Were you lucky enough to have a neighborhood hangout or luncheonette that served down-home cooking, like tasty country-style steak and meatloaf, one that served breakfast anytime?

This specific question has absolutely nothing to do with the food, but has everything to do with what connects us and our memories to others.

A guy dressed in a nice suit and tie walks into Mac's Soda Bar in Fairhaven and stops to glance over to the stools where his loving grandfather and him would sit next to each other 60 years ago. It's like revisiting your old neighborhood.

That's the exact kind of connection I saw and heard at Mac's on Sconticut Neck Road, which has been a community gathering place for 60 years.

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A gentleman in his 90s shared a story about the genesis of Mac's Soda Bar.

"My father sold the land to Cliff Macomber back in the early '40s. I was 14 years old. The real history of this place started with my father selling the land to Mr. Macomber, who then built Mac's as an ice cream stand," he said. "That's where the 'soda bar' comes into the picture. And to us kids, this shop was the biggest deal ever!"

The tale-teller went on to cause a little friction.

"People think it's called Mac's because of Cliff Macomber, but that's not true," he said.

"My father's name was Malcom and everyone called him 'Mac,' and that's the real reason why this historic landmark is named Mac's," insisted the senior, who refused to divulge his name.

Owners Jevon and Lisa Malcolm had a thing or two to say about how it got its name.

"I'm sure he was well-meaning," Jevon said. "But the truth is, it's named after the original owner, Cliff Macomber."

Neighborhood joints offer much more than grilled cheese rolls and coffee milk; they offer something you can't find at other eateries. A place of genuine democracy with the gas station attendant sitting equally next to the district judge, sitting next to the plumber. It's a place that connects comfort, good feelings and poignant memories.

What was that place for you?

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