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Davis Square dive bars?

So I just moved to Davis Square from down south and I am very fond of seedy dive bars. I'm talking, greasy food, cheap beer, dimly lit, regulars, you know the drill. Anyway, not that I have anything wrong with going to the occasional trendy bar, but they all seem pretty trendy around here. Are there any good dives near Davis Square?

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  1. Sligo Pub. 237 Elm St. No food though.

    2 Replies
      1. re: MidCoastMaineiac

        Yeah other than the food...Sligo is your place. You can always bring your own in though.
        Mostly during the day and early evening...that's when you'll see the regulars. Nights (especially weekend) are packed with Tufts kids and the place loses its charm.

      2. I wouldn't consider Redbones trendy at all - or too much of a dive either. One of my favorite bars in the area due to its non-trendy, comfortable feeling. Beers aren't all that cheap though, unless you like PBR.

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        Redbones
        55 Chester St, Somerville, MA 02144

        6 Replies
        1. re: LStaff

          I brought a friend to Redbones who's lived in Atlanta since he was 5 or so. He absolutely loved the atmosphere in the bar and was calling his friends saying "I'm in a southern bar... in Boston!". We just got a few beers, so I didn't get his reaction to the food.

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          Redbones
          55 Chester St, Somerville, MA 02144

          1. re: jacquesf

            Atlanta isn't southern..even though Atlantans think they are. I have an Atlanta born-and-raised cousin that moved to take a job in Savannah and got called a carpetbagger.

            A southern bar has you sit on tree stumps for chairs and drink out of mason jars.

            I wouldn't consider Redbones a pure local bar or a dive bar - too many "special occasion" or "Hey, lets get some Cue tonight!" groups roll in there.

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            Redbones
            55 Chester St, Somerville, MA 02144

            1. re: grant.cook

              Mason jars, check. They have 'em for lemonade and sweet tea.

              Tree stumps? Well, then I'm glad Redbones isn't a "southern bar". It's a barbecue restaurant, so yeah, I'd expect a lot of people showing up there wanting barbecue. Funny that!

              1. re: Boston_Otter

                But what the original poster was asking for dive bars. Redbones is, as you said, a restaurant serving a specialty cuisine in a comfortable sit-down environment, so you get a lot of non-regulars showing up looking for their quarterly bbq fix, not the predominantly regular crowd the OP was looking for.

                Would you agree that Redbones doesn't really fit the dive bar criteria? I'll admit the food is greasy, but would you recommend it as a "regular place" - I mean, I love BBQ but it is going to get a bit tiring eating it all the time. As a generalization, dive bars serve burgers, pizza, and/or wings.. bar food.

                Redbones has 28 beers on tap.. great for a beer lover, but for a dive bar, a bit much. I like when a local place has some variety in their beer, but I don't really expect a dive bar to allow me to experiment with a variety of Belgian brews.

                I'll give props to Redbones as a BBQ restaurant in a city with little BBQ tradition. But its not a dive bar. Try for example, Lewis' in Norwood Center.. walk into the bar area (dimly lit, of course), order a Lewis Burger and bask in the true feel of a dive bar.

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                Redbones
                55 Chester St, Somerville, MA 02144

                1. re: grant.cook

                  It definitely depends what time of day you go. Much like Sligo, if you go during the day or early evening, the bar area will be full of regulars yelling at each other about the Sox or politics or the Big Dig or whatever, munching bar food and drinking cheap beer un-ironically. It's a great dive. But once dinner hits, the regulars take off and are replaced by locals drinking micro-brews and waiting for a table to eat their BBQ. Two very different feels to one bar :)

                  1. re: grant.cook

                    Redbones definitely has its regulars in the upstairs bar. May be hard to notice at dinner time with the crowds waiting for their names to be shouted, but show up when the Sox are playing and they will be there.

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                    Redbones
                    55 Chester St, Somerville, MA 02144

          2. Probably not the best neighborhood for a dive unless you do your drinking at off-hours, as rknrll suggested. The college presence is just too overwhelming.

            Maybe the Newtowne Grill in Porter Square? It's not dimly lit, but it meets the other requirements. I like to go there when I need a break from the trendy/upscale cocktail scene--sometimes you just want a pitcher of Bud or 2 or 5 and a basket of something fried.

            2 Replies
            1. re: LeoLioness

              Yeah Newtowne is also great.
              Like every bar...avoid trivia night (Wednesdays maybe, I forget.)
              Also a pitcher and greasy pizza deal...food isn't bad for bar food.

              1. re: LeoLioness

                Even newtowne is gentrifying a bit with college students & hipsters (hard to believe that those crowds constitute gentrification). Those two groups have decided that townie "dive" bars are the in thing so they're repopulating them all and leaving a mess in their wake.

                That said, I still love it. It's just far less dive-y, and way more crowded these days.

              2. A short walk from Davis Square is the Newtowne Grill on Mass. Ave. in Cambridge. Very dive-y, and the pizza is good.

                1. A couple of other suggestions not in Davis but in Somerville -

                  The Pub in Ball Square (within walking distance of Davis) is a old school bar - have not been myself. Yelp suggests good buffalo wings.

                  Definitely seek out the Paddock - excellent pizza, and caught in a time warp - this is probably as good as you will find.

                  Also if you walk into Cambridge down Walden Street, Paddy's Lunch is a classic - no food as far as I know -

                  A bit further afield and not to open up to all other areas of the city, but you may find intriguing Virgilio's Echo Bridge Restaurant in the Newton Upper Falls section of Newton (not particularly T-accessible) has really cheap, really very good Italian food and there are the cast of regulars.

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                  Paddy's Lunch
                  260 Walden St, Cambridge, MA 02138

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: Bob Dobalina

                    If you make it to Echo Bridge - bring your cash... :) I retied to pay with plastic one night, and was summarily shot down.

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                    Echo Bridge Restrnt
                    1068 Chestnut St, Newton Upper Falls, MA 02464

                    1. re: okra

                      Very good point, and one I always forget when I go there! I invariably fish the "emergency check" out of my wallet at Echo Bridge.