The Ale-House Door (painting of c. 1790 by Henry Singleton)

The Ale-House Door (painting of c. 1790 by Henry Singleton)

One of the goals that we have with Yellow City Co-op is to introduce pub culture to Amarillo.  First of all, let me be frank - this is not an easy task.  Pub culture is rooted in the traditions of the British Isles, where it has been a thriving part of neighborhood life for centuries.  But pub culture did not really take root across America, especially as people began to move west in the 18th and 19th centuries.  New England, where all of those early European transplants started their new lives 400 years ago, managed to cling to a pub culture for a while, but the rest of the country did not.  However, there is nothing inherintly bad or good about this development.  We at Yellow City just think that the citizens of Amarillo are missing out on something if they don't have a great local pub.

But what is a pub?  The term "pub" comes from "public house," which is what these social gathering spots were often called (as opposed to private houses).  The pub was the center of community activity.  In the days of village life and slow information, you would go to the public house for some ale and the latest local news.  These public houses themselves were descended from the Roman taverns, which were established as road systems were built and served as stopping points for travelers, places to receive refreshment and rest.  Taverns popped up all over the country as road networks developed, and so became focal points for those seeking news from outside the community.  As beer brewing became more common and commercial in England, pubs grew to be commonly associated with beer, and our modern conception of what it means to be a pub is directly tied to the notion of beer drinking and social mingling.

Our idea for Yellow City is a lot like this.  We aim to be a gathering place for people in the community, not just because the beer is good or the food is tasty, but because the atmosphere is comfortable, and the staff is knowledgable and polite, and you generally feel at home when you visit.  And that's another advantage of our business model.  Cooperative ownership by members of the community gives us a chance to truly be a part of the community.  You walk in the place and feel like an owner because you are an owner.  You keep coming back because it's a great pub and because you want to see it thrive so that it will always be a great pub.  Your pub.

We're going to continue to pursue this goal of bringing pub culture to Amarillo because we know that people want to be a part of their community, and that people want to have a place they can call their own.  Where everybody knows your name.  And they're always glad you came.  Don't act like you wouldn't like to walk into Cheers and have everyone shout out your name in welcome.  We sure as hell want that!  Only we want you to walk into Yellow City and aim for your favorite seat as the staff says hello and grabs you a pint of your favorite ale.

Long live the public house!