For over three years or so, I have been going to the bars and restaurants of Worcester, ordering a gin and tonic, drinking it, leaving the place soon after and writing about it in a blog whimsically titled Gin and Tonics Across Worcester. I did 144 bars and restaurants in eighteen months and then called myself done with the silly concept. Eight months later, in March of 2016 I decided to try a few more, the new places, and the blog started again. I wrote about 15 new places. Then I stopped again. March showed up in 2017 and I decided to do it one more time. This time in the form of letters. I wrote about gin and tonic, but I allowed myself the right to go on about bars and those who have an affinity for just such a place.
I really enjoyed this format and was invigorated by the process once more. I wrote over a dozen of these letters by the end of June 2017. I went to two more places for gin and tonics: Valentino’s and The Fix though I didn’t write them up. I made a list of a handful of new places and a list of places that were to open sometime in the year that I planned to visit.
Then I stopped.
During the summer, I was working on longer writing projects and completely forgot about the quest for bars and gin and tonic. By the end of the summer, when I did recall the blog, I could not find the energy nor drive to jump start it.
Also, I wasn’t drinking much. My acid reflux didn’t care for my alcohol consumption. I had to cut back. I was going to Nick’s occasionally, but I didn’t have the desire to drink as an act of discovery. I didn’t have the time or the inclination to schlep myself to a new unknown bar and write about the experience. Maybe this was me getting old and set in my ways. Is that really so bad?
This blog helped me be more consistent with writing, but now I wanted to write about other things. I have one book available as an ebook and others ready to be copyedited and formatted to be self published. That’s where the focus has turned.
I still love writing about bars. I still love going to bars, or at least my regular bar, but I am quite done with having a gin and tonic in every bar in Worcester. It was a wonderful fancy that propelled me through over three years and a hundred thousand words. I do have a few ideas about writing about bars and drinkers but I need to finish a few other things first.
I was going to just leave the blog and the project unfinished. But I began to assemble these letters and some of the older posts into a book and I realized that I needed to write one final letter explaining why I have stopped. Of course, it is this letter.
I needed to say goodbye.
I needed to say thank you.
I began this project to discover why people go to bars. Why you decide to pick a place and drink in public. I never came up with an answer, but I was blessed with an opportunity to know my city in an intimate fashion. I am blessed by this project. I have seen so many parts of our community and I am really grateful.
I want to thank all of you who stuck with me during these posts. I want to thank those who commented and those who disagreed. I want to thank my friends for putting up with this and for those who helped me with information and advice.
Gin and Tonics Across Worcester does not have to be done. It is just me that is done. If anyone else wants to discover the bars and joints of Worcester by having one cocktail at each place, please, enjoy the tour. I know I did.
Here’s a toast to you. The Reader. And to you. Worcester.