Jack Downey ’23
There are many amazing music venues in Rhode Island. AS220, Askew, and News Cafe are but a few of the local haunts for live music. One of the best places for live music that has recently emerged on the scene is Cranston’s Pub On Park.
Located on 655 Park Street, Pub On Park first appears to be just another hip Providence-area restaurant. Facing the street is a wall of windows, and there are several potted plants in the corners of the building. The front wall features large words “Pub On Park” with a silhouette of a lion underneath. For any unsuspecting passerby, it might seem quite niche.
However, in reality, Pub On Park is a promising venue that is opening itself up more and more to local musicians. On Aug. 15, the venue held a show featuring three young, local acts: The Park Hill Romance, an emo-tinged alt-rock band with a sound that harkens back to the gloomy atmosphere of the early to mid-2000s; The Keegan Turner Band, a rock group with a classic sound that still sounds fresh and original; and The Celler Dwellers, a bar band that plays a wide array of covers. The concert generated a surprising turnout, filling the tables in the restaurant. It was clear that the musicians and attendees alike hoped a similar event would happen again.
Flash forward to Oct. 3. The same bill was assembled to perform, although Celler Dwellers ultimately dropped out. Despite this setback, the crowd was even bigger than that of the Aug. 15 show, with people flocking to the venue despite the rain and a legendary matchup between the New England Patriots and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. It was an incredibly memorable, fun night.
Aside from live music, Pub On Park offers a wide variety of food and drink. They are most known for their pizzas, often served to patrons during shows. The bar staff is incredibly friendly. The spacing in the restaurant is also very comfortable, with ample room for people to come and go as they please.
An additional detail about Pub On Park that makes it such a cool place is it attached to Legion Bowl and Billiards. Simply walk through a door between the bar and the jukebox and you’ll find yourself in an expansive room with several pool tables, a number of arcade games, and multiple lanes of candlepin bowling. The most spectacular aspect of these connections is simply how many pool tables there are at the Legion Bowl portion of the venue. The pool hall area stretches farther than even the candlepin lanes, with table after table as far as the eye can see. Very few places are as dedicated to pool as Legion, making it a rare treat within a rare treat.
At the end of the day, Pub On Park is a charming establishment that is certainly on the come up, and if it continues to host more local bands among its potted plants, chances are it will become a mainstay in the Rhode Island music scene.