After a dismal night pulling pints in a pub, I was wandering ‘round the King’s Road in an effort to find “better fit” employment under the table in 1981 (had to support myself as well as find somewhere to “belong” so I could save my sinking psyche), I walked into a winebar called Blushes. It looked nice, the menu was good, and the ambiance was one of controlled gentility, perfect for social-climbers and arrivistes alike.
A recent review of the place (still going in 2012!) says, “During the day, Blushes Cafe is a cool cafe bar boasting a comfortable, relaxed atmosphere and tasty cuisine of all types from around the world. However, the atmosphere changes after dark at Blushes and it transforms into a vibrant, upbeat wine bar with a fantastic selection of cocktails, champagne and wines to get you in the mood for a night out on the town.”
Ah yes, all about the nightlife! That’s where the inhibitions recede and there’s money to be made! Every restaurateur knows that. . . as do the waitstaff, who make much better tips on the larger checks created by booze intake. Yeah!
So I had a feeling about the place, and they had a feeling about me, so they sent me over to their “members club” establishment, across the road and down the stairs. Voila! The subterranean home of Main Squeeze -- a “members club” where membership afforded better and longer hours for alcohol selling and consumption than the laws that governed pubs and publicans. Members could bring guests, so in that way more customers were billed and the Main Squeeze remained in the black.
So, the Blushes manager sent me over to speak with one of the owners, Kevin or Roger (“Kev” and “Rog,” of course). They were usually together. Kevin, the taller one, had a soft, caressing voice, soft brown eyes, a full head of med-short, curly salt and pepper hair and a sweet, almost lugubrious manner. He could have been a kindly undertaker but for his clothing -- middle-aged, upper-middle income, not flashy and casual. Roger, the shorter owner, had sharper features, a sharper voice, a brasher personality. His electric blue eyes didn’t miss a thing; he wore dark suits, usually navy blue; and his full head of brown, curly hair was probably a vain spot. Like Kev, Rog enjoyed a drink; the two of them -- most times I saw them -- seemed kind of blurry and woozy from drink, though I could have been mistaken. . . I was a little puritanical and down on boozers and drank very little, personally.
At any rate, these guys were to be my bosses for the better part of a year, when I joined the Main Squeeze staff.