As veterans of the restaurant business, Andrew and Jim Statires, brothers and owners of Stats Bar and Grille on Dorchester Street in South Boston, understand the necessary equation for dining industry success—location, timing, and a little bit of common courtesy.
With a storefront in the center of a vibrant and bustling Southie neighborhood, and enough regulars to form a recreational softball team, the Statires brothers know they’ve hit the restaurant jackpot.
“We love the clientele. We love the neighborhood, we came into Southie at the right time,” said Jim Statires, who co-owned a restaurant in San Diego and downtown Boston with his brother before opening Stats in 2010. “We came here and rented this spot back in 2009 right when Southie was starting to pop, and the neighborhood has blown up in the last five years.”
The bar and grille, named after the brothers’ childhood nickname, has taken off and become the most desirable Sunday-funday football spot in the area.
On any given football Sunday, a line will form around midday, stretching the length of the block by kickoff time. Once ushered in, patrons join a young, rowdy and upbeat crowd packed as tight as a rush-hour red line train, all looking for an afternoon of beer, food, and a top-notch football viewing experience.
For some regulars, the best way to beat the afternoon rush is to enjoy breakfast at Stats, and parlay that into an afternoon of entertainment without the wait.
“We got here at 10 a.m., we came for breakfast, so we could get a table for the game,” said Katie Fiumara of South Boston. “It’s more about the experience of hanging out with friends here than the game itself. The food is surprisingly good, and it’s walking distance from our house.”
The food is more than just pub food, said Jim, who was raised by restaurant-owning parents. The menu features all the classics plus seafood options, pizzas and flatbreads, and a full brunch spread available until 2 p.m. on Sundays.
Twelve different beer selections are on tap, six are available year-round, and the other six are seasonal options. Also available is a rotating, monthly $3 beer option. This month’s special is Modelo, a lager first brewed in Mexico.
Besides the beer and the food and the location, another perk is 24 televisons in all, and at least one will be devoted to each game being played.
“I went to a bar in Faneuil Hall and asked them to switch one of the games, and they said ‘no, we can’t do that.’ Here, you come in and say you want to watch a game, and they’ll find a way to get it on somewhere,” said John McGinn, who walked to the bar from his house on East Third Street. “No matter what you want to see, they’ll always get it. I’ve never come here and not watched the game I wanted.”
McGinn said he comes to Stats 3-5 nights a week.
“Sometimes I try to find somewhere else to go because I’m like ‘I’ve already been there three times this week,’ but I just like it so I come back,” he said. “It’s a well-run company. The food is great, the beers are top-notch. [Jim and Andrew] treat everyone with a respect. They don’t treat you [poorly] like at some other bars. It’s got a neighborhood feel.”
Jim and Andrew closed their restaurant downtown shortly after opening Stats to devote more time to their South Boston bar, and the extra time certainly shows.
The two make it a point to be there on the busiest days, controlling the ship, shaking hands, and making sure all is up to par.
“They know us, we know them,” said Jim, referring to his customers. “If you came in next Sunday, you’d see so many of the same people. We’d like to think that means we’re doing the right thing.”