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Old 09-14-2013, 07:31 PM   #1
JamesG
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Cool Info. from "Cheers from the Bull & Finch Pub" Book







I recently visited Boston for the weekend and I made sure to visit the Bull & Finch Pub (now Cheers Beacon Hill) since I didn't get to do it when I last went to Boston back in 2006.

I stopped by the gift shop and bought Cheers lighters, shot glasses, shooters, t-shirts, and the book Cheers from the Bull & Finch Pub. The book was originally published in 1993 around the time "Cheers" was ending. Bartender Eddie Doyle said, "The show may be ending, but our show is not."







The place where the Bill & Finch Pub is located was originally a private six-story mansion for the Thayer family built in 1910. The Thayer's had the mansion until after WWII when it was then sold to a private owner.

Around the corner was the Lincolnshire Hotel where the owner wanted more space for civilians to stay since the military were occupying most of the hotel. He leased the mansion and turned it into a luxury hotel called the Hampshire House.



The Hampshire House went through many owners over the years when Tom Kershaw and Jack Veasy bought the property in June 1969. The new owners were looking for a business opportunity and wanted to transform the Hampshire House into a luxury townhouse. They didn't have enough money for their vision, but they had enough to build a pub.

The pub would have to be a small one since they only had room in the basement for it. They wanted the pub to have an older English feel to it to go with the townhouse upstairs. They originally wanted to purchase an old pub from England, but found out that most of them weren't for sale or were not usable. They decided to have a custom bar built for them in England and then shipped back to the US.

English women worked behind the bar when the small pub originally opened to add to the English feel of the place.



The book then went into how they came up with the name Bull & Finch for the pub. Again, the owners wanted something to go along with the English vibe but to also be original to Boston.

They were talking about famous Bostonians and discovered the name Charles Bulfinch who was the architect of the State House. Singles bars were popular at the time and they combined Bull for the males and Finch for the females, since men referred to their girlfriends as "birds".

The Bull & Finch Pub became a fixture on Beacon Hill where "everyone did know everybody's name" as people from all walks of life mingled and forgot their problems for a night.







Then in 1981, television writers Glen and Les Charles and director Jim Burrows (who all worked on M*A*S*H, The Mary Tyler Moore Show and Taxi) were looking into what was going to be their next project. They decided upon doing a show centered around the regulars of an American neighborhood bar where everyday people commiserated.

They wanted to look for bars around the East Coast because that's where a lot of the traditional neighborhoods were. They made it to Boston which is a very athletic and political-centered community. They weren't "feeling" the many bars they had been visiting and they discovered that one pub they hadn't been to yet was a small one located on Beacon Hill.

Upon entering The Bull & Finch Pub they said right away "This is it!". They asked the management if it was going to be alright to snap some inside/outside photos of the place to send back to Hollywood to pitch their ideas, and the pub agreed.



The book then said that Hollywood built their own version of the pub in Paramount Studios where majority of the show was filmed. The pub on Beacon Hill was used for the opening exterior shots and occasional location scenes for when the cast visited. One of those scenes had Sam (Danson) talking Frasier (Grammer) down from a third floor window ledge.







The book also went into when members of the "Cheers" cast visited The Bull & Finch Pub.

It said that Rhea Perlman spent about a week preparing for her role by working at the Bull & Finch Pub.



Nick Colasanto visited the pub unannounced shortly before the end of his life. He was from Rhode Island and decided to randomly drop by one evening. He told the patrons that he was originally in the running for the role of Archie Bunker on "All in the Family".

They said that Nick was upset about losing the role, but was very happy to get 'Coach' twelve years later. He died shortly after and the bar put up a memorial for him which still exists today.



John Ratzenberger visited one night with his fiancee and was "like everyone else" and very friendly to chat with.







Then the book went into how The Bull & Finch Pub became "The World's Most Famous Bar". The pub was getting visitors from all over the world as "Cheers" was airing. Everyone wanted to see "where it all started".

They eventually had to obtain more memorabilia to sell as people were stealing glasses and other items from the pub as keepsakes.



The book is a very good read for "Cheers" fans.
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Old 04-28-2014, 08:01 PM   #2
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Very interesting bit of history about the building.
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Old 11-19-2014, 09:19 AM   #3
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OMG! I own that book from when I visited Boston in 2003.
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