In recent years, Boston has lost a lot of bars that fit somewhere within the Venn diagram of Irish pubs, sports bars, and dives, due to pandemic-related challenges and other reasons. On rare occasions, they come back. This week is one of those occasions: Jamaica Plain’s Eugene O’Neill’s, an Irish pub that operated from 2012 to 2017, reopened this week in its old space at 3700 Washington Street, Boston, right across from the Forest Hills MBTA station, a relaunch three years in the making.
The new Eugene O’Neill’s is still tied to Napper Tandy’s, a group of Irish pubs in Roslindale, Norwood, Walpole, and Millis. A rebirth has been in the works since 2019 but didn’t come to pass until this week, and the pub is still hiring for all positions, undoubtedly facing the same staffing challenges that have been troubling the hospitality industry throughout the pandemic.
The pub’s new manager is Carl Smith, a longtime bartender at the nearby Foley’s Fireside Tavern, which closed earlier this year. Eugene 2.0 is meant to be a casual hangout where people can eat, drink, and watch the Sox, Smith told Universal Hub, ideally attracting regulars from Fireside as well as newcomers to the neighborhood, which is seeing the addition of lots of new apartments and condos these days.
To start, the pub will reportedly offer about 10 beers on tap (there’s definitely Guinness), some cocktails, and a simple menu of bar fare, with the possibility of expanding the offerings once the team gets a feel for what the neighborhood wants. Keep an eye on Facebook for updates on hours and more as things ramp up.