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Best Day Drinking

What are the best day drinking spots around?

+1 for good beer and spirits
+1 for on the cheap
+1 for great olde tyme conversation
+1 for non "Irish" bar

I'm not interested in a Bloody Mary on a rooftop patio by a pool on the weekend. I'm talking about unexpectedly getting out of work at lunch time and hunkering down at the bar until you're happily hammered.

I used to love the Abbey Lounge during the day with its ice cold beer and band of retired mischiefs. Whitney's was a daytime staple for me 10 years ago but Harvard Square is especially void of personality in the daytime. I imagine the Behan is a great time when the sun is up and the crowd is elsewhere.

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  1. Sligo's in Davis Square fits the bill. I've done a lot of day drinking at Mr. Dooleys on Broad st, pretty solid time.

    1. Sligo. The last operator of the Abbey (Steve) bartends most weekdays, so some of the same crew rolls over there.

      2 Replies
      1. re: rknrll

        I love the Sligo but it's definitely an Irish bar. I went there once and one of my friends asked if I was getting a Guinness (my default draft) and I jokingly said something about being in the right place to get a Guinness; the bartender misheard me and yelled THE FUCK DID YOU SAY, SONNY BOY? ...and then smiled and relaxed when I ordered a Guinness. It's that sort of bar!

      2. Shay's patio in nicer weather (if only for the fact that you can smoke and drink at the same time!)

        Foleys (Kingston St one). Mostly because tha lack of natural light makes
        it looks as dark in there at 11 am as it does at 11 pm.

        1. Love this thread. Some of my ideas:

          Lizzy's (formerly Pug's/Pugliese's) in East Cambridge still has a merry band of regulars, but now with a better selection of beer

          Nearby, Atwood's Tavern can be somewhat quiet during the day, but the food is good and the tap list solid.

          If you're looking for a dive bar with a motley collection of regulars, the Courtside near Lechmere fits the bill.

          Tavern at the End of the World (on the somerville/charlestown line) has a decent tap list, good bar food, and usually plenty of room at the bar.

          The Littlest Bar (downtown boston) is no longer that little, but has still retained some of its regulars from the previous location.

          Barking Crab (the smaller indoor bar) can be fun for beers and a chowder in the colder months.

          The Sevens in Beacon Hill is usually a mix of tourists and townies.

          The Red Hat in Scollay Square. Divey. A mix of townies and students.

          Now, if you *really* want good weekday atmosphere and entertaining drinking companions, go to Southie and find any old-school neighborhood bar.

          6 Replies
          1. re: huuvola

            I have been wanting to go to Lizzy's, Any other comments regarding the food? Is it more of a rowdy spot to go with a group or is it okay for a relatively quiet date night?

            Also, I agree on Atwood's. Nice spot all around. Especially in the warm weather when their back yard patio is open.

            21st Amendment has been a welcoming spot for us when we have day drinking desires.

            1. re: mvi

              Lizzy's has a small but decent menu (slanted toward bar food, but slightly better than your average bar). For example, the wings are procured from Mayflower Poultry next door (vs. a frozen Sysco package).

              It's worth checking out, but I wouldn't say it's a "date night" destination unless you go relatively early (I'm not being a snob; the space is just too small to be a "quiet date night"). Another caveat: Might want to avoid daytime Sundays, because they have an "all you can eat buffet brunch" until 3PM... which just isn't my cup of tea.

              Your best bet might be stop by, have a drink, take a look at the menu, and decide for yourself. If it doesn't fit the bill for food, Atwood's is just up the block.

              1. re: huuvola

                I live in the neighborhood, so I need to stop in. Thanks for the tips.

            2. re: huuvola

              Lizzys is not open during the day.

              1. re: ponyboy

                Ah, you're right. I guess I just assumed that they would replicate Pug's hours, but Lizzy's facebook page notes otherwise. Tue-Sat: 4pm-12:45am ; Sun: 11am-6pm

                1. re: huuvola

                  They were for a while, but then they closed & reopened. When they reopened it came with a much more trimmed down mandate - no more lunch, fewer food option, less ambitious drink options. It seemed like perhaps they gentrified too rapidly or something along those lines.

            3. If I get out of work early and want a nice cocktail I end up at West Bridge or Eastern Standard.

              When it's a shot and a beer I want then it's off to Corner Pub or Portugalia.

              Finally if Chelsea is playing an afternoon match or there is CL football on then Penguin Pizza or The Banshee is the spot.

              1 Reply
              1. re: Matt H

                agreed on west bridge if you need a good cocktail. also, at some point, State Park is supposed to have 'daytime hours' (not sure if that's weekday or weekend, and at what time)... but that would definitely cover a lot of OP's bases

              2. My list kind of falls down on the "non-Irish" score, and some require language skills for the conversation part, but:

                Paddy's Lunch
                J.J. Foley's Cafe (South End)
                Touchie's Shamrock Pub
                Corner Pub of Chinatown
                Whitney's Cafe
                Taverna Medallo
                The Drinking Fountain
                Brendan Behan


                1 Reply
                1. re: MC Slim JB

                  I've been to JJ Foleys twice, both this year. Both for before 3pm drinking. Assholes is how I'll describe everything and I'll not be back. Sorry.

                  My favorite day drinking spot us Doyle's in JP. Not that Irish on the scale on Boston Irish places.

                2. The bar inside the Boston Harbor Hotel, I think it's called the Rowes Wharf Bar is a good option. It's not cheap but it's cozy and dark and tucked away.

                  4 Replies
                  1. re: Karl

                    There's probably a worthwhile thread that should be started for "illicit trysting spots", places where you'd be unlikely to run into people you'd rather not, yet are not dives. I'd put Rowes Wharf Bar right up there, along with Nubar in the Sheraton Commander near Harvard Square, Sidney's Lounge at Le Méridien Cambridge-MIT, Bambara at the Marlowe. (Not for me, of course, but my imagination does work on the couples I sometimes see in those places.)


                    1. re: MC Slim JB

                      I used to cook at The Boston Harbor Hotel, and can confirm it's EXACTLY that type of place, weird shit happened at that bar and the now defunct Rowes Wharf Restaurant. Meritage is more on the level (I cooked at both the Rowes Wharf, and then Meritage)....I think the lighting would prevent that sort of illicit behaviour!

                      1. re: MC Slim JB

                        Although, ironically, not Tryst in Arlington Center.

                        1. re: MC Slim JB

                          This reminds me of this old thread:

                          But the criteria aren't actually the same - I had forgotten that Swankalicious was looking for someplace for a breakup.

                      2. Peoples Republic in Cambridge was always my #1 daytime drinking spot. Great people, cheap brews, darts and good vibe.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: CapecodKid

                          And fantastic for watching a football match during the day!

                          1. re: kewpie

                            I ended up drinking and watching Olympic hockey at The Boyne. Great bar food (old lady in the kitchen), cheap bevies (highlife and Jim Beam), off the beaten path and a great daytime bartender (Jess of Mello Bravo). I forgot The Peoples Republic is open during the day but I prefer out-of-the-way spots for solo day dranks.

                          2. Deep Ellum is my favorite daytime place, usually on a weekend in between brunch and evening. Dock it a point for prices, but award 3 for excellent beer&spirits, good people, and not "irish"

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: jajjguy

                              I totally agree! Also Lone Star next door has amazing guacamole and tacos. I love both these places, but only go during the day, since they get really crowded in the evening.