The Boston (212) cafe SUX

(UPDATE 9/25/05: This post was written about the Boston (212) cafe’s old location … I haven’t been to its new digs, and so can’t say what they are like.)

I cannot imagine a worse place to watch a sporting event than this new Boston (212) cafe.

Yes, I went there last night with a friend (and one of his friend’s). No, I’m not bitter because the Sox lost.

But basically, this place bites, okay? So hard I feel compelled to warn y’all about it.

It’s flaws? Glad you asked. First, this “exciting and unique bar & grille for anyone with an affinity to Boston” is located in the basement of a restaurant.

There’s no ambience, no special feel to this place. The only decorations behind the bar were the $20 T-shirts they were selling. There were no beers on tap. As my friend said, it looked like with an hour’s work, you could hold a wedding reception there.

It’s not really a sports bar at all — I think someone just decided to cash in on the Yankees/Sox craze by trying to make money off an unused space in a friend’s restaurant.

And look – my buddy and I are huge Sox fans. We wanted to like this place. But it blew. The TVs were unremarkable; the sound system not so hot. His turkey sandwich wasn’t so great, either. After three innings, we left (all three of us hated it) to go watch it at Bar 515 instead and had a great time.

Sox fans — New York has plenty of great sports bars. If you want to watch a game with Sox fans in New York, try the Riveira or the Hairy Monk.

But really, you’d have more fun watching the game in a room full of Yankee fans than this dump.

P.S. – I wonder what connection Gary Croke has to the owner.

33 comments to The Boston (212) cafe SUX

  • nancy

    Hey, I’ve been to this place too and granted it’s not an established place in New York City like a regular sports bar. But give the place a chance!! I heard that the owners are using this space temporarily and will eventually move into a different, bigger place.
    They are trying to do a bar just for Red Sox fans, so what’s wrong with that? Riviera is great, but you’re always going to be dealing with Yankee fans and others there and it gets too friggin crowded!

    I’m going tto hang in there with Boston (212) and hope that if and when they find a bigger space that it will be the best Boston sports bar in NYC.

  • Well, I hope they can find a nice space. Honestly, I’m a huge Sox fan and wanted to like this place. But in their space at present, I really, really hated it.

    And honestly … does it really bother you that much to be around Yankee fans? Gosh, we’ve got bragging rights this whole year … and I’ve had a number of good-natured interactions with Yankee fans in Manhattan bars. Playoff games are different … but for the most part, just give me a place with good grub, character, cold beer and a spot to sit.

  • P.S. – I went to the Riv last night for a Thursday night Sox/Yankees game, lots of people there, but not so crowded I couldn’t find a seat at the bar. (and I got there late) Certainly no Yankees fans… it actually was a rowdy crowd yelling obscene anti-Yankee chants at the TV, but I didn’t mind that.

    Hey, also, when you say you’ve heard that the owners are looking for a new place– can we assume you’re buddies with them? Because really, I have a hard time imagining that anyone else would go back tot this place.

  • nancy

    I’ve been to Boston 212 on a number of occasions and I’ve always enjoyed my time there. Friendly people behind the bar and I enjoyed talking with the other Sox fans there. Fairly large crowd was there on Thursday night. I plan on going back many times during the season.

    There’s a reason you got a seat at the bar at the Riv after showing up late. Go there a few more times when there not playing the Yankees and you’ll see even smaller crowds. You shouldn’t have any problems getting a seat those nights either. Can’t say the reason right now………

    The Riv WAS a very cool place to watch the Sox. I’m a huge Sox fan too and they no longer will get my business…….

  • Come on. The Riv is a very good sports bar, period. I was going there before it was a Sox bar, and I go there even for events that have nothing to do with the Sox – like the Jets/Steelers playoff game in January. I’m not saying it’s the greatest sports bar ever, but it’s a good bar in a great location.

    Do you really mean to tell me there’s large crowds at Boston 212 even for run-of-the-mill Sox games?

  • nancy

    Yes, the “run-of-the-mill” Sox games are getting some good crowds at Boston 212. The word about the bar is growing among Sox fans inside and outside of New York. The guys running Boston 212 are making a sincere effort of running a friendly establishment, and it continues to improve.

    I’ll tell you why I’m not in the Riv anymore. Management treats their employees like crap. A good friend of mine, a long time employee, was just let go, and many of us are supporting him and staying out. Last year there was no way in the world you could get a seat at the bar when the Sox played the Yankees. Now you can. As time goes on that may become a more common occurence.

    The guy who runs the bar (a Yankee fan believe it or not) is actually trying to DIVORCE the bar from the fact it’s the big Red Sox fans’ meeting place. The Riviera wouldn’t be what it is today without the Sox’ fans devotion to watching the games there. For that, and the way he treated my friend, he’s lost my support.

    Boston 212 and a few other Sox friendly bars in NYC will get my business. Until my friend gets an apology for his shabby treatment by management, I’ll watch the Red Sox elsewhere.

    You don’t like Boston 212?

    Whatever. Stay at the Riv.

  • nancy

    No, I am not BUDDIES with the owners of Boston 212. I was in there and I had the same kind of doubts about the place that you probably had as far as the appearance and all. I was talking with some Sox fans at the bar and one of them told me they were hoping to find a bigger place in the future. Hey, you don’t like it or don’t want to go, then don’t. But me and many others will continue to support it.

  • Okay, fair enough. Different strokes for different folks, right? I only asked about being buddies with the owner because my negative comments about the 212 had been deleted from the Bornintoit and Meetup message boards. But anyway, here I’m happy to host dissenting views. Ultimately, the more Sox bars the better, because they’ll all be less crowded.

    And how about Manny finally getting hot, huh?

    Let’s go SOX!

  • nancy

    I agee with Derek. This place sux! I wouldn’t be surprised if the person who responded above is actually the owner of the place–who by the way is pretty arrogant…He lists himself as Cap Cod Charlie on Meet up and promotes the place all the time without divulging that he’s the actual owner. Go figure.

    I guess ultimately, you are right Derek, the only thing that really matters is that we have another bar to watch the Red Sox do what they do best! Frankly, I was sick of the crowds at the Riv.

  • nancy

    Once again, to the person who responded above:

    If Boston 212 Cafe is not your cup of tea, there are plenty of other places to watch the Red Sox games in New York.

    I just DON’T understand why someone has a completely separate blog just to bash a cool place to hang out and watch the Sox games. I’ve been at Boston 212 a few times and the responses I’ve seen from people there have been overwhelmingly positive.

    I could be wrong, but I think the guy who runs this blog has some secret agenda against the place. Otherwise, why would someone create something like “The Boston (212) sux” ?

  • No secret agenda on my part. But this was a bar that I went to simply because it was promoted on the Internet … and I just thought it was terrible, awful, like so bad I should warn people.

    This isn’t a “completely separate blog,” it’s a page on my own personal blog. After my negative Boston 212 cafe comment got me kicked out of the Red Sox meetup site, I spent $7 and registered the domain name at It redirects people to this page. Took me less than five minutes to do it. Long live free speech!

    People should know that the positive comments about this place on the NYC Red Sox meetup and aren’t the full story; anything negative gets deleted.

    At the time I wrote this post, I honestly had a hard time imagining anyone would like this place … but admit I haven’t been back since the season opener, and have no real reason to doubt the (anonymous) people here who say they like it. My friends and I hated it, however.

    Anyway, I’d encourage everyone to check it out for themselves … just take the address of the Park Ave. Country Club and the Hairy Monk with you — they’re nearby and that way if you loathe it as much as we did, you have somewhere else to go.

  • nancy

    the place sucks ass. It’s a dump.

  • nancy

    I am owner operator of the the webpage and I can’t help but rebuddle to your claim about deleting your post. The reason your post was deleted was because you come into the chat communtiy and your first on our message board is a negative profane bashing of a newly established bar in NYC for Sox fans by a good group of people that not only want it to succeed for monetary reasons but for the enjoyment of the Red Sox community as well.

    Would you expect us to leave your post after you make one post on the board, never return, and then go and register a domain that does nothing but try to hurt the business of this establishement that is for Red Sox fans and by Red Sox fans after only attending the place once?

    I can understand if you wanted to make a negative review and leave your 2cts in a constructive manner, your post would have been repected.

    I certainly don’t respect your agenda and am uncertain as to what it is. I have been to Boston 212 and like any resteraunt it has had initial growing pains. I will do everything to support a bar in NYC that is for Red Sox fans and by Red Sox fans. Any true Red Sox fan would follow suit.

  • Well, I guess we have different ideas of what constitutes of running an honest message board. I believe in letting people have their say — the fact that your message stands is proof of that.

    And I believe my comment disappeared from your board before I registered the domain name. And certainly, I wasn’t going to return to post more messages after my first one was deleted, now, was I? (and how do you think I could have said, “I hate this place” in a constructive way?)

    I think I was pretty clear about my agenda: I think this place sucks, and I want to warn Sox fans about it. But I’m open to dissenting opinions. Do all the people who write negative reviews on Citysearch also have some secret agenda?

    I’m completely transparent: I post under my real name, I’ve never met “Cape Cod Charlie”, and I have no connection to the other Sox bars in town. Now that we’re discussing agendas — can you say the same? What’s your connection to the owner of this place? You mention you want it to succeed for “monetary reasons” — are you getting paid to promote it on your site??? If so, shouldn’t that be disclosed up-front?

    Your comment at “any true Red Sox fan” would support this NYC Sox bar is laughable. Because we’re Sox fans, we have to support any Sox bar, no matter how much it sucks? The word is SOX, not “sucker.” My buddy and I who hated this place are as big fans as they come. (He was sprayed with champagne by Keith Foulke after Game 7 of last year’s ALCS!)

    And the things I hate about this place are its physical limitations — the fact that it’s in a windowless basement, for God’s sake. I don’t think I need to visit it more than once to form an informed opinion.

  • […] admin admits censorship In the comment section of my post about the horrible Boston (212) Cafe, the administrator of the Red Sox fan site […]

  • nancy

    I believe in letting people have their say — the fact that your message stands is proof of that. ….(written by Derek Rose above in response to my comment)

    I am confused by what you mean of the fact that my message stands?.. If you go back to the tread that you commented in on our board I did not leave a message at all in this thread.. My screen name on that board is bahstonsox. I believe you are mistaken about me leaving my own comments in this thread.

    I stand by the fact that you left a profane message on our board as your virgin post that seemed to have an agenda other then talking about the Red Sox. If you feel challenged by this and feel I am unwarrented in this statement I can certainly go back into our hosting history and leave the post you left right here on your own message board.

    Let me know if you would like me to do so to prove this point.

    Ryan G.

    Born Into

  • Ryan, it was this message of yours that I was referring to: I am owner operator of the the webpage and I can’t help but rebuddle to your claim about deleting your post. (I assume that you wrote it, and not an imposter!)

    I can’t remember exactly what I wrote on your board, but I’m doubtful that it had any profanity… well, unless you consider “sucks” a swear. Sure, I guess my “agenda” was something other than talking about the Sox — but you had a thread open on this bar, I thought you’d welcome a dissenting view. My mistake!

  • nancy

    Hey Derek, what paper in NYC do you write for? You say you are a member of the New YOrk City press corp.

  • Ummm … I’m a general assignment reporter for this paper.

    But just to be very very clear: this is my own personal site, views expressed here are my own and not that of my employer, bleah bleah bleah.

    I’m not a sportswriter, but have had occasion to write about the Sox and Yankees here and here. Check out that second link especially … I think I did a good job (if I may say so myself) of disguising my anti-Yankee bias and writing the story I’d want written if I were a grieving Yankee fan.

    Also, if you got here via the domain, the actual address of my blog is … that takes you my blog; this is just one little page on that site.

  • nancy

    Good lord!!! Do any of you guys have a life? It’s a bar…… I’ve been there and even though it’s in a basement, there were TV’s, beer, and chairs. It had all the important elements of a good bar. Nobody really cares if you like it or think it sucks. In fact, you’re “warning” is doing the exact opposite fo what you wish to accomplish. More people will go there just to see if it sucks as bad as you say. Unless you’re some stuck-up-Rockefeller-type who needs impressive ambiance and $15 import drafts, you’ll like this bar. There was Sam Adams on tap and pub food, all while NOT being shoulder to shoulder with a hundred meat-heads. If you want a 5-star bar, this isn’t for you, but if you are truely all about the game, this place is great…..

  • err, what do you think I’m trying to accomplish? Like I said here, I’d encourage people to go check it out for themselves. Personally, I like dives with character — Time Out, Siberia, etc. Still, I hated this place … a good bar needs a little more than TVs, beer and chairs, IMHO.

    But whatever, I appreciate that my taste isn’t shared by everyone …if you like it, more power to you.

  • nancy

    Boston (212) sucks

  • Bill Jenkins

    A cool place to watch Red Sox games in New York City is a place called “Phebe’s” in the East Village. They have every Sox gam on their TVs, with a great atmosphere and good food.

    BTW, have you checked out the “new” Boston 212 on 54th Street and 2nd Avenue, Derek?

  • i haven’t … and actually, thanks for reminding me. Out of fairness, I do want to note that this post was written about the Boston 212’s old location. No idea what the new place is like.

    I’ve been going to the Riv. quite a bit these last two weeks, but have also heard good things about Phebe’s.

  • Bill Jenkins

    I’ve been to both Boston 212 bars, and the new one is better than the old one. At least the new one at street level. You should check it out.

    But I do prefer Phebe’s. Food and atmosphere is MUCH better than the Riv. Too many “nouveau” Sox fans there at the Riv. I spent the whole 2004 season in the Riv but I got turned off by the large, suffocating crowds.

    Check out Phebe’s too. I bet you’ll like it.

  • Anonymous

    I was curious if anyone has some details about the new 212 location…I agree the first venue was pretty mediocre and it left me with a very bad taste when i went on opening day. They ran out of nearly every decent food item and it was over packed and they stopped letting my friends downstairs. I was a bit scarred from that experience, but went back once more and it was kind of a boring and muted crowd and the food was just okay. The real issue is there aren’t that many great sports bars in nyc generally, so i simply ended up getting the baseball package this year and watched the games with a few friends here and there.

    I may have to check out phebe’s though and I am curious if the post growing pains 212 in the new location is any good…Most importantly, we have a serious 7 game homestand that we need to go to work on! Let’s go SOX!

  • There aren’t that many great sports bar in nyc?? I dunno, man. Here’s a list of some good ones from my own paper; I can’t say I’ve been to all of ’em. (One place they didn’t mention is Bar 515, a combination sports bar/nightspot I rather like). The Sox are so popular that it seems like every sports bar has them on every night, really.

  • […] /”>BOSTON (212) CAFE, 1009 2nd Ave., between E. 53rd and 54th Sts. I had blasted this place when it was in a previous location, a nondescript basement. Now it’s in a cute, small It […]

  • Bill Jenkins

    There’s now an even better place to watch the Red Sox games in 2006. “Professor Thom’s” has just opened this past December on 2nd Avenue between E. 13th and 14th Streets. They will have NESN on their screens for all Red Sox games. It’s in a good location and can be a good alternative to places like the Riviera. I know the guys running it and should definitely be worth checking out.

    I also see that Boston 212 has changed locations again. It is inside the pub known as “State of Grace”, which used to be the old Venus Room. It is on 1st Avenue and E. 58th Street. Can’t swear by it, but it maybe worth checking out too.

  • I watched the Pats get eliminated at Prof. Thom’s. It seemed like a nice enough place. The kitchen wasn’t open yet so I can’t say anything about the food. My one complaint is that it was loud, it seemed like the the noise was echoing off the hardwood floors.

  • Bill Jenkins

    Derek: since the Patriots were eliminated, Professor Thom’s has opened their kitchen. I had the burger there the other night (that’s how I judge a sports bar: by its burgers), and it was very good. I was also there that night and it was crowded and loud but almost all of the other nights I’ve been there it is not so noisy.

  • Yo – I’ve been to the Boston 212 bar and I liked it. Down and dirty – dive bar – red sox – cheap beers. What more do you need? I don’t need the glitz and all that other crap. Give me a guys bar with the sox and I’m happy. Maybe those of you complaining that it sucks are forgetting the fact that this is about the sox – and this is a sox bar. Show some support people – someone’s trying to set up another camp for the sox in NYC….

  • They’ve moved the Boston (212) around a bit, I haven’t been to the last one.
    Here’s my review of most of the BoSox bars in New York. The beers were $6 when the Boston (212) was at 2nd Ave. between 52nd and 53rd, which you can’t really call cheap. Since I wrote that list, Prof. Thom’s also started up.

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