To get a sense of The Greene Turtle's commitment to the neighborhood, one need only sit at the bar and look up. Dozens of mugs hang above the counter, emblazoned with the pub's logo and a unique number—each one belongs to a recurring patron. The Mug Club awards its members with draft-beer discounts and other specials, but more importantly, it allows loyal patrons to feel as though they own small slices of the venue without tattooing their names on the bartender's arm. This sense of shared familiarity is what fuels the entire franchise, which refrains from calling its locations "restaurants" in favor of friendlier terms: gathering places, communities, havens.
Many of the locations contribute more than mugs to their districts. Staff members who participate in the annual Tips for Tots program donate the entirety of one day's tips to a nearby Toys for Tots initiative, and Tuesday Funds for Friends events benefit local organizations. These efforts have been chronicled by press sources such as Food and Drink magazine, with features that liken The Greene Turtles' philanthropic generosity to the generous portions of comfort food that leave the kitchens.
From cheeseburger sliders and flatbread pizzas to handmade lump-crab cakes, the offerings on the menu embrace barroom traditions along with ingenuity. The steak and chicken entrees arrive with classic sides of green beans and yukon gold mashed potatoes, whereas the eastern shore mac ‘n’ cheese updates a comfort staple with chopped bacon, lump crab, scallions, and Old Bay seasoning. Diners can enjoy their meals by the glow of private flat-screen TVs—there's one in every booth—or beneath one of many larger televisions broadcasting sports games throughout the venue.
Park Lane Tavern mimics the feel of European taverns inside and out, from an exterior that pays homage to London taverns to interior furnishings directly imported from Europe. Like a hot dog curtseying to the queen, the menu blends American staples with traditions from across the pond, juxtaposing steaks and club sandwiches with shepherd's pie and fish 'n' chips. Behind a gleaming handcrafted bar, bartenders dole out pints of the tavern's more than 24 beers on tap and pour glasses of wine, single-malt scotches, and small-batch bourbons.
From the long wooden bar at Mackey's American Pub, you can catch a sporting event, some karaoke, or even live music. But even without these draws, crowds would come simply for the pub eats: ribeye steaks glazed in bourbon, crab cake dinners, and burgers served with sauteed mushrooms on a bagel bun. Smoking is allowed on the first floor, though the second-floor stays smoke-free.
After internships at the Ritz-Carlton in St. Thomas and on the Laguarian Sea Coast in Italy, chef Clarke Congdon winged his way to Boston, eventually opening his own restaurant, Clarke's Grill & Sports Emporium. Chef George Zwetkow was trained at the Culinary Institute of America and distills 35 years of experience into each dish he sears, to say nothing of this polyglot's fluency in English, Russian, and Spanish. The third pillar of the eatery, Mike Larkin, gives the establishment its sports aesthetic, having played minor-league hockey for five years before cultivating marketing prowess. Framed jerseys, photos, and sports memorabilia make the walls as athletic as Bo Jackson and are available for love-struck patrons to purchase after sharing a platter of nachos and dreams with an autographed hockey jersey. Plates of the signature fish tacos, topped with creamy chimichurri sauce and fresh cilantro, steal outside onto the sprawling patio. The outdoor space features weekly events including bean-bag tournaments and wine tastings, and flat-screen TVs light up the full bar, displaying both Red Sox and Yankees games to satisfy rival fans without inciting a duel over the remote or with remotes.