Goodbye Forest Cafe

It is with a heavy heart I report that the Forest Cafe, my neighborhood bar and watering hole, is closing its doors forever.

There’s an article online from our local newspaper about it: http://www.wickedlocal.com/cambridge/news/x985678695/Closing-down-the-only-option-for-Cambridges-Forest-Caf?popular=true

The gist of the article: the bad economy is forcing one of the last family-owned bars in Cambridge out of business.

corwin and I were in there tonight, the last night the kitchen would be open. In fact, corwin ordered the last meal ever served (tres marias, cheese). There were still some regulars hanging around when we left, and the bar will be open for drinks for a few more nights, but Brian Gaudet, who was our first, best bartender, called tonight the “last night.”

We didn’t used to go into bars because a) we didn’t drink, b) we didn’t smoke, and c) we didn’t like sports. Then we got into baseball, the smoking ban was enacted, and voila! We started going into bars. And this led to the drinking…

The Forest was where we went to find out all the local gossip and politics. Among the regulars who could be seen knocking back many beers and shots of tequila a night, a former JFK speech writer, an astronomer, a composer of classical music, many Red Sox fans, an editor at Nature magazine, us. You know the cliche about a bar like “Cheers”? That was the Forest. I could always count on hearing how the Sox were doing, or the Patriots, and many times went there to watch sporting events. One night corwin and I went in there to watch a World Series game (I think it was White Sox/Astros?) and the game ran in extra innings so late and so long that Brian eventually turned off all the lights and closed the bar, but the three of us still stayed watching the TV in the dark.

Some of the regulars have put up a website so that we can hang out virtually now that the watering hole is closed: http://forestrefugees.com

John and Stefanie say they’ve checked out two alternate neighborhood spots: the Newtowne Grille and Spirit, both on the other side of Porter Square. The crowd may migrate one of those places, having already rejected the West Side Lounge (too snooty, the bartenders don’t talk to you), Cambridge Common (too loud), Tavern on the Square (way too loud), and Christopher’s (they cut you off after three beers…?!)

But it’ll never be the same. So we raised our glasses one last time at the old watering hole, mine a shot of tequila, corwin a house margarita. We’re really going to miss that place.

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