When the Red Sox take on the Orioles at Fenway Park July 24, there will be no fans in attendance. Inside the ballpark, that is. Outside is another story. During this strange season, Lansdowne Street will close to traffic on game days, becoming a pedestrian zone. Taking cues from Hanover Street in the North End, establishments such as the Lansdowne Pub and Loretta's Last Call will extend their patios into the street.
"There's still certainly a lot of excitement around Opening Day and a baseball season," says Ryan Jones, vice president of operations for the Lyons Group, which is behind these and other Lansdowne Street venues. "What we're trying to do is provide people a fun, safe environment to come down to Lansdowne Street, because this is the closest you're going to get to inside this park for the rest of the season."
In addition to extended patios, a pop-up called Under the Green Monster will appear . . . under the Green Monster. Its centerpiece is an Airstream trailer from Sam Adams and Truly Hard Seltzer, from which customers can order beer, hard seltzer, and cocktails. Pretzel company Eastern Standard Provisions, started by Honeycomb bakery/cafe founder (and former executive pastry chef for Eastern Standard, Island Creek Oyster Bar, and Row 34) Lauren Moran and restaurateur Garrett Harker, will sell pretzels from a cart there, with additional food potentially in the works, pending approval.
Other Lansdowne Street establishments will offer spins on ballpark classics: Loretta's plans to serve fried dough, along with fried hot-chicken sliders and its usual Southern fare. Visitors will find kettle corn at the Lansdowne Pub, "Hall of Fame" pies named for Red Sox players at Game On! (the Martinez is topped with chicken, black beans, and plantains), and "Fenway poutine" (Wagyu beef hot dogs and tater tots topped with cheese sauce and bacon) at Bleacher Bar, which offers a direct view into the stadium. Social distancing measures will be in effect on Lansdowne Street, as in the rest of the city.
People are missing sports right now, and they want to go out in a safe environment, says Jones of the Lyons Group: “We’re going to provide that environment for people to get a taste of baseball and be around Fenway and the Red Sox and feel safe and comfortable.”
Under the Green Monster opens July 24, located between Bleacher Bar and Game On! at 82 Lansdowne St. Hours are game days and weekends from 11:30 a.m. until 10 p.m.