Our top 10 bars in the Hub for meeting people

Printed from: https://newbostonpost.com/2016/02/18/our-top-10-bars-in-the-hub-for-meeting-people/

BOSTON – In a time when social meet ups are often done online, meeting new people face-to-face is becoming increasingly difficult. For many, life beyond texting can be daunting.

Want a little help getting started? Here are 10 Boston-area bars where the atmosphere lets you step outside your comfort zone and meet someone special or, at the very least, make new friends.

The Hawthorne

The Hawthorne Swizzle Melissa Ostrow (photo courtesy of The Hawthorne)

The Hawthorne Swizzle Melissa Ostrow (photo courtesy of The Hawthorne)

This sleek bar, largely tucked away from view in Kenmore Square at 500A Commonwealth Ave., is a great place to hang out after work with co-workers or friends. The Hawthorne, which features alternative music on its sound system, has a long bar with standing tables, should you want to mingle. There’s also a section with sit-down tables, should you find someone you’d like to be alone with. The specialty cocktail list is extensive. Can’t find one you like? The bartender will concoct something special just for you.

Sunset Grill & Tap

An Allston classic, this fun Mexican-themed restaurant and bar at 130 Brighton Ave. sets just the right tone for casual get-togethers. There is an extensive list of beers on tap and pitchers are great for sharing with friends. The food, both American and Tex-Mex, comes in large portions, which also promotes sharing. Although it can get loud at times, the relaxed atmosphere is conducive to conversations between friends or with that person sitting just across the bar.

Liberty Lobby Bar

(photo courtesy of the Liberty Hotel)

(photo courtesy of the Liberty Hotel)

Located in the upscale Liberty Hotel in the West End, this swanky hotel lobby bar once housed the Charles Street Jail at 215 Charles St. This historic building, which retains a lot of the original structure, attracts those who live and work in the area as well as outsiders who like the idea of snacking and mingling in what once was the local brig. This a terrific spot for people watching, but it can be a bit pricey for those on a budget. If you want slightly different vibe, the Liberty Hotel also houses Clink and Alibi, which has more of a club atmosphere.

Model Café

This grundge Allston-Brighton dive bar may be a bit too alternative for some. Young Boston socialites flock to the Model Café at 7 North Beacon St. to enjoy simple drinks at the long wooden bar or crowd the dance floor. Music theme nights, including a 1960s and 1970s night, prompt the crowd to sing along to the hits. What better way to meet someone than to compliment them on their singing? This bar hits just the right note for those looking for a casual night out with dancing or conversation – or both.

Russell House Tavern

The "Eye of the Storm" specialty cocktail at Russell House Tavern (New Boston Post photo by Beth Treffeisen)

The “Eye of the Storm” specialty cocktail at Russell House Tavern (New Boston Post photo by Beth Treffeisen)

Nestled behind one of the many red brick façades in Harvard Square, Russell House Tavern at 14 John F. Kennedy St., Cambridge is an attractive get-away with decorative outdoor lighting and seating. The restaurant is known for its artisanal American fare and handcrafted specialty cocktails. The two-floor restaurant is a good place to meet up with friends or strike up a conversation with a stranger.


Eastern Standard

Outside of Eastern Standard during the summer (New Boston Post photo by Beth Treffeisen)

Outside of Eastern Standard during the summer (New Boston Post photo by Beth Treffeisen)

Upscale with a vintage twist, Eastern Standard serves up specialty cocktails and food that won’t break your wallet. The open bar, the mood lighting and a number of high-top tables encourage mingling. Easily accessible from public transportation, this Kenmore Square bar and restaurant at 528 Commonwealth Ave. is equally appropriate for a casual hang after work or for a night out.

Lulu’s Allston

Two drinks on the menu at Lulu's Allston (New Boston Post photo by Beth Treffeisen)

Two drinks on the menu at Lulu’s Allston (New Boston Post photo by Beth Treffeisen)

Lulu’s is a great choice for locals seeking a somewhat sophisticated place for meals and excellent cocktails. With its sleek stainless steel chairs and long wooden bar, Lulu’s presents a trendy contrast to the rest of the neighborhood around its 421 Cambridge St. location. The crowd, heavily populated with young professionals, is a relaxed place to eat, drink and chat.


Howl at the Moon

(photo courtesy of Howl at the Moon)

(photo courtesy of Howl at the Moon)

This bar, located at 184 High St. downtown, is the perfect respite from the office building cultural in the area. Featuring live music and a slighter older crowd of professionals, Howl at the Moon allows plenty of chances to mingle on the dance floor or around the center bar. Music that varies from today’s pop to oldies gets the crowd singing along. It’s a good opportunity to bond with someone next to you at the bar or on the dance floor.

ZuZu at the Middle East

If you’re looking for a fun night out, ZuZu’s Soulelujah Saturday-night time capsule will transport you back to a vinyl soul and funk dance party. This is the place to let loose and bump into someone new. Although drinks can be a bit pricey, this centrally located spot at 474 Massachusetts Ave. in Central Square is just the ticket for meeting up with friends or finding a new dance partner. Even though it’s not the best place to start up a conversation – the music is not soft – the people watching is fantastic. It’s especially fun to watch those enthusiastic dancers who don’t really know how to keep a beat – and don’t know it, but don’t seem to care.

City Bar

(Photo courtesy of the Liberty Hotel)

(Photo courtesy of the Liberty Hotel)

Located in two great locations, Back Bay at 65 Exeter St. and the Fort Point area, at 425 Summer St., the soft light, velvet benches and rich leather sofas create an inviting atmosphere for patrons to mingle and unwind. Both places are upscale bars that are lend themselves to intimate cocktail gatherings featuring specialty food. These bars are ideal for a relaxing night out or for uncoiling after a long work-week.