Finally– a live music venue in Harvard Square! Run by the music-venue mini-empire The Bowery Presents (which also runs The Royale in Boston, T. T. the Bear’s in Cambridge, and Great Scott in Allston, as well as the Bowery Ballroom and other venues in NYC), the Sinclair hosts shows almost every night on intimate-feeling room (capacity is 525, but it feels smaller) overhung by a small balcony. Emphasis is on indie rock, but I’ve seen a range of acts here, from Italian soundtrack legends Goblin to The Walkmen and Kurt Vile.
Even when I’m not attending a show, though, the Sinclair’s attached bar and restaurant are a draw in themselves, especially for a drink and a snack or two. The industrial-chic bar offers great mixed drinks (I’m an especially big fan of their Vieux Carrė, but you can’t go wrong with anything whiskey-based) and a well chosen tap, bottle, and can list. The strength of their New American-ish menu is definitely the small plates; queso dip and kale salad are rich and great for sharing. When it comes to the charred, vinegar-spritzed brussels sprouts, though, I would prefer not to share and to eat them all myself.
If you’re getting a drink and dinner before a show (which I recommend), the waitstaff can pour your drink into a plastic cup so that you can take it with you next door.