O’Connor’s Restaurant and Bar – #87 on the Tour

The Bar O’Connors

The Address 1160 West Boylston Street

The Day and the Time Tuesday at 12:30 (I picked this place, because it was one of the few places I could park at, what with the snow taking all the spaces)

The price 5.99

Did they ask me if I wanted a lime She did ask

What was the type of gin It was well

What was the gin and tonic like It was a good drink. It was refreshing. When people say, I like a gin and tonic in summer because its so refreshing, this is the kind of high ball they were talking about. Of course, those hypothetical people were probably drunk when they said it, so truly, what do they know. A nice drink.

The Joint Ah, O’Connor’s The big behemoth of Irish Food and Drink in Central Mass. I need to give a caveat. I have been here several times over the years, I mean, how could I not. And for the most part, I have not enjoyed it. I think the food is good, though sometimes its not, so spotty at best. But one thing I have never enjoyed is the service. It is slow, inconsistent and sometimes they are surly, and not a fun surly. When my wife, who mostly likes it, wants to go, she knows to go with friends and not me. There are too many options in the world to have to go back to a place you don’t like too much, so I don’t. Also, we have friends who love the place, but have had bad experiences there recently. And its so popular, you can wait a long time to go in and feel packed and crowded.

It is a huge gigantic place. It must have started small and just added rooms and rooms. It is covered in gallic memorabilia, but it feels authentic and heartfelt from the staff and not kitschy. It feels right all around, except for its large rabbit warren size. Its the Watership Down of Irish joints. The bar area is lovely with dark wood and a huge bar. When I went in on this, one of the many snowy days, there were about 15 people there, but the size swallowed them and it felt like no one was there but me. A few people were at the bar, eating and drinking solo. A group of teachers, off for a snow day, were at a table, talking loud about issues at their school. One of the teachers brought her two kids, but they were at their own table, ignoring their food and playing on their tablets. Even with this slow day feel, I did witness a guy at the bar get a nice looking burger, he took a bite and brought the bartender over and spoke to her. She said sorry, took the burger back to the kitchen and returned with it in a few minutes with her apologies. So even on slow times I saw some service issues.

General Impressions But no service issues getting beer and drink. They do that fine. This was a good efficient bar and she did it well. I drank my good drink and stared off thinking thoughts, perhaps on the Troubles, perhaps on where I was going to put the snow I was shoveling from my drive way later in the day. I had my elbows up on the bar, and they felt good there. This felt like a good bar to lose time in thought. I liked how it had people there, but it was quiet and accepting. I liked it on this, the off hours. Where you can be with yourself or a friend just drink nice and slow. This is not the case on the busy times,, or when getting food. But in an off hour time and the need only for a drink, I couldn’t have been happier.

Amount of Time in the Joint  15 minutes

Will I come back Yes, for the bar on weird hours of the day. Not when its busy and not for the restaurant. But its a hell of an Irish bar when you see it that way.

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