Best Of 2011

Best Bar Bathroom: Thurman Grill & Provisions

If you are a bleeding-heart cat lover, we'd advise you to stay far from the bathroom at Thurman Grill & Provisions, the corner bar that serves as unofficial headquarters for the Shaw neighborhood. If you really do need to use it, close your eyes. And stop reading this right now. OK. Now for the rest of you: On the walls of the bathroom of Thurman Grill is perhaps the most delightful series of Christmas cards ever created. Every year for fourteen years, Harry Harrootunian photographed his beloved black-and-white cat Pugsley in a state of mortal peril, stamped some variation of "Happy Holidays" on the prints and sent them to his (and Pugsley's) friends. In a series of framed photos on the bathroom walls, Pugsley gets jammed into a stockpot, shut into a microwave, lowered into a washing machine, threatened with a rusty pair of garden shears and, in our personal favorite, packed into a roasting pan in an open oven while Harrootunian holds a turkey baster to his temple. Sadly, Pugsley passed away (of natural causes) in 2004. Thurman Grill preserves his legacy. He was that rare creature: a cat with a sense of humor.