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You won't recognize the new Mary Ann's - it'll be in Allston, have large windows and small plates, oh, and a new name

The Boston Licensing Board decides tomorrow whether to let the group that bought Mary Ann's in Cleveland Circle three years ago move its liquor license to a restored historic building in Allston and create an upscale dining and drinking establishment that won't have any sticky floors.

"I'm sure everyone here was familiar with [the previous] operation and its particular concept - basically a hole in the wall down in Cleveland Circle," attorney Michael Ford, who represents the City Realty-affiliated group that owns what's left of Mary Ann's - its liquor license - told the board at a hearing today.

Now picture the complete opposite: A neighborhood-friendly 2,500-square foot tavern that has large picture windows (compare) and which serves small plates to go with its alcohol offerings, all designed to appeal to "a wider group of patrons" than just BC students, he said, adding the name would also be changed, to Allston Hall.

The group, which also owns a number of other Boston-area bars, wants to move Mary Ann's into one of the buildings City Realty owns on what Harvard Avenue turns into after it crosses Cambridge Street by the former Pizzeria Regina.

"This is a total rebranding of this license," Ford said.

It's part of an overall large, six-building project to re-do the intersection of Harvard Avenue and Cambridge streets that, when done, will also include 334 residential units.

Ford pointed to all those new residential units as part of the "public need" for allowing the move from Brighton to Allston.

Conor Newman of the Mayor's Office of Neighborhood Services, supported the proposal, in part because the new establishment would offer quality jobs to the fairly large number of young Allston residents who are always looking for good service jobs.

Nobody spoke in opposition.

The current Mary Ann's actually closed awhile ago in preparation for conversion into a marijuana store.

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Comments

So it will be referenced in every future article about this new place, which will be nothing like the old Mary Ann's.

But I feel Adam is like me....there is something sad about seeing places like Mary Ann's shut down, even if it was a big problem for the Brighton community overall.

The kids older than me always had good stories from this place in the 1980's, when I guess they didn't card or the drinking age was 18. Fights, drugs, gambling, sex you name it, that was the place for it. I remember seeing lines outside when it got busy as I got older, and would end up going myself during non college season every once in a while where it was your standard "dive bar". One thing you learn early is not to drink draft beer from a place like this, and also not to get too drunk or else some locals could easily put someone in their place, and not in a nice way.

Which made me think.....who were the "locals" in this place? No one grows up in that area. I never went in there enough to get a good feel for the place in the offseason. Who's "bar" was this? I would have considered myself a local growing up in Brighton, but the people in this place were strange. I always guessed they were just friends of the bartenders, and not locals. Joey's was another place that was purely local, and never got any college students or new residents. But they had real locals, Mary Ann's though?

And there were places where the sex/drugs/fights did not bring back "good stories". Ups and Downs was one of those places. I had gone in maybe twice in my life, but Mary Ann's was a different type of fun I'm guessing.

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My parents grew up in Brighton. My Mom was in Italian area of Brighton in a sea of Irish and Jewish areas.

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but big mugs?

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For the all the people too young to have actually gone to Mary Ann's to pine about the adventures they'd have in the place.

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New joint definitely won't have the same clientele.

Nor dollar drafts...
Tiny Dancer playing so often the bartenders despised the song...
The same bartenders washing the blood off their hands in the triple dip after breaking up a brawl...
Floors quite as sticky (with dudes actually pissing on them while standing at the bar)..
Bathrooms that lack stalls...
Conversations around point shaving...
A lax attitude around fake ids...
Pino's Pizza awaiting your order after you stumble out.

All of which is to say, it won't have a fraction of the charm of Mary Ann's.

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now need a bar that they can take their families to.

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But this is what I'm talking about when I call Boston "increasingly soulless."

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sad, but not always. I remember when the B-Side Lounge took over the former Windsor Tap, a place my buddy rightly called "the best place in Cambridge to get an eight-ball and a stab wound." That was a useful upgrade, in my book.

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no one is gonna miss that place…

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Although it sounds like if any business could be argued to have its very soul and essence be represented by a liquor license, I guess it would be that one.

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That the old Mary Ann’s is either housing some kind of secret government agency, or an underground market. If you don’t believe me, go stand in doorway and soak it in. Feels like something from The Boys.

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I lived across from Mary-Ann's for 4 years and never realized it was a bar for 3 of them.

(Also, a bar without sticky floor in Allston? Where is the neighborhood going?)

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(typically waiting to sign the waiver they made you sign at the door that should have made it clear to anyone going in that going there at all was a bad idea?)

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