Jim Pirtle is owner of Notsuoh in Houston. It’s an eclectic bar to say the least. The place draws the underground art crowd who get it. The establishment is one of the oldest bars along Main. Saturday night, the owner and patrons got quite the surprise when Biden arrived.
Pirtle said he was just drinking coffee with his brother at the bar and about to call it an early night. He went to bed upstairs into the private quarters inside the building at 314 Main.
He was almost tucked in when he received a phone call from his daughter. She screamed, “(The Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission) is here and we are going to jail, come down now!”
Pirtle posted his story on social media and said he became more aware of the arrival when he first spotted “dudes with ear mics” rapidly scaling private staircases and areas for detection.
“It got my attention,” Pirtle said.
He went downstairs and spotted guys in normal clothes and in his mind cracked a joke. “I went down the mezzanine and could not figure out why these dudes wearing mics and normal clothes were speaking without a Conroe accent could possibly be TABC.”
“Nothing made sense and they were looking at (the) spiral staircase and asked if I were the owner and then what was upstairs,” Pirtle explained. “I told him my brother and father and that was residential. That confused them more and more frantic on mics.”
“Are you TABC — and if not who the hell are you?” Pirtle asked the men with ear mics.
“We are federal agents, Secret Service. May we go in your house?”
“Pirtle responded, “yeah I guess.”
If you are in Houston, and you’ve been lucky enough to go upstairs inside Notsuoh, you know how interesting it looks. If you don’t, imagine a giant space, dim, unfinished, with lots of odd items and staging and art everywhere. Pirtle’s thinking “And this my planetarium… that’s a photo show from Non Grata… those are old shoes still in the box from 1971.“ The shoes are on stacked shelves, and dark white.
Pirtle continued, “Finally we go down the front stairs outside and they see some woman drinking and Old Fashioned by the giraffe and become visibly relieved.”
Pirtle approached his daughter and asked her what was going on.
She told him not to worry. “The daughter of the President is in the bar. Everything is fine,” she said.
Pirtle said to her, “I didn’t even know he had a daughter… why is she here?”
“To get a drink” she said.
Pirtle then introduced himself to Ashley Biden and said she told him not to worry, “That as long as (he) had no intention of kidnapping her (he) would be fine,” he said.
If you know, Jim Pirtle, you know he’s very funny and quite a jokester.
His daughter told him, “No joking, dad.”
Pirtle wanted his 90-year-old father to meet Biden, so he went upstairs, entered his father’s bedroom where the elderly man was in bed. “Hey dad, the President of the United States’ daughter wants to meet you,” he said.
“My dad said he was too tired and told her, ‘Sorry.’”