The Bar: Anokye Krom
The Address 687 Millbury Street
The Day and the TIme 2 on a Sunday afternoon
The Story When I first came up with this tour, it was to find a reason to visit every bar in Worcester. The first idea was to write a Haiku in every bar in Worcester. I know, awful idea. But I came up with a worse one. Why don’t I pick a ubiquitous drink, one you can get everywhere, and judge the experience from this commonality. I picked a gin and tonic. One because I like gin and tonics and will find myself ordering them on occasion. And two, and most importantly, because every bar has gin and tonic water. You can get it everywhere. There is no bar in Worcester without these powers. I can go into any bar or bar restaurant in town and get this drink they call a gin and tonic. Well.
I was wrong. I went to the bar restaurant that could not do it.
I have driven by Anokye Krom almost every day since it opened. Never stopped in. But the bar I was planning on doing for the tour was closed, so I scrambled. I saw a bunch of cars parked around the restaurant, figured they were open. I guessed it was worth seeing if they had a bar. It didn’t hurt to walk and in and see. It is one of the places that feels bigger than the outside would have you guess. It is brightly lit, with tables on one side and a small bar with 10 or so still on the other. Their floor was set with large black white squares and a little girl, in Sunday best, was jumping hopscotch on them. Most of the tables were filled and the food smelled enticing. Lots of spices. The bowls were large and people were talking and laughing, shouting across the room at each other, and eating, they were doing that.
The bar had a small selection of liquor but one of them was a big bottle of Gordon’s Gin. I am in! A few men were at the bar watching the first Patriots game of the season. Someone got up and shouted that I should take his seat. How could I refuse? I got the bartenders attention and told her I would like a gin and tonic and she replied, even before I was finished, with “We don’t have that.” I pointed to the gin and said, “Well there’s gin.” She asked about tonic, she didn’t know what tonic was. Then I made my mistake. I said, “Soda, soda water.” Yeah.
In a few minutes she poured a glass with some gin in it, and then brought over a can of Coca-Cola. “This?” she asked. What do my useless rules of this tour say about situations like this? I nodded and she spoiled the gin with coke. Yes. I drank it. It tasted as good as you would expect but I drank it. Paid seven bucks for it to. Call it a tithing.
Luckily, I had two gregarious guys near me, talking with me, taking my mind off my drink. They asked me about the game and they were loud and funny. One was a Jets fan and wanted the Pats to lose (he got his wish). They were good company. They kept calling me boss, which made a wee uncomfortable. One of them left and I talked to the other. His sister is the bartender and he said if I come with my wife I should have the chicken and rice. He, and most everyone here, is from Ghana. I noticed that every guy there was drinking Guinness, so I ordered one of those when my gin and coke was done (I needed to clean my palette). I chatted with him for a bit, watched the game and had a very nice time.
I do want to go back, but only to drink Guinness and try the food. Its funny that one of the worst drinks gave me a nice experience. Who knew?