I don’t like fancy things. I don’t like spending money. I don’t like dealing with Uptown parking.
But, I LOVE going to The Punch Room. It’s completely out of character for me.
Sure, the Ritz atmosphere is nice. The beads that hang from the ceiling to the ground around the windows are nice. The unreal service is nice. The leather on the sofa is nice.
I just don’t care about nice. Nobody talks about nice.
I care about Bob Peters. I talk about Bob Peters.
When he stands there with that 4-foot-long metal stirring spoon thingy and makes a custom cocktail for me, I get awkwardly excited. Do I actually know what he’s doing? Of course not. Do I know the difference between small batch bourbon and whatever the opposite is? Of course not. Do I have the palate to taste the difference between locally sourced honey and processed honey? Of course not.
It’s not about the taste. Don’t get me wrong, it tastes delicious — it’s just that I have no clue how to tell the difference. I’m perfectly happy drinking a Jack and Coke or a Miller Lite.
Bob is a complete cocktail psycho. He’s absolutely nuts. And, that’s exactly why I love the dude.
It’s not just me, it’s the entire local media world. The Charlotte media is obsessed with Bob. He’s in print. He’s on TV. He’s everywhere. Heck, he’s got such a large following that he is media himself.
Why does media freak out over Bob?
He’s rare. He’s an endangered species in Charlotte.
In a corporate town of measured, balanced people making smart, calculated decisions in real estate and finance – Bob stands in stark contrast. He’s the best damn creative in this town. He’s approachable. You can experience his work.
And most importantly, he’s legit.
I was talking with an up-and-coming bartender last week and asked him, “Who is the most overrated or underrated bartender in Charlotte?” I got the sense that this bartender was anti-establishment and would respond with more underground type answers. I was wrong. The confident bartender told me on thing, “Bob Peters is the best. Hands down. The work that guy does is incredible.”
Charlotte needs more Bob Peters. We need more legit, freakish creatives. Local media can only do so many “Spring cocktails with Bob Peters” stories.
Just like Silicon Valley often describes companies as “The Uber of [industry],” I find myself using the term “The Bob Peters of [Charlotte industry].”
Who is the Bob Peters of Charlotte architecture?
Who is the Bob Peters of Charlotte education?
Who is the Bob Peters of Charlotte nonprofits?
Who is the Bob Peters of Charlotte transportation?
Who is the Bob Peters of Charlotte faith?
Who is the Bob Peters of Charlotte financial planning?
Who is the Bob Peters of Charlotte fitness?
“Here’s to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently. They’re not fond of rules. And they have no respect for the status quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them. About the only thing you can’t do is ignore them. Because they change things. They push the human race forward. And while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do.” – Apple.
Cover image courtesy of Justin Driscoll