Puritan-style laws have long been the bane of Boston’s nightlife scene -- especially since the last T subway trains leave the station at 1 a.m. on weekends. Happily, that’s all about to change. Come spring, all T routes and select bus routes will extend their late night service to 3 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays during a one-year pilot program. In anticipation, we rustled up four fun ideas for what to do in Boston after the clock strikes 12.
[January 2016 Update] It looks like late-night service might be getting the axe, though community members are hoping to salvage extended hours for public transportation in one form or another. Stay tuned...
1. Get classy with jazz.
Tucked in a boiler room in the Boston Center for the Arts complex, The Beehive is a self-proclaimed "boho" bar and art space that draws inspiration from the old haunts of great artists like Chagall. Jazz, soul, and R&B drift up from the basement through the two floors, without overpowering conversation, until 2 a.m. every night except for Sunday. The drinks aren't cheap for Boston – wine starts from $9 and cocktails $12 -- but there’s no cover.
Closest T stop: Back Bay
2. Catch a flick.
The Saturday After Midnite series at Coolidge Corner Theater transforms the Art Deco venue into a gathering place for alternative hankerings. Regular 11:59 p.m. screenings feature films that are “horrifying, weird, cult, avant-garde, tripped out, and just plain good.” Films on the February roster include "Trouble Every Day," "My Bloody Valentine," and "The Room." Tickets are a reasonable $10.25 and can be pre-purchased online.
Closest T stop: Coolidge Corner
3. Indulge your sweet tooth.
Max Brenner, the chocolate restaurant known for its Wonka-esque factory decor, opens until 1 a.m. on weekends in downtown Boston. Here, you can end your night on a sweet note by melting your own super-concentrated hot chocolate shot or munching on a chocolate pizza topped with peanut butter and roasted marshmallows – among many, many other decadent options.
Closest T stops: Copley, Back Bay
4. Eat and drink with the locals.
Lauded by the local tastemakers at Boston magazine and featured in the national spotlight via the “Food Network,” The Franklin Cafe fave serves up New American dishes in a laidback bar. Enjoy a late-night snack until 1 a.m. (sides and appetizers from $5) or carefully crafted cocktail (from $9) until 2 a.m.
Closest T stops: Back Bay, Tufts Medical Center, 39 bus