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Forest Hills watering hole to dry up this weekend

Boston Restaurant Talk reports J.J. Foley's Fireside Tavern on Hyde Park Avenue, across from the Forest Hills T stop, will be closing forever this weekend.

With the demise in recent years of the Cottage Cafe, the Drinking Fountain and, of course, Doyle's, that means grizzled drinkers on the prowl along Hyde Park Avenue will have only the Cavan Cafe in Hyde Park to fill their needs.

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Comments

My wife and I walked by there last month our way to The Dogwood. She wondered aloud what it was like in there and I surmised that it was an "old man bar." Hate to see dive bars fade away...

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Voting closed 14

It's a bar, but definitely not an old-man bar like the Fireside Tavern.

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I wondered what the Fireside was like.

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This was circa 2003. On more than one occasion after I knocked off work, between 3:00pm and 5:00pm, there were several regulars who would hand over their check to the bartender, receive their cash, and then leave a tip. I only remember one guy ever staying for a drink. The memory sticks because it reminded me of my dad.

In recent (meaning pre-covid) times, the vibe changed and skewed younger than in past times. The last time I was there I have a memory of it being the only bar I have ever been to that had its lights fully on and not dimmed, the same way other bars put the lights up at last call. It was bright in there.

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Voting closed 21

Yes. Perhaps the brightest bar around. On the other side of JP is the darkest(Brendan Behan Pub).

A block away from from here Eugene ONeills is supposedly reopening. Fingers crossed.

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Voting closed 5

rent too high? not enough customers? building got bought out? owners just want to retire?

obviously sad to lose a local watering hole, but that is a prime location for some infill development. if it does get torn down and turned into housing, very much hope that they build high and leave a spot for another pub on the ground floor

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Voting closed 12

I go there once a month or so. Definitely a classic “Dive” bar but there are women there. One of the things I liked is that they had a big top table that had a few chess boards on them where the pieces sat on top of the gas fireplace. Other than that it has an old plastic bar with bolted down stools and some booths that were tight. Add in a dart board, bookshelf with games, a 1995 deer Hunter AND Golden Tee machine and you have yourself a good Saturday afternoon. Oh I forgot about the $2.75 PBR drafts and no credit cards (or bar tabs), and one of those racks with Wise potato chips and Dipsy Doodles. Also one of those bars where the TV is on and everyone in the bar would be silent watching family Feud, Jeopardy and try to make fun of the Libs if the news was on. Covid and Covid protocols never existed here.

Anyway the bartender told me the building sold and a new place will be going in that spot.

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Voting closed 42

But it's still tough to see another old bar disappear.

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I spent a lot of time there in a former life.

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That was my go to place in the 90s. It's still a good time, though my visits are far less frequent.

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Wow - never thought I'd see that close but I said the same of Doyle's. If the Galway goes I'm done. I miss my old JP....

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Voting closed 19

Gentrification strikes again.

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That place is a mess. Lots of trouble and riff riff at night to the point that they lock the doors. GOOD RIDDANCE! Only trouble comes from that place. And the stench. ugh.

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JPer, you are every single thing that is wrong about JP now. Tell me why I’m wrong.

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The question is were YOU going there? I've had two friends die as a result of alcoholism and Fireside was central to enabling them. In almost any circumstance I would never blame a bar for their patron's problems, but when the bar goes so far as to cash their paychecks it begins to overstep from non-participant to actively enabling their behavior. It's was a sad, depressing place and JP has far better enduring watering holes. If the gentrifying yuppies every Bostonian living thirty years in nostalgia love to bemoan are wiping up cultural shit-stains like Fireside than more power to 'em.

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I live just around the corner and up the hill a bit from the Fireside. I walk by it usually at least 2x a day, often at night, sometimes in the later hours. I have never seen or heard any trouble. If by riff raff, you mean:
-a mid/late afternoon small crowd that comes in for a beer and has some smokers who hang out outside
-a later evening crowd that has some younger hipster-esque people who also has some smokers who hang out outside
-a weekend crowd of contractor-types that over-park the side lot with trucks and SUVs and are kind of annoyingly careless (or just jerks) about driving the wrong way up Weld Hill or driving over the sidewalk to get there

Then yep, "riff raff", sure.

But I've never seen or heard any problems, the bartenders don't tolerate much shit, they come out and sweep up the cigarette butts and get rid of other trash.

And - I'd be happy to see a 3 story building there, with a bar on the 1st floor, and parking only for a few apartments rather than a pretty large corner lot for the business.

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>with a bar on the 1st floor,

That would be nice as there's a shortage of bars around Forest Hill. I doubt that any new bar will be as inexpensive as JJ's.

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What's the deal over there?

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I need a moment…. Okay, done being sad!

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I live nearby. Maybe a month+ ago I walked past Foley’s and a van labeled “Soil Testing” was parked on the adjacent lot. A crew was drilling here and there, when I passed later the holes were neatly filled. Figured it was pre-development check for environmental issues.

Hope the new building is better designed than the crazy mid-mash architecture of the new building across the street.

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I was there the night the Red Sox won the 2004 ALCS.

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