Cole’s is 101 years old this year. One hundred one! While it’s not quite the same as Philippe’s 100th birthday last year when it sold sandwiches for a spare dime, Cole’s does plan to have a three day celebration on Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday (also helps that these are the slowest day of the week for most restaurants). Like any good host, Cole’s has the whole schedule mapped out: on Sunday, it will award its first ever Jimmy Barela Award (named after the Cole’s bartender who spent 65 of his good years manning the restaurant’s Red Car Bar) to the barman who concocts a tequila-based cocktail and best pairs it with a French dip sandwich. The winning cocktail will be featured on Monday and Tuesday (although, if it’s really that good, I hope that the drink at the very least will make it onto a secret off-menu menu item). If, like any good guest, you’re planning on buying Cole’s a birthday present, look no further than the dusty books on your shelf: clean it up a bit and gift it to Cole’s. Cole’s will donate the tome to support Midnight Mission’s renovation of the Mary Murphy Library. As your goodie bag gift, you will receive a $1 discount on any sandwich. C’mon, we all have a book that we were supposed to read, but haven’t, and won’t. I’m looking at you, Wally Lamb. My heart just can’t take that kind of heavy right now.
No word on whether The Varnish, Cole’s not-so-secret speakeasy-ish bar in the back, will have any birthday-related specials. But then again, any night at The Varnish is special, isn’t it?