Friday, February 3, 2012

Where Everybody Knows Your Name, and Your Training Schedule

I'm a big fan of the classic sitcom Cheers. This probably makes me sound like a dumb tourist, but one of favorite my post-Boston Marathon traditions is getting a beer at the actual Cheers bar in Beacon Hill. It's not the cheapest beer or best food in Boston by a long shot, but it's always hopping (with tourists). Disclaimer: I used to live by the Seinfeld Diner (Tom's in real life, Monk's Cafe on the show) and I enjoyed an occasional grilled cheese and milkshake there too so maybe I have a thing for these famous spots.

Why do I bring up Cheers when I won't be in Boston for another 2+ months? Well, last night I was watching a rerun (the one where Sam plays softball against a team of Playboy bunnies) and something caught my eye (not what you're thinking! Okay, not just what you're thinking). Towards the end of the episode, Sam and Diane are in the pool room and there's a sign on the wall that reads: "Boston Barleyhoppers"

It turns out the Barleyhoppers was a real running group started by Eddie Doyle, the bartender at the Bull & Finch (the former name for the bar that was used for the show's exterior shots). On Monday nights, folks would meet at the B&F and run a couple miles to another bar where they would drink a beer or two before running back. Their motto was "run for fun, roam for foam." Apparently some 22 marriages resulted from this running club!!! Even if the place has turned into a tourist trap today, it certainly must have been a pretty great local pub back in the day. I just wish a bar near me had such a great running club.

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