (here we go again) blond bartop make The Local sound like the kind of upscale watering hole you’d open near a CEO’s deer lease. On the other hand, the exposed brick and blown-up celebrity photos affixed to the ceiling give the place an urban loft vibe. There are more than 20 beers on tap, and Texas is represented well. (Before you ask, yes, The Local has Blood and Honey and Fireman’s 4. Plus the full complement of Deep Eddy vodkas.)