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Revelers get early start at Hub’s pubs

Kenny Granger was in a joyful mood as he waited to get into the Kinsale Pub & Restaurant in Boston. Kenny Granger was in a joyful mood as he waited to get into the Kinsale Pub & Restaurant in Boston. (Jonathan Wiggs/ Globe Staff)
By Martine Powers
Globe Correspondent / June 19, 2011

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If it’s 5 o’clock somewhere, then “somewhere’’ was everywhere at bars and pubs along the route of yesterday’s parade celebrating the Boston Bruins.

As throngs of fans crowded downtown streets yesterday to celebrate the city’s first Stanley Cup in 39 years, bars along the parade route opened in the early hours to accommodate revelers in search of a celebratory drink to go with their breakfast.

At the Kinsale Pub & Restaurant at Center Plaza, fans in Bruins wear formed a line outside the door at 7 a.m., two hours before the bar was set to open. By 9 a.m., the line was about 150 people deep. Kenny Granger, 53, of Medford, was the second person to join the queue.

“I’m a Bruins fan, born and raised — there was no way I was going to miss this,’’ Granger said. He hoped to snag a seat at a table outside so he could watch the players pass as he sipped on a drink and chowed down on some lunch. “I’m excited to see Tim Thomas. He was our savior — Saint Thomas!’’

Inside the pub, revelers took cues from the fans lining the streets outside in the hours leading up to the parade, cheering along with the crowds and chanting several rounds of “We won the cup!’’ and “USA! USA!’’ As they waited for the real parade action to start, they watched the televisions inside the bar that played footage from this season’s Bruins games.

Jared Byrne, 25, of Stoneham, said the bar atmosphere was the perfect vantage point from which to enjoy the parade. Today, he said, he threw that whole no-drinking-before-five rule right out the window. “I think it’s all right,’’ he said. “Today’s a celebration! It’s like a second Saint Patrick’s Day.’’

A couple blocks away, at the Beantown Pub on Tremont Street, Stephen Bekkenhuis, 26, of Melrose agreed that the special circumstances warranted a crack-of-dawn commencement of festivities. “It’s never too early to start celebrating on a parade day,’’ he said.

Several bars on the parade route were at capacity almost as soon as they opened their doors. Roger Zeghibe, owner of the Beantown Pub, said he allowed in fewer guests than usual to prevent rowdiness. The bar has an established protocol for bustling days like this, he said — the pub lies on prime parade real estate, and that means there is always a full house on the day of any sports championship celebration.

“It’s been seven parades in 10 years, and they’ve all been this crazy,’’ said Zeghibe, 48. “We’re kind of used to dealing with it by now.’’

Most bars emptied briefly in the middle of the day as the duck boats carrying Bruins stars rolled by, but they filled to capacity again as soon as the Stanley Cup passed. A few bar-goers enjoyed the parade from the comfort of the bars’ air conditioned interiors, pressing their faces against the windows to catch a glimpse of the floats.

Remington’s on Boylston Street hired extra security personnel in anticipation of a larger, rowdier crowd, but Gull said he was pleasantly surprised by how “weirdly happy’’ all his customers were. Celebrating a Bruins victory seemed to cause people to smile and be more polite. Customers apologized when they accidentally bumped into one other — a shocking transformation.

“It’s a phase,’’ said doorman Robert Gull, 46, chuckling. “It’ll pass. It’ll be back to regular Boston soon.’’

Martine Powers can be reached at mpowers@globe.com.

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