HOME > Chowhound > Greater Boston Area >

Discussion

Impossible to find dive bars downtown?

In town for a conference, staying at the Sheraton on Dalton Street downtown. Looking for a place or places within walking distance to take a different group of 20-30 people per night for a few beers. A dive bar would be fantastic, but I know that's unlikely downtown, right? So just somewhere that isn't a chain and has a fun atmosphere and a good beer selection (lots of beer aficionados in the bunch).

Thanks everybody!

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
Delete
  1. I think Bukowski is right at your doorstep - maybe not *quite* as divey as you might want, but it should more than fit the bill, particularly since it is within stumbling distance.
    Oh, and do they have a beer selection - they have a wheel of beer selections. Go there and see. You'll be set.
    I believe there are some divey places along Mass. Ave. too.

    3 Replies
    1. re: Bob Dobalina

      Bukowski's is kinda tiny for 20-30, no?
      I say hop in a cab and head over to the Beacon Hill Pub if you want a real dive.

      1. re: CityPork

        It's not that small, I don't think. Anyway, they can just take over the place.

      2. re: Bob Dobalina

        TC's Lounge is about a block away on Haviland Street and definitely fits the bill as divey. Not exactly a great beer selection but DEFINITELY worth a visit!

      3. FYI, we think of that area as Back Bay vs. downtown - not sure about the size, but Bukowski across the street may fit the bill for a dive bar with good beer selection, Kings Bowling across the street is not a chain and fun atmosphere (even if not bowling) and Summer Shack is another possible spot also across the street (probably the smallest beer selection). The latter two will both easily accomodate a group that size.

        There are lots of bars on Boylston St that may work as well but I haven't been to them in a long time - I'm thinking of the Pour House and Whiskey's specifically.

        2 Replies
        1. re: rlh

          If right downtown is an option, I must also nominate Biddy Early's on Pearl St as a divey option supreme.

          1. re: rlh

            I second Biddy Early's if you're heading downtown. I stopped by there before a Playin Dead harbor cruise last month and was blown away when the total for 3 bottles of Bud and a Makers on the rocks only came to $9. I thought I was in a time warp. It's definitely a place where your drinking problem doesn't seem so bad when compared to those around you.

        2. J.J. Foleys is a great choice, plenty of room for your party and right around the corner on Kingston St. The jukebox there is one of the better ones in town and the old school Irish pub feel is excellent.

          7 Replies
          1. re: ChickenBrocandZiti

            I love Foley's and it is way old school, but it isn't really a dive.

            1. re: ChickenBrocandZiti

              The downtown Foley's isn't right around the corner from the Sheraton on Dalton St. More like a mile and a half. Not far via the Green Line, but a good 30 minutes on foot. T.C. Haviland's is a good suggestion, since it's really close, plenty divey (if often hosting a youthful crowd) and big enough to accommodate a group that size. Bukowski won't work if it has any kind of a crowd already: too tight. I think the bar at Woody's, a pretty good wood-oven pizza place, might also work, and is pretty close by. Other options include the Last Drop on Mass Ave near Marlborough St, and the Crossroads on Beacon St near Mass Ave.

              1. re: MC Slim JB

                Ahhhhh Dalton St. Right. Foley's is about as divey as Downtown gets, unless you want to venture into Chinatown.

                1. re: ChickenBrocandZiti

                  Chinatown has lost a few of it's "dive bars." Both Bernie's and Weggie's have closed.

                  1. re: 9lives

                    Don't forget Playland! That's a bona fide dive bar with its sketchy clientele.

                    1. re: nasilemak

                      lol, playland is long gone.

                      the tam is over there though and that fits. about a 15 minute walk from the sheraton.

                      1. re: nasilemak

                        Playland is long gone...definitely sketchy crowd...could meet the nicest women there..:)

              2. Can't think of too many right around the corner from there, but if you don't mind walking a bit, there are a lot of options.

                In addition to the already-mentioned Pour House, Whiskey's, JJ Foley's, Bukowski's, and TC's Lounge, there is also the Red Hat on Bowdoin Street (Beacon Hill--about a 20-minute walk), the Sevens on Charles Street (Beacon Hill), the Bell in Hand (Union Street near Quincy Market), the Green Dragon (Marshall Street, near the Bell in Hand), Ames Plow (Quincy Market), the Elephant and Castle on Devonshire Street (Financial District), Jacob Wirth (Stuart Street, downtown--not quite a dive, but lots of fun), and the Intermission Tavern (around the corner from Jacob Wirth).

                And those are just the places I hit last night (KIDDING). :-D

                1. Dive bar closest to the Sheraton would be Daisy Buchanan's on Newbury @ Fairfield. The places along Boylston in that area are a bit more upscale.

                  8 Replies
                  1. re: BBHound

                    Daisy Buchanan's def fits the bill and is always a good time. Also Beacon Hill Pub and the Sail Loft around Government Center (give or take) are good as well.

                    1. re: duxdubai

                      Sail Loft on the waterfront isn't a dive bar..mostly suits and polo shirts.

                      eta...Tam ..on Tremont is a dive bar..not a great beer selection but a few..and Jacob Wirth around the corner has a great beer selection.

                      1. re: 9lives

                        The Sail Loft is dirty and grimey but the clientele most definetly a Vineyard Vines, madras shorts, polo shirt going on thursday b/c we'll be in Nantucket on Friday crowd.

                        The beer selection and dive bar is tough as I can't come up with great suggestions but Conor Larkin's on Huntington Ave not too far away is college/divey ish and I would concur with Last Drop and Crossroads.

                        1. re: 9lives

                          I was waiting for someone to mention the Tam. Love that place. It is a major dive bar.

                      2. re: BBHound

                        Daisy's isn't a dive....it's a meat market. Big difference.

                          1. re: kate used to be 50

                            ok, don't know what happened to this post! the previous one was very pithy.

                            o well

                        1. re: BBHound

                          Daisy Buchanans is not really a "dive bar" IMO at night. It turns into a packed meat market full of the college and barely post-college types dancing on the bar, etc.