Nice piece by Beth Teitell in yesterday’s Boston Globe on disappearing local dive bars.
Boston’s Bars Taking a Dive
Rising rents, changing demographics have toll on corner taverns
One by one, Boston is losing its dive bars.
A few blocks away, on A Street, Bob Desimone, the owner of the Williams Tavern, is still pouring beer for his regulars, but not for much longer. At 69, he’s retiring and a developer is seeking approval to replace the one-story brick building with The Residences at One Hundred A.
But what about all the Brookline dive bars that have taken a dive over the past several decades?
There was Jacquals, which is now the Village Smokehouse.
And The Charlton, which is now the Coolidge Corner Clubhouse.
But best of all was Irving’s, a bar most Brookliners wouldn’t enter at gunpoint. For that very reason, it was the hardquaffing staff’s favorite watering hole for decades.
It also helped that the sign said IRVING’S LOUNCE.
Some highlight of the Irving’s Era:
1) We had our bachelor party at Irving’s, which the Missus crashed.
2) We have always insisted on living within walking distance from Irving’s.
3) We created this ad – pro bono – for Irving’s in 1987:
That was actually one of a series of ads. Another one had the headline “When the phone rings at Irving’s, the barkeep asks ‘Is everybody here?'”
(Along similar lines, Teitell’s Globe piece features this list of “Bartender’s phone rates” at Tom’s English Cottage in South Boston: “Not here” = $1. “On the way home” = $2. “Just left” = $3. “Haven’t seen them all day” = $4. “Who?” = $5.)
Anyway, Irving’s is now the Corrib Pub, and the hardlyquaffing staff still goes there. But we do miss the Lounce acts.