By Gabrielle Balestrier (The Fenway)
Step one to a good show experience is getting your tickets. Step two is finding a spot to stay. If you’re from out of town, or if you just plan to rock out too hard to make it home afterward. And step three is planning your pre-show drinking spot.
All the steps matter, but step three is more important than you might think. It sets the scene for the entire night. And just a little bit of planning can make for a pretty incredible evening.
It doesn’t matter where you’re jamming out – House of Blues, Fenway Park, The Verb – all of our recommendations will make for a great pre, during and post-show experience.
It’s near all the venues. In fact, it’s attached to The Verb. Doesn’t get easier than that. But the real reason to add Hojoko to your pre-show drinking list is their cocktails. Fun and tasty, they will set the mood for an incredible night.
All whiskey. All night. If you’re making Citizen Public House part of the night’s agenda, then you better go whiskey or go home. They carry a rotating collection of 250 whiskey bottles and have won awards for their whiskey. So, you know they aren’t messing around.
Like Citizen, nathálie has a specific focus: Wine. It’s a chic, thoughtfully designed space that serves only female-made wines. Red, white, orange and beyond, you can enjoy a glass (or several glasses) before heading off to the big event.
four. bleacher bar.
It’s as much about the experience as the drinks at this Lansdowne staple. Bleacher Bar is located inside Fenway Park’s center field, with a big picture window looking out into the park. If you’re seeing a concert at Fenway Park, this is an especially appealing place to kick off the night.
five. yard house.
Yard House goes big. So, if you’re looking for the social bar experience and a large list of liquor, beer and wine options, this is the spot for you. Yard House is a great place for friends and groups to gather, inside or on their outdoor patio.
six. the lower depths.
The Lower Depths is a local favorite. It’s cozy, it’s no-frills and it’s cash only. The Lower Depths is the place to go if you want a cold beer and some pub fare to fuel a night of music and fun.
seven. eventide fenway.
Paying homage to New England Clam Shacks everywhere, Eventide Fenway is a great pre-show spot on a summer night. Start the evening with oysters, one of their famous lobster rolls and of course wine and beer. End it with an epic concert, ideally outdoors in true summer fashion.
A little off the beaten path, but totally worthwhile. Audubon is sleek and energetic, while also serving a mouth-watering variety of food and drinks. As an added bonus, it also boasts an outdoor patio when the weather warms up.
nine. game on.
There’s nothing passive about the pre-show experience at Game On. If you’d rather cradle a beer in one hand and a ping pong paddle in the other, then add Game On to your list. Warm up for a night of dancing with one of their games and a few brews.
ten. Fool's errand.
No list about where to drink pre-show (or ever) is complete without Tiffani Faison’s newest spot, Fool’s Errand. Standing room only, this venue is cozy, eclectic and unique. With small plates and aspirational cocktails, Fool’s Errand will deliver just what you need before the show.