Friday, April 10, a bar in Dover, New Hampshire
Since when has security become a big problem at a bar in Dover, New Hampshire? I realize that at least on the surface, Dover isn’t exactly the most glamorous city around here. But it isn’t exactly a run-down gangland, either. I arrived at a bar to watch a musician friend perform and I got stopped by two gentlemen at the door. They checked my identification, searched my bag and stamped my hand. When they searched the bag one of them asked if I had any weapons or narcotics. (I had the notebook in which I’m writing this blog entry in that bag, so I could have said that words are my weapon—but considering my blog posts about Transformer sex and cleaning radishes out of my sink, I’m in no position to wax poetic.)
I asked one of the bartenders if security has been an issue here. She said that the guys were at the door because the nightclub (which is new since the last time I’ve been here) opens ant nine, and it’s easier to card everybody at the door than the upstairs. Why they can’t heck people at the base of the stairs, I don’t know. Maybe they don’t want a line going all over the place in the downstairs restaurant. Fine, but maybe the guys should explain that when people enter. I could imagine some people not being so receptive to the rigmarole if they just want a beer while they watch the game. I’ve been to enough metal concerts in shady areas that I’m used to it. However, what about a shy, middle-aged librarian coming in to watch a folk singer? That question has too many generalizations to qualify an answer, but I think I made my point.
Furthermore, why book a folk singer when there’s a loud nightclub upstairs? Even when my friend is playing, I can hear the thumping bass upstairs. Nightclubs are fine. Folk singers are fine. Booking a folk singer to play underneath a nightclub is a terrible idea.
I wouldn’t even mind if I didn’t like this place before. I always thought it was one of the better bars in Dover to see musicians play. In of itself, that hasn’t changed. But the nightclub ruins it. That, and the newly imposed ten-dollar minimum on cards makes this place one of my least favorite places around here. I’m writing this while I’m here., Maybe my opinion will change by the next time I’m here. That’s why I’m not naming the place—I don’t offer this as a restaurant review so much as a rant.
Even by the time I got to writing this far I’ve cooled off. I still don’t like the sound of the club interfering with my friend’s music. I’ve heard her play in worse conditions. Nonetheless I have heard her in better, and I hope I will in the future.