Stakes Sports Pub – #132 on the Tour

The Bar: Stakes

The Address 1281 Pleasant Street

The Day and the Time Thursday at 8

The price 5.50

Did they ask me if I wanted a lime He asked and I got

What was the type of gin It was a well gin.

What was the gin and tonic like Ah, what you need to do to be a completist. There are a lot of fair to middling gin and tonics out there and I seem to be getting my fair share of them. It was a little flat and the poor gin didn’t help.

The Joint I guess you can get a sense of deja vu when you go into enough neighborhood bars. There is the long bar on the back wall. I’ve seen that. There is the pool table. The dart board. The KENO screen.  I’ve seen that too. There is the worn non descript carpet. The serviceable chairs and stools. “Baby, I’ve been here before. I know this room. I’ve walked this floor.” Oh my god, I’ve stumbled into a Leonard Cohen song!

The place was fine. It had three people drinking and talking and watching the slow decline of the Red Sox, as it always is. It felt empty.

General Impressions The older woman came in and said, “Where is everybody. It’s empty. Where are all the folk.” The bartender said, “It’s Thursday. We get people for Karaoke on Friday and Darts on Wednesday. You know that.” She got her bottle of white wine that she then put half into a glass and talked to a regular. Even paid for his next beer. She talked loudly about how great it is when people are here. She likes the Karaoke. She’s a big one for the Karaoke.” She went on talking until she faded into the background buzz like the TV and the jukebox.

The bartender was friendly and confirmed that it is a lazy place except for Wednesday darts and for that crazy Japanese singing craze that happens on every other Friday.

There is nothing wrong with the place, but I have to wonder how a bar like this stays afloat. That’s one of the things I don’t get. how to get people to come and stay. Maybe its a little too much like every other bar, I don’t know. It was alright enough.

Amount of Time in the Joint 15 minutes

Will I come back No.


Kyoto – #131 on the Tour

The Bar: Kyoto Bar and Grill

The Address 535 Lincoln Street

The Day and the Time Wednesday at 9:10

The price 6.96 (I would have paid the extra four cents just so I didn’t have to fuss with the pennies. Sheesh. Really? Just take the pennies. Please)

Did they ask me if I wanted a lime He didn’t. But still, when the drink came, there was a lime.

What was the type of gin I saw him pick up the bottle and I gasped quietly. It was Gilberts. The enemy of this blog. Gilberts. The evil empire of bad gin. Hello old friend. I see you have made yourself at home at this hibachi joint. Well, so be it.

What was the gin and tonic like It was a drink. Not a good drink, but when you have poor ingredients, what can you expect. It was a nice enough place so the drinking of it was not at all arduous. It just wasn’t a good drink.

The Joint This is a local sushi and hibachi joint that is surrounded by chain restaurants. I didn’t even have it on my list, I figured for something that rubs shoulders with Ruby Tuesdays and Texas Roadhouse, that it must be a chain joint. It’s a good looking, typical hibachi place. I got there late so none of the tables were filled. It has a oval bar and it was presentable. Okay, I am near the end of the tour and this feels like a lot of other hibachi-sushi joints I have been to. There is nothing wrong with it, but the staff need to be dressed as clowns for me to notice anything unique about it.

General Impressions At the bar at this off hour, there were three couples drinking and talking at the bar (and me, I was the outlier, the eavesdropper in ointment. Is this the kind of place where young people go for dates in the middle of the week? Do they crave pseudo asian drinks to help lubricate a first date? On listening as much as I could, I did notice that on these three instances of coupled people, the women were doing all the talking. Can I learn something from this observation? Absolutely not. Just thought I would share something I noticed. One of the couples were loud and swearing. Another was dropping a lot of Dr Who comments and pop culture lingua franca. The last couple were just talking. People they know, things that happened to them recently. I don’t know if these were established couples or if we had a passel of first dates. I was more odd man out than i usually was, which is saying some.

Amount of Time in the Joint 15 minutes

Will I come back No. Nothing off or unpleasant. It was just a place with a bar.

The First 131

Hello all. Here is the list of the 131 bars I went to and had a Gin and Tonic. It’s kind of amazing to see such a long list. I still have a handful more to go to. There are a few I won’t be going to for various reasons, but its a nice grouping. Just so you know, when I was compiling this list, I realized that I put down two bars for #26. I have not fixed the numbering and on reflection, I won’t be changing it. But for the next one, I will skip one number so that the numbers are correct from here on.


Keep a tally of the bars on this list you have gone to. What’s your number?

1. The Diamond Inn

2. Cafe Neo

3. Suney’s Pub

4. The Blackstone Tap

5. The Greyhound Pub

6. Marty’s

7. Mickey O’Neil’s

8. Gallagher’s

9. McGuire’s

10. Brooks

11. Art’s Diner

12. The Galway Bay Pub

13. Fat Tony’s

14. Herbie’s

15. Patsie Dugan’s

16. The Perfect Game

17. The Arcadia Club

18. Madigan’s Again

19. Union Tavern

20. The Banner

21. The Cosmopolitan Club

22. The Press Box

23. Moynihan’s

24. Breen’s

25. The Varsity Bar and Grill

26. Cisero’s

26. Rivalry

27. The M.B. Lounge

28. The Dive Bar

29. Beatnick’s

30. McDonald’s Tavern

31. Jak’s Pub

32. Moynagh’s

33. Still and Stir

34. City Lights

35. The Nines

36. The Park Grill and Spirits

37. Tweed’s Pub

38. Center Bar and Grill

39 Pleasant Cafe

40 The American Legion Hall – Providence Street

41. Ralph’s Tavern

42. Loft 266

43. El Basha – Park Avenue

44. Anokye Krom

45. Ho Toy

46. The Canal Bar and Grille

47. The Blarney Stone

48. Ken Chin’s

49. The KasBar

50 Guertin’s Cafe

51. George’s

52. Electric Haze

53 The Compass Tavern

54. Scorz

55. The Shisha Room

56. The Parkway Restaurant and Bar

57. Peppercorn’s

58. 7 Nana

59. Bennie’s Bar and Grill

60. Smokey Joe’s Cigar Bar

61. Birkbeck’s Waterfront Grill

62. Sakuro Tokyo

63. Blue Jean’s Bistro

64. Funky Murphy’s

65. Vintage Grill and Gourmet Pizza

66. Plaza Azteca

67. Nancy Chang’s

68. Sake Bomb

69. Smokestack Urban BBQ

70. Pepe’s

71. Sweet

72. The Fix

73. Ralph’s Chatwick Square Diner

74. Northwork’s

75. Ritual

76. Michael’s Cigar Bar

77. 3G’s Sports Bar

78. Zorba’s

79. La Scala

80. Padavano’s Place

81. Fiddler’s Green

82. Joey’s Bar and Grill

83. Mai Tai’s

84. Takara

85. Brew City

86. Volturno Pizza

87. O’Connor’s

88. Shangri-La

89. Citizen Wine Bar

90. G Bar

91. Lucky Dog Music Hall

92. Primo’s Extension

93. Industry

94. Tatnuck Grille

95. Viva Bene

96. Pho Dakao

97. Greendale’s Pub

98. The Raven

99. Jillian’s

100. Hotel Vernon

101. The Red Lantern

102. Kenichi

103. Armsby Abbey

104. Mezcal Cafe

105. Smitty’s Tavern

106. Evo

107. Victory Bar and Grill

108. Green Hill Golf Club House

109. The Flying Rhino

110 Via

111.. Mambo Drink Hookah Lounge

112. The Wexford House

113. Bocado

114. The Urban Kitchen

115. Mi Reyna

116. Meze

117. Grille 57

118. Baba Sushi

119. Mahoney’s

120. Kai

121. 111 Chophouse

122. Piccolo’s

123. The Boynton

124. Sole Proprietor

125. The Sahara

126. Chuan Shabu Pot Pot Restaurant

127. Maxwell’s Silverman’s

128. Nuovo

129. Ceres Bistro

130 Kyoto

Ceres Bistro – #129 on the Tour

The Bar: Ceres

The Address 363 Plantation Street, in the Beechwood Hotel

The Day and the Time Friday at 8:45

The price 8.56

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

What was the type of gin Tanqueray

What was the gin and tonic like It was fine.

The Joint I have stopped in four times and every time there was no one at the bar. This time I just went and eventually three others joined me at the bar. It is an ultra modern restaurant and the bar is a strange thing that reminds me of the Milk Bar from the movie A Clockwork Orange. It is circular and it has lights in it. The bar glows a soft white light. There is no easy way for the bartender to get out of the bar and she has to do a strange variation of Limbo to remove herself.

General Impressions The three people at the bar were acting friendly and familiar with the bartender. They had been here a lot over the last few days. I thought it was a wedding or a convention. But it wasn’t. There friend was in the hospital across the street. He was having seizures. They were waiting for word either way from the doctor. They were at the bar complaining about the wait, the uncertainty. They had been here a lot over the last few days. They compared notes on how they reacted to all the texts and calls from friends who couldn’t make it to Worcester to vigil at the hospital bed and the bar stool. They began to feel numb more from the replies they were obligated to give then waiting to hear whether their friend was going to make it. They drank and asked the bartender how she was doing this nice quiet evening. Another bartender came in and one of the drinkers asked him about his motorcycle. They went out to look at it. Something to do. Something solid you can rely upon, something with a good suspension.  They had been here a lot over the last few days.

Amount of Time in the Joint 20 minutes

Will I come back Everyone was nice and everything seemed alright, but I can say that I would prefer a warmer place. A friendlier esthetic for me, thanks. For those who need a bar near the hospital, this seems like a decent place to be.

Nuovo – #128 on the Tour

The Bar: Nuovo.

The Address 92 Shrewsbury Street

The Day and the Time Friday at Eight or so

The price 8.50. This was an eight dollar drink with tax making it a drag. Damn the man!

Did they ask me if I wanted a lime I think he put it in. This is one of those snooze fest joints that make it hard for me to recall all these pertinent details.

What was the type of gin It was Tanqueray.

What was the gin and tonic like Fine. It was okay. I liked it. I was bored with the joint.

The Joint Piano Bar with Lounge Music Stylings Warning! You want a well dressed kid tinkling the ivories singing neutered versions of the songs of the seventies and eighties, This is the place for you. I don’t know who else this is for. It is an Italian place but the decor was bland and non descript. The place was only half full on a Friday. The people at the tables were sitting waiting for food, like they were waiting for the bus to arrive. It was not a joyous room. The bartender was nice and professional. He made a quick efficient drink.The place is clean, but just bland.

General Impressions This was one of those, “The Bar is Empty and I Should Come Back When There are People Are There Joints” and I did that about four times. This time, I jumped in and sat at the empty bar. The place just was. Nothing wrong with it. I hope the food was killer, because nothing else about the place screamed personality.

At the bar I am at now, I spent several minutes butchering the name of this restaurant when I stated this was the latest dispatch from the tour. I couldn’t figure out how to say Nuovo. One woman at the bar was able to pronounce it satisfactory, but who knows if she was right. I will call the place Mikey. Might as well be Mikey.

Amount of Time in the Joint 10 minutes

Will I come back No

Maxwell Silverman’s – #127 on the Tour

The Bar: Maxwell Silverman’s

The Address 25 Union Street

The Day and the Time Friday 9:50

The price 5.25

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

What was the type of gin Paint thinner, I believe. whoah.

What was the gin and tonic like I remember that I was so excited about a good affordable gin and tonic after a large battalion of eight dollar drinks. I found myself a table to lean on to watch the madness of the dance floor and took a generous sip and I almost gagged. I had a bad science experiment in my mouth and there was no potted plant to spit it into. What the hell was this I was drinking?

The Joint This is a giant old school dinner place that looks good and presentable for its age. They have a bunch of things from the tool and die factory that was there previously and that kind of thing works for me. There was a small dance floor to the side and that was why we are all here. This is where disco lives, for people over fifty (or so). They dress up and dance and drink and then sit with panting shoulders. There were some very old people up there going at it, and that was cool. The wait staff looked resigned, wondering why the hell they were picking up after this group (not a lot of smiles in the employees). I saw one woman who looked younger than the man she was with then I saw her speak, or try to. Her plastic surgery made it difficult to move her facial muscles. Or was that the botox. She had a lot of work done, let us just keep it at that.

It was funny to notice that some of the dancing rituals were just like I remembered in high school. There were still groups of women dancing and men coming in looking on at them from the corners drinking their punch (I mean beers). The popular girls flitted around chatted with people in each of the groups. Of course these popular groups were grandmothers, but who’s to say they still aren’t passing notes in class and meeting up with the cute guy by the boiler room, I mean the bar that makes boilermakers?

I was still kind of early and people were coming in and the dance floor was filling up. People were have a fine time to the great Abba songs of the 70s.

General Impressions My friends told me I had to make it here to see, as they call Jurassic Dance and I am glad I did. But as much as I feel the desire to mock and make fun, who’s to say you won’t see me there in fifteen or twenty years? Of course I don’t see disco. I see in 25 years going to the Punk Rock Night at the Rec Center where codgers put on our leathers and mosh pit move, careful not to knock over anyone’s dialysis machine. The Ramones, the B52s, the Talking Heads. Every band our grandkids roll their eyes at. We will drink one old fashioned cocktail and wonder why the young wait staff are snickering at us, don’t they know this is Rock and Roll? This is youth. This is a good night out. Yeah. I can see that, so who am I to say anything about this place. People in their fifties and higher need a joint to let loose, why not this place?

Amount of Time in the Joint 20 minutes

Will I come back No. Happy there is the place, but its not somewhere I need to be. I wish the staff was happier.

Maxwell Silverman’s – On the Road to #127 Stop of the Tour

The Story: It took me three times to get into Maxwell Silverman’s before I could enter and get a drink. It was one of my greatest ordeals on this tour. For Maxwell Silverman’s, I went there three times. Twice too many I think, but let’s talk about my two aborted efforts.

The First Attempt of Storming the Silverman: This was three months ago, Friday, at 4:30. I know it was early, but I had just been to Armsby Abbey and it was getting packed, so I figured that I might see someone there. I didn’t know at the time that  the big attraction to the place is old folk dancing to disco, I didn’t know I was too late for the mother load. I went in and it was empty, so I left and went to the parking lot to figure out if I should just not go or try another time.

But during my time of debating I suddenly realized I had to use the facilities. So I said, I will go into the place and use the bathroom and then, I will get a drink. to pay for the use of the bathroom. I walked in and saw the smiling hostess. I said, “I will be getting a drink,, but is it alright if I just use the bathroom first?” Her smile receded to a blank look of annoyance. And then she stared at me. And stared at me. Didn’t not respond, just stared. Now I came from work, so I was presentable (of course my day job is as a Rodeo Clown, so I think I looked fetching) but yet she looked at me like a I was bug, a bug who was doing the “need to pee: dance. “Sorry, I said. I guess I;ll go.” She nodded and I ran out of there. I walked quickly to Mezcal Cafe. I said I needed the bathroom and then I would get a drink to their hostess and she pointed the way to the rest room.

I was going to not go back to Maxwell Silverman’s, but was convinced I needed to see the Jurassic Dance where all the older folk boogie down. So I said sure,I will go again.

What I learned from the Experience: Maxwell Silverman’s does not believe in bodily functions. They only like arid robots to come when the place is completely empty.

The Second Attempt of Storming the Silverman: This was a Friday at 10:30 and the place was busy. I had to park a couple blocks away. What you need to know before I go on is that I was wearing a t-shirt my son picked out for me, it had a graphic of the poster to the movie Jaws, With the word Jaws written on it. (Know where this going?)

I walked into the place and there were a lot of people dancing. I started to head to the bar and a nicely dressed young man smiled and stood in my way. He politely told me that he could not let me in because my shirt has writing on it. He said I could not go in unless I have a jacket to cover up the offending t-shirt or maybe a shirt in the trunk of my car.I didn’t. I asked if I really couldn’t get in because of the word Jaws. He said that written t-shirts was not allowed, but I could take the shirt off and put it on inside out and I would be allowed in. I just couldn’t. I know it would have been funny for the blog, but I just couldn’t drink a gin and tonic with an inside out shirt.

And let me ask the question. Its okay to look like the kid who got hit in the head by a horse and wear a shirt inside out but it was forbidden to show the word Jaws? I left and heard a group of men walking in, swearing and talking trash about women and other men in a very derogatory fashion. But they had no written words on their shirts, so they were allowed in.

I told a friend and he thought it would be funny to get a nice dress shirt and stencil on the word Jaws and see if I would be allowed in. But really, was Maxwell Silverman’s is not worth that much effort. I was going to go, and I did, which will be in the next post, but it wasn’t worth so much strain or clever ruses.

What I learned from the Experience: Maxwell Silverman’s does not believe in words. You can be a total jerk and talk crap about women, or wear ugly clothes, just don’t bring in words. Maxwell Silverman’s is for illiteracy. I mean just look at their catering bus where they list all the events they supply food for, they misspelled bar mitzvah. They wrote ba mitzvah. The place just does not like words.

That was my two failed attempts. I will be posting later today the time I did go.