August 12th, 2004



A year and a half ago, for miss_chance's birthday, we tried to go to Bob the Chef's for dinner. Now Bob the Chef's is the only mixed-race nightclub in Boston and we'd heard they had a particularly good jazz act on that night, and good soul food as well. But the heat was out, and so the club was dark. We were about to turn away and go wandering bereft through the streets of Roxbury when a well-dressed black gentleman came out the door. "Come down to Slade's. I'm playing there tonight", he said. "It's a black club, but you'll be welcome, I promise". So down the street we went -- it was still on the early side, so we got a good table and sat down to absolutely the best fried chicken and collard greens I have ever had, before or since. The fellow who'd told us to come stopped by the table and chatted with us, and a few minutes later came by with his saxophone to open his first set with an at-table Happy Birthday serenade. As the place filled up the resemblance to one of those totally unbelievable feel-good movie endings grew and grew. Rachel did some drawings of folks at the bar, who then insisted on buying us drinks. A local radio station DJ did some give-aways and made sure we got some. There was another serenade in the now-hopping club. The owner made us promise to come back at New Years. It was pretty hard to suspend disbelief, but I didn't see any movie cameras so I have to assume it was real.

Slade's Bar & Grill
958 Tremont Street (T: Mass Ave)
Roxbury, MA 02120-2118
Tue-Sun 1200-0200 (but I've gone past at lunchtime and never actually seen them open)