Surly Johnson Sports Bar & Grill's cooks assemble a menu of hearty pub fare, which diners fork into while cheering on their favorite sports team or battling in trivia. The fried turkey Gobbler piles deep-fried turkey, stuffing, and homemade cranberry sauce pile onto a hoagie roll ($7.99)—a traditional sandwich invented by pilgrims in the 1960s—and asian beef skewers ($6.99) spear char-grilled sirloin steak as lightly pan-fried crab cakes dip into chipotle sour cream ($8.99). Flat-screen TVs broadcast sports games as patrons perched at a long, dark wood counter bite into Surly Johnson’s signature Surly Pizza ($11.99), a pie loaded with bacon, sausage, pepperoni, and bolognese sauce. On Trivia Tuesdays, the 10-ounce Stockyards bistro steak teams up with blue-cheese butter ($13.99) to answer questions such as, "What is the capital of India?" and "Who was the first president to time-travel?"
As guests pass under Lewis' Restaurant and Grille's festive blue marquee, they enter an inviting world of Americana, with a bar that has been in place for generations and a kitchen offering up the appetizing aroma of freshly baked pizzas and Angus beef burgers. Guests share plates of buttermilk pancakes and eggs benedict during Sunday brunches and savor the tastes of inventive burgers and sandwiches, such as caprese-salad burgers or chicken-pesto sandwiches drizzled with balsamic reduction, all week long. Upscale haddock and salmon entrees satisfy refined palates, and a spread of bar food pleases crowds with chicken-finger baskets, tots, and tuna melts.
Though it has welcomed in families and bar regulars for decades, Lewis' has recently updated its interior with new bamboo flooring in the dining room and crisp dollar bills in the bar's cash register. Patrons regularly join in special events hosted by the bar, such as Tuesday-night trivia, where first-placers win a cash prize.
Inside Kings, it can be hard to pinpoint the source of clattering sounds and uproarious cheers. The noise might stem from the bowling section, where glowing squares of abstract, retro wall art bookend the alleys. It might also come from ricocheting billiard balls, a well-aimed skee-ball, or a shuffleboard shot in the game room. Maybe someone spotted a celebrity—Bill Murray, Salma Hayek, and Lady Gaga are all on an extensive list of past famous visitors.
Wherever their origins, the telltale echoes of competition and camaraderie beckon to guests throughout the venue. They're accompanied in the air by the scents of comfort food, from staples such as sesame ginger wings to inventive fusions such as cheeseburger spring rolls. Sweeter aromas waft from multiple bars as the staff flavors martinis with gummy bears, pop rocks, and ice cream instead of the traditional fixings, olives or entire lemons on toothpicks.
As for sights, the surroundings blend vintage flair with luminous technology. More than 30 high-definition televisions line the space, broadcasting sports games and bowling scores. The Back Bay location has six Brunswick Gold Crown pool tables and hosts group events, including parties and corporate getaways where you can finally laugh at your boss's ridiculous shoes. Weekly themed nights for the public also encourage dancing, karaoke, and trivia.
What began 24 years ago as a sports bar with five TVs and a massive satellite dish has blossomed into a mecca for fans of Boston sports teams and lovers of hearty pub fare. Visitors to Coolidge Corner Clubhouse watch year-round hockey, baseball, pro and college football, and basketball on 25 LCD screens while feasting on 16-ounce burgers, savory pastas, and tender morsels of barbecue pork, chicken, and shrimp. Patrons also sip frosty craft beers on draft or potent cocktails and martinis as they share plates of chicken wings and nachos, or piled-high deli sandwiches and wraps.
A light-hearted celebration of Boston sportsdom permeates the restaurant, with its burgers and wraps named for famous athletes and the multiple screens showing area college and professional games. On the walls, framed photos commemorate Boston's proudest sports moments, such as a floor-to-ceiling print of Adam Vinatieri's famous 45-yard kick during the “Snow Bowl” and an iconic photograph of Ted Williams defending his graduate thesis, “On Hitting the Baseball Really, Really Hard to Make It Go Pretty Far.”