The Bad Decision Bar: where what starts as a nice little evening diversion ends when you awake spooning a half-eaten slice of pizza and wondering where your pants are, whose apartment you're in, and if the owner of said apartment has your pants. Boston has more than its share of spots that spawn questionable choices -- but these are the best (or worst) of them:
Faneuil Hall and Harvard Square
You definitely didn’t start here, but you certainly ended here. Whether you’re prowling Downtown or Cambridge, the Hong Kong (aka the "Wrong Kong”) is never far away. Follow up that Scorpion Bowl with some ill-advised texts to your ex and an order of crab rangoon, then face the consequences of both the next day.
It'll be hard to know whether you should attribute the morning-after headache to the $1.50 drafts and $4 margs, the repeated karaoke attempts to capture Steve Perry's vocal magic, or the girl whose leg you were humping on the dance floor (who declined to tell you that her boyfriend would be meeting her there in about 90 seconds). All of the above is a solid bet.
The Garden-convenient drinkery decidedly NOT known for its soothing live harp performers instead plays host to plenty of victory shots, condolence shots, and "there isn't a game tonight but we have to drink somewhere" shots. Hopefully the mustard stain from that inevitable post-last call dirty water dog lands on the yellow portion of your B's jersey.
A better name might be "Sh*tty O’Kay’s". You’re here because the lines were too long at the Wrong Kong and Sissy’s. The $5 cover crystallizes what a small price you place on your own dignity. Try not to slip on the treacherous staircase down to the sketchy bathrooms, because there's no cell service down there and you don't want to be stuck, Life Alert commercial-style.
Ned Devine’s Pub
Faneuil Hall... AGAIN! It's Boston's Epicenter of Shame. They should add a plaque to the Freedom Trail. If you have at least two stains on your clothing that you can't identify and three texts from a "Jill Tramp Stamp" you don't recall meeting, you were likely at Ned's.
Beacon Hill Pub
Just one more drink on the way to the T, right? Wrong. Cheap beers and stiff whiskey drinks lead to a misplaced faith in your Buck Hunter/ Golden Tee/ Pop-A-Shot/ darts prowess which leads to a surprise gambling debt, an unceremonious and abrupt exit, and your new identity: Chet Finklestein.
As you'd expect from any bar drawing its name from one of the great works of 20th century American literature, DB is a regular stomping ground for frat guys, guidos, the elusive hybrid frat-guido, and the kind of ladies who are drawn to the mixed scent of stale urine and Drakkar and find it impressive when someone hooks them up with a $4 serving of house punch.
When you leave Tequila Rain, you'll feel like there isn't enough Purell on the planet to sterilize what just happened. Basically it's Señor Frog’s with crappier weather. It's a sweaty cauldron of popped collars and sparkly tops set to a soundtrack that mostly consists of Rihanna and squealing. It smells like regret.
And now a moment of silence for these gone, but not forgotten, mind erasers. Cue the sappy music: An Tua Nua, Cambridgeport Saloon, The Purple Shamrock, and Jose McIntyre’s. You are gone, but only partially forgotten.
1. Hong Kong65 Chatham St, Boston
2. Sissy K's6 Commercial St, Boston
3. The Harp85 Causeway St, Boston
4. Kitty O'Shea's131 State St, Boston
5. Ned Devine's1 Faneuil Hall Marketplace, Boston
6. Beacon Hill Pub149 Charles St, Boston
7. Daisy Buchanan's240A Newbury St, Boston
8. Tequila Rain3 Lansdowne St, Boston
Hong Kong is a restaurant/ dance club in the best of ways. Order a Scorpion Bowl and one of six (or six of six!) kinds of popcorn chicken and hit the dance floor!
Ask anyone about Sissy K's, and they'll tell you about the awesome $1.50 Bud Lights. Plus, there's a second floor for dancing off said $1.50 Bud Lights, and cheap apps for soaking up said $1.50 Bud Lights.
Conveniently located, The Harp is a great place to stop on your way to or from TD Garden, or if you are looking for a solid spot to grab a bite or a drink in general. Looking for a DJ-fueled dance party? Just head downstairs!
Kitty O'Shea's brings its Irish pub flavor to Faneuil Hall, hosting two floors of great food (until 10p) and drinks (until 2a).
Ned Devine's Quincy Market is a buzzy, touristy pub that slings traditional British and Irish favorites like corned beef and bangers and mash -- by day, at least. Once the sun goes down, the dilapidated brick walls are washed in green and purple neon light, and the whole place becomes a clubby bar with DJ-ed dance parties and live music.
A well-loved dive bar with everything you could ask for: cheap drinks, a jukebox, and foosball. Pull up a stool and have yourself a $3 'Gansett tall boy, neighbor!
Come to Daisy Buchanan's if you are looking for some great cheese fries, buffalo wings, cheap beers, and rum punch. Make sure you bring cash, and be ready for a rowdy late-night scene.