Armsby Abbey – #103 on the Tour

The Bar: Armsby Abbey

The Address 144 Main Street

The Day and the Time Friday at 4

The price 8

Did they ask me if I wanted a lime She did and I got one

What was the type of gin I didn’t see, something above the bottom rung I believe.

What was the gin and tonic like It was decent. A little harsh on the back of the mouth, but alright. I know this gets tedious, but when we get to the right dollar or more range of Gin and Tonics, I really want a damned fine drink. And I might have enjoyed this one at 4 bucks, or 5, but at 8, I think my taste buds gets snootier and more unnecessarily discerning.

The Joint A very popular place. It was getting packed at four, that’s saying something. People were having a lot of designer beers and food on strange plate like surfaces. The Place has an old pub feel with chalk board explaining the intricate details of the beers on tap and folks were cool and hip and staring at their smart phones. There were a lot of large beards and black jeans.  The wait staff was efficient and moved at a pace. One could only imagine when the true rush occurred. The bar was decent and I was comfortable there.

Full Disclosure Section of our Proceedings: I don’t like the Armsby Abbey. I have been there a few times half a decade ago and did not enjoy myself any of the three or four times my friends and I went.  The food the service or the general demeanor of the place. I saw rude bartenders, annoyed waitresses who you had to rustle up to get your food or check, and food that was so extreme in seasoning it was almost uneatable. People love the place, and that’s fine, I just am not one of them. That’s how businesses and tastes work. But what really set it for me is that I was having a conversation a couple years back with a bearded tatooed individual at another bar and the topic of the Armsby came up and I said I didn’t care for the place. He got upset with me, and started to interrogate me (truly interrogate me) on why I would think such factious ideas.He wouldn’t let me be done. He kept on asking details, he needed details. So I gave him my reasons for not caring for a bar and he kept on explaining to me why I was wrong in my thinking (which is always a great way to make a friend). He explained I didn’t understand what I was saying. I was wrong, The Armsby was great. The bartenders weren’t rude, they were just professional. The waitress wasn’t unhelpful, just busy, don’t I understand the difference? The young man, by saying that was implying that I was a philistine with no sense of taste and that I must change my ways in this Microbrew Inquisition or be labeled a heretic and only be allowed to get boneless buffalo wings and Budweisers at the Chili’s location of his choosing. Alright. This guy wasn’t an owner of Armsby, though he shamelessly namedropped the owners’s, in explaining why their decisions were sacred word brought down from Restaurant Heaven. But it was the fervency that annoyed me. This proselytizing was unpleasant and if this is the way the lovers of the place act, then I wanted nothing to do with the Armsby.

But here I am on my silly little project of going to every bar in Worcester to have a gin and tonic. I am nearing the end and still I have been putting off going here. But I figured, get it over with, and it might be a great time and…..

General Impressions …it wasn’t bad. I thought it was a decent, busy joint. The oncoming crush would get rid of the ability to have a relaxed and leisurely visit but it wasn’t bad. The one weird thing I noticed was with the wait staff and bartenders was the lack of smiles. One was half heartedly smiling, but you could almost tell that she was trying to remember not to. The others I saw had it down, not exactly frowning in their work, but at no time would their mouths twitch up. Is this a mandate, to be serious and stoic at all time, because that’s why we go to bars, for the abject stoicism of the activity. Bartender Brian was not surprised about this when i told him, he said this place and Legal Seafood, you will never see smiling, they are just too busy. Well, where’s the joy in that?

Amount of Time in the Joint 20 minutes

Will I come back No. I was relieved it was an okay time (good though unsmiling service and a serviceable drink), but there are so many wonderful places in town, why bother with a place where you have had bad service or poor food? Its great to try every place and to give a joint a second chance, but with this one popular location, I will probably beg out of invitations.


4 thoughts on “Armsby Abbey – #103 on the Tour

  1. I like Armsby Abbey, but only when it’s not busy … so, like, late on a Tuesday. If I time it right, I get good service (and smiles). Other times … well, I’ve walked out without finishing my drink at least once.

    1. Thanks Victor for commenting
      I am glad you have gotten smiles, which is the secret ingredient in any of these transactions, I believe. I find it interesting that you have mentioned the inconsistency, sometimes great, sometimes not so much. The question is, are the great times worth the chances of a bad night out.


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