Sunday, October 5, 2008

Hugo's on Pleasant Street has been one of the best bars in town for decades.

I used to go to Hugo's when I was at UMass in the late 80's. It can't be explained, but it has always been the least pretentious gathering place for the mainstream-wary, drunken-asshole weary people. Actually, there's often a good amount of pretension... but pretending can be fun sometimes. Remember when you were a kid and you pretended? No one called you on it then. Why now? Stupid grown-ups. Chris was behind the bar tonight and he's as crucial to the sanity of this town as Kirk, at the deck of the Enterprise, is to the sanity of the universe. But the Pabst is cheaper here on Earth. Linda wasn't on tonight but she's the co-captain of the good ship Hugo's. The jukebox is a good indication of the perfect night potential at Hugo's, but it's the staff and clientele that make Hugo's Hugo's. Please don't tell your friends ;-).

"I had my first beer here. I go back every Christmas. I'm biased. I remember when Genny cream pints were $0.75 cents, and everyone crawled over to the baystate hotel for one last drink after last call. Before it became a %#&*#king steakhouse. It's undergone a number of changes in recent years. The darts situation that cuts the bar in half is a bit weird. The smoking ban has cut some of the appeal and makes me consider WW2 club instead. Linda and Chris are indeed awesome. At the very least, if you're new or passing through noho, make it your first stop."-Adam T.-Austin TX

"A favorite. I don't know how much more there is to say about this place other than: great dive, cheap beer, great atmosphere, super bartenders (Linda and Chris), and now an ATM in-house so you don't have to walk all the way to the drive-up ATM down the street. How convenient!" Sita M.-Haydenville

"I adore Hugo's and no matter how much time I spend away from there, I always end up going back. The atmosphere is laid back, the pool is cheap and the jukebox is killer even though you can't really hear it on a crowded night. The bartender is always cool, but don't ask him for a mixed drink unless it's something like a rum and coke. This is not the place for some sugary, garnished concoction. This place was made for hanging out and drinking the cheapest PBR in town. There's always a friendly group of people inside and some good conversation to be had from the smokers out front." Andrea M.-Lynn MA

"My review is based on foggy memories from years ago when the walk from my back door to Hugo's back door was shorter than the walk from Hugo's back door to Hugo's bar." Phat B.-Salem MA

"Damn you, Hugo's! Best jukebox in the valley, decent pool tables, good bartenders, $1.50 PBR's, and a guaranteed good night. And guaranteed hangover." -Heather-Somerville MA

"The price of a Pabst has risen to $1.50 but the pool tables are holding steady at .75 cents and many of the classic CDs (Tom Waits, VU, Billboard's Hits of the 60's, 70's, etc.) still reign supreme on the jukebox. Some people might call Hugo's a dive bar, but I prefer to call it near perfect. It's not the place to go if you're on a date or anything (see The Dirty Truth) but it's where you and your friends go to shoot pool, drink beer and feel like your hanging out in the den you'll never be able to afford. It's the bar where you go out of your way to be cool to the bartender because it's the one place you never want to get permanently kicked out of. Most of the other bars you can take or leave -- but Hugo's is where everything comes together just right... Until morning comes, that is... then you're cursing it's name." Sean-Somerville

"Two of the more momentous occasions of my life were spent at hugos: my 21st birthday and the day the red sox beat the yankees in the ALCS. mixed drinks in pint glasses, an unfortunate incident with a pool cue and journey on the jukebox and chalk boards to write notes to fellow patrons in the bathroom all add up a general haze of happy memories. whenever i go back to northampton, a visit to hugos is guaranteed." Rachel E.-Dorchester

Religious icons behind the bar (top) and above the bar(bottom.)

Journey, AC/DC, Tom Jones, Jonathan Richman, Queen, The Unband, Louis Armstrong, Lynyrd Skynyrd, The Clash, Marvin Freakin' Gaye

Dylan, Sex Pistols, Gene Vincent. Tom Waits, Supreme Dicks, Grand Funk, Ray Charles, Blondie, Neil Young, The Ramones

Pabst, pumped in directly from Heaven above. Can anyone think of another words with a "bst" all in a row? (Thank you anonymous: lobster, webster) Or a beer as disgustingly refreshing?

Johnny Cash. Morphine. Any questions?

The men's room vending delights.

I caught some shots of Manny playing for the Dodgers.

...and Buckethead at Pearl Street.

This all.

Thanks to YELP for reviews.


Mary E.Carey said...

Great tour of this bar. Pardon my ignorance but I rarely get over the bridge from Amherst: Is this the same bar that I think of as The Beer Can Hall of Fame?

Alison said...

I don't think I had the pleasure of going to Hugo's when I was NOHO. $2.50 for 16 oz pbr's??? Wow wee! You didn't even take a nice lady there? I think I have the same wood duck in the pictures. Thanks for the blog. Felt like you wrapped me up in a warm blanket.

ak said...

Long Live Hugo's.
Jim, try and sneak a look: the ladies room is all painted with flowers.

Anonymous said...

Other words with bst...


sarah said...

i don't know about hugo's jukebox. but i will contest that the brass cat has the best jukebox selection ever.