The summer weather finally arrived. My clock radio began playing at the appointed time to let me know I was supposed to begin the day. It was an overwhelmingly pleasant feeling to drift out of sleep and into my preferred semi-conscious state at exactly noon.

The tiny speaker blared “Paralyzed” by the Legendary Stardust Cowboy. The rattle of the time-weathered device sounded sweet and raspy, like an overripe peach that you may pick up in an orchard. A soft and delicate juiciness perfectly punctuated by the grit of sand grinding on the molars. The day had started perfectly. I was overcome with a powerful urge to sing to strangers—a desire that must be fulfilled lest it develops into a less savory thirst.

I checked the mailbox to see if any business opportunities had arrived. Mr. Harada and I head a Silicon Valley startup where we mail an invitation to invest $5 to a list we purchased. Those who take advantage of our offer receive a list of their own to send to, and a CD-ROM with the entire internet on it.

Some goodies did arrive. As I thumbed through the tantalizing images in the Talbots catalogue (how do they get away with sending this stuff in the mail?) I soaked in the sunshine and my morning Irish coffee. I gazed upon the golden yellow of my lawn and took stock of my stable of rare and expensive cars, boats and motorcycle. The old BMW R60 looked especially pleasant, so I decided to celebrate the day with a motorcycle ride to one of my favorite bars that feature good cheer and a legendary karaoke sesh: The Red Stag.

I had not fired up the old bike in quite a long time, probably around six months. I slipped into my riding gear: an old open-faced football helmet spray-painted black, a Soviet-era Czechoslovakian leather trench coat, a pair of black Levis and engineer boots. The bike’s tank was dry, so I siphoned some gas out of my two-stroke outboard, poured in two shots of Slivovitz for good measure and pushed the beast down the hill. The battery was also dead. A winter of neglect can do this to a motorcycle.

The old R60 made its way down the hill, the stagnant grease coming to life, the surface rust starting to shake free. I put the bike in second and released the clutch. It gurgled from its tailpipes like a drowning victim coming to life. I could feel the pistons desperately grinding against the dry cylinders as the oil pump diligently rushed lubrication toward them. The glass gasoline filters began filling, lights began to flicker, I pulled back the throttle, a sound like a gunshot rattled the street, the old bike jumped like a bucking stallion, then died again. There was only 50 feet of hill left.

Then one cylinder came on. I didn’t bother to stop at the sign. I made the right toward my destination. Somewhere around Minor Ave, the other cylinder fired up. The old thing was no longer gurgling. It was growling with pleasure. I flew up the San Carlos overpass toward the Red Stag.

As I neared the old strip mall where the Red Stag is located, I spotted a familiar 1950s Hudson making a right into the parking lot. I followed the Hudson to a spot in front of the Red Stag. Mr. Harada emerged from the passenger side of the Hudson, and an old friend came out of the driver’s. I shook hands with both and invited them in; first round was on me.

The Red Stag is a neighborhood bar. It belongs to a different time. It’s long and rectangular. Its purpose is to serve drinks and neighborhood conversations. It’s a place designed to dovetail into a different era. It’s meant for fruit-cannery workers. It’s meant to provide a respite from a long day of work. It’s absolutely perfect for that purpose, but in today’s workflow, it’s called a dive bar.

It’s like an old dog barking at the ghosts. Like on old tractor that can still work, but doesn’t have replacement parts available. The Red Stag is a great place to have a drink with friends. Make no mistake: These places will disappear soon. Your dearest friends may disappear soon as well, so make sure to drop in and spend some time.

We drank well cocktails that night. They were well worth the price. The Red Stag offers more exclusive drinks, and most will want to take advantage of the good pricing and excellent service, but that night we just wanted things to be like they were some time ago.

Some drinking establishments promise you the most current trends, some of them promise you the future, but the Red Stag is a look back. It’s comfortable, friendly, affordable, sincere and increasingly rare. It also has a deceptively humble karaoke setup. I belted out Johnny Cash’s “John Henry,” and was followed by Mr. Harada’s take on the instrumental version of “The Sound of Silence.” There was much merriment in the bar that night.

Do Mr. Harada and me a favor: Go to the Red Stag and other gems like it. Good things tend to disappear without notice around here.