Written by: Jeremy Baumhower
My most liked post on Facebook (ever) is about a person who pours drinks for a living. The picture captured a man named Pat Mahoney. Pat has been an institution, in one of my favorite neighborhoods. This past Monday night after serving drinks at JoJos (Monroe St.) for thirty plus years, Pat hung up his apron and walked away.
There was no parade, no celebration, no notice; JoJos has been sold, and Pat decided it was time to cash out.
Everybody who chooses to live on the West Side goes through some “Pat Years”, in their adult life. He was the perfect barkeep; slinging cheap beers at a common point in many lives. Young couples living in their first-bought homes, often cannot afford to go out. Pat served dollar drinks all night long, made sure the jukebox had plenty of quarters for it’s outdated music. Many affordable nights of fun were had with his company. Pat didn’t just pour liquor he was also impromptu security; he kept the jerks and hotheads, calm. At five-foot nothing, Pat feared only his wife. His courage was often supported by a room full of happy volunteers, waiting for the fool acting out to break the unwritten code– “no one touches Pat”.
You know you touched a lot of souls, when every patron knows that Thursday was your day off, because it was “date night”. His wife, Robin, managed the kitchen, he tended bar, and his night off was all he talked about. The old man never shuts up about her. Many failed marriages walked in-and-out of those doors, and no one paid attention to the shining example of love walking in-and-out of the kitchen. I noticed his love, but learned nothing.
Pat was the first to teach me about karma. While I was on the radio, I threw a fundraiser at JoJos for a child battling cancer. The radio station promoted the event, it was a Tuesday night. The family received 10% of the food bills for the entire day, and I was a guest bartender for two hours. I knew that I was cutting into Pat’s pay, because all tips were to go to the family. When I showed up that night, there were boxes of electronics purchased at Best buy. I was confused, I wasn’t aware that the store made a donation. They hadn’t, Pat did. The man who’s paycheck took a hit, went earlier in the day and spent $500 for things to be auctioned. At first, I thought it was the restaurant’s generosity– but Pat threw me that look. You know the one where he lowers his glasses, tips his head forward and whispers some life truths? He told me it was his money, and not to say a word. I promised. When I pressed a little further, Pat smiled and whispered, “It all comes back in the end”. Another lesson that took me years to understand. I’m sorry Pat, I just broke that promise. The $500 spent, doubled at auction and the family walked away with $2,000 to help pay medical bills and put food on their table.
If there was ever the perfect face representing the character of Toledo, it’s this man. Pat worked his ass off for every dollar he made at JoJos. He killed you with kindness even while throwing you out, and likely donated more than he should. Pat has never met a stranger. He has nicely brushed, coiffed hair, with a matching mustache. You can see the years of hard work on his face, if you get past the always-present smile.
Some guys build Jeeps, others build houses or roads; Pat builds friendships that last just as long.
Currently; there are over 2,300 likes, 250+ shares and over 230 comments. I was told by Pat’s boys, that he “doesn’t do Facebook”, but has been emotional over the outpouring of love. Of course he doesn’t.
People like Pat, cannot afford to retire. They don’t save, they give. We, as a community, cannot afford to lose humans like Pat. These days, people would normally setup a GoFundMe account for Mr. Mahoney, but I cannot imagine a world where he would accept a dollar, he hadn’t earned.
So, we need to help him find his next bar to keep.
Pat Mahoney is currently looking for his next place of employment. His qualifications are the following: He runs a marathon nightly. He pours great blue shots. He is proficient with bullhorns, jokes and swear words. He has a mental Rolodex featuring thousands of names people living in the 43606, 43613, and 43623, . He doesn’t allow asses or drinks on pool tables. He is loved by more people than he will ever know.
He is a West Toledo Icon.
If you are interested in hiring Pat, email me. I’ll put you in touch.
It will be the best staffing decision you could ever make.