June 09, 2007

Frayed Knot? 'Fraid Not.

LL and I tried to go to our favorite neighborhood dive bar last night, but a little problem cropped up. It wasn't there anymore. When we got there, it was one. The door was locked, the bar and the pool tables had been removed, and it became immediately apparent that the Frayed not had ceased to exist sometime since our last visit there two weeks ago. We had been warned of that possibility, in secret, by Linda the Bartender. The owner, she'd told us, had been looking for a buyer and she had already started looking for a new job. We were sworn to secrecy and were not to tell any of the other patrons. I hadn't expected it to happen so soon, though!

As semi-regulars at the Frayed Knot, we'd gotten pretty comfortable with the place. The same crowd was hanging out there every time we went. The only things served were six kinds of beer and two kinds of oysters, raw or steamed. There were two pool tables and two dart boards. Smoking was allowed, a rarity these days. There was a jukebox that nobody ever played and the music was always either classic rock or Jimmy Buffet. It was the kind of place where one could hang out all night, have a few beers and meaningless conversations, shoot a couple of games, and wind up with a tab of around $25 for two people. A nice, friendly, easy-going neighborhood dive, and it'll be missed.

Still wanting to hang out, though, LL and I went to the next closest bar, the Salty Dawg. No pool table, just darts. Numerous TV's, all of which were showing either NASCAR, a monster truck rally, or Faux News. No smoking allowed inside. A full menu, and the food's not bad for pub food, but it ain't cheap. People bringing their kids (isn't a bar traditionally a place to get away from the shrieking house apes?) Long story short, the place feels more like a noisy family restaurant than a hang-out bar to us. We got some food, had a couple of beers (they were serving plastic cups of Yuengling and Budweiser for 75¢) and then went next door to Winn-Dixie where we picked up a six pack of Sam Adams and went home. Long story short, the Salty Dawg just doesn't feel like home base to us. I think they like having a clientèle that's mostly soccer moms and NASCAR dads, and there's nothing wrong with that... but it doesn't describe LL and I.

I guess it's a moot point from our POV, anyhow. We're moving in three weeks and we'll have to find a new place to hang out in Worcester, anyhow. I wonder what will go in where the Frayed Knot used to be. There aren't many locally owned businesses of any sort left in this neighborhood, and every time one goes out of business, some kind of national chain comes in. It's all McDonald's and Tropical Smoothies around here. Before the Frayed Knot, the space it occupied used to be Wanda's Fresh Catch fish market, the only place in the neighborhood where one could find a good selection of seafood. It'll probably end up being another fast food place.

Anyhow, it all worked out well for the evening. We got home and did things that would be heavily frowned upon if done in a bar (most bars I've ever been to, anyhow). Still, it was kind of disappointing. Ah well. When we get to Worcester, we're going to be looking for a quiet, dark pub where it's possible to hang out with the regulars or sit in a corner and write, as the mood strikes. A place that allows smoking would be a plus, too. If anyone reading this has suggestions, leave a comment and maybe we'll see you there next month!

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