The Mass Media Pub Crawl

Michael Hogan

The pub crawl:

A well known hobby of those who like their booze, but want a little exercise thrown in too.  It is a pretty simple concept. Rather than spending all night at the same stool at some dank bar, you spend the night at a number of stools at a number of dank bars, all in the same night.

While most people flock to areas populated by the more well known watering holes for their pub crawls. Here in Boston that could be Harvard Square, Faneuil Hall, Boylston Street, any number of places. I like my pub crawls on the lesser known side.

Instead of heading out with the rest of the flocks of college students looking for libations elsewhere in the city, I decided to blaze my own pub crawl trail and stay a little closer to home. I made my way to a relatively short stretch of Dorchester Avenue I like to call “a short stretch of Dorchester Avenue.” I know, not a very catchy name.  I’ll need to work on that. But, it is not about the name, it is about the bars.

So, let’s get started.

The Avenue Grille

856 Dorchester Avenue

Dorchester, MA 02125

(617) 288-8000

Like CF Donovan’s, this place is more restaurant than bar. Another hidden treasure in this small neighborhood, The Avenue Grille is the kind of place that keeps you coming back time and time again. Just the right mixture of elegance and charm, this is The Avenue Grille. You could almost call this place a bistro, it has that sort of feel to it. But, you could also just call it a local neighborhood hangout, it has that feel at the same time. No matter what you call it, The Avenue Grille is top notch when it comes to Dorchester dining. And, unfortunately, it is the last stop on our pub crawl through Dorchester.

C.F. Donovan’s

112 Savin Hill Avenue

Dorchester, MA 02125

(617) 436-2226

Located just across the street from the Savin Hill stop on the red line, C.F Donovan’s is a bit more fancy and a tad less trendy than The Blarney Stone. Some of the best food in Dorchester comes out of this cozy little neighborhood spot. Separated into a large dining room and a snug bar, this is the place to find families, neighborhood regulars, as well as a younger set. If Cheers were a real place in Boston, this would be it. This is the kind of place where people want to know who you are, a friendly, local place. Sometimes while you are enjoying your meal, Arthur Donovan himself will come by and check on you. Does it get anymore consumer affable than that?

The Blarney Stone

1509 Dorchester Avenue

Dorchester, MA 02122

(617) 288-8806

This gem near the Fields Corner stop on the red line is the first stop on our trip. One of the most underrated nightspots in the city of Boston, The Blarney Stone is the highlight of the Dorchester bar scene. This is not at all like The Blarney Stone your parents might remember. Once just another local watering hole, it is now one of those hip joints that draws crowds every night. The food is some of the best in the neighborhood, drinks range from your average beer to something a little more fancy like the cactus pear margarita. Unlike most neighborhood hangouts, this place also has a dance floor. Seasoned dancers and awkward gyrators alike can find a groove at The Blarney Stone.

Harp and Bard

1099 Dorchester Avenue

Dorchester, MA 02125

(617) 282-1248

The Harp and Bard is like many other bars you will find in Boston, or any other big city for that matter. Good food, good drinks, and great atmosphere. Heaping servings of good old comfort are dished out here, along with a good selection of beers. Like most places in this section of Dorchester, the clientele is a good mix of families and your professionals. The prices are great for the large amounts of food you get. And, with plasma TVs all around, there is really not a bad seat in the house.

The Banshee

934 Dorchester Avenue

Dorchester, MA 02125

(617) 436-9747

The unofficial bar of UMass Boston, The Banshee is a local mecca for soccer fans. From the Premier League to World Cup you find them here, as well as a pretty decent crowd of people rooting on their favorites. Like most Irish bars, The Banshee serves a great Guinness and fish and chips. The menu is filled with old pub favorites, from buffalo tenders and potato skins loaded beyond capacity with toppings to burgers and steaks.