A former McClain student, Art Clyburn, was digging around in the archives of this site and came across a piece about the history of bars and taverns that once populated Greenfield. One establishment you may remember was the Diamond Grill on Jefferson St. While I know little of the Diamond’s history I do recall hearing stories about how class a place it was when it opened. By the 1950s and 60s it had lost much of its glow and was pretty much a working man’s bar complete with the occasional knock down and drag out bar brawl.
In late 1964 the bar was owned by Ralph and Phyllis Stewart and I tended bar for them in October and November of that year. The going wage was $1 an hour plus all the late-night bad mouthing you could stand. Quite an experience, one that convinced me Jackie Gleason’s Joe the Bartender was not the life for me.
After reading about Greenfield’s bars, Art related that he had once been in a German Village (Columbus) tavern called Deibel’s and took notice of the attractive back bar. Asking the barkeep about it he was told it came from a small town named Greenfield which was south of Washington Court House. A bar called the Diamond Grill had gone out of business and the owner of Deibel’s had purchased the back bar for his place.
Once hearing this I decided a field trip may be in order so I Googled Deibel’s and discovered it went out of business many years ago and became the Spanish restaurant many of you know as Barcelona. Ironically I’ve been to Barcelona on at least three occasions and on each sat at that very bar sipping on a Belhaven’s while waiting to be seated. I could have sit there a dozen more times and still not recognized the bar I had spent two months of my life standing in front of.
I did find a photo of the back bar in its current location so take a close look. It may bring back a memory or two. One memory for me is of an old gentleman who had served in WWI who came in every evening around 10 p.m. and ordered a double shot of J.T.S. Brown Kentucky Bourbon off the top shelf. As he nursed his night-time toddy I listened to stories about the war and his life. It was my favorite part of every day I worked there.