It was a tough night to be without a TV.
While Red Sox fans packed sports bars in the North End and Kenmore Square to watch Game 6 of the World Series on a flurry of flatscreens, restaurants bereft of televisions on the normally bustling Tremont Street corridor in the South End sat quiet Wednesday night.
At Hamersley’s Bistro, the kitchen closed early as the manager said the restaurant was significantly slower than the night before. One person canceled a reservation to attend the game.
But the bistro’s amiable owner, Gordon Hamersley, was far from bitter. He wore a Red Sox hat and, about 9:30 p.m., said the staff was planning to relocate to another establishment to catch the remainder of the game.
“I wear a Red Sox hat every night,” Hamersley said as the few remaining patrons finished their meals.
A few diners who apparently do not follow sports had come in earlier, the chef-owner said. “People from Mars and Jupiter, places like that,” he said.
Just two people were dining at the House of Siam, a Thai restaurant down the street, about 45 minutes before closing. The staff had the game playing on the radio, but Kannika Klinchan, an employee, said the lack of a television probably explained the slower-than-normal traffic.
Still, Klinchan said the staff was backing the home team.
“Of course,” she said. “We’re in Boston.”
Even some restaurants with the game on remained quiet. A few doors down at Mela, an Indian restaurant, fewer than half the tables were filled during the early part of the game, even though it aired on a TV there.
A group of employees was glued to the game, and hostess Miriah Payne said things were “very, very slow.” But she saw a silver lining.
“It’s pretty busy with the deliveries and takeouts tonight,” Payne said.
Tremont Street itself was as empty as some of its signature restaurants when the Sox began to pull ahead against the Cardinals.
One neighborhood resident, Steve Alves, 48, was walking his Portuguese water dog, Henry, shortly after the Sox took an early lead. The research scientist said he planned to watch the game when he got home, while doing some work on his computer.
Alves, who watched part of the game at a Shawmut Avenue cafe, described himself as “not a rabid fan, but I’m definitely interested in seeing what happens, and I hope they [the Sox] win.”
The Rhode Island native said he lived in New York for a long stretch before moving to Boston four years ago. Asked to compare Sox fans with the Yankee faithful, he said the Boston contingent is “more passionate, absolutely.”
Even in a quiet corner of town, on a night when Red Sox Nation was positively euphoric in other quarters of the Hub, one thing was clear.
“The Red Sox, it’s serious business here in Boston,” Alves said.