The Boynton Restaurant and Spirits – #123 on the Tour

The Bar: The Boynton

The Address 117 Highland Street

The Day and the Time Wednesday 8:20

The price 6.50

Did they ask me if I wanted a lime She just put it in

What was the type of gin What house gin they had, Bartender Brian (who was with me) tried to figure out which cheap brand it was. He couldn’t see that far but whatever it was, it was not a good one.

What was the gin and tonic like It was sweet and syrupy. Not a good drink but it was alright for it what it was.

The Joint This is such a popular place. It is usually filled with college students but at this time there was WPI students and people who were older. Who were these people? What were they doing here? All these important questions, none to be answered.

It was crowded at the bar, I couldn’t get a seat and most of the tables were filled. ITs a big place and that’s saying a lot that it was rocking on a Wednesday. With all that said, it took me 7 minutes standing at the bar looking like the guy at the train station 45 minutes after the last departure left. When Bartender Brian showed, she noticed us and gave us drinks. Bartender Brian was unimpressed with her as a fellow tender of bar. “You and I are only getting a drink, we are the type of customer you don’t want sitting at your busy bar. She should have given us menus right away and seen what we want to order. That’s where the money is.” Single drink visitors just fill up the valuable real estate. Look at me, I’m the alcohol equivalent of a squatter. She also had some difficulty finding the gin. She looked new. Brian pointed out an older bartender and complimented how that guy was moving and and serving and aware of what was going on.

The place is loud and big and for whatever reason I have never liked it. Maybe its all the loud conversation about school and thesis presentations, maybe its because the food used to be good but now the portions are smaller and the choices are dicier to navigate. I don’t know, but its not my place.

Actually, I do recall one time my wife and went there on a Sunday at noon for lunch and we asked for a seat and they said they could sit us but we might need to wait for a waitress. We waited for 15 minutes in a table by the bar. At the bar was a guy already drunk swearing so much i felt we were in a Mamet play. We waited for another five minutes and then just left with out being served. Maybe that’s the thing that made me not like it.

General Impressions: I was talking to my friend Epicurean Eric about how i never liked the Boynton and he seemed abashed about it. “IF you never liked it Dante, why didn’t you say something about it all the times I had you meet me there?” That was a good question, and I said, “Well I don’t hate it, and if you like it that well to suggest it of course I will come. I was coming for the company, not the food or service.” And that’s the way I feel. People like the place. Eric likes their french fries.  It is busy and crowded and people have a great time. On the tour, Bartender Brian (who also doesn’t like it) and myself just stood there looking grumpy at the place. This is the thing about bars, one thing can make you love or loath a place. It might be a small thing that is no longer remembered, but you harbor that emotion, that feeling everytime you go there. You might like a joint and defend it even after it has gone downhill, or still despise a place that is really quite nice and the beer selection has improved.

For me, it might be the loud maw of a crowd that is constantly at the Boynton pressing down at all times. I like to sit and talk and drink at a place. I don’t want an empty bar, but I want one where I will be seen and served and seated and other things starting with the letter s.

Amount of Time in the Joint 25 minutes.

Will I come back Given my druthers, I would say no. But I know friends will pick this as the lowest common denominator joint (people really like it here) and I will smile and attend. So let’s call it a Yes Under Protest. This was fun going out on the tour with Brian and we hit two more bars that evening, so stayed tuned.

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