Lansdowne Street – A Boston-style Pub in Bonita Springs, Florida

Almost everyone from Massachusetts knows Lansdowne Street is the road running behind Fenway Park.

Bonita Springs now has it’s own Lansdowne Street. And while it’s not located just a few footsteps from the legendary home of the Boston Red Sox, it sure feels like it from inside.

Located inside the Bernwood Design Centre, near the corner of Old 41 Road and US 41, Lansdowne Street is a new restaurant and pub that recreates the experience of sitting in a Boston Bar. Modeled after the well-known Beacon Hill watering hole, The Sevens, Lansdowne Street oozes gritty Northeast charm. The interior is all brick and rich, dark wood. At one end of the establishment, there is a Green Monster scoreboard and an “old-school” dartboard. At the other end, there is an antique stained-glass window from a Cambridge church and a working fireplace. Between it all there is a veritable museum of Red Sox memoribilia, lots of flat-screen TV’s tuned to New England sports, and a stately bar serving over 48 different types of beer. Some of the stand-out brews are Lefthand Brewery’s Milk Stout, Dogfish Head 90 Minute IPA, and the hard-to-find-in-Florida Boston-Favorite – Harpoon IPA.

The food Lansdowne Street serves is lighter-style pub fare. Their menu revolves around the concept of gourmet sandwiches. They’ve got everything from vegetarian panini offerings to fully decked out grinders. All of Lansdowne Street’s signature sandwiches are named after well-traveled Boston roads…The Mass Pike, Newbury Street, Yawkey Way. They’ve also got a full selections of salads, chili, clam chowder, Boston baked beans, and a not-to-be-missed lobster roll.

Juke box music blares from the corner. Live music passes through on occasion.

On St. Patricks Day, we had a block party outside with a tent set up. We had an industrial-sized grill set up, live music…the bartenders were pouring green Pabst Blue Ribbon,” says Lansdowne Street proprietor, Michael Maurer. “Thousands of people showed up, you could barely move through the crowd, it was incredible.”

The Red Sox and Celtics games play. Northern accents litter the air. Shouts and applause erupt as David Ortiz hits one out of the park. Here is a place where you can watch the games the way they do in Boston…with a Fenway-style crowd of like-minded fans cheering on the team. Lansdowne Street in Bonita Springs is “The Red Sox Nation’s Southernmost Outpost”. Don’t you think you should pay it a visit?

www.Lansdowne-Street.com

Bar Tool Time

No matter what task is before an individual, you must have the proper tools to accomplish the job. If you are a chef, you will need fine quality knives and an extensive range of various pots and pans. If you are a gardener, you will need several sizes of pruning shears and clippers, as well as digging tools to keep your yard trim and beautiful. And if you want to tend bar, whether in the home or professionally, to make quality drinks which everyone will enjoy, you will need your box of bar tools, which will allow you to turn out delicious concoctions.

Having the correct tools will ease the job of making good drinks. Let’s take a look at the most essential tools:

  • A BOTTLE OPENER is a must, both for speed and for the health of your hands. Using your bare hands to open bottles of beer can quickly turn your palms and fingers to bundles of cuts and scratches, not to mention chafing them raw. There are many varieties of bottle openers available to suit individual tastes.
  • The “waiter’s wine opener” is probably the most versatile type of WINE OPENER/CORKSCREW. Very efficient, it will not break the cork (famous last words!). This tool is multi-purposed: It includes a bottle opener; a sharp blade for cutting the seal of the wine; and the all-important corkscrew or worm. Corkscrews can be found in all sorts of novelty shapes. Also, if possible, get an opener with a two-level lever for maximum efficiency. A winged corkscrew is screwed into the cork which is popped by pulling down the handles.
  • A necessity for all bartenders is the COCKTAIL SHAKER, a stainless steel container used to vigorously shake the ingredients for a martini. A good rule of bartending is to remember that the colder a drink gets, the better it will taste. Hence, the shaker. Pouring pre-chilled ingredients into the shaker with ice, shaking it vigorously, and serving the drink in a chilled glass will give your guests a tongue-titillating libation.
  • The two basic types of shakers are the STANDARD SHAKER and the BOSTON SHAKER. The STANDARD or COBBLER shaker is a three-piece stainless steel shaker with a strainer built into it. It consists of the shaker tumbler, a lid with strainer, and the cap. The BOSTON shaker is a bit simpler in its design than is the Standard. It is merely a shaker tumbler and a slightly smaller mixing glass. All that needs to be done with a Boston shaker is to seal the two parts together. You must be careful to not seal it so tightly that it cannot be opened again.
  • There are many different varieties of STRAINERS, the most popular of which being the HAWTHORNE, a flat, spoon-shaped tool. A spring coil fits around its head, enabling it to fit all types and shapes of bar glasses, by means of prongs, in order to strain cocktails. On the other hand, the stainless steel JULEP strainer fits gently within the glass at an angle.

Several other tools will help you tend bar with professional ease.

  • A BAR SPOON is used mainly for stirring, the measurement of ingredients, and the crushing of flavoring (fruit, etc.) ingredients. Made of stainless steel, most bar spoons are 10 inches long and hold 1/6 ounce (one teaspoon) of liquid.
  • On most upper-end bar spoons, the top of the handle is a disc known as a MUDDLER which is used to crush (muddle) chunks of fruit, sugar cubes, or herbs, such as mint leaves, in the bottom of the glass.
  • A good BLENDER is essential for making frozen drinks, such as Daiquiris or Margaritas. There are many sorts of blenders with various speeds. Be sure to put your liquid in the blender before adding ice; doing this will increase the life of your blade. Try to get a blender with ice crushing capabilities. If you cannot get such a blender, you should invest in a freestanding ice crusher, independent of the blender.
  • TONGS and an ICE BUCKET are necessary for the sanitary storage and transfer of ice cubes. Not only will things be more hygienic but the ice bucket will help prevent the melting (and subsequent mess) of your ice cubes.
  • The BAR MEASURE or JIGGER is indispensable in making accurate measurements. One side of a stainless steel JIGGER holds 1-1/2 oz (50 ml) of liquid; the other side, called a PONY, holds 3/4 oz (25 ml). There is generally only one size to a glass jigger, one ounce (2 tablespoons).
  • A KNIFE and CUTTING BOARD are important tools to have at hand for cutting ingredients and garnishes. Recommended are a sharp 4-inch long paring knife and a sharp kitchen knife of about 8 inches, such as a bread knife or tomato knife, with a spearlike tip. The sharper the knife, the easier to make a clean cut. Watch for your fingers!
  • A POUR SPOUT or POURER gives you greater control when pouring from a bottle. Generally, it is a small bar tool made of plastic or rubber/metal which fits onto the neck of your liquor bottle. It gives you better control than pouring directly from the bottle. The most precise of the pour spouts are fashioned of a rubber cork fitted into the bottle and a metal spout which fits into the cork. Different styles of pour spouts include those of plastic, metal, neon, glow in the dark, slow pour (3 seconds per ounce), fast pour, screened, flapped, and measured.
  • Finally, to add a special something to your bar, use a GARNISH TRAY to hold all the accoutrements that give class to your presentation. Be sure to remember to put out skewers, plastic swords, paper parasols, flags, etc. along with your cocktail napkins, straws, and stirrers. Suggested garnishes might include lemon and orange slices/wedges, maraschino cherries, celery stalks, olives, and cocktail onions – whatever your imagination conjures up to tantalize your taste buds.

Cheers!

America’s Favorite Bar

Do you want to go where everybody knows your name? How many of us really wished we could walk into the actual doors to Cheers? On Thursday nights starting in September of 1982 until 1993, millions did watch as Norm (George Wendt) walked through those doors, hearing his name called out in unison by those in the bar. Sadly, it never happened for Cliff (John Ratzenberger).

Sam (Ted Danson) and Diane (Shelley Long) started the first episode with such a love-hate relationship that everyone knew where it was going, but it took much longer than expected, with great comedy and drama along the way. Anticipation brought viewers back, Thursday after Thursday, only to find Sam rejected by Diane in so many funny ways. Then the romance culminated in one of the funniest shows ever, and continued to have twists and turns, until it was over. Then Frazier (Kelsey Grammer) enters to eventually propose to, and plan to marry Diane. The wedding that never happened was one of the best cliff-hanging endings to a season.

Finally, Diane returns only to leave Sam, the bar and Boston. And CHEERS was never the same. Shelley Long was so perfect as Diane, but it seems she could not recapture the magic in any other role. Kirstie Alley came along as Rebecca. She was funny, and did a good job, but just couldn’t replace Diane. The dynamics between Sam, Carla (Rhea Perlman), Norm, Cliff, Woody (Woody Harrelson), and Frazier remained to carry the show through the remainder of the five seasons.

When you look at the spin-off of FRAZIER, the continued successful career of Woody Harrelson, Bebe Neuwirth, and Ted Danson’s later series of BECKER you see how influential the show remained. It was often mentioned or parodied in other shows. For years it could be seen every night in syndication. Many of us never tired of watching.