By Danny McDonald, Globe Staff
In this particular pub, in this particular neighborhood, Boston’s well-worn provincialism is alive and well.
Some voters might balk at admitting they care where a mayoral candidate was born and raised. Not the boomer-aged white men who gathered one recent afternoon at Corrib Pub Restaurant, a decades-old Brighton Center staple. Huge developments have transformed swaths of the neighborhood outside — a familiar tale in Boston — but inside, a stubborn slice of old Boston remains.
A man at the corner of the bar doing a crossword and nursing a Coors Light said he likes that Essaibi George grew up in the city, and the fact that Wu did not is a strike against her in his eyes. He declined to be named.
“I’m going with the Dorchester girl,” he said.
Another patron said Wu is “too far left for me.” The man seated across from him said he likes Essaibi George because she “gets along with the cops.”
Jutting out on the city’s western edge, this neighborhood is more politically complex than you’d imagine listening to those holding forth here over burgers and beer. If September’s preliminary results are any indication, they are in the minority in Allston-Brighton nowadays; Wu won every precinct here, which is home to about 77,000 residents and is geographically isolated from the rest of the city, flanked by the Charles River to the north, Brookline to the south, and Newton to the west.
The neighborhood was once a bastion of traditionalist power in politics. This is Bill Galvin territory. It’s the City Council district Mark Ciommo represented for more than a decade. Ciommo was known as someone who leaned relatively conservative, at least for some city political circles, and leveraged his tenure as the head of a Brighton senior center to ballot box success.
Now, Liz Breadon, an immigrant from Northern Ireland who is the first openly gay woman to serve on the council, represents this part of the city, known for housing hordes of college students and young professionals. Breadon agrees with the sentiment that the district is in some ways more progressive than it was during Ciommo’s tenure, while adding that she thinks the neighborhood has had a progressive streak for some time.
It also boasts a very young populace. A higher percentage of 20- to 34-year-olds (67 percent) live in Allston than in any other Boston neighborhood, according to city data. In Brighton, that cohort makes up 52 percent of the population. The vast majority of residents in both Brighton and Allston are renters, leaving the neighborhood in a constant state of flux.
A short walk away from the Corrib, Wu support flourishes inside Matt’s Barber Shop.
Electric clipper in hand, shop owner Matt Charette, a 37-year-old who grew up on Cape Cod but moved to Brighton …….