Cheers to Some Long Gone New Bedford Neighborhood Bars
Long before the push to the suburbs, New Bedford was a city of neighborhoods. Most of your daily activities occurred in the neighborhood where you lived. Not many people commuted great distances to work.
I spent a portion of my wonder years growing up on Brook Street. We walked to the Abraham Lincoln Elementary School. Robert's Market was a long block away on Ashley Boulevard. Next to Robert's was the barbershop, Pete's Luncheonette, and Hammond's Fish and Chips. Across the Boulevard was a laundromat if Mom's washer or dryer failed. What more could you need?
Also on the stretch of Ashley Boulevard between Robert's and Pete's was The Brown Jug, a neighborhood bar where the guys might stop for a cold beer or two after work. Robert's, Hammond's, and Pete's are all gone now, but The Brown Jug remains.
Neighborhood bars provide a social gathering place and often serve as the center of activity, sponsor of sporting teams, or are just a place to chill. A good neighborhood bar, like Cheers, is one in which everybody knows your name. It's like a second home. Your co-workers hang there, and so do your neighbors.
A good neighborhood bar back in the day had a great pool table, 50 cent draught beers, a loaded jukebox, a jar of pickled eggs on the bar, someone selling football cards, a bartender named Joe, and maybe a shuffleboard table. A shot and a beer would cost no more than a buck and a stuffed quahog was a mere 50 cents.
There are still many good neighborhood bars in New Bedford, but not nearly as many as there used to be. That is due, in part, to the demise of the traditional neighborhood as we knew it and changes in lifestyles.
Last year, Fun 107's Gazelle shared his list of New Bedford bars he misses most, but his were mostly those of the younger generation.
Some neighborhood bars I miss the most include:
The Mickiweitz Club on Purchase Street.
The Imperial Cafe on County and Adams Streets. The cafe was converted into apartments.
The Continental Tavern on Nauset Street.
The Gold Rush Tavern on Church Street has also been converted into apartments.
The Poirier Post VFW on Ashley Boulevard.
Others included The Ward Five on Dartmouth Street and The Fraternal Order of Eagles on Purchase and Linden Streets.
I know there are many other neighborhood bars you enjoyed over the years that are no longer there. What were some of your favorites? What are the best neighborhood bars today?