Home Pub bar Love handles: The Brendan Behan is a Boston institution hidden in plain sight

Love handles: The Brendan Behan is a Boston institution hidden in plain sight


From our Love Handles records of the beer bars we love: This cozy Irish pub in Boston’s Jamaica Plain neighborhood specializes in conviviality, local brews and the occasional homemade burrito.

What it is: There are many different incarnations of the Irish pub around the world, but in the Jamaica Plain neighborhood you’ll find the beloved Brendan Behan Pub, a Boston institution hidden in plain sight on Center Street. It is named after the prolific Irish writer, but regulars simply refer to it as “the Behan”. It’s unpretentious and inviting – a place to catch up with a friend or meet someone new. Note: It’s cash only, but there is an ATM on site. There’s no kitchen, but on Wednesday and Saturday afternoons, a local favorite named Rafa sells traditional Mexican burritos in a hotel pot.

Why it’s great: As a bonus to the kind of atmosphere that can only be earned over 33 years as a neighborhood gathering place, Behan’s 20 draft lines feature an impressive selection of local crafts, including the likes of Allagash, Exhibit A, Lamplighter, Proclamation, Schilling, and more. (There’s, of course, a line for Guinness and a macro draft beer for less than $4.) They also clean their draft lines regularly and allow dogs. There’s a dart board, but the pub is usually too busy with happy humans to throw sharp objects safely.

Hours: 12 p.m. to 1 a.m., Monday to Sunday
Address: 378 Center St., Jamaica Plain, Boston, MA
The Web: brendanbehanjp.com