Park Sports Cafe

In a rough-and-tumble neighborhood on Rivet Street in the south end, an unremarkable building houses the corner bar called the Park Sports Cafe. Less than two weeks prior to the Barflies' visit to the Cafe, there was a stabbing just down the street, a not unusual occurrence, and one gets the sense that caution be exercised when strolling around this area when night falls. But that said, there was something cool about this joint. Entered with a bit of unnecessary trepidation, Mr. Draft and his comrades were met with some good tunes emanating from the jukebox, and easily found seats in this comfortable, subdued, old school tavern. Mr. Draft was a bit discouraged by the draft selection- Bud, Bud Lite and Budweiser American Ale. Opting for the best of the three, Mr. Draft ordered the ale, Anheuser-Busch's recent foray into cracking the microbrew sensibility of like-minded drinkers. Unfortunately, the American Ale spout spurted, gurgled and refused to shut off, much to the distress of the harried barmaid, Heather, until a customer seated directly in front of the offending tap offered a strong arm to yank it back and stem the flow. Bud it was. The crowd was predominately older blue collar factory worker guys, wearing flannel shorts and baseball caps, with the exception of a young, hipster couple sitting at one end of the bar. They looked like no one else, but looked like regulars. The woman, cute and attractive in a dork-chic kinda way, with Clark Kent eyeglasses, had a streak of blond in her short cropped black 'do, and her gentleman friend, a tattooed dude who looked like Buster Poindexter with a long goatee. For moment, Mr. Draft was reminded of Williamsburg, the section of Brooklyn, a subway stop from Manhattan, that has become the home of thousands of hipster artists, musicians, poets and hangers-on, infiltrating the working-class immigrant neighborhood to create a new kind of melting pot culture. Perhaps...maybe...this is where the South End of New Bedford is drifting as well? This section of Rivet Street, with the increasingly popular Mexican restaurant and bar, Mi Antojo, a few blocks in one direction, and, in the other direction, the sorely missed Adega (soon to become the Fresca Grill), is morphing into some thing new and distinct for this City...hip. Mr. Draft's visit to the jukebox only confirmed the sense of imminent hipsterdom: is there another jukebar- outside of Williamsburg--- that has La Bamba, Tom Jones, and 10,000 Maniacs as options? It rates a 6.5...trying to be cool. Roll Call: Mr. Draft, Mr. Mix, Mr.3BOES, Mr. Elixir, Mr. Sazurac.

1 comment:

Ken said...

I remember this bar back in the fifties when it was called the Park Tavern. I shined shows their as well as at other bars in the neighborhood. It's always been a blue collar hangout for male factory workers (women weren't allowed in neighborhood bars back then). Haven't been there since the fifties. Maybe I'll drop by. By the way, I never felt unsafe in the neighborhood. Crime only happened in the big cities back then.