I stepped in the door at Martin's Tavern, more specifically, Billy Martin's Tavern named after the fourth-generation owner of the local establishment, and looked around for the foursquare mayor, Gideon L. At 5 p.m. on a Friday, the bar had a few seats still available. I approached one business-looking guy with a blackberry and asked, "Are you Gideon?" His response? "No, but I'm familiar with his Bible." Ah, bar patron profile now complete.
I asked the bartender if he had a regular named Gideon and if he happened to be at the bar. He responded quickly that he was not there yet. I grabbed a few seats and soon Gideon joined me; his drink was delivered without even placing an order.
Later, Billy Martin himself stopped by to chat. He and Gideon stepped behind the bar, the mayor's first time in the uncharted territory, for a photo opp. That's mayoral privileged if I've ever seen it.
Patch: How long have you been the Mayor at Billy Martin's?
Gideon: I'm not exactly sure, but believe I became Mayor a couple months ago. I go to Billy's quite a bit, but realize there are many others who can be seen there more frequently, if not daily -- they're just not on Foursquare (yet).
Patch: Do you have any competition for the title?
Gideon: I have been ousted a time or two, but always manage to quickly regain the coveted post.
Patch: Do you get special treatment as a regular/do they know you are the mayor?
Gideon: The staff at Billy's give everyone special treatment, whether a regular or new patron. You might be sitting at one of Izzy or Solomon's tables, or perhaps at the bar with Johnny; but regardless, they always impressively know regulars by both name and beverage.
Some of the staff know I'm Mayor, but only because I told them.
Patch: What makes Billy Martin's a neighborhood gathering place?
Gideon: The historical significance of Billy Martin's to Georgetown is unparalleled. But for me, it's the sense of community one feels from the staff and among regular patrons. You don't have to be from Georgetown, or even D.C., to feel at home here.
Patch: What is your favorite drink and favorite menu item at Billy Martin's?
Gideon: I generally stick with Maker's Mark no matter the venue; and you can't go wrong with the Brunswick Stew.
Editor's Note: Foursquare, a social media tool, makes the most loyal customer the mayor of a local business. If you do not frequent the business enough, another customer may oust you from the mayorship. For a change, leadership is based on loyalty, not politics.