The other day I was scrolling through Facebook and Twitter and kept seeing stories pop up about how this place, Woody’s Bar and Grill in Bakersfield closed down. You wouldn’t think something like that would be news, but for the handful of people on my list that used to work with me back there in Bakersfield, it kind of was.
See the radio stations I worked for, now owned by Clear Channel, are basically on the same lot as Woody’s. You could run there in about oh 2 minutes if need be and so we all seemed to spend a lot of time there, either eating or you know, drinking very large glasses of beer. (Not me, I wasn’t old enough for most of the time I worked in that building. Being the baby on the staff sucks.) But it was always a place we could have a staff party and everyone, yes even us babies could go and hang out.
I remember quite a few times sitting at the bar with my dad while the Sonics game was on or whatever having a coke and some fries after work.
The other thing that made it kind of neat was during the time I worked nights, myself and whomever was working down the hall on KKXX or KRAB (depending of course which one I was on) could call down and order our dinner. And because radio was different then and everything was on a CD or a cart (it’s a big clunky tape) you would actually have to time out when you did things. So the order for the basket of chicken strips and the tereyaki burger would get put in and then when it was done, whoever took our order would call us back and ask us when we could come down and get it.
Whoever had the longest song coming up would then sprint down two flights of stairs and meet some poor server who had to come out to the parking lot and bring us dinner would meet you out back while the other person on the air would run back and forth between the studios making sure both stations were on the air. Good times.
Woody’s was also particularly good on weekend night shifts because many many people thought that it was a closed restuarant and that the building we were in was a closed office building. There were always some interesting hi-jinx going down in that parking lot and it gave some very sleepy overnight jocks some strange entertainment over the years.
I don’t really think it was the food or even the service that made that place special to everyone who worked in my building. It was just near by and the place you went to talk shop and unwind after a long day of making radio. It was really just an extension of our break room and anyone who’s worked in radio knows the stations become your home, the people you work with become your family, so the places you hang out become special.