I like ImprovBoston’s new space partly because of its key location (right in Central Square) and partly because of its awesome size. But I love it because of the bar. On any given Saturday when I have nothing else to do, I can show up at the IB bar and see at least three people I know.
Take this past Saturday, for instance: coming back from Brighton, I ran into Will, Dave S., Kevin H. and Lindsay W. at the IB bar. I had a drink and chatted with them about the expansion of search technology. Eventually, though, the Cambridge liquor license required that IB close.
So Will offered a suggestion: “Let’s go to the Tavern at the End of the World.”
While it’s not at the actual end of the world, it’s on the border of Somerville and Everett, so you’re forgiven the mistake. The tiny front room has a smattering of cheap tables, plywood walls like you’d find in finished basements, and a collection of odd movie posters. I ordered a cheap domestic draft and sat down with my chair flipped backward.
The back room had a DJ.
This townie bar, in the most industrial part of Boston short of the Big Dig, had a DJ with a full-on Akai sampler, mixing some of the most staccato electronic beats I’ve ever heard. Pure static and rhythm. A dozen hipsters pulsed to the music – the usual baby-fat girls with mod haircuts and skinny boys in thrift store hoodies.
We finished our beers, talking about our history with the theater. Half past one in the morning.
“Let’s get some roast beef,” Dave suggested.
Back into the cars we piled, across the Everett border to Mike’s Roast Beef. Mike’s is a staple of late night debauches. It stays open until 2:00 AM on weekends – later than most places in Boston – and sometimes later than that, thanks to the patronage of every cop between Revere and Winthrop. I got a junior roast beef with mayo and onions, which instantly became one of my top 5 sandwiches in Boston.
We split some crab rangoons and talked about corruption. “Providence just closed this thirty-year-old loophole in their prostitution laws,” Kevin mentioned. “Until May, it was illegal to sell sex on the street. But the cops wouldn’t bother you if you worked indoors.”
“That’s because the 1980 law wasn’t meant to shut down prostitution,” I explained. “It was meant to shut down the independent operators. This is Providence we’re talking about.”
“Speaking of,” Will said, “who wants to go to a strip club?”
When Will said that King Arthur’s was in an industrial park in Chelsea, I thought he meant near an industrial park. Across the street from a block of warehouses. But no: King Arthur’s abuts the same unpaved road that services a long row of jacked trailers and distribution centers. There are no streetlights to speak of – only the cheery neon glow of Arthur, rex quondam rexque futurus, telling you where the poon at.
I had my phone out to text a message to several friends:
going to chelsea strip club with will and dave. if you don't hear from me in 12 hours call cops.… but the club was closed. We must have arrived pretty late, too, as not even the usual crowd of after-hours loiterers, completing various exchanges for various commodities, could be seen out back. Circling our cars, we headed home.
You never know where an evening in Boston will end, if you just let it go.