Boston’s Cheers Bar will leave your nostalgic heart happy
I just loved our time here. Being a devoted Cheers fan you can only imagine the joy of setting foot in this bar for the first time and seeing the inspired setting for such an iconic show. I was singing “Sometimes you wanna go where everybody knows your name” all day long in anticipation of my official visit. I must reiterate – Gosh I love that show.
The banter between the characters, the sordid romance of Sam and Diane, the hilarious ignorance of Coach and Woody, the entertainment of Cliff… (Did you Know? John Ratzenburger went on to voice characters in all the Disney Pixar films? Listen for it next time you pop one on Netflix.) It all shaped Cheers as a show unlike any other.
With this nostalgic notoriety, it is no wonder that this bar set in beautiful Boston became a tourist attraction with devoted fans flocking here from across the globe for a drink. This eatery is so popular with visitors to Boston that our lovely friends at Historic Tours of America incorporated it into their comprehensive trolley tour. A special stop was made for loyal fans to disembark right outside the bar. And the best part? The classic theme song will play as you head downstairs to get a taste of classic television.
The History Behind this bar
So as the writers were creating the classic show, the network searched for the ideal pub for the show’s setting. Bar upon bar was visited before Boston’s Bull and Finch Pub was selected. The outside was used in the opening scenes of the show during its entire run until 1993, becoming a truly loved piece of television history.
The Original Cheers
Pro Tip: The original Cheers bar does not look anything like the show’s setting. It is smaller, more intimate, and everything a bar atmosphere should be.
After the show aired on the telly, the owner of the inspired bar was bombarded with Cheers fans making the pilgrimage to Boston expressing sheer surprise and disappointment at the difference between the two establishments. This would be the case as like most shows, Cheers was recorded in a California studio.
Getting sick and tired of the negative reactions and comparisons, the owner decided to renovate the upper floor of his tavern creating an identical replica of the show’s set. Both floors offer the same bar offerings and menu items. In the end, it is up to you the visitor, whether you wish to eat in the original or the replica.
Want more choice? There is an additional location owned by the same guy near the Historic District and Macy’s department store. It offers identical cocktails, beer, wine, bar fare to the original location on Beacon Hill.
The Food & Drink
So many gimmicky establishments rely heavily on the famous aspect or novelty of their business. I have found that once fans become interested in the famous restaurant, museum, or experience, the establishments don’t focus as much on the quality of their product. With these thoughts preceding my visit, I was keeping an open mind of our experience here hoping it would not be an overpriced mediocre experience. And to my surprise it was very satisfying and a reasonable price.
First, you cannot visit the Cheers bar without enjoying a cocktail or pint. So in typical fashion we ordered drinks served in souvenir mugs to start, followed by traditional Bostonian cuisine complementing our drinks perfectly.
Cheers Souvenir Shop
You cannot leave the bar without stopping into the incredible souvenir shop! No matter how big a fan you are, there is something for everyone. Choose from mugs, magnets, collectibles, ornaments, clothing, postcards, and more. We as huge fans brought home a few magnets, postcards, and a very handy shopping bag. We are quite savvy on the souvenirs we buy and choose them wisely. For information on how to choose the right item click here.
Everybody visiting Boston, whether a fan of the show or not, should head to the Cheers Bar for a little touch of nostalgia. The food is tasty, the drinks are refreshing, and the ambiance is as pleasant as ever. Head there as it opens to ensure you get a table. Fans flock there daily and the wait times for a table could be lengthy and feel longer if you are hungry. Remember if you wish to experience the original bar you must head down the stairs. If you wish to feel as if you were on the show’s set, ensure you grab a table on the second floor.
Once you have completed your visit, wait at the stop just outside the bar for the trolley to pick you up. The stops are so conveniently placed to ensure travellers have a pleasant experience with little walking in between. With stops at the Cheers Bar, Boston Common, and 14 other places across town, it truly is the best way to experience Boston. More in our virtual trolley tour series coming soon!
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Fill My Passport were a guest of Historic Tours of America in Boston on our recent trip. All opinions in this post and upcoming content in our Boston Virtual Trolley tour series are our own and were not influenced in any way.
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