Havana bar owner Quentin Ertel, like many people who make their living from Seattle nightlife, is not a fan of Tom Carr. His dislike is strong enough that he's throwing a benefit tonight from 6-8 PM in support of Carr's City Attorney challenger, Pete Holmes. And in an e-mailonline screed announcing the event, Ertel put his friends on notice:
Tom Carr, who is at the helm of the status quo currently running the City, does not deserve your vote. He runs his office with a puritanical streak. Quite simply, he hates bars and nightlife. Really.
Now, to be fair, Ertel may have his tongue planted firmly in cheek; later in the e-mail, he also says that Carr hates puppies. (WHAT SCUM!) But given the strong condemnation of Carr's Operation Sobering Thought from the nightlife community, The Daily Weekly thought it important to ask: Does Carr really hate bars?
Carr's response, from an e-mail:
I don't hate bars. Interestingly, I have never heard of Havana. My favorites right now are Christos on Alki, Talarico's in the West Seattle Junction, they both have Manny's on tap. I enjoyed McGilvra's the other night, they have a great Bitburger on tap.
So there. Not only does Carr not hate bars, he'll even order a beer in one on occasion. Of course, as Nina Shapiro's excellent profile of Carr proved, if the man did hate bars, he'd at least have a pretty good reason:
His mother was a stenographer for Metropolitan Life, where Tom later found employment. His father "didn't do very much," Carr says. "My dad was an alcoholic."
"He was a big guy, like me," Carr adds. "At 17, he volunteered for World War II. He had his 18th birthday in a place called Anzio [an Italian beach town that became a battleground], served throughout the entire war, and came back and drank a lot."
One day when Carr was 14, he watched his father head to a party. It was a noteworthy sight: His dad was sober. But he drank too much at the party and fell down a flight of stairs. The accident was fatal. His mother gamely took up the challenge of raising the family on her small salary. "She got three of us through college," Carr says.