Vanishing Boston

A field guide to Boston's 'lasting' treasures — to be enjoyed before they're razed in favor of chain stores


The Eire Pub (Dorchester)
Dorchester's Eire Pub is a triple throwback. The Irish aren't migrating to Boston like they used to, but those who do so tend to gravitate to the Eire's Adams Village neighborhood — so you'll hear plenty of brogues, and probably get called "lad," no matter how old you happen to be. (South Boston, by contrast, is filled with Irish-Americans whose families have been here for generations.) The Eire also harkens back to a time when — unimaginable as it may be today — Massachusetts was a presidential swing state. One of Ronald Reagan's classic overtures to so-called Reagan Democrats came in a surprise visit to the Eire Pub in 1983; nine years later, Bill Clinton followed suit, dropping in with then-mayor Ray Flynn in tow. (Apparently it worked — both candidates ended up carrying Massachusetts.) The most striking feature of the Eire Pub, however, is how emphatically it evokes a time when the menfolk went to bars and the gentler sex stayed home. The billboard on top of the Eire calls it a "Gentlemen's Prestige Bar"; for good measure, the marquee over the entrance notes — twice — that it's a "Men's Bar." And the women of Adams Village seem to have gotten the point. On a recent weekday, 30 or so regulars hunkered down at the bar, drinking Bud from bottles, watching football and Fox and CNN, pondering the inspirational saying ("Play like a champion today") emblazoned above the restroom entrances. There wasn't a female in the bunch.

— Adam Reilly

EIRE PUB | 795 Adams Street, Dorchester | 617.436.0088

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