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Taps: 21 / Bottles: 100
Cask: Y / Beer-to-Go: N
$$$ - a bit pricey
[ Bar, Eatery ]
1281 Cambridge St
phone: (617) 497-7077
(Place added by: Todd)
Ratings & Reviews
| Reviews: 55 | Show All Ratings:
vibe: 2 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 4 | food: 4
gave Buk's #2 the old college try again, but alas, i still don't care for it.
on the plus side, it has a great beer selection with lots of locals and some hard-to-finds, and i always really dig the food here. unlike others have reported, i have not had a negative experience with the waitstaff here. but on the other side...
first, the beer is pricey compared to elsewhere in boston, same as it is at the other buk's. second, although this one is much bigger than buk's #1 and has a very open diner-like layout, they still keep the lighting as dark as a greek tragedy for some reason. i expect this from small bars, and don't mind it at all there, but in a big open place it just seems eerie to have it so dark.. third, the music, while i love the selection they play, is just too damn loud. it is well nigh impossible to have a conversation in this place.
i guess what i don't like about this place is that it's not somewhere that i would go and hang out for a few hours, due to the prices and the noise. however, if those are not an issue for you, or if you are going out with someone you don't really want to be able to talk to or look at (admit it, this happens some times), it has good beer and good food.
08-15-2004 19:35:01 |
More by jennie
vibe: 3 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 4 | $$
Visited Bukowski's while taking a self guided walking tour of the Harvard/Cambridge area. A decent open air pub consistent with many found int he Boston area. Large open room with about 25 seats at the bar and some 30 tables. It was mid afternoon on a Sunday and very quiet when we arrived. The bartender wbile friendly enough was also less than interested in answering questions about the beer and more interested in a sidebar conversation...no worries though, we got what we needed. Several high quality taps including Stone IPA and some locals. Quite the bottle selection as well with some decent belgians from what I could tell. Prices were reasonable compared to some of the Bean-Town pubs that we visited.
All in all I would visit again to spend a little more time taking the place in, we had to leave rather quickly however.
08-08-2009 16:47:58 |
More by hoffman
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 4 | food: 3 | $$
Much quieter and friendlier than the Boston location. Has the popular wheel of beer if that's your thing--you still have to pay full price for what you draw so there's no real bargain to be had. Has an oft changing cask as well as about 12 other taps with good variety.
Some servers know their beer, others I've caught making stuff up.
There's often a septic smell in the Summer due to a grate out front (yes, I've actually tracked the smell to it's source) wafting in the windows.
The "Hobo special" is a hot dog and malt liqour in a paper bag (for $5 I think). It's not a bad hot dog.
Not outrageous for Boston prices.
I often bring people here for the peanut butter bacon burger.
11-01-2009 20:11:13 |
More by donkeyrunner
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 3.75 | service: 3 | selection: 4 | $$$
as far as Boston-area bars which are filed under the craft-centric heading go, Bukowski's to me is somewhat middle of the road. (measured against your everyday bar it impresses considerably more, obviously.)
atmosphere is good; dimly lit, with booths lining the center of the room and the bar stationed off to the right. a collection of high tables is arranged at the front, opposing floor-to-ceiling windows which are removed during warm weather.
service is very hit or miss. I've had bartenders/waitstaff be friendly, knowledgeable, and attentive, and I've had servers such as the one we had last night; while not overtly rude, definitely caught a strong impatient/unfriendly vibe from her - not the level of affability you kind of expect from someone in the service industry (expecting to be tipped).
selection is solid, covering a broad range of styles and breweries. that said, have never really found anything rare or off the beaten path. again, if you're looking for some good craft brews in general? you won't be disappointed. if you want to be blow away? you'll probably be disappointed. if you're in the area it's absolutely worth a stop but not the kind of place you need to go out of your way for.
08-19-2013 06:00:35 |
More by BostonHops
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | $$$
He was pulled in by the lilting cry of Christina, or to be more precise, Christinas. As we walked down Cambridge St. I had hoped that the ice cream shop would somehow divest me of my primary drinking compatriots, Jim and Kumar. Still, not one to look a gift horse in the mouth, the fact that only one of them, Jim, skittered away from us was a relief.
Ill meet you guys in there, and save me a seat, Jim warned as he entered the orange embrace of Christinas. No doubt the Mexican chocolate ice cream bin would suffer a serious blow after Jim had his way in there. I breathed an audible sigh of relief as Kumars gait became somehow more loose and we walked a few more yards up to Bukowskis entrance on the right. The Overdraught had been more than a bust; it had almost become a locus of extreme violence between a normally combustible Jim and a button-pushed one too many Kumar, who stated evenly while entering Buks, He doesnt know how close he came to losing an eye in there. Good thing he took a time out to fill is fucking maw.
Charles Bukowskis gub stared over at us from the wall on the left as we sat at the long bar immediately on the right as we entered, grinning accusatorily. Kumar tested the relative spin on the swivel red fixed bar stools and stopped himself after hurtling through a satisfying 720. I examined the tap offerings up on a chalk board hanging at the end of the bar and made note of the following: The Taps Roktober, Cambridge Pumpkin, Dogfish 90, Mojo IPA, and an assortment of other local luminaries and a few more far-flung notables. The worn, paper beer menus splayed about pell-mell on the bar top boasted ninety-nine bottles of beer available, but we went with pint pours, a Roktober for me, Pumpkin for Kumar. Jim had yet to come up for air, thankfully. If we timed it right, wed be moving on to our next destination, the Druid, before Jim rejoined our small party. And at $6.00/pint for the Dogfish 90, and similarly exorbitant prices for the other items on the suds menu, wed only be staying for one. Although we didnt order any food, I had always liked the Dalton St. stuff, and I saw that between midnight and 1:30 a.m. Thursday through Saturday all food was $4.99, not bad.
I swiveled around on my stool to take in the scenery, bopping my head slightly to the Clashs greatest hits rat-a-tat-tatting out of the PA system at a reasonable level. While Kumar happily busied himself with the two televisions at either end of the bar, I noted that there were only six other patrons joining us on this Head of the Charles Saturday in Cambridge. None were sitting at the bar with us, preferring the relative safety and casual confines of the many retro-hip red leather booths that made up the rest of the seating in Buks. A slightly warming scene of father and son drinking an afternoon away developed as I sat transfixed, the son giving advice to his silver-haired and bespectacled father about what beer to order. As the father lifted his glasses to read the beer menu more closely, a guttural yell emanated from beyond the large windows that fronted the length of the Cambridge St. side of the place. I was afraid to look, having immediately recognized the source of the cry.
Unable to tear my gaze away from the inevitable car crash, I focused my weary eyes on the windows. Jim hurtled by at a speed I had never known him to travel at, two teen-aged kids about fifteen feet in front of him grappling with one another for purchase, baseball hats, bandannas and boxer shorts all fighting for positions of primary importance.
Fuck you, you fat fuck, one of them yelled with middle finger raised on one hand stretched backwards just before they passed beyond the frame of my vision, the end of the Buks windows. Kumar choked and laugh-spit his Pumpkin back into his now half drained pint glass. Splashies ended up on his holding hand, but he didnt even notice the sticky ale rivulets running around his knuckles, enjoying the scene playing out as if on a stage in front of us. A coughing, full-throated laughter erupted from Kumar as Jim also disappeared to our right, his scream tailing off like a passing ambulances siren, Im gonna fucking kiii ..
Oh, that was classic, just classic, Kumar giggled, his laughter slowly subsiding. He had grabbed a bar napkin and was now rubbing at his right hand, the one that had the Pumpkin on it. I noted that the father and son duo, as well as the other customers, had settled back into their routines, safe in the knowledge that they had won the social lottery and managed to bypass Jim the madman. Two more gentlemen strode in at that point and sat down near us at the bar, all of us giving nods in greeting. One of them took the opening.
What the hell was that all about out there?
Guy must be hopped up on speed, Kumar responded shaking his head. We should probably call the cops on him. You got a cell phone?
11-17-2004 04:29:26 |
More by Truh
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 4 | food: 3
Visited the night before the AOBF. Smallish type place with some good tunes pumping through the speakers, not too loud. Beer was excellent and the selection was more than adequate although slightly pricey for bottles. Service was a bit spotty, at times being very attentive and at other times letting us go for quite some time without beers, also some of the draught pours seemed a bit short to me. Food that I tried was tasty and it is hard to beat a burger and fries for less than $2. Overall a good place to go grab a beer and I would return if in the area.
06-05-2003 08:43:20 |
More by Murph
vibe: 3 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3.5
I visited this place the night before the AoBF...
Atmosphere: The decor is cool, but the bar is really smokey and the music is played WAY too loud. Having a normal conversation almost becomes a shouting contest.
Quality: The beer and food selections were both quite good. However, when a Belgian bottled beer was ordered, the server staff would pour it for you, yeast sediment and all. I don't like that...
Service: The staff was somewhat attentive, but I found my glass empty several times without a quick replacement. Other BA's in my party on several occasions asked for their underpoured drafts to be topped off, only to be told no.
Selection: Simply put, their beer selection kicks ass. A fair selection on draft, and lots of good bottles make for a great selection.
Food: The $2 burger I had was good, but how hard is it to get a burger right? I didn't try anything else...
05-29-2003 10:40:50 |
More by MJR
vibe: 2.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4 | $$$
Packed to capacity and really noisy. Then the music kicked in and it became loud enough that I couldn't hear someone a foot away.
Great selection of taps, and a full list of probably 75 bottle beers, broken down in a list/book sorted by style. Good variety on tap and bottles.
Staff was pretty knowedgable. I had forgotten what style Great Divides Titan was, and the tap list didn't say. She knew, so props to her. Otherwise, staff interaction was quick and impatient.
Brews aren't the cheapest. The most gouged offerings were the bottles. For example, a 22oz of Avery's Maharaja was over $18. I got a bottle of it in Portland, Or for $6.50 (though I am impressed they have it)... Pretty much anything over 6% was only 12oz too, what the crap?! I mean, if your gonna give half-pints and charge the same, set the bar at 9%.
Food is no-frills, under $10 and came to the table fast, despite it being a fullhouse.
Place takes CASH ONLY. Our total came to $85, plus tip. What a pain to bring cash out when I could be earning miles. Bah!
05-09-2008 14:12:48 |
More by SurlyDuff
vibe: 1.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | $$$
I stopped in here for the Extreme Beer Festival pre-party. Had to wait outside in the cold because it was a one in, one out sort of deal. But I can't blame them for being crowded. Once inside, it was very dimly lighted, so much that I could not read the tap handles to see what was on tap. Call me a fogey, but the music was excessively loud techno. Just not my thing. However, the staff were very attentive and helpful and always made sure there was a beer in hand. The beers on tap turned out to be a great selection. I didn't have any food here - actually, I don't think they served food. There was a large bar area, then some tall tables and some booths across the wall opposite the bar.
02-20-2006 15:56:00 |
More by clvand0
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5
This is a pretty interesting 20-something beer bar in Cambridge. I say 20-something because it has the feel of a nightclub - loud music, dark lighting... The atmosphere is good, but don't go here if you're looking for a relaxing environment to enjoy a beer in. My biggest complaint was that they were out of over half of the beers they had on their tap list. I was there on a Saturday night, so maybe it was more busy than they expected, but it was annoying to hear "We're out of that too" to every beer I wanted to try. Bottled selection is quite good, ranging from mundane brews to stellar ones. Prices are on the high side, but not all that bad.
01-20-2004 18:53:05 |
More by zerk
Bukowski Tavern in Cambridge, MA
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