That Thing You Can’t Get Anywhere Else

The Hard to Find Liquor store in Ardmore Oklahoma (photo by Sheila Scarborough)

The Hard to Find Liquor store in Ardmore, Oklahoma is indeed a little hard to find (photo by Sheila Scarborough)


“Well, they may have it down the road in Ardmore; it’s a bigger town. Hard to Find might carry it, but they’re hard to find.”


All I wanted was some of my favorite Choc Beer, brewed in a small room attached to the Pete’s Place Italian restaurant in Krebs, Oklahoma, and only available in the state (liquor distribution laws are the issue, I believe, which craft beer makers have to deal with in many states.)

My friend Becky brings me some from Allen’s Retail Liquor when she visits, but that’s been a few years, and after a business trip to Oklahoma City, I was about to cross the Red River back into Texas where it’s not available.


It was kind of like the time that I was determined to track down and buy some of that plastic food in Japanese restaurant windows, so I spent an afternoon on Kappabashi Dori in Tokyo buying fake tempura.

The nice people at the Chickasaw Nation Welcome Center in Davis, OK just off of Interstate 35 scanned through their phone book to help me find a place that sold Choc, but the store that I called told me to try Ardmore further south. That’s when the woman suggested I find it at the Hard to Find.

Stuck in a low data coverage area, the trusty Google box on my phone rendered useless, I took the first Ardmore exit that looked promising, made a beeline for the downtown, and drove hopefully down Main Street.

No luck.

No signal.

I was going to be forced to ask a human!

The woman behind the counter at Main Street Coffee in Ardmore helpfully rifled through her phone book (I felt like I was caught in a 1992 time warp) but she also gave me the shop WiFi password so I could finally get Google Maps to load.

Eureka – I wasn’t far away at all from my objective. After some left-right-left activity through residential neighborhoods, I found the Hard to Find, and the proprietor was thrilled that I was thrilled.

We had a fun conversation as he led me to their craft beer section, where they were out of my favorite Choc 1919 brew but did have two other ales, which I bought immediately.

Oklahoma's Choc Beer Wild Brew Ale and Dubbel Ale (photo by Sheila Scarborough)

Oklahoma’s Choc Beer Wild Brew Ale and Dubbel Ale (photo by Sheila Scarborough)

Bounding out of the store with my brown paper bag and clinking bottles, I briefly considered the time I’d lost (it was four more hours of driving to reach my home, plus a stop in Frisco, Texas along the way) but it did not matter.

The search for that thing that I could not get anywhere else had been successful. A traveler can ask for nothing better.

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