The Haunt: Transcendental Medication
The folksinger, a local favorite named John Fitzsimmons, is 10 minutes into a chat with his bar mate (and almost 30 minutes into one of his legendary "set breaks") before he realizes who he’s talking to. "Wait, you’re not one of the Muellers from White Pond, are you?" he says. "Dude, your dad was my Cub Scout leader!"
Throw down a pint or two at the Colonial Inn’s Village Forge Tavern, and it’s not hard to find some Romeo who played spin-the-bottle with your long-lost girl next door. The crowd of regulars—mostly thirty- and fortysomething Concord natives, none of whom ever quite got around to leaving town—is as unchanging as the dark, intimate interior cobbled together from ancient barn boards more than 40 years ago. Fitz’s soulful ballads still play in the background, an antique ox yoke still hangs over the fireplace, and the same huddle of Sunday-morning football players (members of a league started by their fathers) trash-talk their way through several rounds of brew. That’s how it goes at the Forge, in a town rooted firmly, if a little self-consciously, in its own history.
"Go Acton-Boxborough!" hoots a man three-deep into his cups when Fitz asks where everyone’s from tonight.
"Them’s fightin’ words," says a nearby Concord man. Some things never change.
Village Forge Tavern, the Colonial Inn, 48 Monument Sq., Concord, 978-369-9200, concordscolonialinn.com