Buddy’s Pizza Pub: Local Music Acts, Amazing Atmosphere, and Incredible Craft Beer

Why you and your buddies should go to Buddy’s:

Buddy’s Pizza Pub is a hidden gem located at 547 West Grove Street in Middleboro Massachusetts. Although this blog intends to provide insight into the types of experiences provided by different restaurants and bars in the Fall River and New Bedford areas, Buddy’s Pizza Pub is almost the same distance away from those areas as they are from one another. Since Fall River, New Bedford, and Buddy’s in Middleboro are all roughly 15 to 25 minutes away from each other, they could certainly qualify as “local” to each other. Why is it important to support your local businesses? This chart provides an explanation:

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Vaguely!

After visiting some of the bars in Fall River, I remembered that a mere 20 minutes away, my close friend Nick’s band AdapterAdapter was playing a set at a place called Buddy’s Pizza Pub. After my iPhone informed me of how short of a drive it would be (19 minutes), I hopped in the car and was off!

Before I knew it, I was walking into Buddy’s and was greeted by many of my friends who had also come out to show their support. I wasn’t originally planning on including Buddy’s Pizza Pub in my blog, but after having an unforgettable experience there, I felt as though I’d be doing an incredible disservice to the New Bedford Travel Guide if I were to exclude it. Here’s why:

Fans of craft beer and live music will fall in love with Buddy’s.

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Beer doesn’t believe in taking things slow.

After being welcomed by friends, I made a bee-line to the bar in hopes that my craft beer itch would be scratched. I was already excited and hopeful because I noticed that my friend Jimmy, the drummer in AdapterAdapter, was drinking Southern Tier’s 2x Stout. Although the fantastic 2x stout is not rare in any decent liquor store, I had never seen it offered at a bar before.

Service started out relatively slow but luckily the servers began picking up the pace as the night went on. I was happy to forgive their slow start once I saw this on the menu:

Buddy’s offers a Full Bar with pretty much any liquor you could imagine with 12 Draft Beer Lines featuring some incredible Craft Beer selections and also offering over 40 Bottled Beers Choices

Buddy’s Pizza Pub knows how to “do” beer. Although 12 taps doesn’t qualify as a whole lot of variety, every tap is loaded up with a carefully selected keg of choice fizzy goodness from high profile craft breweries such as Jack’s Abby, Troegs, The Lost Abbey, Hebrew, and Lagunitas. The special attention Buddy’s pays to the needs and “wants” of craft beer drinkers is displayed through their thoughtful tap selections and their selection of 40 bottled craft beers. Whether the employees at Buddy’s are actual craft beer lovers, or they’ve just simply done their beer homework, the beer quality and selection offered at Buddy’s is bound to garner them a loyal following.

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These people would love Buddy’s.

Great food and atmosphere: Buddy’s is like a home away from home.

The “featured image” for this article (located at the top of the page) is exactly what someone would see as they enter Buddy’s Pizza Pub. The interior design of Buddy’s Pizza Pub is surprisingly pristine, modern, and tasteful. It looks nothing like the traditional images that the words “pizza pub” evokes in my imagination.

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I was expecting Buddy’s to be more like this traditionally bland pizza pub, or at least something akin to a sad cafeteria with Maury Povich and soap operas playing on the TVs.

The food at Buddy’s Pizza Pub is Italian and American with other typical bar foods. There are some menu options that stand out such as lobster ravioli and tacos. I tried a slice of Buddy’s cheese pizza and although I remember enjoying it, it didn’t leave a lasting impression on my taste buds. Food prices at Buddy’s aren’t a humungous value; most entrees cost eight to thirteen dollars, however their specials frequently include deals such as “half-offs” and “buy-one-get-one’s” on certain nights. This information as well as their menu information can be found on Buddy’s website at www.buddyspizzapub.com.

The live music performed at Buddy’s has local cultural significance.

The musical acts I watched at Buddy’s, including my friends band, were inspiring to me in more than one way. I was excited to see bands playing original songs mixed with clever covers. None of the acts played the cliche songs one might expect to hear from a bar band, a la “Margarita-ville,” “Piano Man,” or “Sweet Home Alabama.” Most of the songs were either revamped blues standards or tasteful takes on pleasant surprises such as T-Rex’s “Bang A Gong,” Canned Heat’s “On The Road Again,” or something more soulful like a Ray Charles number. It was refreshing to see real local bands that are actually trying to make it somewhere musically and not a washed up folkie who only showed up for the free beer offered to performers. Overall, my favorite part of the night was when…

I was offered a time slot to perform on the spot, I did.

Apparently the performers ran out of material to play prematurely and since my friend’s band AdapterAdapter had connections with the owner of Buddy’s and told him I play guitar and sing, I was offered to play my very own spur of the moment acoustic set. Although I was surprised, out of practice, and pretty buzzed, I had an amazing time performing and the crowd was warm, supportive, and attentive. I performed covers of Neutral Milk Hotel’s “In the Aeroplane Over the Sea,” Olivia Tremor Control’s “I Have Been Floated,” Nirvana’s version of “The Man Who Sold the World,” and The Band’s “Up On Cripple Creek.” Going to Buddy’s Pizza Pub was one of the best places I have experience in the Fall River/New Bedford area thus far. Is there any evidence of my epic night out at Buddy’s? Does it sound too good to be true? I’ll leave you with this…

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Pictured: Nick and I in full swoon-mode.

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Barrett’s Ale House: Your One Stop Sports Bar/Dance Club/TGI Fridays

Everyone has their own unique tastes and preferences; what might strike one as an enticing experience, might strike another as the proverbial “bummer.”

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In regards to Fall River’s Barrett’s Alehouse, my experience fell towards the latter end of the spectrum I mentioned above however, shown by how packed the building was during my Friday night visit, there are many who feel differently.

Barrett’s Alehouse offers a large, grocery store-sized parking lot which apparently wasn’t quite big enough; I had to circle the lot a few times to secure a spot. After my friend Kristyn and I entered Barrett’s we were greeted immediately by three hostesses, all standing behind the same front booth, which for some reason struck me as kind of odd.

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In unison: “Welcome to Barrett’s Alehouse!”

Some of the first things I noticed about Barrett’s were that it was quite large, almost like a very dark cafeteria separated into three sections. On the left side there was a room with some small tables lining the perimeter, some electronic dance music, and an empty dance floor illuminated by one of those cheesy rotating, rainbow, light-show balls from the 90’s.

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I wonder how many tickets it cost them.

The center of Barrett’s Alehouse contained the bulk of the dinner crowd and the large, congested, oval-shaped bar. Bar patrons were a mix of people raging from age 21 to age 50 an beyond. The right side of the restaurant offers smaller tables for two and mini counter tops without chairs. I suppose that the benefits of the mini counter tops were that they allowed for patrons who couldn’t secure a place to sit, with a viable surface to set their drinks on while they stand awkwardly.

Although Barrett’s is a self-proclaimed “alehouse,” it’s beer selection is unimpressive. It ranges from “macro’s” such as Budweiser, to exports such as Guinness and Stella, to “fringe-craft” offerings a la Shocktop. When a restaurant calls itself an alehouse, I expect for it to have at least a minor focus on tap diversity.

Chama’s special taps are at the ready.

You mean I can get light beer OR dark beer?! So diverse! THIS is an ALEHOUSE!

Since I didn’t want to spend seven dollars on a beer that would cost one to two dollars at a liquor store, I opted a nine dollar mixed drink called a Vermont Cod in the hopes that it would have more bang for the buck; it had bang alright, but not where I hoped it would. It was a small red drink that tasted like thick, pure maple syrup.

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Bottoms up!

If viewing sporting events is a large part of the reason you go to certain bars and restaurants, Barrett’s Alehouse might be for you. They have 30 big screen TV’s, most of which have 70+ inch screens. While I interpreted the excess of TV’s as, well, excessive and a misplacement of financial resources, others might enjoy the visual bombardment with broadcasts of every sport ever played along with news reels on an endless loop. Barrett’s would be a good place for sports fans who want to feel like they’re being social while not actually have to talk to anybody.

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So turn off the TV, get up off the couch, and come pack yourself into a seat at Barrett’s Alehouse…where you can watch OUR TV’s.

Halfway through my maple syrup cocktail I notice that the Beyonce song being pumped through the speakers in the main bar room was involved in a power clash with the dance music coming from the room with the sad dance floor; this was annoying. Fortunately enough, the food served at Barrett’s, notable the burgers and pizza (albeit distinctly bar pizza) stood out from the usual bar-food experience.

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Pictured: “Bar Pizza”

If you want to have a typical sports bar experience with good food, a crowded bar, an average drink selection, plenty of space to show off your dance moves, very dim lighting, and a young, attractive, and attentive female staff, Barrett’s Alehouse is the place for you.

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Fall River’s Taphouse Grille Has Something for Everyone

Hello everyone. My name is Ben, I’m twenty-two years old, and I am a raging craft beer geek.

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I once overheard some fellow beer geeks praise the draft and bottle selection at Fall River’s Taphouse Grille, and after having a chance conversation with the Grille’s owner (who happened to be enjoying a drink at The Black Rabbit right beside me) it seemed as though my next stop had chosen me.

After roughly a minute long drive from The Black Rabbit I arrived at an open parking spot directly in front of Taphouse Grille. The Taphouse, located at 159 South Main Street (right across from the Fall River District Court), provides patrons with the convenience of free valet parking and also do not charge a cover fee. As I was walking inside I noticed that the building seemed to be aesthetically fixated towards masculinity with it’s darkly finished wood paneling and rugged looking typography.

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Once I was inside I quickly took a seat at the center of the large bar section and marveled at the 24 taps; heaven for a beer geek. There were also 50 craft beers available in bottles, none of which were particularly rare or attention grabbing. Jugs of sangria and scorpion bowls were also available on the drink menu. All of the tables and booths seemed to be full and there was a two-man guitar duo playing Jimmy Buffet’s “Margaritaville” on a small stage at the back of the bar. The bartenders were very attentive and asked what I wanted before I had fully taken my seat. After ordering Wormtown Brewery’s superb “Be Hoppy” IPA, I took a minute to scope the place out and get a feel for the type of crowd Taphouse Grille attracts. I noticed that most of the people in attendance were probably between 35 and 55 years old with a few families out to dinner and some small scattered groups of people in their 20’s. Everyone was relatively well dressed which went along with the Taphouse Grille’s squeaky clean look. The granite bar, the brown leather booths, and the hardwood floors were polished and shining brightly. I felt lucky to have come at night because if I had stopped in for lunch I might have gone blind.

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While I was savoring the crisp citrus flavors of my IPA the band started to play another Buffet hit, “If You Like Pina Coladas.” Seeing live music is one of my all time favorite activities and bars score big points with me if they host performances. Not many people were paying attention to the band, but they provided everyone with some nice background music. I don’t understand how anyone could carry on with conversations over the singer belting out Buffet hooks. It definitely is not a place I would recommend going to alone or with the intention of meeting new people on the Friday and Saturday nights that bands play. As you can see in the above photograph, the Taphouse Grille is larger than it looks from the outside. Despite it’s large size, the venue was packed tightly, mostly with people eating at tables. It’s a good place to go to with a group, but the combination of loud music and a decent size crowd doesn’t make for an optimal environment for socializing.

The Taphouse Grille isn’t known only for it’s vast beer selection, it’s food happens to be locally renowned as well. The kitchen is open until 1 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays which is just as uncommon as it is awesome. The menu features mostly Italian and American food styles such as stuffed meatballs, macaroni and cheese, and chicken wings. I got hungry watching so many people chowing down that I had to order some of their breaded Italian raviolis, deep fried and loaded with mozzarella cheese. They tasted really fresh and came with a side of Pomodoro dipping sauce; I give them five stars.

For one high quality beer and a deliciously filling appetizer I only ended up paying about 14 dollars. I was impressed by the fair prices of everything on the menu. A dinner for two probably wouldn’t exceed 40 dollars. I didn’t fall completely in love with the Taphouse Grille, mainly because three quarters of the patrons were my parents age and I felt somewhat out of place. The large beer selection is sort of misleading because one generally thinks that such a vast selection will include some hard to get beers, however Taphouse featured nothing you couldn’t get at most beer bars. Places like The Black Rabbit are smaller and better for meeting new people and having conversations, but if you’re looking for delicious food, a decent beer selection, and some live music, give Taphouse Grille a visit.

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Battleship Brewhouse: A MUST for Craft Beer Advocates

I find great comfort in discovering my own little havens, sacred places with an incomprehensible and jarringly beautiful gravitation that pulls me up and out of the deep, dark graves of irrational fear and self doubt that I so often find I have subconsciously dug myself into.

These pieces of personal paradise lead me to a better understanding of who I am at the core of myself. Sometimes I can walk into a bar, a record shop, or even just somewhere in nature and I immediately know that THIS is where I belong. I had a similar experience upon entering Fall River’s Battleship Brewhouse. If you’ve read any of my previous blog entries, you are probably already aware of the passion that drives me to the experiences and subsequent evaluations of potential candidates for a new sanctuary.

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My prayers for fine craft beer were answered by a simple slogan inscribed on the wall:

GOT SOME IF YOU NEED IT! BATTLESHIP BREWHOUSE: Fall River’s original craft Beer Bar Est. 2008

After reading their slogan I imagine I looked something like this:

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Pictured: my eager face.

However, if I were to ascribe a facial expression representing my first impression of Battleship Brewhouse, I would have chosen a vastly different stock image of a child’s face from Google.

First Impression:

I pulled into the parking lot of the city’s “Executive Plaza” located at 101 President Avenue, and got a modest first impression of the Brewhouse. It is situated in a shopping plaza between (if my memory serves me well) a nail salon and some kind of juice bar or frozen yogurt shop. I can’t recall an instance in which I arrived at a shopping plaza and thought, “Gee, this going to be an amazingly fun and/or culturally enriching experience that will restore my hope and faith in the human race!” I usually think something more akin to “Well, I hope I don’t see too many overwhelmed mothers employing tragically confused parenting tactics on their hyperactive, McDonald’s crazed, candy obsessed spawn.” A little bit dark? Perhaps, however I really do hate shopping plazas.

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What’s to hate?

My initial expectations of Battleship Brewhouse were meager but to my surprise, any preconceived notions of pessimism were shunned from memory upon entering this holy house of the drink. I walked into Battleship Brewhouse at about 10:30pm on an unforgivably icy March night and my soul was not prepared for what I was about to experience; it was love at first sight.

Why Battleship Brewhouse rules, hard:

LIVE MUSIC-Battleship Brewhouse hosts live music every Friday and Saturday night. As soon as I walked inside, I looked to my right and was greeted by a live band with a beautiful lead singer. The band was an acoustic outfit with an array of musicians of all different ages. There were two guitar players that looked to be close to middle-aged, the lead singer and the drummer appeared to be twenty-somethings, and then there was a tiny little boy in the middle of them all with some kind of chime instrument around his neck that he played with a wooden stick; he was probably ten years old. They were playing a genre of music that is a deeply beloved favorite of mine: jug band music. The band is called The Moldy Suitcases and this is what they look like:

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Best female jug band vocalist with a mold affiliation since Maria Muldaur!

The Moldy Suitcases are far from a typical bar band; watching them perform was my favorite experience of my entire exploration of Fall River’s nightlife thus far. The Suitcases’ jazz tinted folk songs are composed with some of the traditional instruments utilized by blues and folk legends such as the Memphis Jug Band or the later Jim Kweskin Jug Band. The band’s incorporation of a drum kit made entirely out of old suitcases is not only an incredibly original innovation to jug band music, but it also carries the torch of the century-old folk tradition of exploring tones created by “playing” regular household items. I must mention that there is no need for quotation marks around the word “playing” when describing how they churn music out of they achieve Luckily The Moldy Suitcases and other fine local talents play at Battleship Brewhouse regularly. Check out their performance dates via their Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/themoldysuitcase

UNRIVALED CRAFT BEER SELECTION-

 

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It’s lonely at the top.

Battleship Brewhouse offers 40 craft beers on tap and 80 bottled craft offerings. The only other bar in Fall River that can (barely) hold a candle to the craft selection at Battleship Brewhouse is the Taphouse Grille, however that comparison only applies to the amount of available craft options. In regards to diversity in beer styles and the availability of the latest and most interesting craft beer releases, Battleship Brewhouse stands unrivaled. During my visit I ordered the freshest Troegs Nugget Nectar I’ve ever tasted, Cambridge Brewing’s Audacity of Hops, and finished with the low alcohol by volume (ABV) Monk’s Cafe Flemish Sour Ale to finish out the night.

My sole complaint about my experience at Battleship Brewhouse was that I was only given a five ounce pour of Cambridge’s Audacity of Hops Belgian IPA. Audacity is a fantastic beer but it is by no means expensive, rare, or of high ABV; the meager pour remains a mystery until my next visit when I will hopefully remember to make an inquiry. Even if every craft beer offered at Battleship were five ounce pours (very few others were), I would still drive 45 minutes from my house in Attleboro, while passing several other bars on the way, to Fall River’s Battleship Brewhouse; they just really know how to swoon a craft beer mega-geek.

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Battleship Brewhouse is also a restaurant with probably close to as many menu options are there are beer taps. Battleship’s Facebook pages states, “Serving Burgers, Quesedillas, Sour Dough Sandwiches, Steaks, Pasta Dishes and Portuguese Cuisine (to name a few).” They also serve barbeque, seafood, vegetarian, and Italian dishes; even the pickiest of stubborn Stanley’s wouldn’t leave the Brewhouse empty-bellied.

The drastic variation of the food choices could be interpreted as a reflection of Fall River’s ethnically diverse populous. In a city where a great number of residents come from different countries and cultures, it would be unwise from a business standpoint to exclude traditional dishes if their is a clear demand for them.

Considering the small size of the building, Battleship Brewhouse has plenty of seating for those who prefer a table and chair over a bar and bar stool.

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I don’t know how many men it takes to operate a battleship, but I’m pretty sure this Brewhouse could fit the entire crew and rid them of their scurvy..or was that just a pirate thing? Never mind.

Whether you’re a proud beer geek, a live music junkie, a rampant foodie, or just someone who wants to go out to eat or grab drinks with friends or the whole family, Battleship Brewhouse is Fall River’s Renaissance man of the local bar scene and my new personal craft beer Mecca of Southeastern Massachusetts. Even if my evaluation of the Brewhouse doesn’t sound like an experience that would appeal to you personally, sgive it a visit and if you still aren’t satisfied, chances are that Battleship Brewhouse didn’t fail you, you failed Battleship Brewhouse.

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The Black Rabbit: Fall River’s Time Machine to the 20’s

Fall River’s Black Rabbit, modeled after the notorious speakeasies of the prohibition era, is a refreshing new addition to the local nightlife. The Black Rabbit’s old-time vibe provides patrons with a unique and memorable thematic experience.

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The Black Rabbit’s authenticity is aided by choices in design such as the old fashioned bar top, the tall mirrors behind the bar, the antique golden cash register, the replica bourbon barrels, the mason jar drinking glasses, and the portraits of some of the eras most infamous rum runners lining the walls.

Across from the bar is a luxurious lounge section with several small tables, each with one chair across from a cushioned bench built into the wall. This area is better arranged for couples to have face to face conversations without having to shout or break their necks trying to maintain eye contact.

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Without having to use much imagination I can easily picture flapper girls Charleston-ing their way into those booths, sipping martinis, smoking cigarettes, and discussing which jazz musicians are the “cat’s pajamas” or the “bee’s knees.”

The Black Rabbit has a somewhat basic selection of beers on draft ranging from domestic brews such as Bud Light, to imports such as Stella Artois, to craft offerings such as Samuel Adams. The bar staff was friendly and attentive and the patrons were social and welcoming during my night at The Black Rabbit. There were only about ten people present on the Friday of my visit, but the frigid February night is a likely culprit for the low attendance.

There were also a few things that detracted from my experience at The Black Rabbit. Every song I heard was either mainstream hip hop or “dance-y” pop music which caused me to forget about the speakeasy theme from time to time.

Don’t show up hungry because there is no kitchen and the staff frowns upon patrons bringing their own food.

There are also some odd raises and drops in the elevation of the floor, which aren’t easily detectable (I twisted my ankle from tripping over one of these as I was exiting).

Whether you’re a Fall River local or just a passing visitor, The Black Rabbit is a worthwhile stop for anybody with an interest in the prohibition era, old fashion decor, or even just someone seeking a change from the typical bar experience.

The Black Rabbit is located at 85 Anawan Street in downtown Fall River and is walking distance from several other popular local bars. It’s convenient location and hassle-free parking makes it difficult to think of a reason to not stop in for a drink; it could become your new go-to brew house. It’s also worth mentioning that The Black Rabbit frequently hosts musical events and live performances performances; visit their Facebook page at http://tinyurl.com/lu4jy7a for scheduling information.

So what are you waiting for?! Put on your glad rags, grab yourself a Jane, and come drink a jar of bootleg giggle juice! The Black Rabbit will be waiting at the door to greet you.

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