BY Beth Comery
Wayland Square has needed a neighborhood bar ever since Maverick’s closed to make way for (the totally awesome) Haruki. There are plenty of places in Wayland Square to get a drink, but they are all primarily restaurants with bars. McBride’s is a proper neighborhood pub. . . attached to a funeral home.
The Monahan Funeral Home, originally on Wickenden Street at the site of the Coffee Exchange, was moved to Wayland Avenue in 1934 by the great-grandfather of current owners Mark Russell (pictured here) and his brother. A while ago the Russell brothers looked around at the large unused garage space and got an idea. (WPRI did a report last September before work had begun.) And now it’s here and it looks great. They have a pub grub menu, lunch and dinner, and will stay open till 11pm on weekdays and midnight on weekends. There are a few nods to the business next door on the drinks menu — you can order a ‘Six Feet Under’ — but they don’t want to overdo it. And I was assured that the fact the Grateful Dead was playing during my visit was a bizarre coincidence (cuz that would get old real fast). The McBride name is a nod to a pub the family once visited in County Cavan, Ireland, also a funeral home/pub combo. Now about that ‘M’ logo.
Back in the mid-1930’s the owners decided to create a smoking room in the basement for the gentlemen; the decor included two stained glass windows with an ‘M’ for Monahan. These windows now frame the attractive bar (picture after the jump). When I mentioned that there was a certain boniness to the font, Mr. Russell acknowledged that he has heard this from other people but had no way of knowing what may have inspired the original designer decades ago.
McBride’s Pub, 161 Wayland Avenue, 751.3000 (fb)
Stained glass window from original gentlemen’s smoking room, mid 1930’s.