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Patio Partying

by Danny McCarthy

Photography by Noor Nasser

When the temperature becomes even remotely warm, Boston University’s green spaces become crowded with sunbathers and littered with left-behind towels and forgotten Frisbees. Off-campus, bars, pubs and restaurants are opening up their outdoor spaces for the spring and summer months—great spots that you might’ve forgotten about during the winter.

“I love stuffing my face while taking in the rays of the sun and feeling the breeze,” said Michael Manni (SAR ’17).

Luckily, if you’re 21 with a Twitter, you probably have some God-sent friend who retweeted a list of patio spots. If you’re old enough to imbibe legally, here are great places to stretch out in the heat with friends.

The BU Pub

Close to Boston University student’s hearts is the BU Pub. Situated underneath the Castle, you need a legal license and a BUID to get in. Technically the back patio is always open, but unless you’re a glutton for punishment you’ve waited until the warmer weather to head out there. Maybe a little close to home and right next to Storrow Drive, but it is a great spot to run into people when you need a drink close to home.

Sweet Cheeks Q

Located nearby in Fenway, Sweet Cheeks calls itself the “American South north of the Mason Dixon.” Outdoor patio space is the perfect ambience for honey-butter and biscuits, trays of barbeque and whiskey-infused tea cocktails. It’s walking distance from campus but feels far enough removed to give you some mental space during finals.

Audubon Bar

A stone’s throw away from Fenway Park and nestled in South Campus, Audubon looks like a quaint little spot. Once you get inside, you realize that the space is massive, with plenty of seating and a great menu. The bar itself is a huge slab of glossy wood, with bartenders making cocktails in mason jars. The patio is a hidden gem at the back of the building—perfect for grabbing last-minute drinks on campus.

SOWA Market

SOWA (South of Washington Street) Market reopens for the spring season on April 29. Every Saturday and Sunday, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., tourists and locals alike come to the South End. They wander around the Farmer’s Market, or look at artisanal creations in the Arts Market. And located in the Food Truck Bazaar in the massive red-brick building is the Beer Garden. Grab some ramen or grilled cheese sandwiches from the food trucks (usually some of the best grub in town) before heading inside and sampling different kinds of beer. You can make an entire day out of walking through the various markets before heading back home.


The place you’ve probably walked past a thousand times on trips to Newbury or Boylston Street. Dillon’s is located near a fire station and up the road from Berklee College of Music’s facilities. It’s in an old police station, built in 1887 and a historic landmark. Dillon’s pulls double-duty for outdoor space because it has an outdoor adjacent patio space along the sidewalk and massive windows in front that pull all the way open. Dillon’s is the spot that you always remind yourself that you’d love to try, so why not now?

Deep Ellum

Deep Ellum” just sounds cool, doesn’t it? The name refers to an area of Dallas known for its music and food. This bar in Allston has an outdoor patio space (which is rare). The bar has beers from all over the world—Germany, Spain and the UK—and twists on cocktail classics.

“I love being able to enjoy the sights and sounds of Boston while enjoying the beautiful weather,” said Colby Rymes (CAS ’17). Scoring great patio space and good drinks doesn’t require a massive amount of travel. Boston is chockfull of interesting spots to visit.

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