The Other Place (the O.P. to anyone who knows Burlington) was my living room for nearly 15 years, from the time I turned 21 until I moved away a couple years ago. I have an intense loyalty to and fondness for the place. I (and countless others) had my first legal drink there. It's my first (and often only) choice for a watering hole in B'town.
The O.P. isn't really a restaurant. It's a bar. They do have some food, pizza, hot dogs, that sort of thing. They used to have more, including the best soft tacos I've ever had. That's saying something, since I now live in Albuquerque, and have access to some of the country's best Tex-Mex within blocks of my house. The O.P.'s tacos were better than anything I've eaten here. I hope they read this and put 'em back on the menu. No matter, you can still get the same tacos at Ken's Pizza on Church Street, which is owned by the same folks.
Anyhow, the O.P. is one of THE cool places to kick back and unwind in Burlington. It's a total dive, but it's the BEST dive there is - no pretensions, no chic atmosphere, no fancy furniture, no overdressed poseurs. Just a cheap, grubby neighborhood bar with wobbly furniture and a decidedly counterculture clientèle. It attracts a very mixed bunch - college students (not the frat-boy types) during the school year, hippies, junkie burnouts, lots of punks and Goths, artists, the gay/lesbian crowd, bikers, Rastas, you name it. There are all kinds of bar scenes in Burlington. The O.P. is the place where the misfits from the other scenes go, and where all the folks from the other scenes go when they get tired of them. The O.P. is the "neutral zone". Everyone gets along. It looks like it might be a rough joint, but isn't at all. Packed and rowdy, yes, but always laid back and fun. Back in the day, the O.P. was one of the centers of Burlington's active and arty punk scene, and still gets a lot of the Gen-X crowd. Not a "kid scene" or a meat market - real grownups go here.
Good, cheap billiard table. Cheap, strong drinks. Decent beer on tap. Red Sox games on the tube. Music runs the gamut from country to reggae depending on who's working, with a bias towards punk and hard rock. They open early and have good bloodies - fine place to nurse a hangover.
The BEST place to watch people in Burlington, hands down, especially in the summer when they have the big garage door up front open wide. Perfect place to see and chat with everyone you know as they pass between downtown and the North End. A popular place to conduct casual business, legal and otherwise. If you want to hang out and get hammered with the locals in a totally downscale, unpretentious atmosphere, the O.P. is your place.
If I had a nickel for every late afternoon I've wasted there... well, I'd buy a couple more pitchers...
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