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Wicked Good Guides / Boston Dives / Brighton /

Mary Ann's
Beacon Street at Cleveland Circle

Is Mary Ann's in Cleveland Circle still open? That used to be the official BC let's-get-drunk-and-throw-rocks-at-cops dive bar. -- Adam Gaffin

Still there but you won't find anyone over 22. -- Beso

You're right. I once went there when I was 22 (fresh out of college, new to town) and felt old. Perhaps it was the girl who threw up on my friend's shoe? I can't call MaryAnn's a proper dive because it's a college bar. Those are always gamey looking. -- Andrea

I used to live near there, and everything I've heard about it was spoken proudly by its BC student and alumni patrons: that it smells like barf and urine, it's dirty, disgusting. But also it's the unofficial BC watering hole and these people were beaming with pride as they described this filth. Maybe it's a BC thing that I don't get. I guess it's part of Eagle Pride to want to wallow in filth? Somebody explain this to me. A good dive bar is charming but that place sounds so nasty I wouldn't go near there. -- Sarcastic Sam

Two siblings and innumerable friends went to BC and frequented this place. I've even been in there once (my brother at BC *had* to go for his 21st). Rumor has it they let some homeless guy live in the basement if he cleans up all the puke/urine/spillage after hours. Lovely. -- Will

I have been there more times then I wish to count and it's no better or worse than any dive bar. -- Beso


I grew up in the Cleveland Circle area and when I was a kid in the sixties, before BC had students living off-campus, Mary Ann's primary clientel was MBTA streetcar drivers, both on and off duty. I used to frequently see them go in for a quick one between runs while their car sat in the alley waiting to turn onto Beacon St.

After it became a BC hangout it got a bit out of hand, and they hired my Dad (a 6'3" (and somewhat menacing in appearence) retired College teacher from another school) to try and bring some sanity to the place...they were under the magnifying glass with the ABCC at the time. He quit after a couple of Saturday nights.

In our "It seemed like a good idea at the time department" (or maybe, "what the hell was she thinking")... A lady I used to work with took her mom there once while she was at BC...she heard a commotion and turned around to see 2 college guys trying to feel up her Mom, who was in her 50's... maybe mom went back.

Posted by Ted on November 30, 2002 07:18 PM

Verse 2 - Beer Muscles, No Fear

A place called Mary Ann's with its stence and smell is a place I call home.
One dollar seventy-five for a Brubaker, I think its beer but I just don't know.
Bar's packed on Tuesday nights with all of your friends,
So loud the Dylan playin' jukebox might blow.
We placed our gambling bets with the bartender,
Now to the Dean we all gotta go.

And the kid's sing:
Go get your white hats
Live your J. Crew scene
Call up the Abbey for drinks
You know we ain't at all mean.
Smoking dope in the dorm room.
I think we're in the clear!
We're just druken college kids with,
Beer Muscles, No Fear

Posted by PigPen on March 13, 2003 05:48 PM

Ah, Maryanns, the place where you are certain to shag a nasty skank when her kids are not home.

Maryanns Guarantee:
1. Nasty bouncers.
2. Nasty smell.
3. Puke on the floor/walls.
4. Hot young chicks.
5. Drunk young guys.

My Maryann's story:
Went there once with a friend of mine. Checked out the jukebox selection - amazingly they had a Cubanate song there. Cubanate is a great industrial band from England. I put it in the row for the play. When the song started playing it was quite a shock compared to their usual music selection of stupid college songs to make the kiddies happy. In the middle of the song the bouncer came to the juke box and simply turned it off to reset everything. He did not want to listen to the people who would probably turn him into pulp if this "bad boy" ever met them.

This is not a dive, a dive is where you go to relax, this is not it. But it is just perfect for the BC dummies.

Posted by Solo on August 7, 2003 04:07 PM

I know it looks tired, I know that MA's seems like your run of the mill bar, and yes - all the rumors are true, but there is another side to the place. This is Boston College's personal Cheers. The bartenders are some of the best guys I've ever met, and the jukebox is one of the best in the city. Perhaps all of you cynics have never been there early when it is the locals and students watching Simpsonís and Jeopardy, while in the corner a couple kids are playing cribbage with the bartender.

Mary Ann's was a place that I grew not only to know as a BC student, but to love for its contradictions. Yes, it's rowdy and loud - but there is also a dictionary behind the bar for crossword stumpers. The bartenders still keep in touch, and I have to admit that now that I have moved away: I still have Mary Ann's moments when all I want to do is go in, grab a crossword, put on some Frank Sinatra - and have a good chat with the bartender.

Don't be so quick to knock this spot, there is much more to it than meets the eye.

Posted by HM on February 7, 2004 06:47 PM

I spend more time at MaryAnn's than most of the people who work there and i love the place. It may be run down, and not exactly "sterile", but the bartenders are awesome, and know how to treat their loyal customers. I go to BC and it really IS our cheers.. the second I, or any other students who frequent the place, walk in the door everyone turns around and buys you a beer. The place is great not only on weekend nights when there is a line around the bar to get in, but also on a random monday afternoon when you can walk in, order a beer and play some cards with a bouncer or bartender. I LOVE MARYANN's!!!!

Posted by BC on December 2, 2004 08:10 PM

I haven't been back to Mary Ann's in about 10 years, but it's nice to think that if I ever did, I could find myself once again in a place I frequented during the best times of my life. I'm sure the place has changed, if even a little and the faces certainly have, but sometimes it's nice to have a "comfort place" you can return to years later, without wondering if it's been turned into a White Hen Pantry or bulldozed for yet more "luxury condos!"

Posted by BC-1989 on January 13, 2005 02:52 PM

MA's....never been there sober, never gone there and not left blackout, shots as big as water glasses, bartenders as accomadating as at five star hotel, college girls wasted as hell, drunk guys hornier than hell, smoking pot while pretending to have a cigarette out front, sneaking in the back door bc the bouncer rejected your fake id, chugging busch light because its a dollar, choosing tom petty from the jukebox bc everyone will know it and not yell at the selection, becoming best friends with randoms you'll ignore next day in class, but best of all, going there 7 night a week because you know there will always be someone you know and love that's there. Who cares if its a dive, you don't make friends like this anywhere else.

Posted by toga toga toga on January 24, 2005 10:06 PM

What ever happened to Francis? He was a forty-something year old guy that spent all his time at MAs in the late eighties. He was the unofficial mascot at the time. He would show up with roses and try to schmooze the ladies. Did he make it out of the eighties?

Posted by Vac1 on March 28, 2005 08:35 AM

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