C. Donovan Smith Translated by Vanessa Wu
was only nine in the evening and Murray's crowd had spilled
out of the long, thin bar to colonize the outdoor tables.
Balloons and a banner proclaimed "Happy Birthday Sara!"
I was tempted to say my name was Sara and that it was my birthday
but being male might have presented some credibility issues.
Sara clustered around the entrance, peering down Soho Street,
anxiously awaiting the moment they could spring their surprise.
Word passed around the bar to shout "happy birthday"
when she arrived, though few of us had any clue as to who exactly
this Sara person was.
has become the regular neighbourhood pub of choice for a surprisingly
large group of people. It has that elusive spirit of comraderie
and fun. Owners Jung Tsai (½²¥É®e)
and her husband, Brian Murray, are as much a part of the fun as
the guests. They glow like happy hosts of a great party, with
none of the tired reserve frequent among pub owners.
bracketed by PJ's Cafe and Tomato Grilled (see this month's
What's New) on one side and Bonita Senorita on the other helps
draw the crowd. A growing number of people are choosing Soho
Street as a destination in itself, starting with dinner and
segueing into a night on the town. People roam from one establishment
to another, as some enjoy the outdoor pedestrian atmosphere
and others cluster indoors around the bar.
is making a name for itself as a live music venue. Among Murray's
contributions is singer Hei Niu (¶Â§¬), playing
aboriginal music and blues on Thursdays. (For more information
on bands and performances, check out our "What's On"
section every month.)
and the City" Tuesdays are particularly popular at Murray's,
with loud outbursts and laughter rising from the clusters of women
glued to this HBO hit TV series. Most men wait at the tables outside
with and simply groan.
Sara snuck in unnoticed and managed to surprise the surprisers.
We never did manage that loud "Surprise! Happy birthday!"
So, somewhat belatedly, happy birthday Sara, whoever you are!