Each month Moira Muldoon walks into a bar and lives to write about it. Here is her analysis of the Anvil Pub. Spoiler alert: she’s a softy for punks.
The first time we went into the Anvil Pub, in Deep Ellum, the server’s short, purple-tinted mohawk was on display. The second time, she was wearing a pirate hat. Neither time did we order the Russian Roulette pizza, with “bullet” slices spiked with cayenne pepper, but both times we laughed about it.
My husband and I found the year-old bar by accident, in a drive-by search for a pub on a Saturday night. I wanted someplace we could sit and talk and maybe snack. The Anvil just looked right. The chalkboard street sign, the guys smoking and taking IDs at the door, an open parking space down the street. The pub is airy and has a bike on the ceiling and a helluva beer selection (Pabst Blue Ribbon to Three Philosophers). Plus, the kitchen is environmentally friendly (no frying), and there are multiple vegan options. It’s local, mindful, bicycle friendly, and offers some good specials. On Wednesdays, all Texas pints (Franconia, Shiner, Fireman’s #4, and Rahr) are $2, and Texas vodkas are $4. The Anvil looks like what it is, a good pub, with a punk rock pizza I haven’t dared to order.
Punk rock still lives a little in Deep Ellum, and I’ve always had a soft spot for punk. I like its directness, the straightforwardness of its nose-thumbing at traditional conventions about dress, appearance, and a host of other things. I know my mind is sharper when I challenge my long-held assumptions, when I listen to people who believe differently, when I am open to being swayed. Punk rockers visually remind me of that. Pirate hats, too.
And I need reminding. It takes a lot of work to challenge assumptions or habits, particularly in small, ordinary ways. Not long ago, my 18-month-old son and I were at swim lessons. He was tired and didn’t want to do whatever it was we were supposed to be doing. I started trying to get him to do the thing we were supposed to—and then realized I didn’t have to. He wasn’t ready, and there was no reason to make him. But after so many years of school, my first instinct was to comply with the teacher’s request for everyone to do whatever it was.