Tag Archives: Davis

Somerville’s Oldest Pub

The oldest liquor license in town belongs to the Sligo Pub on Elm Street.  In operation for more than 75 years — long before the red line came through town — it’s everything a dive bar should be: small, dingy, cheap and regularly sprinkled with old timers grumbling at the bar about the latest Bruins game.

The local watering hole takes its name from Sligo, Ireland – the town from where the original owners hailed. Once frequented exclusively by locals in mostly blue collar trades, the crowd is now comprised of town folk, college kids from nearby Tufts University and everyone in between.

I’ve always been a fan of dive bars, and this is definitely one of my favorites. I love the high tables and friendly staff; the place just has a comfortable vibe that makes it my preferred meeting spot for grabbing a casual drink in Davis.  There’s a jukebox with a decent selection of tunes in the back, across from the graffiti-strewn tables and next to the lottery ticket machine where I once won $500 with a couple of friends… good times…

An interesting side note: many years ago, a friend and I were smoking cigarettes outside when we were approached by a black gentleman who looked to be in his 50s. He told us that his dad used to kneel exactly where we were standing and shine shoes for pennies as a boy; “Negroes” weren’t allowed inside at that time, the man said, so he had to work outside.  He also told us that for decades right above our heads there was a sign warning that ladies were not allowed inside the bar unless accompanied by a gentleman. It’s fascinating to contemplate the history this place has seen over the years.


DAILY TRIVIA: Somerville’s “Sister City” is Gaeta, Italy.


Fresh Meat

McKinnon’s Meat Market in Davis Square is unarguably the best spot around to buy almost any cut of meat at amazingly reasonable prices. I don’t know how they do it, but they manage to undercut the big supermarkets by a landslide.

I have to admit… I can’t be certain that the meat is local. The older woman working at the register told me to ask the owner, but didn’t have his contact info. I’ve always assumed it is based on how fresh it tastes and how much longer it lasts in my fridge than grocery store meat.

Boneless chicken breasts for $1.99/lb - take that, Market Basket.

McKinnon’s also carries some produce, and often a selection of frozen seafood too.  If you have the time to add another stop to your errand list, you can save a lot of money by purchasing your meat here instead of at Stop and Shop or Shaw’s.


DAILY TRIVIA: Sanborn fire insurance maps, still widely consulted today, were invented in Somerville, MA in 1867.