by Emily Dressler

Working in downtown Akron instead of Cleveland has made it easier for me to review new bathrooms, and I couldn’t be happier. Like a lot of people, I haven’t exactly been ignoring the businesses downtown on South Main Street, but it’s not like I’m navigating the orange barrel maze on the regular. 

However, if you are going to trek through the construction maze downtown, join the daytime bar crowd and you will be in good company. Woody’s on South Main Street on a Friday afternoon in June was lit. Construction be damned! 

Woody’s is a cozy bar that feels like it was made for warm weather. It’s just got that vibe. Also, it’s pretty small and it’s nice when a crowd can spill over to the outside, which is easier with warmer weather.

If you’re at the bar at Woody’s and you’ve just finished your $2 beer, keep going past the bar and the bathrooms are to the right. If you’re coming from the outside, turn left. Open the door, watch your step as the floor slopes, go down the hallway, and there you are.

Something about this bathroom makes me feel like I’m in a clapboard contraption only inches away from the patio. The thin walls, airiness and light colors make you feel like you’re at a beachside concession stand. My sense of direction gets pretty skewed by the time I get inside a place, so I’m not totally certain which way I’m facing. 

The bar music was playing in the women’s bathroom. Always a nice touch. 

The bathroom has gray faux wood floors, light blue walls and a red rug in the middle with the words “Choke: the Official Drink of Michigan Football.” (This is clearly a sportsball joke, if you weren’t aware.) Sometimes it’s details like this that reinforce the seemingly permanent line dividing jocks from nerds. But Woody’s doesn’t feel like a sports bar, so jocks and nerds alike should feel welcomed. 

To flush the toilet, push one of two buttons on top of the toilet tank. The first button has one drop of water, the second button has two drops. 

Let us pause for a moment of toilet education. Presumably, the one-drop is for pee and the two-drop is for poo. But it is not necessarily the volume of water that makes it easier to flush a larger load. It is the accompanying pressure and force with which the water pushes the waste down the toilet. Any low-flow toilet worth its weight should have pressure-assist. Some newer low-flows even have horsepower ratings. Praise be.

Maybe Woody’s would allow me to post an informal survey asking restroom users which button they pushed. Respondents could then give the reason for their selection by choosing from among a short list. I’m not sure what I would do with this data, but big data is the future, so I would figure something out. 

The Woody’s restroom is agreeable and clean. And it has buttons. Everyone loves pushing buttons. 4.5 / 5.

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