Our guide to the great outdoors

Patios patois
By CHRIS FARAONE  |  June 9, 2011

You complained through late April that the winter lasts forever around here, that the pit-stain months unfold too quickly in New England. But now, instead of just soaking in the summer sun and shutting up, you're already worrying about a coming cold front. Two straight weeks of drizzle and a few Red Sox rain delays can do that to a Bostonian.

In praise of the sometimes spiteful sun god, we wanted to remind everybody that it's going to be hot for a while. Very hot. So instead of bitching about "scorchers," remember how you felt four months ago, and try passing out on a roof deck somewhere. It will do you good.

Rather than just listing fun and fresh outdoor joints, we picked five neighborhoods and visited two patios in each that highlighted the scene contrasts in those communities. If we missed your favorite spot or square, feel free to write us hate mail. Either that, or chill out with a frozen cocktail at one of these choice open-air establishments.

deep ellum
DEEP ELLUM

ALLSTON-BRIGHTON

THE GREEN BRIAR vs. DEEP ELLUM

The difference between the Green Briar and Deep Ellum patios is the difference between Allston and Brighton. A high-walled, mid-sized concrete deck with 50 seats, the Green Briar is a quiet, well-shaded retreat to drink without mustachioed loudmouths on all sides. It's known for hospitable Irish regulars who like to slam shots with the other neighborhood types — yuppies, families, and yuppie families. We also prefer it to the neighboring Devlin's, which stubbornly requires that you buy food to sit outside.

Allston's go-to hipster haven, on the other hand, is a smash different. At this point, it's clear that Deep Ellum is no passing trend; with that said, it's still a trendy destination for cool, colorful cats in ironic tees, elaborate ink, and unorthodox footwear. Whereas the Green Briar is a good place to avoid being seen (and to maybe even crack a book), the Deep Ellum patio is the center of the be-seen universe. With a little game and the right ink, you even have a good chance of finding a midday hookup there.

THE GREEN BRIAR , 304 Washington St, Brighton | 617.789.4100

DEEP ELLUM , 477 Cambridge St, Allston | 617.787.2337

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  Topics: Lifestyle Features , deep ellum, Whiskey Priest, Tres Gatos,  More more >
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