The first bar I ever went to (besides with my dad as a kid) was the Uptown. It was a great experience, just what I always thought a bar would be like: Dark, damp and a little scary. I felt totally at home. Last week the owner, Scott Ellsworth, passed away unexpectedly from a heart attack. I didn’t know Scott that well, but the couple times we talked he was always really friendly, and very supportive of the weird artsy place my buddies and I were building across the street. He ran a bar that didn’t have a cocktail program or a dress code. He ran a bar where you could sit down, have a shot and a beer and chat with familiar regulars. Inside the Uptown I’ve stored paintings during a scavenger hunt art show, made business deals, broken up fights, maybe gotten in a fight, tried in vain to get up the nerve to talk to a girl, watched my team dominate the World Series, and seen Sean Penn close it down.
The Bold Italic has a great tribute to him today, which would have been his 60th birthday.
In 2011, when I posted a picture of “KiTOS”, the letters on the back of the bar, Scott wrote in to tell us that it stood for the previous owner’s names, Kim and Tony. Let’s just say now it stands for “Keep in Touch, Ol’ Scott.”