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Let's make a list of bars without TVs

r
robwat36 Apr 20, 2011 06:56 AM

After spending an entire meal at Russell House having no choice but to stare at the Bruins game behind my friend's head (seriously, that table in the downstairs bar area under the TV is brutal), I started making a mental list of TV-free bars. (I realize there are plenty of restaurants that don't have them.)

Anyway, after Drink, No. 9 Park, Clio, and the upstairs bar at Marliave, my brain stopped. Where else can you go to have a drink and avoid the game?

  1. p
    presidentsoup Apr 18, 2012 05:10 AM

    Cool! There's a blog called Eat Your TV based on this exact premise. http://eatyourtv.wordpress.com/direct...

    please feel free to submit more, or tell them if a bar is in the list but shouldn't be.

    1. steinpilz Jan 31, 2012 01:05 AM

      Does Casablanca have a TV?

      1. l
        LeoLioness Jan 30, 2012 10:01 AM

        Backbar in Union Square (Somerville).

        1. h
          huuvola Jan 30, 2012 09:36 AM

          Atwood's Tavern in Cambridge removed its lone remaining TV a few months ago. That move, combined with an improved menu, great new patio, and impressive draft beer list, have moved it just a little nearer and dearer to my heart.

          -----
          Atwood's Tavern
          877 Cambridge St, Cambridge, MA 02141

          1. d
            dsarver Jan 27, 2012 11:59 AM

            great idea. I believe Saloon in davis doesn't have a tv.

            1 Reply
            1. re: dsarver
              p
              Parsnipity Jan 27, 2012 12:56 PM

              Ah, Davis Square. No one's mentioned Underbones (downstairs at Redbones). Great for beer, no TV.

            2. yarm Jan 27, 2012 06:59 AM

              Clio's bar did have a tv although it was rarely on. I'm curious to see what they did with the space over the last 2 weeks during renovations.

              http://cocktailvirgin.blogspot.com/

              3 Replies
              1. re: yarm
                yarm Feb 1, 2012 06:41 AM

                Went last night, and there is no television! Bartender Todd Maul requested that it be removed since he had no interest in it and it was distracting. Even if he didn't want it on, guests would request it when there was a game (and sometimes fight about it when there were two different games on).

                http://cocktailvirgin.blogspot.com/

                1. re: yarm
                  g
                  Gabatta Feb 1, 2012 07:39 AM

                  How does the overall space look post renovation?

                  1. re: Gabatta
                    yarm Feb 1, 2012 08:09 AM

                    When we arrived, the restaurant part was dark as there was only one diner left and she was sitting at the bar. The bar is rather well lit (or back lit) from the booze shelves. They took out the lounge area by the short end of the bar and extended the bar out another 3 seats (which added another drink making station) and another chair or two might be added in the future. The bar top is wood instead of white marble. There are definitely improvements but some set backs. Still the same old Todd making awesome drinks -- now with new experiments from his rotovap.

              2. a
                aregularjoe Jan 26, 2012 01:44 PM

                The bar at No. 9 Park has no TV

                1. a
                  Area Man Apr 26, 2011 02:07 PM

                  Hungry Mother
                  Matt Murphy's
                  Neptune Oyster
                  Orinoco
                  Publick House
                  The Middle East

                  -----
                  Neptune Oyster
                  63 Salem St Ste 1, Boston, MA 02113

                  Matt Murphy's
                  14 Harvard St, Brookline, MA 02445

                  Hungry Mother
                  Cambridge, MA, Cambridge, MA

                  Publick House
                  1648 Beacon St, Brookline, MA

                  Middle East Restaurant
                  472 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge, MA 02139

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: Area Man
                    k
                    Kinopio Jan 27, 2012 09:16 AM

                    Publick House has 2 TVs I believe. The Monk's Cellar part of it does not have any so that would be a good place to have great beer and no TV.

                    Deep Ellum recently posted on their facebook that they were showing the Pats game with sound. I've only ever seen them play TCM on their TVs before so that struck me as odd.

                    I don't remember seeing any TVs at The Hawthorne.

                    1. re: Kinopio
                      g
                      Gabatta Jan 27, 2012 10:04 AM

                      It is the Super Bowl, and rumor has it a local team is playing. I assume Deep Ellum is making an exception as they would like to take advantage of this and get some business next Sunday evening.

                    2. re: Area Man
                      w
                      Wannabfoode Jan 30, 2012 01:27 PM

                      Neptune Oyster does have a tv, but its not often on

                    3. apilston Apr 25, 2011 06:44 PM

                      Eastern Standard has TVs, but most of the time they're in closed cabinets behind the bar. I've only been in there once when they were visible. Which is one of the reasons we keep going back.

                      -----
                      Eastern Standard
                      528 Commonwealth Avenue, Boston, MA 02215

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: apilston
                        h
                        hazelhurst Apr 26, 2011 05:49 AM

                        I don;t know this place--or a lot of others on here---but that close to Fenway I'd be surprised if the Red Sox were not on when playing. (I don't even mind if it is on so long as it is not loud and people are not yelling. Some places, sure, but not everywhere...)

                        1. re: apilston
                          l
                          LeoLioness Apr 26, 2011 07:20 AM

                          Any time I've been there during a Sox game, the game is on.

                        2. b
                          bigsnow Apr 25, 2011 06:26 PM

                          The Haven in JP has a small TV by the bar, but I have never seen it on over the course of several visits. It may be that they only have it on when the local teams are playing.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: bigsnow
                            c
                            Canadian Tuxedo Apr 26, 2011 08:47 AM

                            It usually has soccer on, and if there is no match, then a movie. The handful of times I've been to the Haven I can't recall ever seeing a local sports team on the TV.

                          2. c
                            charlestown_matt Apr 25, 2011 10:58 AM

                            The only place I would categorize as a bar, and which has not been mentioned, is Shays Pub in Harvard Sq.

                            In terms of restaurants that have distinctive bar areas and do not have TVs at the bar, I can think of the following:

                            Craigie on Main
                            Marco
                            Blue Room
                            Toro
                            Garden in the Cellar (upstairs)
                            Upstairs on the Square

                            -----
                            Toro
                            1704 Washington St, Boston, MA 02118

                            Craigie on Main
                            853 Main Street, Cambridge, MA 02139

                            The Blue Room
                            Hampshire and Portland streets, Cambridge, MA 02139

                            4 Replies
                            1. re: charlestown_matt
                              m
                              melon Apr 25, 2011 01:13 PM

                              Shays actually has a TV at the bar and it is often on. That said, it is at the far end of a long skinny bar area so it's not all that distracting.

                              1. re: melon
                                c
                                charlestown_matt Apr 25, 2011 01:17 PM

                                Oops, my mistake. I could not recall a TV being in there.

                                Another place that came to mind is the outside bar at the Salty Dog in Faneuil Hall. No TVs, and no games on the radio. Just music.

                                1. re: charlestown_matt
                                  a
                                  Area Man Apr 26, 2011 02:01 PM

                                  I am going to be cheeky and corroborate charlestown_matt and say that Shay's does not in fact have a tv. Sure, there is a tv /inside/ the bar, but when one visits Shay's one MUST sit /outside/ on the patio, which does not have a tv.

                                  1. re: Area Man
                                    g
                                    Gabatta Apr 26, 2011 02:22 PM

                                    Good luck getting a seat.

                            2. Berheenia Apr 25, 2011 03:44 AM

                              Washington Square Tavern doesn't have TV.

                              -----
                              Washington Square Tavern
                              714 Washington St, Brookline, MA 02446

                              1. Beachowolfe Apr 24, 2011 07:01 PM

                                Don't think there's a TV upstairs at Woodward and the one downstairs is in a cabinet and I've never seen it open.

                                1. r
                                  robwat36 Apr 24, 2011 06:59 PM

                                  Hate to reply to my own thread again, but...upstairs bar at Sel de la Terre Back Bay and The Enormous Room.

                                  -----
                                  Enormous Room
                                  569 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge, MA 02139

                                  Sel de la Terre
                                  774 Boylston St., Boston, MA 02199

                                  1. c
                                    Crawfordesquire Apr 24, 2011 05:12 PM

                                    Santarpios in east boston. No tv.

                                    1. digga Apr 20, 2011 06:29 PM

                                      Disclaimer: We MUST have a game on when eating at the bar.

                                      That said, Flatbread in Davis Sq. doesn't have a TV at the bar. Facing the bowling lanes from the bar is enough of a hoot!

                                      1. d
                                        Ducksworth Apr 20, 2011 12:32 PM

                                        City Bar in the Back Bay has no TV - not sure about the one on the Waterfront.

                                        1 Reply
                                        1. re: Ducksworth
                                          BostonZest Apr 20, 2011 04:39 PM

                                          Hamersley's does not have a TV at the bar. And, so far, I haven't seen aware of one at Island Creek Oyster Bar but we always eat at the dining bar.

                                          This may be my new favorite conversation and I'm so happy to see that I'm not alone in avoiding places with TVs. So many times one of us will nominate a restaurant for dinner and the other one will say, Yes, but they have a TV. We've stopped going to places we love because the tvs and distracted staff takes away from the dining experience.

                                          Penny
                                          http://www.bostonzest.com/

                                          -----
                                          Island Creek Oyster Bar
                                          500 Commonwealth Ave, Boston, MA 02215

                                        2. b
                                          Bostonphotobill Apr 20, 2011 09:58 AM

                                          Temazcal

                                          -----
                                          Temazcal
                                          250 Northern Ave, Boston, MA 02210

                                          1. mtm7654 Apr 20, 2011 09:25 AM

                                            As for Alba in Quincy-the one time I was there for dinner it was so loud that we couldn't hear each other across the table. Can't imagine the bar area is any quieter.........

                                            1. MC Slim JB Apr 20, 2011 09:11 AM

                                              The Franklin Cafe, The Franklin Southie, and The Citizen Public House.

                                              I was in Union Bar & Grill not too long ago, and they still had a TV, but it had moved from its prior location at one end of the bar to its center. It may not have been on, but the game usually is on there.

                                              http://mcslimjb.blogspot.com/

                                              -----
                                              Franklin Southie
                                              152 Dorchester Ave, Boston, MA 02127

                                              12 Replies
                                              1. re: MC Slim JB
                                                g
                                                Gabatta Apr 20, 2011 09:26 AM

                                                Did the Franklin ditch their TV? It is small and crappy, however the last time I was in there (last season) the Sox game was definitely on (no volume).

                                                1. re: Gabatta
                                                  MC Slim JB Apr 20, 2011 09:38 AM

                                                  They have always had one, but it is almost always off. A few exceptions I've noted: 9/11, a few Sox playoff games.

                                                  http://mcslimjb.blogspot.com/

                                                  1. re: MC Slim JB
                                                    g
                                                    Gabatta Apr 20, 2011 10:22 AM

                                                    I've seen it on for regular season Sox games, as well as some Celtics games as well.

                                                2. re: MC Slim JB
                                                  jgg13 Apr 20, 2011 10:09 AM

                                                  Citizen has a TV, they had the sox game on friday night.

                                                  1. re: jgg13
                                                    MC Slim JB Apr 20, 2011 10:10 AM

                                                    That's one I wasn't sure of: I usually have my head down in that bar. Must be impossible not to have a TV in the vicinity of Fenway Park.

                                                    http://mcslimjb.blogspot.com/

                                                    -----
                                                    Fenway Park
                                                    82 Lansdowne Street, Boston, MA 02215

                                                    1. re: MC Slim JB
                                                      jgg13 Apr 20, 2011 10:36 AM

                                                      It had been a while since I was in there and had never noticed at TV before. I'm guessing maybe they only show the Sox games or something like that for the same reason you cite. I was actually a little bit surprised, although for that particular night it was somewhat welcome.

                                                      1. re: MC Slim JB
                                                        r
                                                        robwat36 Apr 20, 2011 10:42 AM

                                                        That's why I started this thread; it's hard to be sure just from memory.

                                                        1. re: robwat36
                                                          h
                                                          hazelhurst Apr 20, 2011 11:52 AM

                                                          This is F$&%@!% great! I see a trip to Somerville in my future. The Burren sounds like just the thing

                                                          -----
                                                          Burren
                                                          247 Elm St, Somerville, MA 02144

                                                          1. re: hazelhurst
                                                            f
                                                            food_lubber Apr 20, 2011 12:25 PM

                                                            The Burren ALWAYS seems like just the thing for me.

                                                            -----
                                                            Burren
                                                            247 Elm St, Somerville, MA 02144

                                                          2. re: robwat36
                                                            jgg13 Apr 20, 2011 12:37 PM

                                                            It's also worth noting the difference between "sometimes has a game on" and "always has something on". This is true in both directions, I've been burnt from time to time assuming a game will be on at a particular bar and nothing because they only put special games on.

                                                      2. re: MC Slim JB
                                                        f
                                                        Fort Point Apr 20, 2011 12:03 PM

                                                        Believe you are right, there many be a TV in the center of the bar at Union.

                                                        1. re: Fort Point
                                                          MC Slim JB Apr 24, 2011 05:51 PM

                                                          Confirmed: Union's TV is now at the center of the bar.

                                                          http://mcslimjb.blogspot.com/

                                                      3. m
                                                        mkfisher Apr 20, 2011 08:57 AM

                                                        Mr. Dooleys doesn't have TV's.

                                                        1. C. Hamster Apr 20, 2011 08:48 AM

                                                          I could be wrong, but I dont think Alba in Quincy has a tv

                                                          1 Reply
                                                          1. re: C. Hamster
                                                            CocoDan Jan 30, 2012 09:58 AM

                                                            C., They have 2 right above the backbar.
                                                            CocoDan

                                                          2. r
                                                            rknrll Apr 20, 2011 08:43 AM

                                                            The old zbar side of Trina's.

                                                            2 Replies
                                                            1. re: rknrll
                                                              Bob Dobalina Apr 20, 2011 09:31 AM

                                                              Can't remember - is there a TV at Chez Henri? Maybe a tiny one, usually off?

                                                              Also, River Gods.

                                                              1. re: rknrll
                                                                yarm Jan 27, 2012 06:56 AM

                                                                Now a sports pub (same owners, same kitchen) replete with lots of flat screens.

                                                                http://cocktailvirgin.blogspot.com/

                                                              2. l
                                                                LeoLioness Apr 20, 2011 07:57 AM

                                                                No TV at Bergamot's bar.

                                                                1. StevieC Apr 20, 2011 07:47 AM

                                                                  The Green Dragon has one or two (?) small TVs on the dining side, but the bar does not, and with the configuration they aren't even noticeable. I can't think of another bar in the Faneuil Hall area where that is the case.

                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                  1. re: StevieC
                                                                    r
                                                                    robwat36 Apr 20, 2011 08:17 AM

                                                                    The Beehive does that too...there's a TV on the side of the downstairs bar that faces the alley out back, but it's invisible to most of the room.

                                                                  2. f
                                                                    Fort Point Apr 20, 2011 07:37 AM

                                                                    Was at Union Bart and Grill recently and was surprised to see the TV had been removed from the bar area.

                                                                    3 Replies
                                                                    1. re: Fort Point
                                                                      h
                                                                      hazelhurst Apr 20, 2011 07:44 AM

                                                                      Removing a TV? My God, that is like removing a traffic light (those things never go away). If this is permanent it is progress....has it been gone long or is there reason to fear it is only being replaced?

                                                                      1. re: hazelhurst
                                                                        f
                                                                        Fort Point Apr 20, 2011 07:59 AM

                                                                        Don't know the answer to you question of gone long or being replaced.

                                                                        1. re: Fort Point
                                                                          h
                                                                          hazelhurst Apr 20, 2011 08:02 AM

                                                                          OK..just pop a line if you find out anything. I stand as second to none in my devotion to the Sox but I just like a place where I can avoid that stuff sometimes. No matter how much I explain it, people seem to think that their hollering gets through the screen and onto the field/court. At the Cask n' Flagon, sure...

                                                                    2. z
                                                                      Zut Apr 20, 2011 07:23 AM

                                                                      The Delux Cafe has a TV - but as the TV, as a strict rule, is only turned to the Cartoon Network, I consider it effectively a bar with no TVs.

                                                                      -----
                                                                      Delux Cafe
                                                                      100 Chandler St, Boston, MA 02116

                                                                      1. hiddenboston Apr 20, 2011 07:20 AM

                                                                        The Brendan Behan in JP has no TVs. And I THINK that Grendel's Den in Cambridge doesn't, either, but I'm not 100% sure about that.

                                                                        And I agree with hazelhurst--you are indeed doing the Lord's Work.

                                                                        5 Replies
                                                                        1. re: hiddenboston
                                                                          trufflehound Apr 20, 2011 07:22 AM

                                                                          A little outside, but the Dive Bar and Armsby Abbey in Worcester.

                                                                          -----
                                                                          Armsby Abbey
                                                                          144 Main Street, Worcester, MA

                                                                          1. re: trufflehound
                                                                            invinotheresverde Apr 25, 2011 04:26 AM

                                                                            Armsby has a big tv in the left side of the bar. In your defense, though, I've never actually seen it turned on.

                                                                          2. re: hiddenboston
                                                                            z
                                                                            Zut Apr 20, 2011 07:26 AM

                                                                            Ah, but The Behan does show the Sox (and other sports, including, I think, the Premier League) on a pull-down screen. So I don't quite classify it as a refuge from all sports.

                                                                            1. re: hiddenboston
                                                                              c
                                                                              Canadian Tuxedo Apr 20, 2011 08:36 AM

                                                                              The Behan not only has the pull-down screen, but they also have a small flat screen in that same corner. Fortunately it is only on during local games (so no ESPN just because something has to be playing), but it is there.

                                                                              Similarly, Silvertone has a TV that I think is only on for local games. But that still doesn't get to the point of this thread.

                                                                              -----
                                                                              Silvertone
                                                                              69 Bromfield St, Boston, MA 02108

                                                                              1. re: hiddenboston
                                                                                Bob MacAdoo Apr 20, 2011 03:36 PM

                                                                                I watched Game 7 of the Celtics/Lakers series last spring at the Behan ... don't know if trhat was a random event.

                                                                              2. f
                                                                                food_lubber Apr 20, 2011 07:11 AM

                                                                                Although much more of a dive bar than any you listed, the Burren in Davis Square has no televisions...I know because my husband refuses to go there on game nights for that reason alone.

                                                                                -----
                                                                                Burren
                                                                                247 Elm St, Somerville, MA 02144

                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                1. re: food_lubber
                                                                                  r
                                                                                  robwat36 Apr 20, 2011 08:24 AM

                                                                                  I love The Burren. Doesn't need to be an upscale list, those are just the ones that came to mind first.

                                                                                  -----
                                                                                  Burren
                                                                                  247 Elm St, Somerville, MA 02144

                                                                                2. srsone Apr 20, 2011 07:04 AM

                                                                                  maybe u need this ......
                                                                                  http://www.tvbgone.com/cfe_tvbg_main.php

                                                                                  1. h
                                                                                    hazelhurst Apr 20, 2011 06:58 AM

                                                                                    You are doing the Lord's Work..I don;t live there but visit enough that the resulting list will be laminated and carried in my wallet.

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