Bleacher Bar is getting ready to reopen — and share its view of Fenway Park


BOSTON (AP) — Tucked beneath the middle subject seats at Fenway Park, down some stairs from Lansdowne Street in an space beforehand used because the visiting group’s batting cage, is a sports activities bar that’s making ready to reopen from the coronavirus shutdown.

Largely windowless and embellished with sepia pictures held on darkish picket partitions, the primary supply of sunshine is the sunshine streaming in by means of a thick steel display screen that reveals the true treasure of the placement: a view of the Boston Red Sox subject, from Green Monster to Pesky Pole, that might make the Bleacher Bar one of many few spots to look at a serious league recreation in individual this season.

“It’s one of a kind. It really is,” mentioned Joe Hicks, who runs the restaurant and three others within the space. “Kids and households, they get excited after they stroll in right here and so they see how cool that is. People, they stroll in and so they’re simply naturally joyful.

“Being able to see inside the park, it doesn’t get much better than that.”

Joe Hicks, Bleacher Bar director of operations, appears out at Fenway Park from the bar in Boston. —AP Photo/Elise Amendola

Major League Baseball suspended spring coaching on March 12, and the season that was scheduled to open on March 26 by no means did. Last week, gamers and house owners reached an settlement to play an abbreviated, 60-game season that might begin July 23 or 24 in groups’ house ballparks.

But they’re not but able to crowd the seats with tens of hundreds of followers.

Instead, these hoping to see a recreation in individual might need to accept locations just like the Bleacher Bar, urgent their resist the home windows or squinting by means of fences just like the Knothole Gangs of yore.

Most groups contacted by The Associated Press final week mentioned they had been following steerage from native officers on whether or not followers can be allowed to look at video games from these areas. In many states, a key distinction is whether or not they’re designed for ticketed followers or exterior the turnstiles; in Massachusetts, for instance, the Bleacher Bar can reopen as a restaurant even whereas Fenway and different massive arenas stay closed.

Boston Mayor Marty Walsh has dominated out followers within the Fenway seats by means of at the least August.

“I just anticipate it being extremely odd when we get going playing Major League Baseball games in front of no fans, it being a strange environment,” Red Sox president Sam Kennedy mentioned this week.

“I think it’s incredibly important that we start — when it’s safe — to try to get back to some sense of normalcy,” he mentioned. “For me, that has always been going to baseball games. I think our fans want that and, ultimately, our players want that.”

In Massachusetts, eating places just like the Bleacher Bar can open with restricted capability beginning June 30. Last week, the tables had already been rearranged to accommodate the social distancing necessities; the three tables with the most effective view of the sector had been now two.

Hicks, the Bleacher Bar director of operations, was speaking to a reporter when a mom and her two sons popped their heads in to verify the place out. Their temporary glimpse by means of the display screen shall be their solely likelihood to see the sector earlier than returning house to Naples, Florida.

“We’re actually big Yankees fans but we always wanted to see Fenway Park because it’s the oldest park, it’s like the most legendary park in the world,” 17-year-old Sebastian Bustamante mentioned.

“The Yankees were supposed to do good things this year, so I was really looking forward to that,” he mentioned. “Aside from that, I just love watching baseball. It’s going to not be the same not watching it in person, but hopefully we’ll be able to catch some games on TV.”

The exterior of the Bleacher Bar in Boston. —AP Photo/Elise Amendola