It is no secret that Quincy has its fair share of dive bars. Indeed, Boston's southern neighbor may have more such watering holes than any other city, town, or neighborhood in the region, though certain sections of Boston such as Southie and Dorchester still have a number of them. In a city with so many drinking spots, sometimes it is tough to tell a dive bar from a "neighborhood joint," and while with certain Quincy spots such as Manet Lunch in Hough's Neck and Delaney's Pub in South Quincy, there is little doubt as to their dive bar status, there are other places such as Coop's Bar and Grille in Quincy Point that tend to straddle the fence. But no matter how you categorize Coop's, one thing is for sure--the food here is certainly better than that of your average drinking place.
From the outside, Coop's looks a lot like a dive bar, but the interior of the place is a bit of a split personality; the left side is basically a large bar area that can sometimes get a bit rowdy but is usually a quiet and peaceful spot to get a drink, while the right side (through a short hallway) is a modern-looking and attractive family-friendly dining room with plenty of tables and a relatively low noise level. TVs can be found in the dining area for those who would rather enjoy a meal in a restaurant setting but don't want to miss their favorite games, while food can also be ordered in the bar area as well. Unlike many dive bars, both the bar and the dining area at Coop's are brightly-lit and clean, and there isn't that "unwelcoming" feel that some dives have.
Unsurprisingly, Coop's tends to focus on classic American dishes and pub grub, but some of the items offered feature twists on otherwise basic meals. Among the menu options (and daily specials) are a pile of nachos with lots of olives and jalapenos, crisp and buttery boneless buffalo fingers, a marvelous chili with some heat along with a hint of sweetness from the onions, potato kegs, or enormous tots filled with bacon and cheese, an unusual bacon minestrone soup that should probably be on the menu all the time, a savory Italian wedding soup that is occasionally offered, sweet- and sour-tasting drunken buffalo meatballs that come with greens, a mountain of greasy onion strings that are big enough to be made into a meal, a terrific "Boston" cheesesteak that is overloaded with shaved beef, cheese, onions, peppers, and mushrooms; steak tips with a nice char and a moderately zingy marinade, a hearty open-faced turkey dinner with lots of white meat, a rather messy but delicious meatball sub, a rather unusual--and outstanding--blackened pork steak that should probably be on the everyday menu rather than as a special; a more traditional pork chop plate; a tremendous country-fried chicken plate that includes boneless chicken and gives the version at the nearby Grumpy White's a run for its money; and excellent bar-style pizzas along with specialty pizzas such as Boston cheese steak, spinach feta, and BBQ chicken. The beer list at Coop's would never be mistaken for that of a gastropub, but the place does have a decent mix of mass-market beers and local craft brews.
It may be easy to write off Coop's Bar and Grille as just another Quincy dive bar but that would be a mistake, as it is really more of a neighborhood eating and drinking spot than a dark and gloomy watering hole where you go to drink and that's about it. The food here is generally very good, the waitstaff is friendly (and often funny), the prices are very reasonable, and parking is easy thanks to a small lot and a decent amount of street parking. In a city full of restaurants and bars, Coop's is certainly a good one on both counts.
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