That's the end of the Windows Nation. SmartWindows.com is shutting down. The green machine grinds to a halt.
Stop the clock at 20(ish) years—earliest written records found in a plastic baggie behind a toilet on Maoming Lu suggest there was a Windows across from the Portman as far back as 1999. 20(ish) years of cheap beer, cheap quesadillas, cheap burgers, free shots (hundreds of thousands of free shots), some live music, some pool tables, some beer pong, a lot of drugs, carnage and ill-advised sex. 20(ish) booze-ravaged years of egalitarian self-harm, unrivaled in the city for its ability to get both ruddy-faced petrochemical consultants and pimple-faced high schoolers equally blotto off free flow Tiger.
There was Tembo. There was Too. There was Scoreboard. There was Parkside. There was, for a brief, brief second, Times on the Bund. What a heady time, 2018 was. The world seemed so full of potential, so rife with opportunities to pass out in a pool of your own vomit under the lights of the Lujiazui skyline.
Alas. Tembo closed, Parkside closed, Too closed, Times closed, Scoreboard closed, and now Garage will too. Underground? Garage? Underground. Right, it's Garage again. Just in time for closing.
I missed the Windows heyday. Sometime around 2010, I guess? I didn't upchuck all over a bathroom stall at Scoreboard until like 2016, 2015 at the earliest. I'd hear old-timers speak fondly about the Windows of yore (usually at another, better bar), laughing about Matt's playlist, and I'd laugh along, but inside I'd be wondering who the fuck Matt was. Who knows! Matt's true identity has been lost to history. As Windows will be. Like an old pipe or a dirty magazine you inherited from a relative and then forgot about. Good times wrapped in that, probably, but who cares, we've got our own ways to debauch! Then one day you're like "whatever happened to Uncle Moe's crusty old '97 Sports Illustrated?" Hey kid! It's gone. You lost it.
It's over. There's no more free flow beer. The free flow beer is done. We called, and they won't even tell us if they're going to have one last free-flow tonight. Just for old time's sake. Dark times indeed.
But just in case they do, it starts at 7pm.