Sports fans in New England have had an embarrassment of riches in recent years. However, some of us are just old enough to remember when we needed to drown our sorrows in Harpoon and wings. That meant finding the right restaurant or bar to watch the game was just as important as with whom you watched.
As our teams started to win, certain establishments evolved from personal favorites to the stuff of superstition and legend.
With this in mind, here are my picks for where to watch which games and with whom.
With Your Dad-
The bar at Legal Seafood is a great place to camp out on a Saturday afternoon to watch the Sox game with Dad. Obviously, because it is seafood, there are healthy options as well as shareable appetizers and raw bar items. There is nothing like their lobster roll.
It doesn’t hurt that Legal is a local institution that you know dad’s generation is comfortable and familiar with. Speaking of comfort, they have the best bar chairs if you have ever noticed, which makes sitting through a Sox game easy.
We all like to take clients out from time to time to make sure we have a good grasp on their needs and how well we are doing providing services. It doesn’t hurt to do this in an environment where we can watch a game in a slightly more upscale environment, especially when it comes to Bruins games,
Not to diminish the awesome Chicken Parmesan Egg Rolls or Bolognese, but if you happen to be there when owner Ray Bourque is in, your clients will definitely leave happy with you.
With Your Soccer Friends -
Between Premier League, US Soccer and World Cup, whether you are a fan or not, you know there is a large hard-core fan base in the Greater Boston area. Because of this, we all have “that one friend” who talks, incessantly, about soccer.
When you are hanging out with “that one friend” and want to get yourself some Jameson Rubbed Wings or traditional beef stew, Lir will keep both of you happy.
With Your In-laws-
Admit it- there is always a time when you have to go out to dinner with the in-laws, when you would rather be watching the Celtics game. This is when you have to be strategic with your choice of restaurant. Yes, Tony C’s is themed to sports, but the environment is super family friendly and the menu is designed to please everyone with great burgers with awesome presentation. Personally, I think their tacos are definitely worth a try.
But the key for you is this; there are so many TVs in every direction. You can easily steal a glance of the game and grab a minute or two of Celtic highlights on your way to or from the bathroom.
Out of Town Friends-
For away Red Sox Games, the Bleacher Bar on Lansdowne Street has a wall that opens up and shows you the inside of Fenway Park. The view is excellent for pictures or selfies.
The Bleacher Bar also has a great beer selection and all of the nachos, sliders and excellent game day food you would expect. It is worth checking ahead as I know weather and other Fenway events can sometimes alter their schedule, but it is worth a trip if you can.
For Victory Parades-
Ok, we are not arrogant about winning, but when it happens, if you can get there early enough, the Kinsale is directly across from government Center in Boston, where most parades end. This can put you in the heart of the action and you can watch all the action without the elements of the weather.
It doesn’t hurt that their bar boasts a huge whisky selection as well as traditional Irish breakfast and comfort food to keep everyone happy.
With Your Best Friend-
Growing up on the North Shore it is no surprise this is my first pick. One of the best secrets at Kowloon is the back room in the bar and lounge area. Especially for Patriot Games. With so many TVs ( with the game sound on! ) add a pupu platter and an order of Saugus wings and it will be the best experience without actually going to the game.
My best friend Ron and I went here for every game for almost two years in a row. Over time we have noticed that more people have started to discover our secret, but, even when packed, it’s a great experience. And I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that most of the WWE wrestlers take the drive up Route 1 after performing at the Boston Garden.