Image by Jacob Downey

OPINION: The state of late-night dining at Plymouth is bleak

Liv Pierog


Staff Writer


Last semester, Plymouth State students witnessed Keith’s Pizza close its doors. This was a devastating blow to many, who relied on Keith’s as the one and only late-night food spot in Plymouth.

A former Keith’s employee shared that administrative misconduct was to blame, citing “creepy” behavior and even physical abuse.

On October 27, a busy Keith’s Pizza closed abruptly, locking students out, and employees in a bad situation with an angry, aggressive boss. So, employees did what any person should do in that situation and walked THE HELL out of there.

I’ve ended many long nights with a call or a walk down to Keith’s with friends, landing at the picnic table outside, talking, singing, dancing, and otherwise being obnoxious until our pizza was ready. How was the food? I don’t remember, it didn’t even matter. It was about the accessibility, affordability, and fibrous greasy crust that could save even the most far-gone member of your pack.

Frankly, a disappointing end to a once-beloved establishment. Rest in Piss, Keith’s.

Since this dark time has come over our town, Main Street businesses have been rising to the occasion. Patty Shack has been the most helpful in filling the void for late-night eats, but just a few weeks ago they changed their hours online to an 8:30 pm closing time. I personally question this move from a business standpoint, as late-night hours were kind of their only selling point. 

The whole menu is fine, but if Five Guys, Chick-fil-A, or in an act of God – Shake Shack – were to franchise in town, Patty Shack wouldn’t stand a chance without later hours.

Lucky Dog has recently entered the octagon with late-night pizza for pickup or delivery, as well as slices in the bar, available the following hours: Tuesday through Thursday 8 pm-11:30 pm, and Friday through Saturday 8 pm-1:30 am. 

On Friday, March 8, I decided to try for myself.

I called in for a small cheese pizza with a side of ranch from the noisy coatroom of Kappa Delta Phi Fraternity around 11:30 pm. Within 10 minutes, a friend and I made our way down to the Lucky Dog on Main Street to pick up our late-night snack. Instructions were slightly unclear, I first tried the main bar entrance downstairs, which was bustling with PSU students on the Friday night before break. After leaving my underage friend outside, getting ID’d at the door, and squeezing my way through the crowd to the bar, I asked if anybody knew where I could pick up a pizza around here. The bartender pointed me upstairs to the dining room. I walked up the stairs, around a corner, and into the dark, empty restaurant.

A lone stranger sat at the small corner bar beneath a yellow hanging light, he nodded to me.

I asked him if he knew where I could pick up a pizza around here. He pointed to a green door around the corner, toward the stairwell I had just come from. 

Now, I know a thing or two about the Lucky Dog Bar & Grill, as a matter of fact, I worked there for about a year, just after COVID hit. But I had never gone through this mysterious green door, I’d never even noticed the mysterious green door before, nor did I recognize the man sitting at the bar of the closed restaurant pointing me towards it. The night had quickly become an adventure.

Two college-aged workers manned the decent-sized bar room with a kitchen tucked away in the back. The vibe was perfect for those like me coming in a more vulnerable state. Calm ocean blue paint coated the walls, and unintimidating wait staff provided a comfortable drunk tank while they got my order together. 

I paid about $12 for a small cheese with ranch, plus a small tip, which comes in at around Keith’s price point, while still not beating Grotto’s “cheapest small cheese in Plymouth ” title. But hey, they’re open late.

All that being said, the pizza didn’t blow me away.

And it certainly wasn’t filling the void Keith’s absence had left in me. To the cooks at Lucky Dog, I’m truly sorry, but as a true pizza snob, and the Clock’s resident Italian-American, I cannot give my stamp of approval just yet. However, I will continue to be a loyal patron to Lucky Dog’s flagship bar & grill. I recommend the homemade pulled pork potato skins, and if you’re over 21, ask for a Fist Fight.

At this point in the night, my friend and I weren’t quite as hungry, but feeling more emo than ever over the lack of food available to us at the late hour, nearing midnight. I took some time to drink and look tortured in a local graveyard before deciding to regroup and order more food.

This time we weren’t messing around and made the journey that so many have traveled, to Hong Kong Garden.

There is truly a portal to another world on the threshold from Chase Street into the basement dining room of Hong Kong. As my friend and I sat, waiting for our food once again, I watched the fish in the fish tank stare blankly through the glass. Quite quickly our eyes started to get heavy, and we began to feel how late it was getting. Around 1 am our second late-night snack of the evening came out, and we dragged our feet back to my apartment on High Street to wrap up the adventure with some pork fried rice and scallion pancakes.

The food was everything it needed to be. I almost hate to admit that, knowing the context of their history with liquor code violations and a LITANY of negative Google reviews, they still win. AND they’re open later than anywhere else in Plymouth. They’re certainly not the cheapest meal in town, and I might ask for my order cooked well done just to be safe, but nonetheless, they’re cooking later and more reliably than anyone else downtown.

First place, reluctantly, goes to Hong Kong.

Still, there remains a larger question at hand, why can’t you buy a slice of pizza, a bag of chips, or a Diet Coke for that matter –  in the greater Plymouth area after 10:30? Even if we narrow our options down to what’s open past 10:30 and walkable, you’re looking at Hong Kong, and Lucky Dog pizza (unless it’s a Sunday or Monday night)

Plymouth’s once notorious bar and restaurant nightlife scene has fallen. Don’t lose hope though, it’s only a matter of time before the next Keith’s is established. For now, I’ve got Hong Kong’s number saved and favorited in my phone for safekeeping.