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Bird Land

The unexpected place to find the island's biggest party

Nantucket_ChickenBoxINteriorEmpty_ogan_2012Photo: Susan Ogan


hen everybody else on the island is loosening their whale belts, tightening the moorings, and packing it in for the night, the in the know head out to the rotary near the Stop &Shop for Nantucket’s biggest party, nightly (and year ’round) at the Chicken Box, with live bands, surprisingly cheap covers, good beer (including Whale’s Tail on tap), and pool tables and dart boards (there’s even a ping-pong table) over which locals and visitors hang out together as if they actually like each other. It may not look like much from the outside, but just listen for a minute, and you’ll see what we mean.



The Chicken Box was started in the 1960s by Willie House, a black former servant to a wealthy summer family, who sold southern-style fried chicken there and eventually brought in jazz and blues musicians.