You can go anywhere in Dorchester and find yourself a watering hole. But for me there are a handful of places that are truly authentic. I’m talking about establishments that are woven into the fabric of Dorchester. Family run, with a vested interest and feel for their neighborhood and patrons. Peggy O’Neil’s is one of those places where a Dot Rat feels right at home.
This place has been a staple in Dorchester as long as I can remember. Originally named “1310” for it’s number on Dorchester Avenue it’s often called “The 10” by locals. The staff is comprised of neighborhood folks with that noticable Dot spin on the Boston accent. Everyone is friendly and the drink prices are honest. But I would have to say the main draw here is the music.
After a recent renovation Peggy O’Neils has virtually tripled in size. There’s a sizable lounge area with exposed brick, decent seating and 2 smaller bars. There’s also a spacious dance floor with solid sound, lighting effects and a proper DJ booth.
They say that all good DJ’s can sense the mood of the dance floor and actually improve that mood, virtually wipe away the stress of the week and induce celebration. Almost like a doctor writing a perscription for your cold, a DJ can make you feel better through a well balanced music set. Peggy O’Neils has their own in house MD with resident DJ James “Chuck” Clements. Starting at age 11, Chuck has been mastering his craft at Boston venues and local parties for over 20 years. His love of all things soulful stems directly from his Dorchester roots. Chuck is a Dot Rat through and through and his neighborhood has long been a melting pot. These influences are clearly conveyed through his turntables every weekend at Peggy’s.
“We are getting people from all over”, Chuck admitted after his Saturday night set,”They come from all over Boston and the South Shore”. The crowd was an even mix of 20 to 30 somethings, but what was most noticable to me was the lack of wall flowers….everyone participates. The mood was good…..and you could see smiles dotting the room. Whether it was the younger patrons seeking out that cute prospect across the floor, or the older patrons unwinding after a long week, when the music ended for the evening you got the sense everyone had a good time.
The crew at Peggy’s has been doing it right for years and it was fun to go back after a long hiatus. This establishment is the essence of Dorchester and one best places in Boston to gather with friends to enjoy a drink or listen to a seasoned DJ make the week melt away. They are DotRat approved 😉