Vince Grzegorek the editor said I can write whatever the hell I want, so all you keyboard warriors that feel a need to comment because you don't like it: piss off! This is Cleveland through my eyes and the places I want to go and the things I experience I want to highlight in my town. With that being said, we're going to the Platinum Lounge at Quicken Loans arena to meet two people, because I said so.
The Platinum Lounge is located in the north end of The Q on the event/court level. It's a cool spot that features an assortment of seating and tables, a bunch of large wall-mounted plasma televisions, pretend rich people, jersey chasers and random people who snuck in.
The full-length granite bar is the command center and the home of Glenn and Michelle Galaida. Glenn's been slinging drinks for 38 years and has been a bartender with the Cavs since the franchise was born. He's been married to his co-worker for 42 years and between the two, they've seen everything there is to see. From The Shot to acquiring a fat Shawn Kemp, from the Jiri Welsch trade to the drafting of Vitaly Potapenko over Kobe Bryant, they've seen some bad stuff, too. They have been working together for over 36 years. That's more jobs than I've been fired from and longer than anything I've ever done ever.
The Cavs home games are one of my favorite places in the world. I am an avid basketball nut and a HUGE Cleveland Cavs fan. I attended my first game when I was 9 years old at the old Richfield Coliseum and have followed the team religiously throughout the years. What makes the experience great is not only the game itself but people like Glenn and Michelle that work there. Today I bellied up to the bar to enjoy free appetizers because I am a scumbag who loves anything "free" while I get to listen to some of their encounters.
They once had a picky customer who constantly complained. His drink would have too many ice cubes, sometimes not enough ice cubes, too much liquor, not enough liquor, cup's too big, cup's too small. They could never please him. One time they served his drink and he said, "The straw is too long," so Glenn pulled out a pair of scissors, clipped the straw, and walked away. The man was in shock and didn't know what to say.
Once Larry Bird ran into a waitress during a game. He came flying towards Michelle and her co-worker, so Michelle moved and he ended up barreling into the other waitress and the drinks and money went flying off the tray. The tray broke in half and they had to stop the game to clean up the mess. As they were cleaning up the mess, she noticed Larry Bird was bending down picking up two quarters and putting them into his high socks. They weren't sure if he was doing this as a superstition, for a souvenir, or he was just cheap.
Meanwhile this girl is going to be short at the end of the night, so they told the bosses that Larry Bird stole fifty cents. During that time Larry Bird wouldn't sign autographs, so their boss went back to the locker room with the broken tray and told Larry Bird, "You sign this tray or you're going to have to give back those two quarters." He came back with a signed tray. I guess Larry didn't want to give up the fifty cents.
Another time Dan Aykroyd came in with an entourage of 16 people. He came up to the bar and ordered a screwdriver. He then turned around and asked everyone what he or she wanted. No one would answer so he just said, "Give me 16 Screwdrivers!"
Next time you're at The Q, sneak on down to the club and say hi for yourself. Tell them Chad sent you. Then ask them to tell a story.