Normally I have no problem being in a bar by myself. In fact, I quite enjoy it. Reading while nursing a beer or a cocktail with the hum of a busy pub around me is one of my favorite things. Yeah, I’m strange.
Saturday night, though, I encountered a solo bar situation that made me downright uncomfortable. I’d been sick for a few days, and I was tired of being sick so I pretended I wasn’t and headed for the closest pub, P.J. Ryan’s. The place was packed. I decided to walk back along Holland toward Davis Square until I found a place that wasn’t.
The next place I passed wound up being my ultimate destination: Spoke. It’s a classy little wine and tapas bar I’ve heard nothing but good things about. I hadn’t been in for food before because I tend to forget that entire block exists.
The hostess gave me a bit of a stink eye when I walked in. I wasn’t exactly dressed for the occasion – I might be the first person who’s ever strolled in there wearing a Patriots hat and a pair of sneakers. I ignored her, found a spot at the bar, and settled in with a cocktail, an order of duck meatballs, and my Kindle. Everything was very good and the service was attentive, but I couldn’t shake the feeling I didn’t belong.
The clientele consisted entirely of couples on dates or lonely middle-aged women with three cats and several knitting projects sheepishly looking for dates. I scanned the room and saw nothing but people who looked back at me in confusion. I don’t have a vagina or any knitting needles, so my presence made no sense. I’ve never been so cognizant of not fitting in somewhere.
I bailed after one drink. I’ll probably try Spoke again on some random Monday or Tuesday, sans hat and with nicer shoes. The food alone is worth giving it another chance. I can’t believe this is what Somerville is turning into.