The Raven – #98 on the Tour

The Bar: The Raven

The Address 258 Pleasant Street

The Day and the Time Wednesday at 9:52

The price  5

Did they ask me if I wanted a lime  He did ask and I got a thin slice to accompany my libation.

What was the type of gin It was well

What was the gin and tonic like Not a bad drink. Once again, the old Gin and Tonics Across Worcester Axiom – If the place is good, the drink will improve.

The Joint This is not a place with a lot of buzz in regard to no one mentioning it in the litany of rock clubs in Worcester, and that’s wrong. Sure, its in the worst part of Pleasant Street, but the joint is wonderfully deceptive. The outside makes it look like a run down house. Hell, you have to go into a side door, and as you enter, you get a huge large clean rock club. Hey presto, it appeared out of nowhere!

The place is big. And it has a hell of a stage and from what I have been told by multiple people, an amazing sound system. The bartender owner told me that they can have 100 people in and it doesn’t feel packed. That’s a good sized joint.  Its big enough for a couple pool tables and dart boards and a side bar and and….

This was open mic night and it was supposed to start a half hour before I got there, so of course it hadn’t started yet. But that’s open mics. They occur in a wormhole of broken clocks and discarded guitar picks. A large, older guy with a big beard was roadying the sound system from the stage. Playing guitars in different spots of the stage. He looked like one of the Hell’s Angels from the film Gimme Shelter 30 years late (but much nicer).

There were about ten adorable people in faux punk gear waiting for the music, soaking in the scene.  They were young and clean and dressed to be punk rock kids. You just want to take them home in your pocket.

Also at the bar were local faux tough boys from the neighborhood playing pool. One of them tried to act gangsta and impress the college punk girl at the bar. It was awkward. There is a strange dichotomy about the music kids and the local tuffs playing pool. I could imagine issues occurring, that they would all break into syncopated rumble dance routines like they were the Jets and the Sharks. I have been assured by friends who have been there, that though this weird divide between locals to Pleasant street and the kids coming for the music is there, the place is big enough for it to be amicable. I didn’t see any music, but I liked the strong rock club feel. Bartender Brian said that it reminds him of the clubs he ran into in LA. It felt a little like the Whiskey on the Sunset Strip. That’s high praise indeed. For me, it reminded me of the Living Room in Providence, though the Raven is bigger and cleaner.

General Impressions I came in older than most there, though the friendly bartender was about my age, which was nice. He was one of the owners of the place and he grilled me on why I showed up and what I think of the place. I lied a little, or a lot, but we had a mutual acquaintance and chatted about him and about music. He was welcoming to everyone. He made the place even a little better.

Amount of Time in the Joint 20 minutes

Will I come back I can’t imagine I won’t. I really enjoyed my time there. It was the better version of all those clubs I went into in my twenties when my friends’s bands were playing to almost empty houses. Its in a bad stretch of town, but I liked it a lot.

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