Boston, Beer and Basebal — ‘nough said

Posted on February 6, 2009 by


Nuf Ced McGreevys Original Saloon

"Nuf Ced" McGreevy's Original Saloon

By Phil Meagher

“Nuf Ced” McGreevy’s 3rd Base Saloon is no ordinary sports bar. Back in the late 1800s, it was a hangout for a number of big-names — ballplayers like Babe Ruth, gamblers like “Sport” Sullivan (behind the fixing of the 1919 World Series), and celebrities like boxing champion and American sports hero, John Sullivan. It was also home to Boston’s first so-called hardcore group of Sox fans: the “Royal Rooters.”

But as popular as it was, it could not last. With the onset of prohibition in 1920, “Nuf Ced” McGreevy, owner and bartender, was forced to shutdown.

Eighty-six years later, Ken Casey of the Dropkick Murphys and baseball historian/hip-hop artist, Peter Nash, brought McGreevy’s back. Last Spring, they opened a near replica of the saloon at 911 Boylston Street. McGreevy’s countless newspaper clippings and memorabilia are all back up on the wall, and with them, between the two door-sized TV screens behind the bar, hangs “Nuf Ced” McGreevy’s original portrait — the man who got his name for always pounding his fist on the counter and shouting “’Nuf Ced!” each time debates and arguments got out of hand.

McGreevey’s offers all the pub classics, including an $8 burger, a variety of traditionally Irish dishes, and a handful of seafood options priced under $15. Its beers are cold and they taste fresh, an indication that this bar is probably one of the few in town who choose to keep their keg lines clean. And at only $5, their Guinness pours thick and creamy, served with a shamrock drawn into the head.

On Saturdays and Sundays, you will find their best deals. Take “The Big Papi” for example. That is McGreevy’s’ take on a lumberjack breakfast. It comes with pancakes, French toast, two eggs, home fries, ham, bacon, and sausage. All for $10.

While its location opposite the Hynes Convention Center draws a generally non-collegiate crowd, McGreevy’s is a comfortable and cozy place set up for more than baseball lovers and pub enthusiasts. And unlike many of its neighbors, this wanna-be dive bar is kept quite clean.

Today’s McGreevy’s may not have all the character of older bars, but there is much to enjoy — just ask Emmanuel sophomore Gregg MacDonald, who last week pulled me aside to show me a picture he took of what he called a “perfect” Guinness. Until then, he never even liked stout.