Town Pump will move to Cen­taur Bar space

That we might be­come what God is

The Detroit News - - Weekend - MELODY BAETENS The Detroit News

More than two decades of root­ing on lo­cal teams, pints of beer and shared plates of bar-friendly ap­pe­tiz­ers will come to an end at 100 W. Mont­calm when the Town Pump closes.

The last hur­rah for this ca­sual pub, known for its posh-look­ing ex­te­rior with green ivy cover­ing the fa­cade, is a 4 p.m. party Jan. 12.

How­ever, the staff, vibe and Town Pump name is just mov­ing just across the street to Cen­taur Bar, says Pump man­ager Ryan Martin. Cen­taur and Town Pump are both owned by Sean Har­ring­ton, but the build­ing that housed Town Pump — Park Av­enue House — has been sold.

“We’re re­mod­el­ing Cen­taur right now, there’ll be a menu roll out ... a new pizza bar be­ing built,” he said. “It’s re­ally art deco over there now, so we’re go­ing to change it into a pub

Afriend gave me a lit­tle book a few weeks ago with a star­tling ti­tle: “Sum: Forty Tales From The After­lives,” writ­ten by neu­ro­sci­en­tist David Ea­gle­man. My first thought was that it was about peo­ple who had come back from the dead, as there is a whole genre of such books to­day.

Thank­fully, no, it is a col­lec­tion of thought-pro­vok­ing es­says from Dr. Eagel­man’s re­mark­able, in­ven­tive mind. He imag­ines all of these dif­fer­ent pos­si­bil­i­ties about what might hap­pen af­ter we die, imag­ined to make the reader think about the here and now — the mir­a­cle of the life we all have been given to live. feel again.”

The Cen­taur Bar — a mul­ti­level cock­tail lounge at 2233 Park that opened just be­fore Su­per Bowl XL in Detroit — has been dark for a few months. A so­cial me­dia post in early Septem­ber ex­plained the bar was “tem­po­rar­ily closed do to staffing is­sues.”

Martin said they hope to re­open the Town Pump in the Cen­taur space be­fore Fe­bru­ary. He adds that the pool ta­ble at Cen­taur will stay, and they’re build­ing a stage.

The Town Pump Tav­ern opened on St. Pa­trick’s Day of 1997, ac­cord­ing to Detroit News archives. Around the same time, con­struc­tion for Comer­ica Park started, then restau­rant writer Jane Ray­burn wrote that the English-style pub was “a cat­a­lyst for the resurg­ing Fox­town area.”

With­out spoil­ing the en­tire book, my fa­vorite tale of his is one where a per­son is given the chance to choose his next life. Do you want to be a king or queen; want to be rich and fa­mous? It’s your choice. This par­tic­u­lar per­son, who has had a dif­fi­cult life, isn’t in­ter­ested in money, fame, or “more” of any­thing. He wants sim­plic­ity.

So, he chooses to come back as a horse. Why not? Graz­ing green pas­tures, frol­ick­ing over the hill­sides, run­ning across the plains with­out a care in the world; and do­ing all of this as a big, beau­ti­ful, lit­eral stud. His de­ci­sion is made, God speaks, and the trans­for­ma­tion be­gins. Ea­gle­man writes:

“A mat of strong hair erupts to cover you like a blan­ket … your neck thick­ens … your carotid ar­ter­ies grow in di­am­e­ter … your fin­gers blend hoofward. Your con­cern about hu­man af­fairs be­gins to slip away. But sud­denly, for just a mo­ment, you be­come aware of a prob­lem you over­looked.

“The more you be­come like a horse, the more you for­get what it was like to be a hu­man wish­ing you could be a horse! And that’s not the worst of your rev­e­la­tion. You re­al­ize that, with your thick horse brain, you won’t have the ca­pac­ity to ask to be a hu­man again. Your choice to slide down the in­tel­li­gence lad­der is ir­re­versible.”

Dr. Ea­gle­man, observing the frail, trou­bled re­al­ity of be­ing a hu­man, then asks a rhetor­i­cal ques­tion: “What mag­nif­i­cent, ex­trater­res­trial crea­ture ... would choose to be­come a hu­man?” Im­ply­ing of course, that no be­ing of su­pe­rior in­tel­li­gence would ever stoop to be­come a lesser crea­ture, to be­come one of us.

But that’s not quite right, not in light of the Ad­vent story. Chris­tians be­lieve that the baby born and laid in the manger is more than a re­mark­able child, more than a re­li­gious sym­bol. We be­lieve he is “Je­sus Christ, God’s only Son,” as the Creed says, sig­nal­ing that in­deed, a “mag­nif­i­cent, ex­trater­res­trial crea­ture chose to be­come a hu­man.”

Thus, Christ­mas is an event of de­scent, a move­ment of down­ward mo­bil­ity, with heaven plum­met­ing to earth, fus­ing these worlds to­gether in a won­drous, in­ex­pli­ca­ble mys­tery. “Mild he lay his glory by,” and he came slid­ing down the lad­der to reach, love, and el­e­vate us. God met hu­man­ity on its own terms, be­com­ing “what we are, that we might be­come what God is.”

Robin Buck­son / The Detroit News

The Cen­taur Bar, shown in 2005, will get a stage, but its pool ta­ble will stay.

RON­NIE MCBRAYER

Keep­ing theFaith

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