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Boston Bars Without Televisions

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They're a dying breed.

The television-free bar at Clio
The television-free bar at Clio
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It's a question that comes up with some frequency around these parts: Where can I get a drink and not be accosted by blaring, bright televisions? Luke O'Neil muses about this over on Boston.com today. "Perhaps my ambience radar is a bit out of tune, having just returned from a drinking jag through London and Edinburgh," he writes. "In the dozens of bars I visited, from high class cocktail lounges, to private clubs, to rowdier beer pubs, I found that TVs were a rarity. In fact I don’t even remember seeing one on the entire time. They are just as, if not more, sports mad in the UK as we are here in Boston, so the dearth of perfunctorily tossed-on TVs was a welcome surprise."

He lists a few Boston-area spots that are blissfully television-free, like Drink, Backbar, Craigie on Main, and Clio, but there are not too many more. It's particularly difficult to find television-less bars on the lower end of the price scale (Grendel's Den and Mr. Dooley's, O'Neil notes, are among this rare class.) When The Glenville Stops opened back in April, the owners decided not to have televisions, a decision that at least one reader applauded. ("Love that there will be no TVs!! Finally someone has a clue!!")

Where else do you go to avoid television, have a nice drink, and maybe even hold a conversation with the person sitting next to you? Leave a comment below or hit up the tipline with your favorites.

Here's the list so far:

  • The Abbey
  • Backbar
  • Barcelona Wine Bar
  • Belly Wine Bar
  • Bergamot
  • Besito (in Burlington and at the soon-to-open Chestnut Hill location)
  • Bistro du Midi (the upstairs bar)
  • Brendan Behan Pub
  • City Bar
  • Clio
  • Craigie on Main
  • Drink
  • The Glenville Stops
  • Green Street
  • Grendel's Den
  • The Hawthorne
  • La Brasa
  • Loyal Nine (coming soon - mentioned having no televisions at a licensing hearing)
  • Matt Murphy's
  • Mr. Dooley's
  • No. 9 Park
  • Parla
  • The Plough and Stars
  • Ribelle
  • Saloon
  • Sarma
  • Solea Restaurant and Tapas Bar (the main bar)
  • Spoke Wine Bar
  • Toro
  • Tres Gatos
  • Washington Square Tavern
  • Wink & Nod

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