Ken Chin’s – #48 on the Tour

The Bar: Ken Chin’s

The Address 272 Mill Street

The Day and the TIme Friday 3:45

The price 5.50

Did they ask me if I wanted a lime She did

What was the type of gin Well

What was the gin and tonic like It was in a classic high ball glass and it tasted sweet, but it was good. I enjoyed it. I almost wished it was in the big pint glass, but the size was fine and there is something nice about having a highball drink in a highball glass. I know, that’s so twee of me, but the shape of the glass works in the hand.

The Joint I wanted to go here because someone told me that this place was crazy. It has its regulars and they all eat the special which I hear is an egg roll with cheese in it. My friend told me it was one of the strangest places in Worcester. I think I came at the wrong time for that (I know, story of this tour) but what I got was interesting and good enough, so I forgive myself for my off-peak meanderings.

The layout for the cocktail lounge area is a little odd. That’s not to say that it doesn’t have a good cocktail lounge feel, with a long bar and booths behind, it does. Its just that this seems to be a Keno-centric place (or at least those that were present were Keno folk) and the Keno machine was not in the bar area. It looks like the rule is that you fill out your keno card and then you have to walk out of the cocktail lounge to the front reception desk to process the bet. What made it doubly odd is that the bartender was also the front of the restaurant person. So someone would fill out their keno and slowly walk the length of the bar to the front of the restaurant and as they did so, the bartender would leave out a side door and take care of the transaction and then come back to the bar. It was like a long walk of shame, but with bad bets.

Two big screens had sports on, but the focus was on the screen to the side, the Keno. About five or so were there at this hour. One guy was not playing Keno, he was just slowly drinking beer, not looking at anyone, just working the bottle slowly.

General Impressions: I felt like I was in a Edward Hopper painting. People sat still and the lighting brought out that isolated in public feel. Hell, I felt myself go unmoving, I was frozen in place. The title of this work is: Still Life with Gambling Sheets.

One of the people had food and she was eating at a pace, saying she will never finish all this food. Everyone who talked didn’t seem to move their mouths, it was like life sized puppets. One person commented “Where is everyone? Its empty here?” The other one responded, “Its early, its not even four.” Time is fragile here. With all that, the sitting and not moving, was comforting, there was nothing odd about this slowed down world.

As I was leaving, the bartender (who I was told later was one of the owners) saw my progress and said, “Taking off?” I must say how charmed I was by the question. Who says that anymore? Taking off? You bet, I’m flying, I’m scraping tree tops. It was a friendly way to be in a such place.

Amount of Time in the Joint: 20 minutes or 17 hours, its hard to tell when you are visiting The Cocktail Lounge Zone. I was almost expecting Rod Serling to show up behind the buffet table and give an outro.

Will I come back: You know, I might. I can see myself going for the Jimmy Chin special. I can see myself killing an afternoon at the lounge like it was a minute.


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