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5 Allston/Brighton Bars for True Locals

Posted by Alex Pearlman  October 22, 2011 05:58 PM

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beerglasses.jpgBy Christine Varriale

Another weekend, another search for the perfect nightspot. Sure, there's the old standbys, but maybe you're tired of the same old bar filled with creepers and everyone you know from college (I wouldn't blame you). Or maybe you have no "old standbys" because you just moved and are looking for the spots where all the locals hang out.

If you live in or are venturing to Allston/Brighton tonight, check out these five hotspots where the locals go to grab their drink of choice (and maybe even a free snack).

The Avenue (1249 Commonwealth Ave. Closest T Stop: Green Line B, Harvard Avenue). If you've been here before, it's time to go back: The Avenue is under new management. Don't let the blue awning scare you away because it's nice inside, and the drinks are cheap. I'm a personal fan of the "shot of the month" deal (October's is "Your Mom") and $4 vodka drinks, but the beer selection is always great, too, and features local and seasonal beers. Come early for a delicious burger ($1 on Mondays!) or tater tots, then sneak downstairs and discover the dartboard tucked away in a little hidden room with its own private bathroom.

The Last Drop (596 Washington St. Closest T Stop: 57 Bus, Washington Street at Oak Square). For a classic dive with great beer and a sports game, check out The Last Drop in Oak Square. They don't serve food, but they'll let you bring it in with you (how awesome is that?); if you forget your munchies at home,  there's plenty of pizza places nearby. And the bartenders will help you out if you need a drink suggestion: I once asked them to “give me something with pineapple," and they made one of the most delicious drinks I've ever tasted (Pineapple Upside-Down Cake). The Last Drop is also known for its late closing time (2 a.m.) compared to most other Boston-area bars.

Castlebar Pub (575 Washington St. Closest T Stop: 57 Bus, Washington Street at Montfern Avenue). Castlebar goes hand-in-hand with The Last Drop: It's diagonally across the street in Oak Square and has more of an old Irish feel to it. Just like The Last Drop, there' s no food, but Castlebar provides better entertainment, including weekly trivia on Thursdays and a comedy open mic nights twice a month. They also have the nicest women’s bathroom I've ever seen at a bar. Relax here with the locals over a fresh pint of Guinness.

Silhouette Lounge (200 Brighton Ave. Closest T Stop: Green Line B, Harvard Avenue, or 57 Bus, Brighton Avenue at Quint Street). You'll always meet the most interesting people while hanging out at “The Sil.” I've encountered a man who makes Origami turtles out of KENO tickets and a guy who tried to convince me that his dad wrote Imogen Heap's "Hide and Seek." It's cash only, but don't fret -- there's an ATM near the door. Did I mention the free popcorn? It's delicious. If you're not convinced, you don't have to take my word for it: This joint also made another TNGG Boston writer's list of Boston's 10 best dive bars, so there must be something about it!

Model Café (7 North Beacon St. Closest T Stop: 57 Bus, Brighton Avenue at Cambridge Street). If you're still ready to go after The Sil closes, check out Model (it's right down the street) for some last-minute, late-night action. There's nothing quite like the classic combination of cheap beers and Allston hipsters to make you really feel at home. To be honest with you, when I first moved here, their sign deceived me. I thought it was a motel. Silly me.

What's your favorite “locals only” bar in Allston/Brighton?

Photo by Through the Lens of Kimberly Gauthier (Flickr)

About Christine -- I'm a music blogger with passions for photography and movies. You can usually find me at Paradise Rock Club or The Avenue. My goal in life is to become Lindsay Lohan's best friend. Twitter: @certaintragedy

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