Nostalgic Memories of New Bedford’s New Wave Café [PHOTOS]
Oh, New Bedford. Such a melting pot of diversity, culture, and nightlife.
The other day, as I sat on my couch, watching the rain fall steadily upon the city streets, I began to randomly ponder my younger years when I first "went out" in New Bedford.
At the time, I was still living in Westport and was fresh out of college. One night, a friend of mine – we call him Bucks – took me to a bar I'd not only never been to before, but was also my first time out on the town in New Beige. It was called the New Wave Café Bar and Grille and boy, what a time capsule of nostalgia that place turned out to be.
Located over in the North End at 143 North Front Street, it was somewhat hidden behind Bellville Avenue in the shadows of 195 eastbound. Some say it was a shady spot, but I never saw any trouble – although, admittedly, I was a bit young and naive.
It was, for the lack of a better term, a "destination to end the night" kind of place. There were times when you planned to go there on a Friday or Saturday night, and then were times where even if you didn't plan on going, you somehow found yourself parked out front, wondering how you ended up at the New Wave.
The endless nights of dancing that was provoked by the shot girls, Nikki and Nikki. Wicked Weezy's Karaoke brought in some pretty good singers as if it was New Bedford's Got Talent. Seriously, have you seen Larry Soares on the mic? All I had in the tank was Notorious B.I.G.'s "Big Poppa."
Behind the bar was Vera, Kathleen, Danielle Flowers, Danielle Tanque, Sarah Dee, Mandy and an honorary position filled by my buddy Matt Knarr. The drinks were always strong, because that's how we liked them, and for some odd reason, Red Stripe beer was one of the most popular. Of course, I can't forget about the complimentary birthday drink that knocked you on your butt once a year, only to leave you with the world's largest hangover in the morning.
There was a sound guy whose name escapes me, and a pretty stocky bouncer who I only knew as "Favas."
Guitars covered the bar walls and toilet seat mirrors hung proudly in the bathrooms. "Rockfest" could be heard blocks away and the night before Thanksgiving (a.k.a. "Crunksgiving") was one of the best nights of the year at the New Wave.
From the Pearly Baker Band to Kreagen, Beyond the Embrace to Selfless Murder, there was such a unique variety that filled the place with good vibes and good times.
It was formerly owned by a good friend of mine, Paulo Mendes, who was very welcoming from the very first time I met him. Until this day, we still connect every few years. Little does this man know it, but he helped me out when I was at one of the lowest points in my life years ago. I was without money or a job at the time (pre-Fun 107) and he was kind enough to let me run the back bar that he constructed out of a surfboard, slinging beers and mixed drinks. It was just enough money to get me by and to put gas in my car. A week later, I was hired at Fun 107. To this day, I still owe him for his selfless ways.
Honestly, the memories are as long as the nights and although it's a bit of a shame that it's no longer open (for reasons I won't get into), we will always have that one really good night that we'll never forget, all thanks to the New Wave Café.