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Gnarly: Allston to get first SoCal beach bar

Douglas Bacon, who owns several restaurant/bars in the Allston area, said today he's completely recasting two and seeking a bit of an hours change at the third.

At a Boston Licensing Board hearing today, Bacon started with the Avenue, 1249 Commonwealth Ave., which he hopes to recast as the Surf. "It's a recreation of a southern-California beach bar and restaurant," one that will feature tacos and the like, he said.

Bacon did not say if he considered a surfer bar on Dorchester Bay first.

The offices of city councilors Mark Ciommo (Allston/Brighton) and Steve Murphy (at large) voiced support.

Bacon continued he plans to re-open the Shanghai Social Club, 1277 Commonwealth Ave., only this time as "a neighborhood bar and restaurant" called Hopewell Bar and Kitchen featuring basic American fare. Bacon closed the restaurant last year and said he's been unable to find a buyer for it, so he figured it was time to re-open it and run it himself.

Ciommo's and Murphy's offices also supported this.

Bacon said he's planning no changes in the offerings at Harry's Bar and Grill, 1430 Commonwealth Ave., but asked the board to give him the right to let people in between 1 and 2 a.m. Currently, the place has a 2 a.m. closing, but nobody's allowed in after 1, a condition the board set in 2002.

"It's very much a neighborhood place" and he said he doubted anybody would notice the difference, except the customers who could get in for a last-minute drink.

The mayor's office gave its conditional support for this pending Bacon meeting with the Brighton Allston Improvement Association since Harry's is roughly two blocks into Brighton. Bacon agreed to meet with the group as he has with the Allston Civic Association.

"I think of this as an Allston location," he said, explaining why he hadn't met earlier with the Brighton-Allston group, which mostly deals with Brighton issues.

The licensing board decides Thursday whether to approve the changes at the three locations.

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Comments

Why not keep Avenue and move the SoCal spot into the old Shanghai?

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It's suffered long enough.

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you mean BAIA (Brighton Allston Improvement Association)?

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Fixed, thanks.

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Seems like a pretty tacky idea to me. Why not just leave the Ave as it is?

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Always with the negative waves, Moriarity

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I live pretty much directly across Comm Ave from Avenue. I am kind of excited about the change. My favorite menu item at Avenue is the fish taco special on Wednesdays (I think). Expanding on that sounds like it could be fun. And, having spent some time in SoCal, I appreciate the laid back vibe of bars down there, something that is hard to find in Boston. Upgrading Shanghai Social Club to a respectable neighborhood pub would also be great for me. I'm in my 30's and when I want to have a casual dinner and feel like a grown up, I usually have to go to TITS or Common Ground. Both of which are fine, but more of a variety would be great.

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ok, now move on from this idea.

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The Ave as the only thing going for Allston. Cheap food that is always delicious paired with good service. Do they make good tacos? Yes, but they also have a really solid burger menu.

Don't take away the one place we love. If you want to add tacos to the menu, go for it! But don't take away my precious burger dive.

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They're a huge seller, and what the space is generally known for already. Beach bars have burgers, and tacos, right?? Just hoping whatever revamp is done to brighten up the place doesn't also come with a huge price increase...

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I hope so because their burgers are quite good.

With regard to Harry's, I live right across the street and he's correct that it is very much a neighborhood place. I doubt this change will significantly alter the clientele. FWIW, the food there is excellent. The food at the Shanghai Social Club was also pretty good and I was sorry when it closed.

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What Allston needs is a few more Korean restaurants or maybe another noodle joint.

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Thank you! I am a meat and potatoes kind of girl for the most part and it seems like 90% of restaurants in my entire neighborhood some variation of Asian food. Gag.
Bring on the tacos and burgers!

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Wash them burgers (heavily onioned ) down with this!
Pabst revives a legendary Ballantine ale
https://www.bostonglobe.com/lifestyle/food-dining/...
IMAGE(https://www.bostonglobe.com/rf/image_371w/Boston/2011-2020/2015/12/15/BostonGlobe.com/Lifestyle/Images/BurtonAleBottle(1)A.psd)

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11.3%???? That's getting up into the wine territory.

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Cut it with regular beer , make it a musty if you want to lower the octane I guess , or splash in a jigger or two of rye if you want to up the ante.... But you got something, regular IPA was 7.2 %. Wonder why its so high myself ,,,,

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Seriously, "Gag"? Philistine.

I've often called Allston the best neighborhood in Boston for variety and quality in the cheap restaurant category (including several places with good to excellent tacos.) You can get burgers and pizza in any damned neighborhood.

So, when did you move there? It's not like the restaurants were all-American one day and then heavily-Asian the next.

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