A subtle exterior and a fresh interior give this small sports pub the feel of new sneakers that haven't quite been broken in but just might become an old favorite. Bartenders offers unique pizzas, seafood, TVs, a well-stocked bar and food or drink specials five days a week. Although the air conditioning keeps the place a little too frigid, the warmth and friendly attitude of the bartenders make up the difference.
Where --2218 Boston St.
Web site --bartendersbalti more.com
Notable --The bartender shakes hands and introduces himself to bar squatters, with the occasional hug for repeat customers and friends. Trivial Pursuit Silver Screen cards sit on tables for those not watching the games on TV, and the second floor is available for private parties. The bar brags about its pizza, which is a little pricey but offers such fancy toppings as buffalo chicken, jalapenos, gouda cheese and barbecue pizza sauce. Oysters, shrimp, calamari, spinach pie and salads round out the menu, and food is always served until 1 a.m.
Vibe --A great place for friends to meet up after work, have a few beers and watch the game. On a recent Thursday, the night started slowly with a handful of people around 8 p.m., but by 10 p.m. business was booming and the beer was steadily flowing. Laid-back, friendly and fun, the name fits as the bartenders are indeed the highlight.
Crowd --An eclectic mix. Clientele range from barely legal to 30-somethings to a few in their 50s and 60s. Smokers abound.
What to wear --Pretty casual: Jeans and a T-shirt are fine.
Music --A fun mix of classic rock, including Tom Petty, Stevie Wonder, R.E.M. and Deep Purple. The music climbs in volume to accommodate the crowd as the bar grows busier.