No Topless Bar in Floyd

Might have been almost a year since our gaggle of friends pulled me down the street on Friday night to eat.

“Where are we going” I asked in the final stages of blood sugar collapse quite a few hours since lunch.

“To the Topless bar above Oddfellas!” they told me–after which I did not resist. Only to find we don’t, after all, have Hooters right here in River City.

What we gots us is a tapas bar. Bumpkin that I am, I wanted to know what it was that I was going to be a’ eating. So I looked it up.  Curious word, dangerously close to TOPLESS. What does it mean, then?

Glad you asked: It means “on top of” as over the top of your wine glass to keep the fruit flies out. And after all, these “bars” typically being small crowded places with nowhere to sit, you have to put your plate on top of your glass anyway.

It means the goodies that were put on top of the napkin or other cover on the wine glass. It means the strong cheese in the treats on top of the glass filled with OFF wine, the strong cheese overwhelming the taste so folks would drink the stuff enough so they didn’t care anymore.

So if you’re a wordsmithian, check out the wikipedia description of all the possible sources for the word. And no matter which word history you choose, eat and drink hardy, and bottoms up. But NOT that kind.

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Fred First holds masters degrees in Vertebrate Zoology and physical therapy, and has been a biology teacher and physical therapist by profession. He moved to southwest Virginia in 1975 and to Floyd County in 1997. He maintains a daily photo-blog, broadcasts essays on the Roanoke NPR station, and contributes regular columns for the Floyd Press and Roanoke's Star Sentinel. His two non-fiction books, Slow Road Home and his recent What We Hold in Our Hands, celebrate the riches that we possess in our families and communities, our natural bounty, social capital and Appalachian cultures old and new. He has served on the Jacksonville Center Board of Directors and is newly active in the Sustain Floyd organization. He lives in northeastern Floyd County on the headwaters of the Roanoke River.

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  1. I’ve been so hungry both times I didn’t pay much attention to the food quality. There was a pretty good wait, but we found sets at a line of tables for 14. I think you can order from the Oddfella’s menu; and I think there is ONE kitchen for both places. At least there was not live music to talk over like downstairs. Love music, hate trying to listen to conversation with loud music in a small place.