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New owner of Beacon Hill dive plans something more Beacon Hillish for the space

Update: Approved.

The Boston Licensing Board decides tomorrow whether to let the current dive-centric owners of the Beacon Hill Pub on Charles Street sell the place and its liquor license to a new owner who plans to extensively rehab the place and turn it into something more appropriate for one of Boston's tonier shopping streets.

"We expect it to be a lot more upscale than it was before," Carolyn Conway, attorney for the new owner, Ty Gupta, told the board this morning. She said Gupta is still looking for an operator for the space. In the meantime, another of Gupta's attorneys, Chaz Fisher, would formally serve as the bar's manager, since all liquor-license holders are required to have a designated manager. Fisher himself has extensive experience in local bars and restaurants, from helping to set up the Kinsale Group in 1998 to working on the now closed Fairmount Grille in Hyde Park.

If, as expected, the board approves the license transfer, that might signal the end of legal action between Gupta and the previous owners, the Greatest Boston Bar Co., which is affiliated with Brookline's City Realty.

Gupta, through his Beacon Hill Pub, LLC, bought the bar and the building it's in October for $8.3 million, according to Suffolk County Registry of Deeds records. In a lawsuit filed in Suffolk Superior Court, he said the agreement gave him an option to give the bar 60 days to move out - an option he says he exercised immediately, but when the 60 days ran out, the Beacon Hill Pub was still there and refusing to budge. The suit is still active as of this morning, according to court records.

Greatest Boston Bar bought 147-149 Charles St. for $5.54 million in 2018, according to Suffolk County Registry of Deeds records. On Feb. 25, 2021, it won approval from the Zoning Board of Appeal to add three apartments to the six the building already had as well as to renovate the building.

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Comments

For better or for worse.. or arguably both. With that said, Boston's character and charm will be ancient history in a decade.

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Yes the Beacon Hill Pub and Buzzy's Roast Beef are no more, but the world won't end. As long as this isn't replaced by some national chain, whatever the new place is will become part of the new Boston.

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Sporter's on Cambridge Street

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Wow, Sporters! I think that was only open for a year or two after I moved to Boston. No signage or anything. I never even knew what it was or its name until a friend of mine in real estate told me it was a gay bar--that explained a lot, but never got confirmation that that is what it actually was.

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Greatest gay dive bar of all time.

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Sporters was a good neighbor. Quiet from the outside, no food trash or rat problems, no drunken patrons congregating. Some people didn’t like the blackout windows and generally downscale appearance, but the place really never gave anybody any reason to complain. I ducked in once and got a definite, “you’re not one of us and this place isn’t really for you” vibe but nothing I would have called hostile.

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I agree about the "good neighbor" part. I lived around the corner for maybe a year before I even realized that it was an operating business. And then only because I happened to walk by when the door opened for someone. The blacked out windows didn't bother me except to the extent that I thought "gee, it's too bad this property isn't being used. That would add more life to Cambridge St." lol (Cambridge St was a little grittier back then.)

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algiers and pamplona. all the new places that open are self-consciously stylized and the coffee costs $5.
pamplona and algiers both sold normal people food at decent prices (especially pamplona!!) and they let you sit there all day if you wanted.

rip ;(

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Of artisan joints that you can only afford if you’re in biotech or finance?

That’s the new Boston, son.

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Old Man Bars, Beer 'n a Beatin' Bars, and Shitty Dives are irreplaceable, or at least take some redolent history and character with them when they disappear. The counterpoint is that some of those places kinda sucked, and their replacements are awesome.

I'd feel more justified in mourning the Beacon Hill Pub's closing if I'd been by more than three or four times in the past 20 years. It's harder to kick about it if you didn't support it with your business regularly.

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Some of those spots were as fake as the clientele that pretended they were dives and deserved the experience of buying into their own fantasies. Everything Henry Vara ever touched wreaked of the beer he sold and mimicked what only his narrow view of the world could afford.

10 points for employing the term boîte to describe what would later replace them but in many cases it would appear that the new owners are always looking for deep-pocketed and hardworking "operators" to help out with the mortgage by running a little bar on the bottom floor, so I'm long passed the point of exhaustion of hearing about about yet another cookie-cutter faux shebeen ownership group is going to take over and Disnefy an already gentrified locale that lost its charm in the early nineties.

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But we can't drink EVERYWHERE, exactly, but I die a little as each dive bar's neon winks out. I remember being at BHP one afternoon in the '80s dinking and playing darts with some guy who had just gotten out of Charles Street jail. Nothing like toddling out of a suitably dark bar back into the blazing light and heat of a Boston summer.

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Last time I was in there I was thrown out for being underage. The drinking age was 18 at the time. It’s been a while.

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I guess whether it's sad or not depends on how ironic it is. BHP full of rich college kids and young professionals. Griffiths in Forest Hills not so much. Sad about the former, glad about the latter.

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