Boston's Fenway Park - page 2
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Sports Bar Cask'm Flagon

RED SOX NATION: OUT OF THE PARK! - page 2
By Jaed Coffin

Actually, there are two Plan Bs. The first Plan B takes place at a very well known sports bar called The Cask’n Flagon. You can’t miss it. It’s on the corner of Brookline Ave and Landsdowne Street, and the bar’s sign boasts “Voted by ESPN as the #2 Sports Bar in the Country”. It will probably be crowded, so you may want to get there early. (A waitress there told me they turn over one hundred tables a night.) Above the bar and hanging from various points of the ceiling are enormous television screens broadcasting the day’s game which—and here’s the appeal—is occurring directly across the street. The distance from home plate to your table is probably no more than four hundred feet.

If you’d like to feel even closer to the action, you can grab an outside table. Here, you can hear the crowd cheering, and you can hear the wooden pop each time bat meets ball. If you sit at a table on the Landsdowne side of the bar, you get a good view of Boston’s proudest skyscraper, the Prudential building. This is a fine way to pass an afternoon.

What makes the afternoon even finer, however, is the thematic selection of drinks on the menu. For instance, you can intoxicate yourself in honor of Fenway’s most idiosyncratic feature. The Green Monster Martini—made of Stoli vodka, Malibu, Midori, and pineapple juice—comes in a martini glass and is colored bright, well, green. Or, if you want to toast to the great Yankee killer David Ortiz, you can try a glass of Big Papi Punch: Raspberry vodka, amaretto, Southern Comfort, pineapple juice, orange juice, and grenadine.

sipping the Green Monster Martini

Though neither of these drinks may be a local Red Sox fan’s typical beverage, both are delicious, sweet, and strong. What then does one drink in Red Sox nation? “Beer,” says my waitress. “Boston sports fans drink beer.” The food at the Cask’n Flagon is not bad either: I ate The Fenway Burger (because it was so named), which, outside of Red Sox Nations, is also known as a big greasy cheeseburger covered in bacon. It goes great with any of Boston’s trademark beers. The Cask’n Flagon experience ran me about twenty-five bucks, which is still fifty dollars less than what I would have paid that scalper for a top row bleacher seat (probably located behind a foul pole).

The other Plan B demands a one minute walk further down Landsdowne Street, to a bar called The Bleacher Bar. Located directly underneath the centerfield bleachers, the bar occupies the space of a former Fenway Park storage unit. There is no loud signage out front—but for a vintage looking white arrow advertising the bar’s name—and the bar manager told me that they do zero advertising. “We like to keep it word of mouth,” he said. The Bleacher Bar is the kind of place where the moment you walk in, you feel as though you’ve stumbled upon one of the great secrets of the world. The gift of this spot is the dozen or so tables and stools that face the ceiling-high window that looks directly onto the ball field. To the left, one can see pitchers, just thirty feet away, warming up in the bullpen. To the right, one can see the shadows of the green monster. Directly in front, the red dirt of the warning track shimmers like sand at the beach. In the 350ft. distance there is only an expanse of a green outfield, and the 36,000 fans watching the game in $400 seats. The best part is: it doesn’t cost a dime to get into this bar, and beers cost about what they would at any other bar in town. It is like having front row outfield seats, but it is even more intimate. “Sometimes,” the manager told me, “the outfielders crash right into the window.”

looking on the ballfield from the Bleacher Bar

The front tables are on a forty-five minute rotation, which means that if you want to see Jonathan Papelbon blast out of the bullpen to the Drop Kick Murphy’s, you may want to hang out at the bar until the bottom of the eighth. If you feel privileged to be one of the 175 capacity patrons in the Bleacher Bar, you are: there is no other stadium in the country that offers field level seating, and there is no bar in the country that is so tailored to the watching of baseball games.

When the game is over, and you’re wobbling your way down Landsdowne Street with a boyish smile on your face, you can buy souvenirs at any of the classic memorabilia shops. The clover leafed “Green Monstah!” t-shirt you send to your friend back home will go along great with the big fat lie you told him about how great it was to catch a Fenway home game from center field in Red Sox Nation. You must have really talked that scalper down!

Next: e-Baying your way to Disney. Tom shares his journey of discovering discounted travel through an on-line auction site.

 

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