Big Kate’s Bar

If you want to find Big Kate’s bar, you have to ask the right questions.

Big Kate has no interest in owning a destination. Which works out well because she chose to set up shop way too far from Boston and just a little too far from the Berkshires to be anything close to a vacation spot. It’s a local dive, tucked in alongside the hardware store and the nail salon.

Well, kinda.

To be honest, I’m not positive Big Kate’s actually exists. But it is certainly there

The thing is, you need to ask the right questions. Sure you need a street address, to a point. But what about the time of day? The air pressure? The position of Ursa Minor in the sky? All those things are just as important as whatever you put into Google Maps when you want to get to Big Kate’s bar.

Big Kate’s is a cozy bar where everyone is welcome. Kate herself is behind the bar every night and has been since time immemorial. She pulls the perfect mug of beer and tends to have your usual waiting for you even before you shrug your coat off. It’s nice to have a place like that. Like your own personal Cheers out in the woods.

Her kids are there too, running underfoot. If you’ve got a complaint, sorry. Big Kate’s isn’t going to be a good fit. You’re still welcome though. Everyone’s welcome.

I go about once a week. But as I get older I notice I’m there more. My dad too. He’s there probably three or four nights a week. My grandfather pops in almost day. My great-grandfather is there every night.

And my great-great grandfather? Should probably be paying Big Kate rent for how much time he spends on that bar stool.

But my great-grandfather is always up for a beer. He’ll have one with his father, then my father, then sometimes me. I think he’s one of the kids running around as well, maybe the one Big Kate keeps taking darts away from. But I’m not sure and I never remember to ask.

He’ll ask how work is going and nod patiently as I explain to him the new software we use at the library now. He’ll hand me a list of movies he’d like me to bring him and I’ll tuck it in my pocket, all the while knowing full well he’ll never get to them.

Big Kate teases me when she sees me come in, asks when I’m wiping her library fines. She knows full well I’m going to, I just can’t say it out loud since everyone in town comes to Big Kate’s bar. And that includes my boss.

The food’s good, solid bar food. Big Kate’s husband works the back. He’s quiet, happy. Likes to read and sing. Sometimes he’ll sing for the bar if she can coax him out. They love each other deeply.

I always love to see him on stage with his guitar as all the kids settle down in front of him to watch. 

How does Big Kate’s survive? Maybe I drink a little too much with my great-grandfather because I never really remember paying the check. But they haven’t booted me out yet, so I must. 

Anyway, you’re welcome to join. I’ll be there tonight, we’ll save you a seat. Just be sure to ask the right questions to find your way.