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The Lower Depths
Taps: 16 / Bottles: 150
Cask: Y / Beer-to-Go: N
$$$ - a bit pricey
[ Bar, Eatery ]
476 Commonwealth Ave
phone: (617) 266-6662
(Place added by: swhitt on 12-13-2006)
Ratings & Reviews
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| Reviews: 43 | Show All Ratings:
vibe: 2.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 2 | selection: 3 | food: 3 | $$$
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: 2 | quality: 3 | service: 3 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4 | $$$
Music is very loud. But not as loud as it used to be.
Food is good! Fish Wrap is awesome. Burgers are solid.
Beer selection is extensive, but the taps have floundered a bit lately. They always have 3 or 4 Harpoon beers on tap, which seems a little extreme. Lately I have just not been digging their draft choices. Too many average New England offerings. Bottle selection is very nice!
The beer is about 20% more expensive than most places (cheapest draft is $5.50 if you are lucky) and they only take cash. These are major turnoffs.
The staff is usually nice and pretty knowledgeable about the beer. But the joint gives off a weird vibe overall.
The food definitely saves this place from being a total letdown.
12-03-2008 21:03:53 |
More by TrevorGW
vibe: 3 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3.5 | $$$
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: 3.5 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4 | $$$
I visited this new bar in Kenmore Square on a recent weekend.
Overall, I was unimpressed by the Lower Depths. It seems to be trying to appeal to a wide range of people, without specifically appealing to any. There is a bar with about 15 seats, about 6 tables, plus about 5 booths. There are sixteen taps at the bar and a high-quality television above it. The decor consists of a large mural that surrounds the entryway of the bar, which I thought was a nice touch, and sort of a minimalist theme in the rest of the bar/restaurant area, which troubled me. The place was very clean. The server was prompt and friendly.
The drafts were between $5 and $6, with a lot of them small pours. There were 4 Harpoons (but no Sam Adams), a few more local beers, and a few imports. Much of the bottle list was wildy overpriced. Synebrychoff Porter, which was one of the best beers on the list, was $10 for a 11.2 oz bottle. Why in the world would I pay $10 for it, when I can get it for half that at certain Beacon Street bar? I settled for a Harpoon Barleywine, for $6, which was served nicely in a oversized wine glass. My friend got Hoegaarden, which was $5.25, but was served in a chapagne-style glass. He was dissapointed by the minimal quantity of he was getting for the price. To sum it up, the beer selection is good, and much better than most places in the area, but like Cornwall's across the street, it is not worth traveling for.
The food was the bright spot of the visit. We split a nachos, which were very fresh. I liked that they were served with hotter serrano peppers instead of the typical jalepenos. Many other items on the menu looked intriguing. They also had a hot dog for $1. The prices seemed a little high on the lower-end stuff (burger, apps, etc) but reasonable for the rest of the items.
I was neither impressed nor disappointed by this bar.
01-09-2007 16:13:33 |
More by bignick
vibe: 3 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 3.5 | $$$
Stopped in here before the sox game. Place wasn't very busy, so it was pretty relaxed. Had an Avery Czar. Everything seemed pretty pricey, but I kind of expected that given the neighborhood. It was $8 for a 14oz Czar. I almost went for the KBS they had in stock, but $13 was a bit out of my price range. Selection was decent. First time I've ever seen 40's for sale in a bar, they had Mickey's, Colt 45, Private Stock. Didn't try the food, as I had just come from Boston Beer Works. All in all, not too bad. I'll probably stop there again someday.
04-24-2010 16:58:25 |
More by dustinjkline
vibe: 3 | quality: 3 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | $$$
Stopped in today for a Friday afternoon pint. Very cozy atmosphere when you walk in, low celings, and a cool mural on the back wall. Decent sized bar and plenty of table seating. The waitstaff was very friendly, maybe that was because there was only a few people in there. The beer selection was pretty good, they had about 10 beers on tap, and a 2 page list of bottled beers. I like how they present the bottles, one page were European beers separated by country, and the other side was US beers separated by state. Pretty good selection of beers to choose from. The prices did seem somewhat high for the imported beers, some were $7-$9. The menu looked average, though I didn't try anything myself. I'd have to come back on a Friday or Saturday night to really get a feel for this place, but it seems to be a nice addition to the Kenmore area. R.I.P. Deli Haus.
12-29-2006 21:51:44 |
More by morebeergood
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3.5 | $$$
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 | food: 3.5 | $$
This place is pretty new so the atmosphere could improve over time with some weathering but it is fairly sterile and generic feeling with the exception of the little outdoor patio. Unfortunately, it wasnt quite warm enough to sit there when I visited on a recent Saturday afternoon. It is nice and clean inside though which is a plus. Cash only is a bit of a negative but what can you do. I wish it meant that the beer prices were cheaper than most other places but that isnt the case.
The selections on draft were okay --they had about 5 that were somewhat interesting and the rest were kind of typical like Harpoon Ipa and Guinness. They did have Leatherlips Ipa from the Tap which was much better than the last time I had tried it at the brewpub last summer. In fact, it was great --as fresh as can be with plenty of carbonation. Their bottle selection here is better than the draft with some good German ones like Aventinus and other Schneider ones, Chimays, Duvel, Smuttynose,Lagunitas,etc. I got a North Coast Red Seal Ale which was decent and I had a hotdog for a buck and the hot dog itself was great but the kraut on it was ice cold almost making it not worth having on it. I will try next time with just mustard.
The bartender was very pleasant and easy to talk to. A nice addition to the neighborhood. I will definitely go back. I also like how its on the eastern edge of Kenmore square so its a little closer to downtown than the ballpark.
04-05-2007 22:27:16 |
More by rousee
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4 | $$
Just popped in for lunch today (2-21-07). I like the vibe of this place, more contemporary and upbeat than brother Bukowski.
Interesting food menu, which I was told there will be some changes. More on the meat side which is fine by me. First go at this place so I opted for the Steakhouse Burger medium rare, one of the best burgers I have had for a good while. I'll have to go for the Pork Lion Burrito or Meatloaf Dinner next time.
Solid bottle list of XX with a handful of choice macros. Victory, Rogue, North Coast, Anchor, DFG, Stone Cat, Smutty, Brooklyn, Magic Hat ... then the imports; Chimay, Sam Smith, Julius, Paulaner, Schneider, Fullers, Unibroue, etc. On tap, Lagunitas Censored, BBC Coffee House Porter, Boddingtons, Brooklyn Brown, Harpoon Old Ale, Harpoon IPA, Harpoon Winter, UFO, Hoegaarden, Hofbrau Haus, PBR, Hop Devil, Sierra Celebration, Dales Pale Ale, Leather Lips IPA. So, not a "KIller Beer Geek" tap list but a good session beer tap list.
Pints are $5.25 - $6 and bottles range from $3.50 Tall boys of Shlitz to $5-12 craft beers. Note to all ... cash only.
I'll be back for more that is for sure ... nice to see another beer bar in Boston.
02-21-2007 22:46:35 |
More by Jason
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
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The Lower Depths in Boston, MA
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