The Bar: Cafe Neo
The Address: 97 Millbury St
The price: Six bucks
Did they ask me if I wanted a lime: No, they just put it in and much to my pleasure, the bartender cut the wedge right from a lime. I thought, that’s a classy move in a joint like this, this drink is going to be good. Oh, silly Dante, silly silly Dante.
What was the type of gin: He asked me if I had a preference and I said no. I got some no name bottle brand. No name brand stands for quality after all.
What was the gin and tonic like: For such a flourish as cutting the lime right in front of me, this was a dud. It had a lot of flatish tonic and ice that melted immediately, or so it seemed. This is my clever way to say that the drink was weak and watery. It didn’t have a lot of taste.
The Joint: This is a dive where those who like it go. The bar area is to the right when you get in and its kind of cramped. There are tables to the left. The back of the bar was large and cluttered, like the design was inspired by a yard sale. A fixer upper kind of joint. The thing I noticed in my ten minutes of servitude there was how weird the front windows. They were big and large and allowed us to see the outside, Millbury Street. But that is reversed. We are in the fishbowl. being looked at. I think a bar should have small windows. More a concept or theory of window than an actual one. If I am drinking in a dive, or worse, singing Celine Dion on the Karaoke at a dive, do I want the outside world to gawk at me. No. If I am at a joint to drink and get down with my bad self, then I want little chance from the outside to see me. I wonder what this was before it was a bar to have windows like this? A shoe store? A beauty parlor? Which stands to reason, becasue the people here now have shoes and are filled with untapped beauty,
General Impressions: It was the day before St. Patrick’s day and they were going all out. If when you I say all out, you know I mean Karaoke. I walked in and someone was wailing away at a David Bowie song. He was generally in key and could follow the words on the screen, in Karaoke at a dive bar parlance, that means he did an award winning performance. When I set myself at the bar, they told me to help myself to the free St. Patrick’s Day food spread. They were in warming pans, there was cabbage, there was a corny meat. I passed. .For a Sunday afternoon, there was a good amount of folk, about 15 or so people. People were talking with in their groups. They wore a lot of green. These were not my people, but they liked being around each other. Drinking their beers. Readjusting their St. Patrick’s Day hats on their heads. Pushing the unappetizing food around the plates. Good times.
A couple went up next on Karaoke and did the Kid Rock -Sheryl Crow duet, Picture. Here’s what I can say in good conscience, the woman was slightly more equipped to do the song. She could stand without leaning on to a table and she could read the words. She couldn’t hold a note, but she could stand and read and that was adequate. The guy was in hell. He couldn’t see those wordy things flashing on the screen at breakneck speed. He couldn’t navigate the theory of gravity. This version of the song felt like it went on for twenty five minutes. It was epic. I was already done with my watery drink, but I had to stay to the end. How could I miss such theater? The guy was helped back to his chair by the woman and I was out of there.
Will I come back: If I ever get a hankering to drunkenly sing Nights in White Satin to the melody of House of the Rising Sun while forgetting every fourth word, then this might be a place to go. Otherwise, I will pass.