Christopher Klein Highlights Historic Taverns of Massachusetts

March 5, 2012 |

Wayside Inn, by Chris Klein for the Boston Globe

Regular readers of the Boston Globe’s travel section are likely familiar with Union Park Press author Christopher Klein. As a Globe contributor, Chris delivers fascinating articles about the arts, history, and culture of Boston—our areas of interest at Union Park Press.

In his latest article, Chris highlights ten pubs that are part of the Massachusetts Tavern Trail—dozens of colonial-era bars and inns from Cape Cod to the Berkshires steeped in the Commonwealth’s rich history. Though we tend to think that we know our  Massachusetts history pretty well (especially when it comes to bars) we admit that we learned a ton from Chris’s article, and are thirsty to visit several of the taverns he featured.

  • We are fans of Boston’s  Bell in Hand Tavern before, but its full historic context may have escaped us. The tavern, located near Faneuil Hall,  was named for the occupation of its founder, Jimmy Wilson, who served as a town crier in the late 1700s. He would clang his bell three times before declaring the day’s news. Today, Bell in Hand still offers classic pub food, but on weekend nights, the tavern is transformed into a nightclub atmosphere with DJs and live cover bands.
  • A trip south to Scituate to visit the Barker Tavern seems imminent.  Housed in a fully restored 17th century building (said to be one of the oldest in the U.S.) that served as a stronghold during King Philip’s War, the Barker Tavern operates as a fine dining restaurant attached to Eli’s Pub, a watering hole with a casual feel.
  • Once the weather warms up, we’ll hit the  Old Yarmouth Inn, the Cape’s oldest inn, which opened in 1696. According to its website, Old Yarmouth Inn is suspected to house multiple “mischievous” ghosts that “possess a good sense of humor.” Spend a night at the inn, if you dare. Otherwise, it’s a cozy place to grab an intimate meal with friends.

Image courtesy of tripadvisor.com

The part that we may have liked the most about this article, however, was that Chris interviewed journalist and author Stephanie Schorow, who is in the midst of writing the forthcoming Drinking Boston: A History of the City and its Spirits, which will be published this fall by Union Park Press. Needless to say, we are looking forward to digging into this subject over the next few months. But for now, we just hope this fun article by Chris Klein has whetted your appetite for more. Cheers!

Christopher Klein is the author of The Die-Hard Sports Fan’s Guide to Boston and Discovering the Boston Harbor Islands: A Guide to the City’s Hidden Shores. He is a regular contributor to the travel pages of The Boston Globe, and his articles and photographs have appeared in National Geographic Traveler, The Boston Globe Magazine, New England Travel, GO Magazine, AAA Horizons, Smithsonian.com, AmericanHeritage.com, and ESPN.com.

 

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