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Love Handles: The Brendan Behan Is a Boston Institution Hiding in Plain Sight

From our Love Handles files on beer bars we love: This homey Irish pub in Boston’s Jamaica Plain neighborhood specializes in conviviality, local beers, and the occasional homemade burrito.

Samer Khudairi Jun 5, 2022 - 2 min read

Love Handles: The Brendan Behan Is a Boston Institution Hiding in Plain Sight Primary Image

Photo: Courtesy Brendan Behan Pub

What it is: There are many different incarnations of the Irish pub found around the world, but in the Jamaica Plain neighborhood, you’ll find the beloved Brendan Behan Pub, a Boston institution hiding in plain sight on Centre Street. It’s named for the prolific Irish writer, but regulars just call it “the Behan.” It’s unassuming and inviting—a place to catch up with a friend or meet someone new. Note: It’s cash-only, but there’s an ATM on site. There’s no kitchen, but on Wednesday and Saturday afternoons a local favorite named Rafa sells traditional Mexican burritos from a hotel pan.

Why it’s great: As a bonus to the kind of atmosphere that can only be earned over 33 years as a neighborhood gathering place, the Behan’s 20 draft lines feature an impressive selection of local craft, including the likes of Allagash, Exhibit A, Lamplighter, Proclamation, Schilling, and more. (There is, of course, a line for Guinness and a draft macro lager for less than $4.) They also clean their draft lines regularly and allow dogs. There is a dartboard, but the pub is usually too abuzz with happy humans to safely throw sharp objects.

Hours: 12 p.m.–1a.m., Monday–Sunday
Address: 378 Centre St., Jamaica Plain, Boston, Massachusetts

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