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Very Good
24 Ratings

Type: Bar, Eatery

654 Beacon St
Boston, Massachusetts, 02215-2099
United States

(617) 262-3749 | map

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Ratings: 24 |  Reviews: 17
Reviews by Freshie:
Photo of Freshie
3.75/5  rDev -2.3%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4

Last night my friends and I had a game plan to do something in Dorchester, but when we got there, we all realized we just didn't want to do it. Long story short, we drove downtown, and decided to go somewhere near Back Bay, like on Newbury St, or that neighborhood. However, we could not find a spot to park anywhere near there and ended up down by Kenmore Sq. Instead of walking the 2 or 3 blocks back that way in the cold, we popped in the first bar we saw, which as luck would have it, was Cornwalls.

The name says it all. This is an English-style pub. If your a fan of their imports, this is a place for you. While I somewhat adhere to the principle of many American Ale's being comparable to english ones at a better price, every once and awhile I like to indulge.

The atmosphere was nice, with the usual english-pub fare, low lighting, and complete with english bartender. Who was all too quick to yell at a customer ordering a Bloody Mary at 1:00am. That was very humorous.

Got there too late to try any food.

They serve many english favs, like Old-Speckled Hen, Boddingtons, John Courage, Beamish, Guiness, Smithwicks, Bellhaven, Tetley's, and a good deal more that escape my memory. They do serve everything cold though.

Plenty of seating with a wide selection of board games to play at your disposal. Also, a good dart set-up as per usual with a British pub.

We kind of stumbled upon this place, and I had a good time while I was there. It had a good vibe, and a great bartender and staff. I can imagine myself going back, after I try every other bar in Boston.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of kinopio
4.16/5  rDev +8.3%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4 | food: 3.75

This is my go to spot before events at Fenway. The draft selection is solid and the prices are a bit better than some other places in the neighborhood. Recently I've had beers from Springdale, Grimm, Lost Nation, Fiddlehead and a limited Allagash release. I've found that the paper draft menu isn't always accurate so talk to the bartenders before ordering. The food is merely OK in my experience.

Cornwalls gets busy but not completely packed before Red Sox games. Its a fun but comfortable atmosphere. They've got dart boards and a couple pool tables. It has two large rooms so its a good spot for larger groups. Plenty of TVs if you wanna watch a game. Across the street check out The Hawthorne for amazing cocktails or Island Creek Oyster Bar for local seafood.

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Photo of JIMfallon
4.37/5  rDev +13.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.75

Photo of costanzo_mike
4.06/5  rDev +5.7%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4

Photo of trevorpost
3.88/5  rDev +1%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4 | service: 3.75 | selection: 3.75 | food: 3.75

Photo of RKing44
3.75/5  rDev -2.3%

Photo of Davepoolesque
3.75/5  rDev -2.3%

Photo of AMCimpi
4/5  rDev +4.2%

Photo of lwbyrne
4/5  rDev +4.2%

Photo of Hibernator
3.64/5  rDev -5.2%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4

I went to Cornwall's on Friday night before the Red Sox vs. Mariners game. I've been meaning to come here for a long time now, but I usually find myself at Lower Depths before a sox game.

Anyways, Cornwall's has that English pub feel and has some good english draft beers to support it. An ample sized bar lines the right side when you enter showcasing some pretty cool beer steins and other decorative stuff behind the bar.

Expect about 24 drafts that include Fuller's ESB & London Pride, Tetley's Bitter, Old Speckled Hen, Newcastle, BBC Steel Rail Ale, Geary's Hampshire Ale, Harpoon IPA, Wachusett and a Cambridge Brewing Company seasonal offering.

The bottles available also offer some pretty nice selections like Ommegang Three Philosphers, Stoudt's Fat Dog, Victory Storm King and a bunch of the Samuel Smith's beers. in total there are 30+ bottles on the list.

I liked it here - no complaints. Obviously it's gonna get crowded before game time, but not nearly as packed as some of the other bars closer to the ballpark and the selection here will clearly be better.

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Photo of Liverpool08
3.83/5  rDev -0.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | food: 3.5

This is a great place to go before a Sox game. Its out of the way enough not to get to crowded.
Great selection of English and American brews.
Usually 14 good selections on tap. Also has pool tables. Food is better than average pub fare. Burgers are excellent. And overall good value for being right in the middle of Kenmore Square.
A lot of good English beers you can't always find on tap in other places. Good specials offered each week. Fish and chips and Sheperds pie are great choices. Bar staff is very friendly.

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Photo of Kahuna
4.4/5  rDev +14.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

Ah Cornwalls.

Back in the day, it used to be across the street and down a half level. The bar ran along the left side with high tables in front, low in the back and John visible in the kitchen in the way back.

Brass plaques from patrons adorned the walls alongside posters of Tuckerman's ravine and the wooden cricket player. Games lined the wall in front and filled the tables. Everyone knew each other, or soon would. Bartenders would sit at the bar on their days off, and on their work days, they would start pulling your pint as soon as you walked in the door and have it in front of your stool the second you sat down.

It was a second (or first) living room for many of us; a real British pub in Kenmore Square.

With the move across the street, Cornwalls got bigger and less personal. It is still a great place for a pint and dinner. The beer selection is mostly English and American with great variety in the English Ales.

John and Pam still work the kitchen and produce standard pub fare. Go on an off night and look for the specials--this is where John really shines.

They also still hire extremely personable and efficient staff.

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Photo of IBUnit63
3.95/5  rDev +2.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 3.5

Cornwall's is our go-to before a Sox game. It's a couple blocks from Fenway so it doesn't get jam-packed as does the Beer Works or the Cask 'n' Flagon.

Good, English pub vibe that's busy and loud, with big screes placed well throughout the bar for all to see.

Quality offerings on tap - plenty of Irish, English and Scottish taps with several locals as well. About 15 taps, maybe? Something for everyone.

Service is usually very prompt in this place, which is no small order.

Food is decent - burgers, fish & chips, standard fare but consistency is the key.

Haven't been floored by the prices and I keep coming back so they must be reasonable.

This is a good place to meet up with your group before the game - there's plenty of room and even when crowded sightlines throughout are solid to spot your posse. Not bad for a pint when in the neighborhood otherwise, either.

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Photo of TrevorGW
4.63/5  rDev +20.6%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3

A surprisingly great bar. One block from my place, so we go there usually once a week. Great selection of English and American beers. It is family-run, and the bartenders are the best. Very passionate about the beer on tap. Usually drink Wachussett Country Ale in the spring, Sunset Wheat in the summer, Cambridge Pumpkin in the fall, Young's Chocolate Stout in the winter.

The perfect place to go after a red sox game, or just to hang out on a weeknight. They have board games, darts, pool.

We don't usually eat there, but they have outstanding burgers.

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Photo of shaebs99
3.8/5  rDev -1%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4

English pub feel, but I don't recall seeing darts. They do have pool tables on the other side of the bar. The only problems may be that it gets crowded when the Red Sox are playing and on weekends tends to fill up with BU students. Which I found more annoying than other people because I am a BU student. Most of the times I have come here I was able to get a couple seats at the bar or a table with no problem. Couple of big tv's behind the bar.
Selection of taps are mostly British Imports like Fuller's, Old Speckled Hen, Tetley's, etc. They also have craft beers like Cambridge and Geary's. I didn't really look at the bottle selection, but I do remember they had Victory Storm King.
Had the food a couple of times. The waiters and bartenders provide good service. One of the bartenders was helpful in pointing out to me that they just added a Cambridge seasonal that wasn't on the beer list.

Just a note. The 4 I gave for selection isn't based on Boston's selection, but based on all places I have been. On Long Island I would kill for a place within 10 minutes from me (I lived within a 10 minute walk from Kenmore) where I could get Fuller's ESB and London Porter as well as a quality local craft brewery like Cambridge. I went here a lot with people that were less adventurous about beer. I would be happy drinking the beer here and my friends could play pool. Definitely a lot of better beer bars in Boston. If you are in the area it might be the best place to stop into in Kenmore.

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Photo of MMansfield
3.88/5  rDev +1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4

Finally found my journal for Boston road trip last year.

Searched for a good Boston pub on the net before driving from Nova Scotia down to see the Dropkick Murphys on St. Patricks Day. Tried to please everyone on board as we weren't all beer geeks, so this place was perfect. The atmosphere was a typical english themed dimly lit pub. Plenty of taps. I started off with an old favourite, Old Speckled Hen, which I had only had in a can previously. Can't get it on tap here, and it was far superior to the can. I ordered a "Beast" burger, and it truly was. Had everything but the kitchen sink on it. It was typical pub fare, but really good. One thing I couldn't figure out is that Americans can order their burgers rare! That's against the law in Canada. After the food arrived I ordered a Beamish stout. Again, only had the can in Nova Scotia until they stopped carrying that! The tap version was vastly superior.

Overall the selection was good, its accomodating to all, food was excellent, service was great. Pricey, but what do you expect for a pub in Lansdowne Sqaure.

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Photo of morebeergood
3.95/5  rDev +2.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3.5

I think that Cornwall's is a mainstay in the central Kenmore area. The atmosphere is pretty laid back (except on a Sox game night). I love the decorations on the walls, which are predominantly British beer themed. The service here has always been great. The food is pretty good, though some new items would be appreciated, as the menu hasn't changed in a long time. The beer selection is above average for the Kenmore area. There are many good British beers on tap, as well as several good American (and local) beers on tap and in bottles. Most pints are $4.95, while bottle range from $3.95 and up. If I am ever in the Fenway Park area, I am always up for stopping by and having a pint and some food.

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Photo of bignick
3.7/5  rDev -3.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3 | food: 3.5

This is a very decent bar. The atmostphere is like a chill English Pub. The food, while on the pricey side, is of good enough quality. The selection of beer is very British heavy (Old Speckled Hen, Bellhaven, Boddington's, etc). The beer is a bit pricey, although not outrageous (4.5-5 for a pint). Unfortunately, for a few pints of unexciting beer and a meal, it'll run around 30 bucks. On the whole, this is a fine place for a pint and some grub, although there is nothing rare or unexpected about it.

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Photo of commie
3.33/5  rDev -13.3%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 2.5 | food: 3.5

This place has typical bar food, but they also have their version of the not so typical English food if you want. I am not a big fan of their beer selection, but they do have several beers on tap. Bass, Tetley's, Old Speckled Hen, Smithwick's, and Boddingtons are all not very interesting to me. They also have some of the American Macros, and they waste space on the Amstel and Stella. They have Beamish and Guinness too; I am not sure why they would carry both, but I think the Beamish has a bit more taste than Guinness, and I respect them for giving me the option. I would rather see a nice porter on tap instead of two nearly identical dry stouts. The only craft brews that I see there on a consistent basis are the Harpoon and the SNPA. I did see a microbrew there once, the Sherwood Forest, but I didn't try it. This is one of the few places in Boston where you can take a chance on the Harpoon, as it is usually (but not always) good and fresh. The one time that I was there, and the Harpoon was tasting a little off, they replaced it with a SNPA with no hassle what so ever. The English beers do not taste good and fresh, but they don't taste spoilt either; perhaps they are supposed to taste this bland. The service is prompt and friendly, but they do close the kitchen rather early, so don't plan on eating there late. They charge a little bit more for the beer than some places, but they make up for it by serving it in slightly larger glasses, so their beer prices are comparatively reasonable. They tried to pull the frozen glass trick on me a few times too, but since I sit at the bar, I was able to nip it in the bud before it got to be a habit. They seem to get a bit better behaived crowd of BU students than the other bars along the BU strip. Don't go there before or after a Red Sox game; it is madness at those times.

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Photo of Truh
3.43/5  rDev -10.7%
vibe: 2 | quality: 3 | service: 4 | selection: 4

We had been playing poker the night before with Jim, Ray, Ben, and a few other guys, and Jim had won big. Kumar swore up and down that Jim was dealing from the bottom of the deck, counting cards, and any number of other cheating methods, but part of Jim's winnings, somehow, included a pub crawl on us today. Not good. Kumar and I had decided to meet at Cornwalls at 1:00 to game plan.

As I strode in to the place I noted immediately that it was divided into two areas: bar and dining area on the left, while on the right, separated by a wall, were three pool tables, some televisions, access to an outside eating area to take in lovely Kenmore Square during the summer months, and a Golden Tee machine. Good thing Jim wasn't here, I thought. Kumar waved me over from the bar which seated a fair amount, at least eighteen. The bar itself was a slow curve of dark wood with a brass bar fronting the whole thing. A flat screen television was showing scenes of the recent tsunami disaster. I took in the taps, of which there were over twenty and noted they had, among others, McEwan's IPA, which I ordered, John Courage Amber, Beamish, Young's Oatmeal Stout, a CBC tap, and some Sam and Harpoon wares along with a plethora of other offerings. On the bar in front of Kumar lay some shredded napkins and Moore's "From Hell." Appropriate.

"That's grotesque," Kumar stated as I took my first pull. I hadn't been looking at him when he made the assertion, so I wasn't sure if he meant the tsunami, the gutted woman on the pages in front of him, or the predicament we found ourselves in today paying for Jim's tab. Then I noticed that he was pointing with a thumb back at the wall behind him. I turned around and noticed that there were some stuffed animals' heads on the wall, and specifically, two boars, each wearing a hat. One had a top hat on, while the other had a bobby's. Odd. The rest of the low-lit d├ęcor, lighting from wall sconces and hanging lights above the bar, was largely made up of brewery signs, mirrors, and murals of memorable English characters painted on the walls.

"Why didn't you tell me that they chilled their glasses," I asked, having noted too late that the bartender had pulled my glass out of a cooler near the taps, not from a shelf. Kumar closed his book and pulled out his cell phone, plopping it on the bar, not bothering with an answer to my mostly rhetorical question.

"Jim's already called and left two messages," Kumar said, folding his arms across his chest, staring at his mute phone. "I still think he was cheating last night, but whatever." I asked Kumar what the messages said. "Well, he's already at the Sunset Cantina. He's been there since it opened, and he's accusing us of welshing on the bet and already being late, you know, his typical stuff." I picked up a menu from the bar and perused the list of soups, salads, sandwiches, burgers and plates from the kitchen, which included traditional English fare like bangers and mash and chicken fajitas. I decided not to order anything at this point and told Kumar we should probably go after our pints.

As I sat and tried to put off the inevitable, I recalled a cold winter night when I had drank whisky with a friend at Cornwalls' old location across the street, down in the basement, with moldering board games in a corner. That place had a lot more character than this one, which looked almost Disneyfied in its forced atmosphere. Still, the taps were pretty good and the location was a great starting point for crawls anywhere in the city. Which is why we had chosen it; neither Kumar nor I could remember where it was we were supposed to go today, but the call had come in, and we jumped on the B line to our next stop where Jim lurked, the Sunset Cantina.

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Photo of kmo1030
3.65/5  rDev -4.9%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3.5

this is the closest place to grab a beer for me, and i'm at all disappointed by that. decent standard dark pub atmosphere, the stuffed boars heads add a nice touch. a good number of taps with respectable selection. last time i got an anchor x-mas, which was a pretty nice treat. lots of pretty standard english drafts, and some other gems like the anchor x-mas. the service is good, they're usually prompt and friendly enough. they provide some pretty standard, but pretty good pub grub. this place isn't anything to write home about, but definitely worth a stop to grab a pint if you're in kenmore square.

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Photo of rousee
3.75/5  rDev -2.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4

I was surpised to hear that Cornwalls was still around as I had not been there in 10 years and remember it as being a sub-terranean quasi-british place that never seemed busy on the Fenway side of Kenmore Square.

It is on the Charles River side now and the location is much better. Decor is much nicer than it used to be too and I was kind of psyched to try it out and file it away for the random Fenway/Kenmore visit.

Beer selecion was good 10 years ago and it still is with an emphasis on British beers. I had Sherwood Forest archer's ale on tap which I don't see around very much. I know its from New England but thats okay--better than a Bass as far as I am concerned.

Food --good and I like how you can see right into the kitchen. They are not hiding anything.

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Photo of Jason
3.48/5  rDev -9.4%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | food: 2.5

Cornwalls has changed over the years, not just the look but the location as well. After move across the street this place still has a new aura to it, even with the dim lighting to bring the pub feel forward it still seems new ... not a bad thing, just different. This is a haven for mainstream imports. Mostly English and Irish, it was awesome to see Beamish Stout and a treat to quaff some John Courage ... it brought back fond memories of adventuring in England.

The service was prompt with the pints though the food was just your typical lame pub grub. There was nothing earth shattering on tap ... no Double IPAs or Trappist beers with the right glassware, just easy to drink mainstream imports and several choice craft beers. It seems like the perfect hideout before a RedSox game ... usually the other bars right next to Fenway get pretty hairy a couple of hours before a game.

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Photo of waughbrew
3.03/5  rDev -21.1%
vibe: 2 | quality: 2 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | food: 3.5

Disappointment. It sucks how places get good reputations for beer just because they can put 25 beers or more on tap. So what!

This place seems to want to be British (at least judging by their selection). The atmosphere when I went was annoying BU students and I bet it usually is. The tap handles showed promise, but then I order my beer to get...A frozen glass? what the hell is this? I must have been feeling especially passive that day because I didn't send it back. But why would a British-style bar serve beer in a frozen glass? Stupid. It is a good thing the waiter was decent and the food was too. Anyway, they will survive well enough on the BU kids not to miss me or anybody else looking for a nice place to have a good beer. I don't plan on going back.

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Cornwall's in Boston, MA
Place rating: 3.84 out of 5 with 24 ratings