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Nightlife: Joshua Tree

Comm Ave hotspot has club atmosphere, sports bar amenities

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Allston’s Joshua Tree is an example of that classic Boston nightlife staple: a sports bar–nightclub hybrid that offers decent music, adequate drinks, and enough high-definition TVs to guarantee an unimpeded view of any televised sporting event, regardless of where you’re sitting.

Whether it’s the restaurant’s all-you-can-eat brunch on Sundays, the battle of the wits Stump Trivia on Tuesdays, or the cocktails and club music on Saturday nights, Joshua Tree caters to a diverse crowd of young professionals and college students and has become a popular destination for many Allston-Brighton locals.

Despite several name changes in recent years (the restaurant was most recently called Barley Hall before reverting to Joshua Tree in 2012), the vibe has remained the same, with an emphasis on excellent service and good drinks and food in a friendly, casual atmosphere. The place effortlessly pulls off what most area college bars try—and frequently fail—to provide: a consistently reliable and relatively inexpensive place to have fun any day of the week.

Joshua Tree features live DJs Thursday through Saturday and charges no cover, making it a popular Comm Ave destination.

The basement level gives patrons a break from the games upstairs and a chance to dance to live DJs in a club-like atmosphere.

Joshua Tree takes up two floors, each offering somewhat different amenities. The first floor is anchored by a large circular bar in the center of the room, ringed by tables and booths that all face TVs with ongoing coverage of sporting events. The first floor has a series of weekly events, including Monday Night Football, Tuesday Night Trivia (prizes are awarded to the top three teams), and the Sunday brunch buffet.

On Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights, patrons can venture down to the basement level, where one of the resident DJs spins house and top-40 music. With its own bar and a large dance floor, the basement provides more of a club-like atmosphere, but without the steep cover charge or overpriced drinks you’ll find at many Boston clubs.

The bar is known for its eclectic drink menu, with an array of intriguingly named cocktails like Plain Filthy, vodka, vermouth, olive juice, and blue cheese–stuffed olives ($10); J’Tree ’Rita, a classic margarita ($4.99); and the Sex Machine, blueberry vodka, triple sec, pineapple juice, and ginger ale served over ice ($9). College Night, held on Thursdays starting at 10 p.m., offers discounted drinks to those with a valid college student ID (21+ only).

While the food here is by no means gourmet, the menu offers reliable bar food, such as barbecue pork sliders ($10.99), nachos grande ($10.99), and chicken burritos ($12.99), as well as other stalwarts like quesadillas and calamari.

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The first floor boasts 41 high-definition TV screens, complete with NFL Sunday Ticket, NBA League Pass, and NHL Center Ice packages.

The staff at Joshua Tree is surprisingly attentive, given the crowd they serve each night. Despite the numerous Celtics fans, our request to watch a Lakers game on the biggest screen was immediately accommodated, with some ribbing from the bartender.

Like any good neighborhood establishment, Joshua Tree is the ideal venue to watch a major sporting event like the Super Bowl or to kick off or wind down the weekend, as well as being a lively nightclub destination—all at a price that won’t break the bank.

Joshua Tree, 1316 Commonwealth Ave., Allston, is open Monday through Wednesday, 4 p.m. to 1 a.m., Thursday and Friday, 4 p.m. to 2 a.m., Saturday, 11:30 a.m. to 2 a.m., and Sunday 10:30 a.m. to 10 p.m., and accepts all major credit cards. To get to the Allston location, take a Green Line B trolley to Griggs Street/Long Avenue. There is also a Joshua Tree at 256 Elm St. in Somerville’s Davis Square. Take a Red Line MBTA train to Davis Square.

This is part of a series featuring Boston nightlife venues of interest to the BU community. If you have any suggestions for places we should feature, leave them in the comments section below.

Ashleigh Fryer can be reached at afryer@bu.edu; follow her on Twitter at @ashleigh_fryer.

2 Comments

2 Comments on Nightlife: Joshua Tree

  • fleeter on 04.03.2013 at 12:24 am

    Ahh joshua tree. I remember this place well. There is also one in New York. I wonder if they are owned by the same people?

  • Danny Mo on 01.07.2016 at 8:30 am

    I went here once. Had a great time! Ahhh I miss those days…

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