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The Lower Depths
Taps: 16 / Bottles: 150
Cask: Y / Beer-to-Go: N
$$$ - a bit pricey
[ Bar, Eatery ]
476 Commonwealth Ave
phone: (617) 266-6662
(Place added by: swhitt on 12-13-2006)
Ratings & Reviews
| Reviews: 43 | Show All Ratings:
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | $$
On my last trip to Boston, I grabbed a quick beer at The Lower Depths while my incredibly sexy, pale-skinned and red-headed girlfriend shopped on Newbury Street. Unfortunately, I got a call from her before I even finished my first beer :(( I'd have liked to stay much longer.
The Lower Depths is a cool (both literally and figuratively) bar a few steps down from the street on Commonwealth in the Fenway area. 1" tiles of blue cover the walls, and the bar top is stainless steel, leading me to believe that this is kind of a college bar. There's a mural of some older, grundy patrons though; and there's also a small patio out back.
Apparently, this is close to Fenway park (?), and they do $1 hot dogs that are great. ? And even sell 40's. I didn't have anything to eat, but supposedly there's a buttered pretzel or something that's really good as well.
The beer selection is great, and that alone is worth a stop.
06-23-2009 09:07:52 |
More by NeroFiddled
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | $$$$
This is a place that's good for postgame beers down Comm Ave from the pahhhk...it's got more of a professional crowd to it...not quite poser but definitely a little on the yuppyish side. Music isn't bad, furniture and fixtures look good. Doesn't really give off a warm, welcoming feeling though - can't put my finger on it...
Taps...around 10-15 or so. Pretty good stuff, too. Nice style and brewery variety - something for everyone!
The service isn't bad - nothing outwardly outstanding; not merely going through the motions but just makin' the donuts.
Speaking of donuts, didn't sample the food just yet.
Major beef: As with another beer bar in Boston owned by the same group, this place is WICKED expensive. 2 javahs and a Weihenstephaner Hefeweizen...24 bucks? I can see javah running pretty expensive but that's a little steep. Still, it's a decent pit stop on the way to the Other Side or something like that...
The individual elements as noted look very good, but one thing this place needs is a little synergy. Good selection? Yup. Quality stuff? Sure. Those two items should make this place much more enjoyable than it is - the "technical merits" are very good but the "artistic impression" needs a bit of work. Even besides the heavy price tag. Don't get me wrong; I don't dislike the place, but I simply don't like it as much as I should.
04-08-2009 15:25:06 |
More by IBUnit63
vibe: 3 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3.5 | $$$
I really think the rating I am giving this place is going to be WAY higher than it should be for various reasons.
1) This place is the most overpriced beer bar I have ever been to in the state of Massachusetts. $7 a pint? Come on. Also, I recently bought a bottle of Pretty Things St. Botolph's Town for $5.75, at The Lower Depths the very same bottle of beer is being sold for $18!!!! Absolutely ludicrous.
2) Cash only + way overpriced = not cool
3) Service in the sitting area was beyond bad.
4) Vibe in this place when I was there last night was nothing like i expected. There was a table of frat boys drinking tall boy PBRs and another table full of girls out for for a bachelorette party drinking cocktails. Maybe they have the right idea since those drinks might be more cost affective.
Three things make this place ok.
1) Fenway Franks for $1. Eat three of them since you're not going to have money for food after you have a couple beers here.
2) Beer selection is decent. They had both Leviathan beers on tap and the Cape Ann Navigator.
3) Close proximity to Fenway I guess. But, I'd personally choose Boston Beer Works. Its closer and cheaper.
Whomever owns this place should be ashamed (But I am sure they are laughing all the way to the bank). If you want a good beer drinking clientele don't rip them off! I am never going here again.
03-01-2009 20:42:16 |
More by indiapaleale
vibe: 2.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 2 | selection: 3 | food: 3 | $$$
Stopped here a few times before Sox games.
This place has a sterile, industrial-type feel. In as much it's in the basement, you feel a bit cramped. This is a small place, and with a little bit of a crowd it feels pretty congested.
Tap selection is OK, I think it could be a bit better. They usually have Haverhill Leatherlips IPA on draft (big plus for me) as well as the latest Harpoon 100-BBL offering. All beers are probably $1-$2 higher than they should be, although they are in decent shape usually.
Start and stop your look at the menu with the $1 hot dogs. Although this is a good deal, you're probably paying the discount with the add-ons (extras for sauerkraut, chili, sauteed onions, etc) and inflated beer prices. Rest of the menu is mediocre.
Service has that Bukowski-type indifference (same owners) and urban-hipster attitude that some people find cool, but I find annoying. I don't want to hear about the staff's partying last night or a discussion of the alt-rock scene, I'd rather get served in a reasonable time. A cash-only policy? Are you kidding? What a joke.
For the Fenway area, this is the only true beer bar.
02-16-2009 13:27:21 |
More by SunDevilBeer
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5 | $$
Went last evening to meet a friend. I was worried 'cos it was dead empty when I got there, usually never a good sign. The music was a little loud and grating, but it soon changed. Other notes on the environment - polished steel bar, well-lit without being too bright.
The barkeep hit me with a full list of taps and bottles when I came in, before the food menu.
The draft selection was pretty good - a variety of styles, I was sad they wasted one on a cider but I guess some people like that. As others have noted, the taps were a little heavy on Harpoon offerings (I think 3 or 4, if memory serves me).
I started with a Weinhenstephan Hefe Weiss - love this beer. When my buddy arrived, he ordered the Southern Tier Gemini - the bartender gave a good explanation of this beer, a mix of two IPAs. Unfortunately the keg kicked as he poured it. Even the bottom of the barrel, though, tasted good - many layers of hops!
The bottle list was more attractive to us than the rest of the lines, so we decided to split a few different selections, including the Lagunitas Maximus, a first-batch Saison-style ale from Pretty Things called Jack D'Or, and the Affligem Tripel. The Jack D'Or was especially good - glad it was recommended to us by the bartender.
I would have appreciated more 750ml bottles and more Belgian offerings on their list. There are a lot of ho-hum lagers taking up a lot of space in the fridge, so to say that they have ~100 bottles is a little misleading because some of them are easy to ignore. The bottles can be a tad pricey, but this is countered directly by the food prices - we had dollar hot dogs & awesome cheesey tater tots, but there are lots of other offerings that would appeal to more sophisticated palates.
All in all, a good spot, with knowledgable staff who aren't pretentious, and seem excited to share their offerings. Cozy enough, despite the shiny metal, because of its small size.
01-13-2009 17:56:52 |
More by cbw1978
vibe: 2 | quality: 3 | service: 3 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4 | $$$
Music is very loud. But not as loud as it used to be.
Food is good! Fish Wrap is awesome. Burgers are solid.
Beer selection is extensive, but the taps have floundered a bit lately. They always have 3 or 4 Harpoon beers on tap, which seems a little extreme. Lately I have just not been digging their draft choices. Too many average New England offerings. Bottle selection is very nice!
The beer is about 20% more expensive than most places (cheapest draft is $5.50 if you are lucky) and they only take cash. These are major turnoffs.
The staff is usually nice and pretty knowledgeable about the beer. But the joint gives off a weird vibe overall.
The food definitely saves this place from being a total letdown.
12-03-2008 21:03:53 |
More by TrevorGW
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3.5 | $$$
A cousin to Bukowski Tavern (same owner), The Lower Depths stands in the place of the legendary Deli Haus, which closed down over five years ago now. The LD could easily be mistaken for a gay bar from the outside, sporting a flamboyant sign and a questionable name, next to which it says "Tap Room." Tap what? The keg? Hmmmm.
The interior is mostly sleek(ish) and modern, but there is an attempt to feel "homey" with a painted on mural of patrons drinking at a bar on the left wall when you walk in. The lighting is dim but the place is undoubtedly clean and well-kept. There's a mixture of bar stools, high round tables, and low square ones that can be rearranged to accommodate varying party sizes. There is some booth space along the sides of the walls as well. On the whole, though, this isn't a very big place.
Just as with Bukowski, the music is provided by staff iPods. This of course has many ups and downs, depending on your taste in music and whoever happens to be working. Also similar to Bukowski (and most every bar), the volume of the music varies depending on the time of day and day/night of the week. That is to say, it's loudest on weekend nights.
Tap selection rotates, but is centered around American craft, with a leaning towards northeast breweries in particular. There's still a couple west coasters and imports usually available, along with a cheap macro (PBR or High Life) and a cider (Strongbow at last visit) thrown in for good measure. I felt like during my last couple visits, there was a little too much focus on hop bombs and it was tough to find a maltier alternative. Bottle selection is relatively large, and they provide several cheap alternatives in this area including Narragansett, Schlitz, and PBR tallboys for when the [cash only] tab is starting to look a bit daunting. Wine is also available, but no hard stuff (I consider this a good thing). Prices have increased a lot recently, but that's the story across the city. Not uncommon to pay 6 bucks for a 12 oz. of something solid, but not incredible.
My experiences with food are soemwhat limited at LD. The wings are solid and the $1 Fenway Frank can't be beat when you need to line your stomach. I recall getting a panko-crusted bagel dog (or something like that) which was OK, but not exceptional. Entrees generally run up over $10, and I've never actually been with anybody who has ordered one.
Staff is usually friendly and the service is prompt, however there is one girl working there that will jump on any opportunity to tell you how young you are if you happen to be under 25 and mention anything that happened in the 90s or comment on the music or order a beer from her, etc... I only mention this because it's happened to me on three separate visits and becomes rather annoying.
On the whole, this is a good place to go with a few friends on a weeknight. I imagine it gets packed before, during, and after Sox games, but so does every bar around Kenmore. Still, I'd take Bukowski over LD in most cases based on ambiance alone.
04-17-2008 17:06:37 |
More by sawbones420
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | $$
Stopped in before a Sox game(August '07). Impressed with the wide selection of drafts and the good # of bottles available. Choices weren't top-shelf quality-wise, but very above average, tending toward mostly American breweries. Not too many Belgians, not on this day anyway. Wasn't too crowded for pre-game, but it's a smaller-sized space that I could see getting very packed. There are a few tables outside which is a nice touch, but wasn't able to get one. Service was a little spotty, maybe they're just breaking in. Given what used to pass for a bar in Kenmore Square, I'd say this is a very welcome addition.
02-14-2008 18:34:59 |
More by bjoyce12
vibe: 3 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4 | food: 3.5 | $$$
Went here on a very cold Sunday night in January with a friend from BU. The place was reasonably quiet and we had no problem getting a table. I imagine this is not typically the case, and I can see this place being very crowded before, during, and after Sox games.
The place looks pretty high end - shiny bar, accent lighting, etc. Very hip, and maybe a bit too hip for me. This is a personal thing, as I prefer the ambiance at Publick House and other such extablishments - a bit more in the direction of a classic British or Belgian pub. I also wasn't too into the techno pop soundtrack.
Service was quite good. Our waiter, who was also the bartender, was attentive and knowledgable. He also took the time to talk beer with us which, again, is probably a result of the place being virtually empty.
Selection is decent as small beer bars go. The focus is mainly on New England and North East beers plenty of Harpoon, Smuttynose, Brooklyn, and Southern Tier on tap. Notably absent was Sam Adams. I guess they figure Sam beers can be had at just about any bar in Boston. The bottles menu is large, but didn't feature any huge surprises.
The food was decent. My companion ordered the signature $1 Fenway Frank, which was apparently as good as could be expected. As she added, "It's hard to f*** up a hot dog." I had the roast beef sandwich, which was very tasty. Nice and rare, reminding me of one that I had at a pub in London.
The value is, in my opinion, questionable. I found the beers and the food to be a bit pricey - $5-$6 for most beers, and $8-$9 for the imported bottles. This is not outrageous, I guess, but better deals can be found in Boston.
01-21-2008 02:58:57 |
More by trumpetego
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | $$$
Sticking to its name, The Lower Depths sits just below street level, so it can be missed. The interior is nice and attractive, looks rather new. I counted 16 drafts and close to 100 bottles at the place, with a wide array of styles. They had Leatherlips IPA, Victory Lager, and High Life on draft, and bottled/canned offerings from Smuttynose and Oskar, to Schlitz and forties of malt liquor. I came here twice during my visit in Boston, once on my own, and the second time I brought along a couple Swedes from my hostel. From my second visit, I remember getting a kick out of a table of college students who just finished their semester and celebrated with Arrogant Bastard and Mickeys.
Posted near the door is "In God We Trust", which is code for 'bring cash cuz we don't accept credit cards'. Remember that.
12-26-2007 18:55:55 |
More by DoubleJ
The Lower Depths in Boston, MA
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