Explore the Door-Next-Door

Photo by John Kane

Photo by John Kane

Micheal Hogan

Here on campus we tend to feel so isolated, so far from the hustle and bustle of the big city, but that doesn’t mean that we don’t have the same choices those other colleges and universities have when it comes to dining and entertainment. Sure, we can’t step right outside of our dorm rooms and stumble into a McDonalds (this is probably largely due to the fact that we don’t have dorm rooms or that there is no McDonalds within walking distance), but with a little bit of walking there is plenty to be found right here in our own backyard.

In introducing you to the hidden gems that are all around us I feel it is appropriate to begin this week with UMass’ unofficial bar: The Banshee. For years now UMB students who’ve dared to venture beyond the JFK/UMass T-Station have found refreshments and entertainment at this Dorchester bar. Located at 934 Dorchester Ave, The Banshee is the closest bar to campus and therefore is where we will start our weekly tour of area establishments.

As can probably be deduced by the name, The Banshee is one of the many Irish pubs we will encounter in the Dorchester/South Boston area. A quiet place to grab lunch during the day, The Banshee comes alive at night! Stop by any evening and you’ll find the place packed with friendly locals and the jukebox will be jumping with Top 40 hits and classic tunes. The staff is courteous and attentive; always ready and willing to refill your glass or take your order. The menu consists mainly of your average pub fare; burgers, steak tips, chicken fingers. Being an Irish pub one can find the Irish dishes they would expect to find like the traditional Irish breakfast and corned beef sandwiches. The beer selection is average with beers ranging from Budweiser to Bass. Of course, you’ll find Guinness and Sam Adams seeing this is an Irish bar in Dorchester. The atmosphere is perfect for your average college student, not as uptight and expensive as the more upscale places but not as dark and dreary as a dive bar.There is a large room upstairs with benches, pool, and tables for larger groups (great for card games & quieter conversation than by the bar). But, be aware that you usually have to make the walk downstairs for drinks and food as the staff is too busy to deliver stuff upstairs. Overall, The Banshee is a great place to take some friends for a couple of drinks and a bite to eat after a long day of classes.

Dorchester and South Boston are chock full of great places to eat and drink. It just takes a little motivation to find them. But, not to worry, I will do the walking, the eating, and the writing and report back on what I find. Check back next week for more recommendations on where to go and what to do in the UMass area.