This isn't the first time I've said it, and it probably won't be the last, but there is no reason to ever wait in line to get into any bar -- life is too short. Nonetheless, I found a line winding down the block on recent weekend nights waiting to get into the newly opened Lincoln Tavern in Southie. A return trip on a Monday found the huge bar packed as well. Granted, by mere virtue of showing up, the handsome, well-intentioned Lincoln automatically rockets to the top of the Southie list: In the land of one-armed taps, a place with any vision whatsoever is king.

But just what is it they're lining up for? The space itself, for one thing. It's a huge, masculine-feeling room that hits all the predictable design touches, with an impressive 30-seat bar in the front room, an additional 20- or so seater in the back, exposed brick walls that reach up to a towering tin roof ceiling, and mosaic tile floors. A stage in back stands ready for the securing of an entertainment permit. A lot of bars aim for the warehouse chic aesthetic, but there's a muscular heft to the room here -- you could imagine an industrial functionality to the space, never mind that it was most recently a Payless shoe store.

That's not a bad comparison, actually. They're selling a reasonably priced product designed for a mass audience here, and it's already paying off. They serve food until 1 a.m. (they're open until 2 a.m. every night), covering all the comfort food bases -- wings, meatballs, roasted pizzas, fish tacos, etc.

The cocktail list aims straight down the middle as well. The Quiet Man is the best bet, made with Bulleit bourbon, Green Mountain River maple liqueur and sweet vermouth -- it's the perfect Manhattan for someone who doesn't necessarily like Manhattans, like my missus, who savored it. Her Haymaker, made with Captain Morgan's Black, Bacardi, Myer's Dark, Amaretto, Cointreau, guava puree, orange juice, and, uhhh, sour mix, was beamed straight from the "martini bars" of the early 2000s, however.


The beer list offered better options, including the Long Trail Double Bag, Pretty Things, Cisco Whale's Tale and Leinenkugel Sunset Wheat.

There's literally nothing wrong with the bar here. It's a new space, with friendly, and attentive service and a cool energy to it. It's a huge step up from everything else in the vicinity. If I were wearing my normal-person, hat I'd enjoy it and come back a lot, but, the cocktail snob hipster showed up to work in my brain today. I have no doubt they'll continue to be a huge success anyway.

What to avoid

The worst cocktail I've had in a long time

Excuse my French here, but LOL @ this Grammy White cocktail. Made with Stoli Razberi, Pinnacle Whipped Cream vodka, lemon juice and raspberry puree, it is, without a doubt, the worst recipe I’ve tasted in recent memory. I’ve eaten hairy, melted Jolly Ranchers from the cracks of my car seat that had a better flavor profile.

If you go

Lincoln Tavern

425 W. Broadway

South Boston


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