Black Watch Pub

Sociologists, historians, cultural scholars, and long-time readers of the New Bedford Barflies Post take note: this is the first bar that the Barflies visited and reviewed that had existed as another bar which the Barflies had also visited and reviewed. Take notes.

Not long ago, the Black Watch Pub, on Dartmouth Street, about midway between Cottage Street and Rockdale Avenue, had different ownership and a different name. It was, formerly, the After Five Bar and Grill. The After Five was unremarkable but its extensive beer selection etched it a rating of 7. Not long after the review was posted on this blog, a series of comments from one or more individuals appeared. Those comments were not simply about the bar but contained vicious personal attacks about the current owner. Whether those comments are justified or accurate is unknown but one thing is known: this space is an inappropriate channel for that kind of ugly acid commentary. The Barflies took a vote and unanimously decided to eliminate the comments that were determined to be of a nature best described as libelous, even if not in the strictly legal sense of the word. The First Amendment may guarantee unabridged free speech, but the NB Barflies do not. The commentator may have valid points- or may not-- and he is welcome to find another venue to voice them.

Now, back to our regularly scheduled review: the Black Watch presents itself as a quasi-Scottish bar (even though Irish flags hung in deference to St. Patrick's Day), and it comes across as patently false. New Bedford has significant populations of those descended from Africa, Cape Verde, Portugal, Quebec, England Ireland, Mexico, Greece, the Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Puerto Rico, Italy...and bars that evolve from those cultural identities seem natural in NB and environs. Scotland...not so much. Except maybe as a "brand" appeal to make Robert Burns Day as commercially viable here as St. Patrick's Day or Cinco de Mayo. Please...if there is a significant Scottish population in this area of which Mr. Draft is unaware, apologies are offered. (And yes, to Mr. McManus of the near Cape, and your kilt...a nod and a glass of Glenfiddich next time Mr. Draft enjoys your company!)

The Black Watch retains the large draft selection that the After Five did, and that is the only saving grace. Andy, the bartender / owner, was certainly amiable and capable enough, but in all in all- the bar was virtually empty save for the Barflies and a couple of enthusiastic regulars, who were only too-happy to see some new faces. As the space is large, the sparseness of customers made it seem particularly vacant. And nothing kills a bar faster than a vacuum. Even nature abhors that. In fairness, the Barflies' visit was on a Wednesday night....maybe it hops on a Friday. But Mr. Draft doubts it. It get a very middle-of-the road 5...and fingers are crossed. Roll Call: Mr. Draft, Mr. Mix, Mr. Elixir, Mr. 3BOES, Mr. Merlot, Mr. Sazurac, Mr. Tap.

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