For better or worse (worse), it’s almost impossible to find a bar in the Boston area that isn’t constantly screaming televised nonsense into your face from open to close. The sad fact is, there’s basically no such thing in Boston as a bar that isn’t a sports bar. That said, there’s a difference between a bar that looks like a NORAD command center and a tasteful, understated place where you can keep abreast of the game while otherwise going about your normal life. Here are a few places (in no particular order) where you watch the game without feeling like someone who’s watching the game and without getting all of that douche-y Boston-ness all over you.
We’re already wading into dangerous territory here due to the undeniable Allston-icity fumbling all around you on the streets outside, but the bar in the back of the room with a few TVs (and pool tables), gives you a chance to sneak away from the music (Sir Sly tonight, Big D and the Kid’s Table on Saturday), and check on the score in between bands, or during the inevitable down-times when they’re “trying out some new stuff, if that’s OK with you guys”). Just try to arrange for a helicopter airlift out of there after the game before all the amateurs pour out onto the street, spilling their nachos and beer out of their drunken faceholes.
Downtown isn’t all bros in Pedroia jerseys. There are also plenty of spots where you can simply find bros in invisible, metaphorical Pedroia jerseys underneath their plaid snapfronts. While the room here is small, the TVs are prominent and the crowd will be engaged, but not so much so that it’s like a whole thing. Vastly better cocktails than you’ll find at your typical outpost of fandom, too.
The scruffier younger brother to Trina’s Starlite Lounge (its cool older sister), this is another small room, but it’s loaded with TVs and can get a bit boisterous and loud. Also a bonus: Beau, one of the owners, is a Pittsburgh fan, so you can give him crap about his sad almost-rans Pirates.
You wouldn’t expect a place with such refined food and cocktails to be a good place to watch the game — and that’s why it’s a good choice. No one else will expect it either. This is where I was for Victorino’s grand slam the other night. Two decent-sized TVs at the top notch bar mean you can glance back and forth from the game in between setting up your completely necessary Instagrams of your bitter amaro cocktails.
Another good option from running back and forth between the show (the absolutely face-melting Fidlar tonight) and the bar. But in this case, unlike BMH, you can get drinks made with some imagination. Or you can just drink a High Life and fernet and submit to the hipster tendencies you’ve been repressing this whole time. (It gets better).
It’s the rare “Irish pub” in the area that doesn’t translate into “wasted punters screaming at the tellie.” The Indo maintains its sense of Union Square cool while running a TV or two that you can check up on in between conversations about your Etsy store.