My friend chided me as we crossed the parking lot. “The Four Seasons is really nice. Try to act rich.”
I blew it one minute later by fist-pumping for joy when an attendant in the orchid-scented lobby told me I could get my parking ticket validated at the bar.
Fortunately for me, OUTLAW Taproom, located just inside the Four Seasons’ lobby, isn’t pretentious. But it is a lovely space, with elegant leather seating, a humidor, and an expensive pool table. It has an Old West atmosphere and is themed around music “outlaws.” The walls feature photos of Willie Nelson, ZZ Top, and Janis Joplin, and guitars hang above the bar.
“On the weekdays, we mostly get a business crowd,” the bartender told me as I perused the cocktail menu.
“Has anyone famous been here?” my companion asked.
“Jimmy Buffett was here two weeks ago.”
“Did he drink Margaritaville tequila?”
The bartender gave us a funny look. “He drinks Don Julio 1942 tequila.”
Next to me, a couple ordered the Capone Rocks and Rye—spiced with orange and lime and served in a Porthole infuser. I got a Hendrick’s gin and tonic, generously poured and full of peeled cucumbers, and we settled down at a table. A Danish man with coiffed blond hair walked up to the bar, shook the bartender’s hand, and pulled out a wad of $100 bills. He ordered a Corona with lime. A few minutes later, he left to watch the UFC fight at Champps.
The rest of the indoor patrons were somewhat older men, but on the patio outside, the scene was young and energetic. Families dined at tables overlooking the gorgeous hotel pool. To the left, couples sprawled out on a plush couch facing a fireplace.
When I’d had enough people-watching, I realized I’d made little progress on my gin and tonic. Which was a good thing, because I wasn’t ready to give up the rich life just yet. Besides, I still needed to get my parking ticket validated.