Many fans of the hit sitcom Cheers might not realize that the show’s titular bar took it’s inspiration from a real-life Boston location named the Bull and Finch Pub. In fact, the real-life pub was actually used for the fictional bar’s exterior shots on the show. After Cheers became successful, the owner of the Bull and Finch Pub capitalized on the attention by changing the pub’s name to Cheers Beacon Hill. Join Facts Verse as we take a look inside the real bar from Cheers!
Cheers is a classic sitcom that ran on the NBC network from September 30, 1982, all the way until May 20, 1993. The show was one of the network’s most successful shows during it’s 11 years on the air. The plot of the show centered on the denizens of it’s titular bar, a pub named “Cheers”. A real-life pub in Boston inspired the fictional location, and was also used for the fictional bar’s exterior shots on the show.
As Cheers became more and more popular, fans became more and more interested in finding out the true story behind the real-life location that had inspired it. The real-life pub that inspired the titular bar on Cheers was named the Bull and Finch Pub. However, the bars name was later changed to Cheers Beacon Hill in order to better capitalize on the success of the show. The Bull and Finch Pub was founded in Boston, Massachusetts, all the way back in 1969. The pub was a huge success soon after opening, with people from all over the country stopping in for a visit while in Boston.
The Bull and Finch Pub made an impression on the creators of Cheers, and they used the location as an inspiration when crafting their own fictional pub. Although the interiors of the Bull and Finch Pub and the titular bar on Cheers may not be identical, the real-life exterior for the Bull and Finch Pub provides the perfect face for both. In reality, the interior of the Bull and Finch Pub is a good deal bigger than the cozy bar featured on Cheers. However, the owner of the Bull and Finch Pub opened up another location after the success of Cheers that more closely resembled the show’s titular bar.
In 2001, the owner of the original Bull and Finch Pub, which was now named Cheers Beacon Hill, opened up a second location that more closely resembled the interior of the Cheers set. The location was opened up in August. It was dubbed Cheers Faneuil Hall, named after the area that it was located in. The much smaller location served as a place for Cheers fans to get a more intimate experience that more accurately mimicked that of the show’s bar denizens. Sadly, the location has since closed down due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Thankfully, the original location is still open.
Many fans were devastated when Cheers Faneuil Hall announced that it was going to close it’s doors due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Sadly, many other restaurants and businesses around the world were doomed to a similar fate as a result of the virus. The interior of Cheers Faneuil Hall also served as a veritable museum for memorabilia from the show, and all of this memorabilia was sold off after the location’s closing. While Cheers Faneuil Hall once served as a public place where fans could get together and experience this memorabilia together, much of this memorabilia is now divided up in private collections, likely to never be seen again. Thankfully, the profits from these sales went towards maintaining the original location, which is still operating.
Back in 2009, the Cheers Beacon Hill location made news when it made the decision to lay off a longtime bartender named Eddie Doyle. Eddie had been bartending at the location for over three decades, having started back when it was still called the Bull and Finch Pub. Eddie was also one of the cofounders of the charity “Cheers for Children”, which used the bar’s notoriety as a catalyst to raise money for children in need. Tom Kershaw, the owner of Cheers Beacon Hill and Cheers Faneuil Hill, said that he had to let Eddie go due to restrictions put upon his budget by the recession.
To commemorate Eddie after the loss of his longtime job, the city of Boston decided to name an intersection after him. “Eddie Doyle Square” was later unveiled to the public, with a ceremony headed by then Boston Transportation Commissioner Thomas Tinlin. If you’re enjoying this video so far, be sure to hit the like button to show your support! As well, subscribe to the channel if you’d like to be among the first to know when more Facts Verse videos are on their way!
The fictional bar that served as the titular location of Cheers was located in Boston, Massachusetts, just the same as the real-life pub that served as it’s inspiration. Cheers followed a group of Bostonians who meet up at the titular bar to drink. As the theme song of the show suggests, all of the denizens of the bar knew each other’s names, and the bar served as a second home for them. Because of this, they were like each other’s family. However, that doesn’t mean they all got along.
The main character was Sam Malone, the titular pub’s bartender. Sam was played by Ted Danson, who rose to immense fame due to his portrayal of the character. Sam was a notorious womanizer and former relief pitcher for the Boston Red Sox. For the first several seasons, Sam had a love interest in Diane Chambers, who was played by actress Shelley Long. Shelley also rose to great notoriety due to her time on the show, and even quit part way into the show in order to try and branch her success off into a Hollywood career. After Shelley left the show, Sam was given another love interest in the form of Kirstie Alley’s Rebecca Howe.
Rounding out the rest of the cast of Cheers were the titular bar’s many regular denizens. These included such memorable characters as Norm Peterson and Cliff Clavin. Later on, the character of Frasier Crane was introduced to the cast and became a beloved regular at the titular bar. The character of Norm, who was played by actor George Wendt, appeared in every single one of Cheers’ 275 episodes. Actor John Ratzenberger played the character of Cliff, a know-it-all postal worker always one-upping his fellow patrons. In a cross-promotional effort, the character of Cliff even made a guest appearance on the beloved game show Jeopardy, which was another staple of the NBC network.
The character of Frasier Crane was introduced a few seasons into Cheers’ decade-plus run, played by then-unknown actor Kelsey Grammar. Like Ted Danson and Shelley Long, Kelsey would prove one of the biggest stars to come out of Cheers’ immense success. Although the character of Frasier wasn’t originally intended as a regular, the chemistry that the character had with the other denizens of the bar struck a notable chord with the show’s audience. Episodes featuring Frasier fared incredibly well with fans.
Frasier was introduced to complicate the relationship between Sam and Diane. Frasier was meant as a love interest for Diane. He was charming and smart, while Sam was brutish and more of an everyman. After the love triangle storyline came to an end, the producers realized that they didn’t want to let Kelsey go. Shelley Long eventually left the series, and Kelsey Grammar’s character was written into the series as a regular. The character of Frasier Crane remained one of the show’s most popular characters until it’s end in 1993, and was even given an equally successful spin-off in the 1990s that has arguably eclipsed Cheers itself.
After Shelley Long left the show, the character of Frasier Crane was given another love interest in the form of Lilith Sternin, who was played by actress Bebe Neuwrith. By Cheers’ end, Frasier and Lilith were married and Lilith had given birth to a child. Neither Lilith nor this newborn child factored into Frasier’s successful and self-titled spin-off, as the show wrote them off in the first episode.
The finale of Cheers aired on May 20, 1993. In addition to the finale, a special aired afterwards that showcased Jay Leno and the cast of Cheers celebrating at Cheers Beacon Hill. Jay Leno interviewed the cast, and the show’s theme song was played as the camera viewed the exterior of the real-life location. Fans were gathered outside of the location, making for a touching sendoff to the series after the airing of the legitimate finale. Many years later, Cheers Faneuil Hall opened up, and stayed open for nearly two decades before being forced to close due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Although fans can no longer visit Cheers Faneuil Hall, Cheers Beacon Hill is still open to any Cheers fans that wish to get the closest thing possible to a real-life Cheers experience. Although the interior of the pub itself doesn’t match the set that was used on Cheers, a smaller area has been created that works as a modernized replica. The location also remains the ultimate place to get Cheers merchandise, as well as experience remaining memorabilia.
There is still a modest amount of Cheers memorabilia located at Cheers Beacon Hill, though all of the memorabilia at Cheers Fanueil Hall was sold off to private parties. The Cheers Beacon Hill location has managed to survive both the recession in 2009 and the recent COVID-19 pandemic, so hopefully it will manage to stay around for the future!
Cheers Beacon Hill, formerly known as the Bull and Finch Pub, has been a popular tourist location for Cheers fans for over three decades. Comment down below to share if you’ve ever been to Cheers Beacon Hill yourself, or if you have any plans to visit the real-life location someday! As always, like this video to show your support, and subscribe and hit the notification bell if you’d like to be among the first to know when more Facts Verse videos are on their way!