Parlor Sports

By Jacqueline Cain · 09/29/2021    Somerville · $

Parlor Sports may be small, but it fields a lineup of great drinks, food, and camaraderie that make it an MVP sports bar in a city that deeply cares about all of these things. 

There are really no bad seats in the house at this Somerville spot. A steel-topped bar curves across the slender space, with high-tops along the back wall and a couple of lower tables beneath street-facing windows. OK, so the person in the bar seat right next to a yellow pole that’s stationed mid-restaurant may find it a little pesky—especially on a game day when Parlor is at capacity—but with 10 TVs lining the room and friendly bartenders usually willing to flip the channel to your preferred game, fans are never stuck with an obstructed view.

Parlor debuted about 10 years ago from the owners of Trina’s Starlite Lounge next door. It shares a kitchen with big sis—a favorite of ours for comfort food—so you can bet Parlor does bar snacks well. The Mexican Pretzel comes with a warm, crusty-chewy ring from Eastern Stand Provisions Co. and a cup of piquant queso sauce that has us double-dipping (with vaccinated friends’ consent, of course). The Classic Parlor Nachos have perfected the art of layering a tower of chips and cheese, and the Wings arrive steaming hot with a side of house-made, local-dairy blue cheese dressing.

Miller High Life may be the undisputed champion in terms of bottles sold, but Parlor Sports’ draft beer menu is a bantamweight prizefighter: It may be small, but it hits hard. Local options from the likes of Notch Brewing, Mast Landing, and Artifact Cider generally lean lower-alcohol, too, which is a thoughtful consideration from the bartenders, who know we’re usually here for a few rounds. There are shots and cocktails, too.

But the best thing about Parlor Sports? The inclusive clubhouse atmosphere, where everyone is rooting for a good time.

Parlor is a sports bar for everybody—even people who don’t care about sports. Bachelor/ette fans have a community within its walls, and the bar’s been known to host Sharknado marathons and other niche programming.

Playing sports may require sacrifices, but watching them shouldn’t: You can go to the bathroom without missing a minute of the big game, thanks to TVs in each of the Parlor Sports restrooms.

Trina’s Starlite Lounge was open for a bit before Parlor Sports came to life; the name refers to the bar’s past life as a private events “parlor.” The ownership group also runs Boston’s Audubon Bar and North Shore restaurants The Paddle Inn and Sunset Club Plum Island.

Must Haves

  • This towering pile layers freshly fried chips with creamy salsa con queso, melted Monterey Jack and cheddar cheeses, diced tomato, and sliced jalapeños. The stacking technique, topped off with sour cream and scallions, ensures each bite has a cheesy crunch.

  • A homemade Hot Pocket-esque hand pie may not be top-of-mind for Bostonians’ game day eats, but it’s a tailgate staple for Parlor Sports cofounder Beau Sturm, a Pittsburgh-area native. Even though it may have originated with Steelers fans and we are Pats fans through and through, we love this spicy, cheesy snack. (And we love how all fans feel welcome at Parlor.)

  • A bottle of Miller High Life with a floater of zesty Aperol or Campari, this fun take on a beer-and-shot combo is what to order when even the Champagne of Beers isn’t celebratory enough for your winning spirit.

Fun Fact

Scored the last seat at the bar? If an exciting sports moment happens, you may get to ring the bell! The vintage ringside-style bell mounted on the far wall is an ingenious on-theme decorating idea from cofounder Josh Childs.

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