Boston >Bars & Clubs > Mary Ann's
1937-1939 Beacon St, Boston, MA | Directions 0213542.335882 -71.149354
Neighborhoods: Commonwealth, Cleveland Cir., Allston-Brighton
Mary Ann's, I think, is named after a former waitress that inherited the place after owner,
George Kanovas died. We just called her Ann and she was a nice lady. George died downstairs in the bar. Not sure when. Early or mid sixties.
Back in the 40's and 50's the place was named The Reservoir Bar and Grille, or something very close to that, and it was a lot cleaner than it seems to be now. For one thing, it had big front windows, I certainly miss them, and the bar was against the back wall straight ahead of you when you opened the door, not off to the right side which is where it was when I saw it 2 years ago.
Someone mentioned short, or Bermuda, trousers. .. ? I recall distinctly when one sunny afternoon a 30-ish young man came in for directions. He came in and the place grew still. He walked to George at the bar. You might hear a pin drop as we waited for somebody to say something about what was a very unusual costume for men at that time and place. Politeness won the day, although it was very close. The man got his instructions and left. All I remember now was one sound, the single spoken words, "Jesus Christ". Then some laughter. For some years old timers would ask if you could remember "the guy in shorts?" There was only that one.
Unlike now, there was barely a student in the place ever. They would have been out of place.
There were a lot of MTA guys and local young men. Rarely a woman and a fight only very rarely. Beers were ten cents and each 3rd beer was free! A so-called "freebie". George would somehow keep track of who had a freebie coming. Freebies were all over Boston back then.
I miss that, too
There were tables and booths, as well as barstools, the tops of which were screwed off on
Sundays, so you couldn't sit there on the Lord's day, tho' you could still sit and drink at a table.
That was a Boston rule, too. No sitting at the bar on Sunday.
I often went there on Sundays to avoid mass and to sit at a table with friends and then go
home to dinner. It was a place to meet them and beer away a slow day or night.
And It was the first place I came back to after my time in the Navy and before school at BU.
Like every thing else, It's different now. But it certainly used to smell better. And did I mention
it? Beer, whether draft or bottled, was always in a glass.
And Civil as it was back then, it was always known as "The Jungle". Always. But the place is
gone now as surely as the beautiful huge trees in the middle of the circle and the horse
trough known as "the soup bowl" which we would sit on in the summer. Don't know where
that went and I miss that too. All of that. . . . and all of THEM. Bob
Charmingly Disgusting – When I first went to Mary Ann's I was appalled. The place smells like diarrhea, and they took my license number for some reason when I first walked in. However, it became one of my favorite places over time. I'm a big fan of dive bars, and this one is by far the diviest. Instead of serving food, they have a vending machine in the corner. The bathrooms are similar in space to those on an airplane. And it turns out it ALWAYS smells like diarrhea. But, the price is right, $3 for a tall boy.
i always have a good time here. – this is your typical college bar. it can be pretty dirty. i'm too old to go here, but no one seems to mind. the bud and but light pints are cheap, and i can drink a lot of beer.
Boston College's beloved dive bar is where upperclassmen gather to get completely ripped. – In Short
Undergrads are notoriously poor, which is probably why the Bud and Bud Light drafts are dirt cheap. All drafts are served in plastic pints (these youngsters can't be trusted with real glasses). As for that odor, let's just call a spade a spade--it often smells like a fraternity house. Dress like a preppy college kid and you'll be fine: cargos, baseball hat, T-shirt. And leave your good shoes at home, the beer puddles will muck 'em up.
Mary Ann's – I know it looks tired, I know that MA's seems like your run of the mill bar, and yes - all the rumors are true, but there is another side to the place. This is not just Boston College's Cheers, it is the neighborhood bar. The bartenders are some of the best guys I've ever met, and the jukebox is one of the best in the city.
Don't be so quick to knock this spot, there is much more to it than meets the eye.
The greatest place on Earth – The greatest place to get bombed for your birthday, before a Sox game, on a Thursday at 10pm, on a Friday a 4pm, and on a Saturday at 11am. Just stay away from the guys playing Golden Tee in the corner. They are territorial.
Even your cheapest friend can be Daddy Warbucks for the night buying rounds at $1.50 a Busch Light. Man up!
PS - Play #1704, #1709, and #1812 on jukebox. Best dollar you will ever spend.
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