With the economy being as bad as it is and my own personal funds being low, I decided to spend my Friday night in a place people often do not venture to Bickford's. No longer just a place for breakfast, Bickford’s Grille has apparently become a bar and entertainment destination. I had recently been informed of their “Dollar Drafts” special, so I ventured with some friends to this “hotspot” last Friday night located in Burlington, Ma (on the Woburn line). The menu is basic (and you can get breakfast if you choose), but the food is inexpensive and delicious. I recommend the homemade potato chips. You will not be disappointed!
Much to my amazement the place was packed. Okay, so the average age was about seventy, however, that did not stop the partying! Around 7:30pm, the “entertainment” set up in the corner of the bar area. A one man band armed with a keyboard, he kept the crowd singing and dancing with Irish ballads, easy listening standards and personalized renditions of hits from the eighties and nineties. Armed with white wine and “Dollar Drafts,” the regulars welcomed us into their club.
When the music began to play, I nervously sat looking around the room at the sea of older ladies and gentlemen eating their food and talking amongst themselves. My friends and I figured we would finish our drinks and head out. We did not want to intrude on what appeared to be some sort of “club.” As people finished their dinner, the one-man band started yelling over to us, asking us where we all came from. When I responded, “South Boston,” the crowd went wild. I then got bombarded with questions about churches, people, and bars. It was awesome! These folks traveled from all over (Somerville, Dorchester, Tewksbury, etc.) to part take in the Friday night festivities.
In the past year and a half I have lost both my father and my grandmother; the two people closest to me in the world. These were two very Irish, jovial, party loving individuals who would have had the time of their lives here. So, naturally, being cut from the same mold as the two of them, I was loving it. I was not amused when a friend of mine felt the need to share with the crowd that I used to Irish Step Dance. The crowd yelled and cheered until I got up and embarrassed myself dancing. I got high fives, hugs and asked to dance at least three times. Luckily, my fiancé did not feel threatened at all with my newfound popularity, given that my dancing partners could have been my grandparents.
As the night forged on, the crowd neither depleted nor lost enthusiasm. I, on the other hand, was ready to fall asleep. Around eleven, I bid my new friends farewell. I was touched when I received the, “See you next week” line from everyone. As I drove home, I smiled. The whole night felt very familiar and completely comforting. It felt like I had my Nana and Dad back with me. It was a good night. I look forward to my next Friday night out at Bickford’s.
Sure, I was in the company of older folks, but I had a blast! There was dancing, singing and flirting! It felt like a scene from the movie, "The Quiet Man," mixed together with the television show, “The Golden Girls.” Throw in the Irish dancing and ballads from the Emerald Isle and the cast of show and you have Friday nights at Bickford’s. If you are not a fan of Irish music, old people, dollar draft beer or grilled cheese, than this probably is not the place for you. Luckily, I am! I was unaware any of this went on at Bickford's, but now I know. So, if you are looking for me on Friday night, you know where to find me.
6 Cambridge Street
Burlington, MA 01803