Hotels and sports bars in the Square

by sam on December 31, 2009

Season Greetings! As the New Year approaches, so do some all-important games in the world of sports. Here are a couple of sports bars in the Kenmore Square area where you can enjoy the match-ups in all their HD glory.

And with so many places of interest in Kenmore Square, it’s only natural that this site covers some of the best hotels to frequent while in the area.

{ 0 comments }

Christmas Eve sunset in Kenmore Square

by on December 25, 2009

Photo of sunset in Kenmore Square, Christmas Eve 2009

Merry Christmas!

{ 0 comments }

Cutting into West Charlesgate

by on December 18, 2009

There is a man in the barely discernible skylift who’s taking a chainsaw to the West Charlesgate overpass.

Repair work on West Charlesgate

{ 0 comments }

The new look of Kenmore Square

by on November 17, 2009

This is roughly the view that meets you when you exit the Kenmore Square T-stop on the south side of Commonwealth Avenue at night. Not bad at all.

Photograph of the Citgo sign and the Kenmore bus station, taken at night from the south side of Commonwealth Avenue

{ 0 comments }

Nor’easter hits Kenmore Square

by on November 15, 2009

Kenmore Square was soaked by the Nor'easter that hit eastern Massachusetts on November 14, 2009. This photo is taken from inside a car on westbound Commonwealth Avenue.

The nor’easter that hit hit eastern Massachusetts on Saturday November 14, 2009, drenched Kenmore Square but thankfully didn’t flood the T-station.

{ 0 comments }

Neither Ace nor Higs, just vacant

by on November 12, 2009

At one time 470 Commonwealth Avenue was home to Higs Tickets, then for a short period Ace Ticket, but judging from the sign and Ace Ticket’s web site there’s nobody there right now:

Vacant store from on Commonwealth Avenue in Kenmore Square in Boston.

I happened to walk by when they shot the exterior video for this Higs commercial in 2007.

{ 1 comment }

A couple of nights ago I chatted with Steve at Cityscape Realty and learned that a couple of units have opened up in one of the brownstone apartment-buildings in the middle of the block on Commonwealth Avenue between Charlesgate and Hotel Commonwealth. It’s a great place for a BU or MIT grad student, or a young professional ready to move beyond the roommate stage. Call (617) 266-5630 to find out more.

{ 0 comments }

With this year’s World Series winding down, it’s time for Boston to make that familiar, yet always unwelcome transition. We go from watching nightly broadcasts on NESN to daydreaming about a far-off day in February when pitchers and catchers report. Yes, baseball takes a backseat to those other sports during the winter months, but that doesn’t mean we can’t plan for what’s to come in 2010.

To help gear up for next season (and further our denial of this Red Sox season being over), let’s talk about some of the best views in the Kenmore Square and Fenway Park area. It’s never too early to start thinking about where you’ll take in your first few games next April.

First up is a new addition to the Fenway family. I tend to avoid bars and restaurants directly lining the park during the summer — if only to dodge the crowds that descend upon them on game nights. But I find myself making an exception for Bleacher Bar.

Located at 82A Lansdowne Street and nestled beneath the bleachers in center field, this newish bar offers patrons something refreshingly different: a massive window with a view straight into Fenway Park. You don’t need a ticket to enter. The view is all yours for the cost of a Sam Seasonal or a grilled cheese. Snag a table in front of the window to watch the game at field level, a view that’s rare even inside the park.

You’ll never pay a cover at Bleacher Bar, and you can expect large portions of pub-style items when ordering off their menu. The beer selection and the prices are decent. Naturally, everything at the bar pales in comparison to the view. Having been open for two seasons now, the establishment is subject to the same swarming as the park’s more infamous perimeter bars. But if you get there early enough, or linger long enough — you can position yourself in a prime spot.

It’s no secret that the draw of Bleacher Bar is strongest during the season when home games are happening, but the bar is open year round. And it’s definitely worth a visit or two when the Sox aren’t playing. The crowds thin out, and the ambiance of Fenway Park is still palpable. For the Fenway faithful — an insider’s view like that never gets old.

Another locale worth looking into is Baseball Tavern over at 1270 Boylston Street. A five-minute walk from the ballpark, the bar boasts three plasma-flooded floors and an amazing roof deck. It’s another great alternative for fans out to watch (but not attending) Red Sox games.

The explosive grumbles and cheers you hear from the roof deck on a warm summer’s night is the next best thing to being inside the park. If you squint your eyes hard enough, you can even read the Jumbotron from the Tavern’s upper echelon.

With a roof deck that snags a lot of the glory, bar goers sometimes overlook the fun to be had on the other levels of Baseball Tavern. Multiple floors make the mobs after a game much more bearable. You always have options. But with so much room to drink, dance and mingle — the party tends to die down on off nights during the season and over the winter.

The bar equips each of its floors with plenty of high-def, big-screen TVs to quench your sporting thirsts. The lower level of the Tavern is ideal for watching a Patriots or a Celtics game in the upcoming months. Baseball Tavern, without question, offers a high-quality sports bar experience at any time of year.

The food and drink selection at Baseball Tavern is standard for the area. Not stellar, but satisfying. Again, it’s the view from the roof deck that lures me in every time.

If you’re interested in exploring all corners of historic Fenway Park, take a guided tour any day of the week between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. Tours run every hour, on the hour. On game days, tours stop running three hours before start time. The areas showcased are subject to availability, but in most cases you’ll be guided through the press box and up into the sky-high Green Monster seats, with the potential to access the field. It’s a completely different experience being inside an empty Fenway — and it provides you with array of park views, all within an hour. There are a few perks to taking a tour during the off season, including the ticket price. $12 for adults and $10 for kids! It’s seems like a steal, given what they charge for seats these days.

So there you have it — a brief and subjective account of some spectacular views in and around Fenway Park and Kenmore Square. There are plenty of places to take in a game, so why not frequent a bar where the views extend past the television screen?

{ 0 comments }