Cocktail Bars and Bartender Pop Ups: Boston & Beyond

Cocktail Bars and Bartender Pop Ups: Boston & Beyond

My beginning was at a new martini lounge in Montreal: the Jello Bar. It was a cozy little spot with, if I remember correctly, vintage bar stools tucked under the bar but rarely used because there was more room of we just stood close sipping our martinis In the middle of the room was a pool table where my friend Jessica and I would wait to hop in on a game with whatever pair of boys were thinking they would play us.

Pop up with Mexico City’s Oscar Valle at Birds of Paradise.

Then I moved to Boston, which from food to libations, felt like the antithesis of Montreal. Over 20 years ago, Boston was in fact a wasteland when it came to dining out or having a cocktail. There were a few oases thanks to Jody Adams, Lydia Shire, Gordon Hammersley, and Tony Maws to name a few. Since then, Boston’s scene has completely changed with more places to eat well and drink (classics, new concoctions, beer, non-alcoholic) than I can keep up with.

If you have been paying attention, the Boston area has had many more cocktail bars pop up in the last few years. Some are actual pop-ups and others are full fledged bars. The nice thing about a cocktail bar is it can be as little commitment as you like Go for a single drink and a small bite with a friend or let a whole evening float away as you make your way through the menu and slowly watch some fancy embossed ice melt into itself.

Pop Ups

Maybe you work weekends or are shuttling kids to sports games and rehearsals, but whatever if may be, Monday can be your weekend with Pagu’s guest Bartender series. Sit at the bar and enjoy a cocktail with dinner or some bar bites on a Monday and set the tone for the rest of the week . Find out who is behind the bar next by following Pagu on Instagram.

If you want to explore more of the world of tiki from cups to cocktails, then keep on eye on Wusong Road and New England Tiki Society. They have all sorts of pop ups and battles and fun tasty events going on in their playful jungle of a spot right in Harvard Square.

High Street Place has a variety of pop up events for those who like to have something creative to do while they sip on a drink. Try snipping tiny bushes with The Bonsai Bar, Build a Boob Pot guided by Pottery with a Purpose, get yourself the grown up version of friendship bracelet with Linx x Lou welded jewelry, or arrange flowers with Bubbly n Blooms and Daisies and Daiquiris.

Spoke Wine Bar (a personal favourite for cocktails and everything else in the menu). If you just want a drink come early or late because its a very popular little spot.

Places to Enjoy a Cocktail

I have been to some of these and others are on my list to try. Check out the menus, get a feel for their vibe, follow them on Instagram to see what’s going on and make your own list of drinks to try and places to visit. In no particular order other than how they popped into my mind:

I’m sure I an forgetting some so if you have a spot you recommend, please add them in the comments or chime in @CityLivingBoston


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