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Bar Seen

Where to find the best free entertainment in town



he best free entertainment in Boston is people-watching at the bar at Stella, where old and young mix with gay and straight and white and black, along with patrons of pretty much all other conceivable ages, sexual orientations, and hues. We’ve seen one burst out in song in memory of Michael Jackson, a city councilor proclaim (we think he was kidding) that being gay seemed more fun, and strangers become lifelong (or at least nightlong) friends as the bar food came and went (get the grilled pizza) and the cocktails were poured by attentive and personable bartenders who have everything except the attitude you find at other South End hot spots. The Mediterranean-inspired food’s great too—including a little-known brunch pizza you can enjoy on a Sunday morning at the bar—and the kitchen’s open till 1:30 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays.



Stella Café, next door to Stella, serves breakfast and lunch and fresh pasta, sauces, and prepared meals packaged and ready for takeout.