Bars & Clubs

Diego Navarro

New Addition


The “Ho-Jo” wink in its name captures the playfulness of this captivatingly camp hangout inside the Cali rock-inspired Verb Hotel, once a humble Howard Johnson that housed a tired Tiki bar.

1271 Boylston St., Boston (617-670-0507) 
  • Brewer’s Fork
    Nicole Popma


    Brewer’s Fork

    When Brewer’s Fork opened early last year, residents of restaurant desert Charlestown would have settled gladly for its great wood-oven pizzas, gastropubby small plates and Moody’s charcuterie.

    7 Moulton St., Boston (617-337-5703) 
  • Parla



    The North End is beloved for its quaint Old World charm and 100-plus restaurants, so the dearth of skilled bartending is possible to forgive.

    230 Hanover St., Boston (617-367-2824)
  • Dance Club


    Six years after a Roxy-to-Royale makeover reasserted this king-sized venue as Boston’s pre-eminent nightclub

    279 Tremont St., Boston (617-338-7699)
  • Dance Night

    Tuesdays at Bijou

    Industry nights are a lot less exciting when they’re filled with more hangers-on than actual hospitality biz types.

    51 Stuart St., Boston (617-357-4565)
  • Cantab Lounge
    John D. Keegan

    Dive Bar

    Cantab Lounge

    Grandiloquent laudations of lowly dive bars usually tick through this checklist of charms

    738 Mass. Ave., Cambridge (617-354-2685)
  • Joe Bermudez


    Joe Bermudez

    He’s gigged worldwide, opened for Madonna and remixed for Rihanna.

  • Drag Shows

    Jacques Cabaret

    Now that RuPaul’s Drag Race made a fabulous leap into the mainstream, drag shows are even hotter draws within the LGBT community and outside it.

    79 Broadway, Boston (617-426-8902)
  • Lookout at the Envoy Hotel
    Eric Leven

    Drinks with a View

    Lookout at the Envoy Hotel

    Boston, you look as sexy from the front as the back—and those aren’t our martini goggles talking.

    70 Sleeper St., Boston (617-338-3030)
  • Wink & Nod
    Eric Luciano

    First-Date Destination

    Wink & Nod

    This sexy, animal print-accented subterranean speakeasy is lit low enough to encourage smoldering stares over the rim of a stiff Scotch cocktail.

    3 Appleton St., Boston (617-482-0117)
  • Fuzz at The Alley
    Sam Waxman

    Gay Scene

    Fuzz at The Alley

    This downtown dive was a somewhat slumbering den of Boston bears.

    14 Pi Alley, Boston (617-263-1449)
  • The Rooftop at Felipe’s Taqueria
    Diego Navarro

    Hidden Gem

    The Rooftop at Felipe’s Taqueria

    Sometimes you want to hit a rooftop bar that’s filled with stunners sipping martinis.

    21 Brattle St., Cambridge (617-354-9944) 
  • Eastern Standard
    Adam Krauth

    Hotel Bar

    Eastern Standard

    As Yoda was to Luke and Mr. Miyagi was to the Karate Kid, so has Jackson Cannon been an indispensible mentor to Boston’s collective beverage industry.

    528 Comm. Ave., Boston (617-532-9100)
  • Moonshine 152
    Jesse Dupuis

    Industry Hangout

    Moonshine 152

    It’s not hard to see how Moonshine became a hit with hospitality types.

    152 Dorchester Ave., Boston (617-752-4191)
  • Scullers Jazz Club
    Bob Festa

    Jazz Club

    Scullers Jazz Club

    They call it “Allston Rock City.” But for 27 years jazz haven Scullers has been swinging from its Charles River-side perch inside a DoubleTree hotel, outlasting many local music venues.

    400 Soldiers Field Road, Boston (617-562-4111)
  • Mocktails


    Gentlemanly paragon of hospitality Sahil Mehta oversees the bar at the South End’s lovely Madrid-style tapas restaurant Estragon, where a new full liquor license gives freer rein to his endless creativity and fine technical chops.

    700 Harrison Ave., Boston (617-266-0443)
  • Precinct Kitchen + Bar
    Dominic Miguel Costa

    Patio Bar

    Precinct Kitchen + Bar

    Boston has a way of breathing unlikely new life into historic buildings—you know, like giving us the chance to get schnockered at the former police headquarters.

    154 Berkeley St., Boston (617-532-3827)
  • Place to Drink Alone

    Tavern at the End of the World

    Everybody has reasons for drinking solo: Your friends are busy, your dating life is all swipe-lefts, you’re just not in the mood for any goddamn company.

    108 Cambridge St., Boston (617-241-4999)
  • The Lower Depths
    Courtesy of The Lower Depths

    Pre-/Post-Fenway Park

    The Lower Depths

    It’s a rookie move to waste your gameday elbowing for personal space amid tourists at a Lansdowne Street bar.

    476 Comm. Ave., Boston (617-266-6662)
  • The Tip Tap Room

    Pre-/Post-TD Garden

    The Tip Tap Room

    Whether ramping up for a Celtics showdown or closing out a concert night, boisterous crowds crow nightly over brews at genial chef Brian Poe’s gastropub on the backside of Beacon Hill.

    138 Cambridge St., Boston (857-350-3344)
  • Pub

    J.J. Foley’s Cafe

    In a city full of Irish bars, Foley’s rises to the top like a layer of frothy foam on a pint of Guinness.

    117 E. Berkeley St., Boston (617-728-9101)
  • Rock Club The Sinclair

    Rock Club The Sinclair

    Rock Club The Sinclair

    Most millennials won’t remember when mohawks were practically mandatory for loitering in Harvard Square on a weekend night.

    52 Church St., Cambridge (617-547-5200) 
  • Rooftop @ Revere
    Nicole Popma

    Rooftop Bar

    Rooftop @ Revere

    From its drab concrete exterior, you’d never know the Revere Hotel Boston Common hides this discreet, lively treat on the roof of a seventh-story outcropping.

    200 Stuart St., Boston (617-457-2663) 
  • Legal Harborside
    Paul Saraceno

    Singles Scene—Over 30

    Legal Harborside

    Few could have expected that this cruise ship-sized spinoff from the surf-and-turf-slinging Legal Sea Foods family would somehow wind up a hot, happening meat market.

    270 Northern Ave., Boston (617-477-2900)
  • Singles Scene—Under 30


    We mean it as a compliment when we say Clerys is a perfect stepping-stone for 20-somethings dipping their toes into the post-collegiate dating pool.

    113 Dartmouth St., Boston (617-262-9874)
  • Spirit Specialty

    Citizen Public House & Oyster Bar

    It’s easy to mistake Fenway’s lively Citizen Public House for just another gastropub, with its whole pig roasts and post-Sox crowds.

    1310 Boylston St., Boston (617-450-9000)
  • The Rising
    O’Neil Photography

    Sports Bar

    The Rising

    Boston, lest you haven’t noticed, takes sports seriously.

    1172 Cambridge St., Cambridge (617-714-4130)
  • Lawn on D

    Summer Scene

    Lawn on D

    We didn’t know that Boston needed a backyard.

    420 D St., Boston (617-954-2000) 
  • Drink
    Diego Navarro



    Old-school 1930s-vintage Tiki cocktail craft has found a foothold in Boston’s better bars, but none nails the artistry of this exotic genre quite like Drink

    348 Congress St., Boston (617-695-1806) 
  • Gold Bar at Menton
    WEC Photos

    Watering Hole for the Well-Heeled

    Gold Bar at Menton

    The 0.1 percent-set lolls prettily amid the flattering, literally golden glow of Gold Bar, the posh little lounge that Barbara Lynch installed last summer in her ultraluxe French restaurant Menton.

    354 Congress St., Boston (617-737-0099)
  • BISq

    Wine Bar


    Inman Square’s BISq, kid sibling of beloved Somerville indie Bergamot, is an intimate charmer.

    1071 Cambridge St., Cambridge (617-714-3693) 
  • Chalet at Bastille Kitchen
    Richard Bertone

    Winter Scene

    Chalet at Bastille Kitchen

    Even when half the city is blanketed in snow, there’s a sizzling scene at this subterranean cocktail den inside hospitality kingpin Seth Greenberg’s behemoth Fort Point French restaurant.

    49 Melcher St., Boston (617-556-8000)

Follow The Improper

Nominate Your Favorite Bartender, Bachelor/ette or Stylish Bostonian.

Unrequited crush? Bad hair? Send us your messages of love and spleen. They might appear in The Improper Bostonian.