Don't let the name - Silhouette Cocktail Lounge - fool you. The Sil, as we've affectionately begun calling it as we've gotten to know Allston/Brighton better, is a dive bar. Although it may be losing its dive cred with all us twenty-somethings taking over. Last year, Silhouette was unseated from Boston Magazine's Best of Boston Dive Bar. But thankfully, plenty of cheap drinks and free popcorn can still be had.
Silhouette is well-known for a good night out, and deservedly so. Brittany and I have both been before. After our failed night at Jose McIntyre's last week, we decided to stick with a guaranteed fun (and cheap) night this weekend. Narragansett (Lager, 5%) pitchers are only $8.50 each and add up to four cups of beer. A classic popcorn machine runs all night long - and you can grab a basket (or two or three...) for free. Darts are available to play at four boards in a back room - also for free.
This Saturday, we got to Silhouette around 10PM to find a line of twenty-somethings at the door. Surprisingly, a group of them were looking good in some cute dresses, stripy sandals, and button-down shirts. Looking too good for the Sil. At the same time, they weren't unsurprising - the Silhouette clientele seems to have become much more well-dressed and more consistently in their twenties.
The line wasn't ideal, but we weren't ready for the even divier but line-free Model Cafe down the road (we'll eventually make it there), so stuck it out, and luckily we moved inside pretty quickly.
Silhouette provides a great night of people-watching. We admired (read: scoffed at) the hipster outfits of tangled hair, skinny jeans, and bizarre cut-off jean jackets with giant, tacky images emblazoned on the back. Let's be honest, we avoided eye contact with the older clientele sitting along the bar. We met one barely-twenty-one-year-old who enthusiastically told us he had just turned twenty-one at midnight and a stranger was buying him a shot. Then he asked, "Is it okay that I just came and talked to you and now I'm going to go back with my friends? Is that okay at bars?" I hope he had a great night that he can sort of remember. We repeatedly checked the back room for a free dart board, but sadly didn't get a chance to play this Saturday with so many groups taking advantage of the free game.
The decor at the Sil is also something to be admired: old beer signs and posters, falling-apart decorations from holidays long past, and the tackiest and most nostalgic word-art signage asking patrons to smoke out back. Ah, the days of PowerPoint and Word Art. I'm glad Silhouette is keeping that lost art alive.
The popcorn was flowing that night - our first attempt to get a basket was rebuked because all the baskets were taken - and Brittany happily pointed out that the bartender was using a shot glass to add more popcorn kernels. It fit well with her practical, no-nonsense attitude. Any night of the week, the Sil has the same bartender, and she knows exactly what she's doing. She fills pitchers of Narragansett and PBR all night, moves quickly between the bar and the back window to the dart room, and keeps the popcorn coming. All with the help, on the weekends, of a friendly and fast-moving server. All-in-all the entire staff is friendly: the waitress, the bouncers, and even the bartender, on the rare occasion she cracks a smile.
Since I had training early the next day, we shared just one pitcher and one Gansett can ($3) between us - enough for a little buzz - and chatted about the past week. Our conflicting schedules (mine the 9-5 desk job schedule, Brittany's the constantly-changing server schedule) mean nights out require a little more catch up than most roommates might need.
All-in-all, it was a nice and relaxing night. I've never had a bad time at the Sil, whether it's chatting with Brittany over a few glasses of beer or playing drinking games with a group of friends. (Yes, it's the perfect bar to bring your own deck of cards and play drinking games all night.)
Cheap beer brings everyone together.