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I miss The Isle

Posted by Emily Sweeney  April 30, 2008 11:28 AM

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A few months ago one of former classmates from Saint Ambrose informed me that one of my favorite Dorchester bars -- the Emerald Isle -- had closed down for good. I called The Isle a couple of times, to find out more information....left messages and sent them an email, but never heard from anyone.

The Isle has occupied 1501 Dorchester Ave. for years.... (I checked the Globe archives, and the earliest mention I could find was in a story that ran on March 17, 1983, under the headline "Tapping Into The Irish Pub Scene".)

The Isle was a popular destination on Dot Ave on weekends because it stayed open late ( 2 a.m.) and had a decent-sized dancefloor that locals would flock to every Friday and Saturday night when the clock struck 1 a.m., as other bars were closing. The place would go from empty to packed in a matter of minutes, as people poured in to get their last dance (and drink) in.

emeraldisle043008.jpg
The author, busting a move at The Isle in September 2007.
(Photo by Alena Williams)

The drinks were stiff and cheap, and served up in clear plastic cups. The bartenders had Irish brogues. The DJs played standard Top 40 hits, and the dancefloor would get packed by a pretty diverse crowd of Irish folks, Dot natives, and black kids.

The Isle was also known for its comedy nights (although I never attended one myself). But I did see a screening of the documentary "You'll Pay For This," which chronicled the life and times of Unnatural Axe, a punk band from Dorchester.

I wonder what will take its place....

Has anyone else been there? Feel free to share your Isle memories and anecdotes below....I'd love to hear 'em.

-- Emily Sweeney


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Stephanie Callahan is a native Bostonian who loves cooking, traveling, spa treatments, and being on the ocean.

Meghan Colloton is a Bostonian who loves traveling, channeling her inner Julia Child, and trying weird things -- from food to bungee jumping.

Milva DiDomizio is a New England native who's fond of cooking, singing, and Boston's arts and culture scene.

Rachel Raczka is a Bostonian who enjoys buttercream frosting, gin cocktails, and conquering cobblestone streets in high heels.

Emily Sweeney is a Boston native who goes out all over, from Irish pubs in Southie to the roller rink in Dorchester.

Emily Wright is a native Cape Codder who enjoys exercising, baking, and the occasional guilty pleasure action movie.

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