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A few years ago

The Ground Round restaurant brand had a rough go of it in the early-200os, filing for bankruptcy in 2004 and selling out to an independent group eight years later. One of the victims was the GR in Pawtucket, R.I., which was attached to the Comfort Inn hotel on Rt. 95, a few miles north of Providence and a couple of line drives away from McCoy Stadium, home of the minor-league Pawtucket Red Sox.

The hotel is noted for its stark, cheap rooms, its proximity to McCoy (opposing teams stay there) and the mid-1990s incident in which the manager of the Phillies’ top farm club was arrested and charged with having cocaine mailed to his room. It’s also the only hotel in the city in which you cannot rent rooms by the hour.
Twenty-somethings have been known to stop at and have a beer on the way to nightclubs in Providence (easy on, off the highway), at the Ground Round’s successor – Murphy’s Law. The restaurant/bar, which uses the same entrance as the Comfort Inn, is a dark pub – perhaps so you can’t get too good a look at the pretty standard bar food that it offers up.

But it’s a decent place to have a pop, and if you need to hit the head it’s clean and provides just about what you’d want. There’s no lock, plenty of room for two people and – most importantly – it’s clean. And Murphy’s Law at least makes an effort to spruce up the place with posters, even if they are just ads for cheap beer and future special events.

Location – when you see the bar on the left, the bathrooms are all the way to the end and to the right. If you get stopped on the way in, just say you’re headed to the bar – and go directly to the bathroom.

Circlingthedrain Male, 69 years old.
Pawtucket, Rhode Island
On February 3, 2014, 11:11 am
What I Did in Here: Whole nine yards

Small cup of coffee and very happy

First off, if you want to use this bathroom you have to buy something and get the code or become very good at hustling tourists for their receipt. This bathroom is very nice, almost like the Trump Plaza even though I have never been there, but I hear good things. This bathroom is pretty clean and has a good amount of toilet paper. It also is comfortable toilet paper, not that half a ply toilet paper that wreaks havoc on your bum. It is very spacey, so if you need to stretch your legs out or even do some Pilates to get the juices flowing you have all the room in the world. And if you do decide to do pilates make sure you wash your hands, which is very easy to do in this bathroom because it is well stocked. My biggest problem with this bathroom is it is a single. This is great for you if you're shy, but because it is a single, and is the only bathroom in the store, you have to deal with the line forming outside. As you are pushing the stew you ate the night prior out of your system, you have to face the reality that people are waiting on the other side of the door, judging you. But if you are cool with that then go to town and build a feces castle.
PoopyDoopy Female, 51 years old.
New York, New York
On January 31, 2014, 9:03 am
What I Did in Here: Urinated

Lots of coffee, water and OJ and "I just got violated"

This isn't about the actual stop but what it is like on one of the busses. There are so many MegaBusses that each bathroom is different. However, though every bathroom is different, all the scenarios are the same. You walk in, only after falling on some poor old woman who was sleeping. When you get in the bathroom it is very small, but hey it’s a bus. It actually is quite clean, but that isn’t the problem. I don’t know how women pee in a Mega Bus, but any self respecting man stands and pees. But trying to pee while going 75mph down I95 is not as easy as it sounds. You’re falling all over the place while trying to not piss all over the seat. Usually I do very well (I learned from playing the watergun/balloon game at carnivals) but this last trip we must have ran over a deer because the bus jumped up and I could only follow suit. My dit dit went haywire and displayed a lovely artistic piece on the wall. I cleaned it, but then noticed the window, which is covered with a specific tint to allow privacy from passing cars, was torn right in the dead center. This means many Acura’s and Fords had the pleasure of seeing my dit dit and probably many a woman’s clit clit.
PoopyDoopy Male, 28 years old.
New York, New York
On January 31, 2014, 8:42 am
What I Did in Here: Pee'd and hula hooped without the hula hoop

Lots of beer and I wish it never left me

Okay this bathroom is located on the third floor and is down right confusing to navigate. THE ONLY REASON you should use this is you went to watch a movie, ate a lot of popcorn and drank a lot of soda and suddenly had the urge to pee your soul. I went there during a PM showing and I was genuinely afraid. It is eerie and when you are “doing your business” you can hear the ghosts of former cinema employees whispering in your ear, “2D is better than 3D.”
In all seriousness it was pretty disgusting. Toilet Paper was all over the floor and it had a horrible smell. There are a lot of stalls so privacy is not a problem, but if you use them you can just tell that the ghosts of former cinema employees are judging your actions.
PoopyDoopy Female, 30 years old.
New York, New York
On January 31, 2014, 8:31 am
What I Did in Here: Pee'd regret

Wed. Jan. 29 2014

At times the food court at the Providence Place shopping mall resembles the vegetable markets on the streets in Addis Ababa – teeming with people with no apparent place to go and no compelling reason for being there except to make locomotion impossible for you.

At other times the court is so empty that you think that the Ebola virus has stopped in for an impromptu visit to sample the free General Tso chicken that they give out on toothpicks.

You can get any kind of junk food (curiously, except McDonald’s) that you want here, from Johnny Rockets to Popeye Chicken. As long as you’re comfortable navigating through the sea of humanity on busy days, which is basically any Friday, Saturday or Sunday, or any day between Thanksgiving and Christmas Eve.

And if/when you feel the urge to relieve yourself, there is a bathroom at the far left corner (about 11 o’clock if you are standing near the main entrance and looking directly at the staircase leading to the movie theatre.

You have to head down a few corridors to get to the bathrooms (men’s room on the right), and the folks hanging out there can be a little sketchy (would it kill security to clean out the area every now and then?).

But the rest room itself is kept clean, and with 6 urinals and 5 stalls, there is rarely a wait. All the toilets seem in working order, and there are three wash basins which also are clean and functional. (The water in the one I used was cold, however, but I really wasn’t too keen on lingering, so I let it go.) No towels – they have several of those Dyson Airblades which blow your hands dry. BTW, those suckers retail for about $1200.

Note: The Providence Mall is several stories high and there are a few other bathrooms. Best to use them if you are shopping, but the food court head is fine if you’re chowing down.

Circlingthedrain Male, 69 years old.
Providence, Rhode Island
On January 30, 2014, 12:41 pm
What I Did in Here: 30-second spray

A year ago .... no issues

At any given time of day or night, Kennedy Plaza in Providence is teeming with activity. High school kids who skipped school, politicians hanging around City Hall waiting for envelopes stuffed with cash, college students arriving by bus or waiting for Bonanza to take them back to the Big Apple.

And many of them want to take a leak, or more.
Males who find themselves in the area and need to relieve themselves have two options:

1. They can find an alley behind City Hall, which serves the dual purpose of relieving the pressure on one’s bladder while at the same time making a clear statement about the effectiveness of city government, or . . .
2. Navigating your way through a labrinth and using the facilities in the Biltmore lobby, which are actually located in the bottom floor of the attached McCormick& Schmick’s restaurant. Which is a problem, because the head is guarded by a machine gun nest and a woman who has spent most of her adult life as a guard in a Bulgarian women’s prison.

The Biltmore has a vested interest in keeping the riff raff out, especially since it’s a tired facility trying to fight time and maintain its fading image in the face of high-end competition from the nearby Omni Providence. That doesn’t mean you can’t find a way, though.

First, get into the Biltmore lobby, which is easy as long as you are not wearing ripped jeans, carrying a ratty backpack and have a two-month growth of beard. Walk confidently to the left of the large column, head through the door that leads to the restaurant, tell the Bulgarian prison guard that you are going to the bar, take a quick left and then -- when you think the guard is not looking, head down the stairs.

(Note: If you try to enter the restaurant from the outside and not the Biltmore lobby, you may see a sign that there is no public restroom. Ignore it.)

Assuming you get inside the men’s room and don’t have to pay immediate attention to any bullet wounds from the machine gun, you’ll find a clean facility with several stalls, clean sinks, plenty of papers and – in case you want to linger a bit – renderings of antique cars and horses jumping over fences.

Nice place. Class. Clean. Quiet. Everything you need. Two-ply paper, even.

You just have to figure out a way to get there.

Circlingthedrain Male, 69 years old.
Providence, Rhode Island
On January 28, 2014, 12:18 pm
What I Did in Here: Everything except rode the zip line

6 months ago, and fine

If you can survive crossing a few dangerous streets on your way out of the Dunkin’ Donuts Center, Trinity Brewhouse is a decent place to both eat food and get rid of it before or after a game or concert.

You can’t get a Heineken, Blue Moon draft or Miller Lite at Trinity, but if you like specialty brews, this is the place. They’ve got a pretty wide variety of suds they brew themselves, which they off-load to various liquor outlets throughout the state. Never really got into the brewpub scene, but Trinity and a few others in the city seem to have a loyal following.

The problem with Trinity isn’t so much the beer as the food, which is pretty much standard bar fare. Commenters on Yelp and other sites all seem to have the same issue with Trinity – the restaurant offers wings at great prices, then has the nasty habit of running out a few hours before closing. Not sure if this is true all the time, but often enough to get singed on social media.

In warm weather you can sit outside, as long as you’re not bothered by an occasional panhandler, and when the manager is in a good mood he or she will ease overcrowding near the bar and open the downstairs area. But don’t hold your breath on that.

If you need to let loose and don’t plan to sit down and eat/drink, you will have to run a gauntlet. Walk in the front door and immediately go right. You might need to talk your way past a host or hostess, but you can do that by saying you want to sit at the bar. Keep going right, then when the bar ends, hook a left and the head is behind a false wall.

The men’s room ambience is not great – there are rolls of paper towels on top of the dispenser and on my visit the sink needed a little Formula 409. But the nuts and bolts were fine – the urinal was clean and the toilet had no issues. And the good thing is you can lock yourself in and grunt and grind to your heart’s content.

Not the Taj Mahals of men’s room, but more than adequate.
Circlingthedrain Male, 69 years old.
Providence, Rhode Island
On January 28, 2014, 11:19 am
What I Did in Here: Spied, basically

Just popped in, popped out

Tucked in tight between the Dunkin’ Donuts Center (home of Providence College basketball, Providence Bruins minor league hockey and big names in entertainment) and the Omni Hotel in the godawful glass and metal edifice known as the Rhode Island Convention Center.
The RICC (not to be confused with the Community College of Rhode Island) is home to a variety of gatherings, from bridal expos to cheerleading competitions for tweens. But the men’s rooms get the most use during the annual two-day Great International Beer Festival in November, at which time obnoxious males generally between the ages of 21 and 40 get hammered and say stupid things.
(The festival’s web site lists about three dozen types of beers that are available, then in small print at the bottom asks patrons to drink responsibly. OK.)
Off all the events at the RICC, the beer festival obviously puts the most stress on the myriad men’s rooms that are located on every floor. But if you just need to pop in and out, the most convenient entrance is the one located at the north end, across the street from the Omni Hotel. Head straight in the door, ignore the security guard who most likely will be sleeping, and the john is on the right, just past a short staircase. If the guard gives you any grief, tell him that you just used the ATM and have a right to use the bathroom.
As bathrooms go it’s pretty standard fare – two urinals (clean), two regular toilets (paper on the floor in one of them, and a toilet for handicapped folks. Pretty clean, but not spotless. One problem – this bathroom was out of paper towels, but it was Sunday night and Rhode Island is a union state after all.

Circlingthedrain Male, 69 years old.
Providence, Rhode Island
On January 28, 2014, 10:06 am
What I Did in Here: Frontal elimination only

beer, chicken wings and a beef

Two Birds One Stone is this new basement bar on 14th street that is part of some other restaurant whose name I can't remember, but I'm sure that restaurant is fine too.

The restrooms are two single occupancy units with one designated for men and the other for women even though they are the same, except for probably the wallpaper.

On this particular Friday night I had a long wait for this bathroom and it made me pretty upset. The line was not long -- I was actually first in line -- but the guy who was in there was taking forever. Eventually, a girl showed up to wait in line for the women's and that bothered me because I was planning on going in that one if the woman finished earlier. Turns out she did, but I was shit out of luck.

Pretty soon I started talking to the guy in line with me, yes a line had started to form, and I kind of started saying that I hoped the guy in this bathroom was either passing a kidney stone or had a woman in there with him. I said all of this loud enough that he could hear me through the walls. Personally, I hoped for neither because I did not want to enter and see the remnants of this, but due to his duration I was preparing myself for the worst while also trying to shame him into hurrying up.

Eventually, he left the bathroom and when I entered everything was in its right place. No gag inducing smells, he did not leave with a lady, and everything was fine.

Overall, the bathroom was fancy in that modern way where they try to give everything clean lines with a bit of futuristic and vintage features plus a little naughtiness when they can. A wall of nude pin-up girls fulfills the vintage and naughty side and nice fixtures meet the futuristic requirements. However, I would love it if some bathroom went too futuristic and had like a self-heating toilet seat, but the bathroom could also talk to you like Siri or Her. That would freak me out, but I might love it.

I'm gonna have to deduct some points from my bathroom review because of my long wait and the fact that people from the restaurant from upstairs can use this bathroom. It is like they are begging for long lines.
gunnergetya Male, 36 years old.
On January 26, 2014, 11:58 pm
What I Did in Here: #1 while looking at classy vintage naked women on the wall

Bacon turkey Bravo and all I can say is Bravo

Okay, so I go to Panera once a week as part of my routine and the bathroom is cash money. It is huge. It could literally fit 3 other urinals, but it holds just one toilet. Now this could prove a problem because men can pee all over the seat. However, I have not seen this problem once, so I am assuming the staff cleans it once an hour. And speaking of clean, it is very clean. I once ate my bacon turkey bravo off the floor. Don't judge me.

As most bathrooms I visit, this one has not one, but two BIGGGG trash cans. One is next to the sink to dispose hand towels and the other, is wait wait wait, across the room, a good 6 feet. If you're reading this saying, "Why is this a good thing?" Well that is because if you decide to stay on the toilet a little longer and you get bored or your legs go numb you can start working on your shooting skills. My squat shot has increased by 56.8967 % since I started going to Panera.

The hardest part about using this bathroom is getting the code for the door. You do need to know the code to enter, so you may have to buy a cup of coffee in advance. I say keep the receipt or memorize the code for the next time because they change the code either weekly or monthly. But other than that this is a great squat location and when you're done you can go enjoy some hazelnut coffee.
PoopyDoopy Male, 28 years old.
New York, New York
On January 22, 2014, 8:36 pm
What I Did in Here: Sat, Sat, Sat, Nothing happened, pee'd