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Wally's Cafe

Nightlife, Music Venues, Jazz & Blues, Arts & Entertainment, Bars, Restaurants, Entertainment

Photos & Videos

Photos

Videos

More Info

Parking

Street

Credit card

Yes

Price

$

Attire

casual

Groups

No

Kids

No

Outdoor seating

No

Alcohol

Full Bar

Ambience

Casual

Has tv

No

Wheelchair

Yes

Best nights

Thu, Fri, Sat

Coat check

No

Happy hour

No

Music

Live

Smoking

No

Good for dancing

No

Rate & Reviews

How would you rate Wally's Cafe?
Add a review

366 Reviews

366 Reviews

Sabrina L

8/8/2014

There is no cover?! YES there is. When someone demands you order a drink the minute you enter their establishment, there is going to be a problem. I will order when I want to. Yeah you don't charge a cover for entrance but that does not mean you get require when I order. I do not need to order a drink the moment I arrive!! Being told when to do something does not deserve my business. Let's be truthful, there is a cover and it is in the drink. Their server needs some class and the manager is thug! Both have no customer service skills. He had the nerve to tell me "we seem to be having a communication problem" because I refused to order that very minute and then told me to leave. The only communication problem I have is I do not take orders from anyone! You can keep your overpriced drinks! If I could would give them no stars.

Tim D

8/8/2014

Great place for legit jazz. Don't expect much in the decor department. There seems to be a mixed crowd of people who come to listen to the jazz, and those who come to drink beer and talk over the music. I would rather there be more people there to appreciate the fantastic music, but I wouldn't let the those less interested in the music dissuade me from going back.

Kay H

8/8/2014

I love going here. When I get a jazz craving Wally's usually satisfies. Be prepared to order a drink when you walk in there since you don't have to pay a cover. Whenever my I've taken my friends to check it out, they're usually a little taken a back by how intense the folks working there can seem. They tend to ask you right after you walk though the doors... sometimes they even hand you a napkin, so be wary. Also, it's a small space, sometimes there may be times where you have to stand in the back or squeeze next to a stranger. However, the musical talent will make all that other extra stuff worth it when you have a jazz craving.

Julian G

8/8/2014

wally's cafe is a fantastic place to listen to good jazz, bear in mind you will likely not be able to actually see the people playing it, because there will inevitably be a lot of other people jammed in this small club also trying to hear good jazz and get their drink on. fridays and saturdays are especially hectic, but well worth it.

Kricket F

8/8/2014

Wally's is the epitome of what you want in a jazz bar: intimate, unpretentious, and full of impeccable rhythm. You'll find all sorts of musicians busting out notes here. The crowds are friendly, the beer selection is eclectic, and the lack of cover sure makes this a great spot to haunt. Just don't miss it! It's hidden away, only a keen eye will get you there!

Max V

9/10/2014

Great Jazz

Jillian D

10/24/2014

best dive and bartenders around, highly recommend lloyd 4 the hooch! jilly and alec

Alex M

11/29/2014

The Latin band on Thursday nights is AMAZING. They're so much fun and the crowd is too--I was told that the people who are great dancers go every week and dance with anyone who wants to, so maybe you can learn some moves!

The bar is impossible to get to when the band isn't playing, so think about when you're getting drinks. And based on how drunk everyone was I'm guessing they were strong drinks. I didn't get a drink because the bar is quite small and a creepy man in the middle of the bar made me fee uncomfortable standing anywhere near it. I shall try again and update this with how the drinks are!

William E

2/4/2015

Great jazz bar with good drinks and no cover (just be sure to buy a drink, it's the least you can do).

3/18/2015

Everybody who knows anything about chilling in Boston knows that Wally's is always a place you can go and have a chill time. I fell in love the time I went and there were some cats from Berkeley playing some instrumental J Dilla joints. drinks are extremely reasonable and the staff is hard working yet will take time to share a laugh with you, especially if you are in there feeling nice. One of the most diverse spots in town, you'll see any kind of person up there, but the energy has been good every time I've been in there.

Alex S

4/1/2015

One of my favorite live music places in Boston. Each jam session that I've been to had been so good. This IS the place for jazz

Vincent H

6/14/2015

First off, the jazz was very very enjoyable and while the joint is very small and

crowded, that's what adds to the atmosphere. What did NOT add to the atmosphere was our young waiter in a Bruins cap, who made a move on my girlfriend and made her feel uncomfortable. Also, yeah, there is no cover but expect to pay $12 for a watered down Tom Collins or $10 for a coke. Jazz is great, but should've gone with the Beehive.

Ivan A

12/19/2015

If you love to listening live jazz music drinking a beer or something, this spot is the best place in South End.

ExphysFit P

12/19/2015

The live music was phenomenal... 11$ a peice for a stock rum and coke, and red label...is egregious in a small watered tumbler. If you go get beer, or drink before you come in or you will be ripped off.

Michelle S

1/22/2016

Love this place! You will have an equally great time at the bar or at the small tables. It can get pretty cramped, but in this case it only adds to the charm. I especially like to watch the musicians who always seem to be so passionate about their music. Go here for the live music and intimate space.

Daniel K

1/22/2016

I was here in November and had a great time. Opening jam was good, but the main act had the place packed and hoppin. Dont remember their name but the trumpet player apparently was a teacher at Berklee. I dont understand the complaints by previous reviewers. If you cant afford to by at least a drink to listen to some great live music, you have no business leaving your house. Seriously, stop being so cheap! $5 for a beer is nothing these days. And the big guy working behind the bar, give him a break. Better yet, give him a tip! Next time i'm in Boston, i'll definitely be paying (no pun intended) another visit. Jazz seems to be a bit of a dying art in many parts of the country, so support little gems like this place.

luz v

1/22/2016

Well , this was my stumping grounds many moons ago .. I stopped by not too ago... It felt like I never left. . I'm LOVIN me some LIVE music...

David M

3/24/2016

This place is a gem. There is never cover & live Jazz music every night of the year. The drinks are expensive (again, no cover) and the bartender is the man. Very small location, so probably not the best for a big group.

Brenda M

4/25/2016

I remember meeting Wally many years ago - fifty years - my mom work there serving drinks. It was just a place where we would get great hamburgers. Don't know if things are still that relax and easy there ( Halloween parties for kids). I have a photo of my baby daughter dress in a costume. She's now 46 years old. When back then you didn't go out at night, for me going there as a teen; with my widowed mom,was the highlight of my youth (yeah, I didn't get out much).

PS: I made her, Hazel's, cocktail aprons.

Junior T

5/25/2016

Good music,good drinks for share with friends..

Junior T

5/25/2016

Good music,good drinks for share with friends..

Jacob M

6/25/2016

Wonderful, divy jazz bar that hosts countless musicians at the beginning of their careers. Grab a table against the wall and someone will come to you to take your drink order. Good place to come with a group of friends.

Lauren L

6/25/2016

Chillest most lowkey Jazz spot in Boston. No cover and no gaudy adornment. Just good vibes and good music.

sugarhoneyicetea11

10/29/2016

Absolutely AMAZING live music can be heard here. It's also open 365 days a year. The bartender and owner are friendly and I've never had a bad experience going here! I also really like the crowd at this place. Friendly, mature ADULTS. This is not a dive bar where you sling back shots and "get wasted". The ONLY con is that the space is SUPER small. So be sure to get there early to grab a seat (or be like a hawk watching for when other people leave).

Safiyyah J

10/29/2016

If you're under 21, be ready to be treated like middle schooler. I went here with my boyfriend to see a friend play a gig before they go to New York for school. we hadn't even walked though the door when this guy who worked there told us rudely we couldn't sit at the bar (we're obviously teenagers) and we had to leave a 9. There isn't an entree fee but you have to buy a $4 drink to sit in. Literally you don't even get to sit down and get comfortable and talk to friends before the bartender is bugging you to buy the sit in drink, even if you're not thirsty at the time. Everything was ok after that, music was great, the players were some friends I had gone to school with, and I emphasized the fact that they were all under 21. The set is clearly about to end soon but as soon as 9 hit the same door guy rudely approached my company and I and told us we needed to leave now. I was confused as to why we couldn't stay another 5 minutes just to see our friends finish playing and I said this but the guy raised his voice at us and we left before anything ensued. The place is very intimate, the music is sick, but if you're under 21, be prepared to be treated like an adolescent child. And even if you're over 21, be prepared to be treated poorly by door and bar staff, who treat you like a criminal as soon as you walk through the door and loom over you if you don't buy the sit in drink immediately.

Temporarily J

10/29/2016

Wally's has been the center of blues and jazz in Boston since 1947. The music is always amazing, the crowd is always lively, and the drinks are always strong.

Blues on Mondays, Jazz the rest of the week.

It's tiny and cramped, so be prepared to make new friends.

Heankel O

10/29/2016

Horrible service. Me and my bf were kicked out because we told the guy from the bar to relax after screaming at us to buy drinks and show our ID/credit card. Never coming back!

Shane A

11/29/2016

Tuesday night is the night to go. Unbeatable funk. Seriously

Bo Y

12/30/2016

The music is mainly a rotation of Berklee alums. So cramped, there's an electric organ rather than an acoustic piano. Love that it is open late at night almost 365 days of the year so it is a nice fallback if other things don't go as planned. Great for bringing tourists to get a taste of the local Jazz.

Joan d

12/30/2016

Had a really bad experience this weekend. Bartender was so rude and basically got kicked out - WALKED TO THE DOOR by the bartender because I did not order a drink yet. I don't care about the $5, but the fact of the rude way they requested to do it did not motivate me to give business to the bar. Besides, we were a party of 8 (1 drink did not made a difference)... TREAT YOUR COSTUMERS PROPERLY & POLITE!

Phillip R

12/30/2016

Simply the best live jazz music in Boston. Reasonable price. Old school atmosphere and attitude.

Jessica P

12/30/2016

I always take folks from out of town here. It get really crowded after 930 or so, and can be tough to find a seat. I've always enjoyed the diverse crowed and stellar music.

Jacob B

2/3/2017

Best place to hear jazz in Boston. Place gets crowded, but that's part of its appeal. Don't expect food or fancy drinks, and don't expect to have a conversation once the music gets going.

Mémé F

3/3/2017

Whole in the wall but such great jazz. The drink menu is on the short side. The place is tiny and tends to get over crowded quickly. But it's the type of place you feel like a regular even if you're not.

rob B

3/3/2017

Fantastic Jazz bar that makes you feel like your in New Orleans!

It has a discreet & intimate setting (dark & small inside).

Crowd is lively and accoutics are great!

Narek D

3/3/2017

Very tiny - or cozy? - place in South End to enjoy some jazz

Andrew E

3/3/2017

One drink minimum gets you in the door, good jazz every night I've been there.

Joe T

3/3/2017

Jazzmusic all the time. Really great atmosphere and an icon of Boston music.

Caryl A

4/3/2017

It wasn't okay. I had called before going and was told they didn't serve dinner but have burgers. The waitress came over but we weren't ready to place an order yet. It wasn't crowded maybe 5-7 people in the spot at the bar. About five minutes later a guy came over and asked to take our order. I asked for the menu. He told me they only had drinks. I explained to him that I'd called before coming and was told that they had burgers and things. He said "Oh, that's not until later tonight." I thought he should have told me that when I was on the telephone with him about 5:30pm when he mentioned that the live music was about to start. There was no food available to purchase. He said we could go somewhere else and bring it in Wally's to eat. I was highly disappointed when about two minutes later he returned and asked us to order something even if it was just a coke because they have a one item minimum. We decided to leave because we were under the impression that we'd be able to eat and enjoy the live entertainment. We'll be checking out the Beehive tonight.

Ashley C

4/3/2017

Intimate, exceptional jazz bar right near Berkley. It fills up quickly after 9pm, so get there early if you want a seat. But standing is just fine if you're ok being a bit squished. Bar tenders are friendly and accommodating. Right next door is a pizza place as well.

Lauren I

4/3/2017

An institution. Excellent music, every night. This place is quite crowded and it's a bit hard to see the musicians. Drinks are standard fair. Stick to the beer. If you like jazz, come see this historic spot! You are always in for a treat.

Nadine N

4/3/2017

Best Jazz in Boston. Open 365 days with free jazz. Love the history of the place as a historical landmark. The Marsalis brothers, Billie Holiday etc have played there. I love it so.

Brandon K

4/3/2017

Legit jazz venue that showcases Berkley talent. Very chill atmosphere with solid bar tenders. Gets packed, be respectful to those listening and you'll have a good evening.

Sabrina L

6/4/2017

There is no cover?! Who are you kidding??? YES there is. When someone demands you order a drink the minute you enter their establishment, I find a problem with that. My seat wasn't even warmed when the waiter started insisting order. I will order when I'm ready and when I WANT TO. Let's be truthful, there is a cover and it is in the drink. Their servers need some class and the manager is thug! Both have no customer service skills. He had the nerve to tell me "we seem to be having a communication problem" because I refused to order that very minute and then told me to leave. You can keep your overpriced drinks! If I could, I would give them no stars!!!!!

Todd J

7/5/2017

A true Boston original. The last stand for the traditional jazz club in a city more whitewashed by gentrification than ever.

Historical and true to it's creado. A refreshing haven for music aficionados.

Sarah S

7/5/2017

Rips off tourists with high prices. Gives regulars the same drinks for half the price. There's way better places in Boston. Don't waste your time or money here.

Zaki H

7/5/2017

I was pleasantly surprised by the quality of the performers. Unassuming and spontenious. Jazz at it's best!

Eduardo A

8/5/2017

It is simple spot with simple people and good music. Their simplicity is the charm of the place. Food place to watch the students playing jazz.

Frank B

10/8/2017

Was really excited to come here with my girlfriend after dinner. Line was not that long but during the course of waiting we had multiple "bros" cut us in line. Bouncers didn't seem to care or enforce the line at all. We ended up leaving after 45 mins, only 10 people in front of us when we first showed up. 8 guys got let in before a guy and a girl. Sorry but we will not be wasting another weekend night here again.

Michael S

10/8/2017

Great live Jazz!!! Small intimate place. Awesome night

Gaelle P

10/8/2017

Great performance of the bands. Quick service and good cocktail

Marco R

10/8/2017

Cheap drinks and amazing local acts. A great time for sure

Matthew S

10/8/2017

Great low key jazz. Nice way to spend a couple of hours :-)

fardowsa m

11/9/2017

I love this place get their early it fills up fast if you want seats.... slow service at bar. The musicians are great.... I love the drummer he has a lot of talent

Jorgelina U

11/9/2017

Wally's is a local gem! You can find life music every night (365 nights of the year, no snow storm will stop the music). The artist are often students from Berklee University or the the Boston conservatory. Dancing could be a little tough because the place is small and often at capacity. The drinks are fairly priced and there is no cover charge. This place is ideal for music lovers.

Jon C

11/9/2017

We got there at 7:30 on a Monday night and it was half full so we could get a table. Sat through some really good live jazz and blues music. The drinks were expensive, but it’s worth it to get the music for free. Great place!

Francisco A

11/9/2017

One of those hidden Gems in Boston. Always with great live music from local Berklee kids. Its a hole in the wall with a surprisingly decked out bar.

Brett B

1/11/2018

Great jams. Rum and gin centric drinks. Good beer list. 10/10 would go back to this fine establishment. Bartender knows his whiskey.

Scott I

2/11/2018

Wally's is one of the best hidden gems in Boston. Not only do they have live music every night of the week, but the caliber of musician who plays at Wally's is top notch. My favorite times to go to Wally's are from 9 to close (usually on the weekends), when everyone gets packed in the small club space, has some drinks, and gets sucked into the live music experience that few other venues are able to offer. If you like live music, are into jazz, or just want to see a place with a ton of character that's been around since the 40's, this is your destination.

Raymond A

2/11/2018

Intimate spot, good drinks and music. Never a cover charge and very diverse crowd.

arron m

3/13/2018

One of my favorite places I've had the privilege to experience. Music 7 days a week, and all the music is amazing.

Eric F

3/13/2018

Great jazz starting 6pm which opens into jam session, and then another group plays till late night. No cover charge on the two weekdays I visited at least...beers are reasonable at $5.

Ben W

4/18/2018

Swanky, jazz spot, hole on the wall with full bar. Local amateurs play every night. Great music and cozy feel. A chill and fun place to bring a low-maintenance date. Cons: drinks are pricey, the bartender is not so friendly, very little seating. Went on a Monday and had a great time with my wife.

Kirk A

4/18/2018

Cool Vibe, with reasonable drink prices. Came here to hang with a couple friends after work and I have to admit with the jazz playing in the background it really created a nice environment. Didn't know what to expect but I liked the place.

Forbes

4/18/2018

Absolutely love it here. The vibe is right, the people and the owners are so welcoming.

Jacqueline L

5/20/2018

Came in thought I'd have a good time. Asked for my favorite drink "GOT JUICE". FOR $12 dollars. Never again. Wow. Crazy. What a let down....

Squiddy Z

5/20/2018

The jazz is great. Venue is small so get there early. If you're under 21 you have to sit by the exit, and you get last priority on seating so you're not allowed to stand. You will also be asked to leave at 9pm

Overall good experience but better if you're 21

Mobizwiz C

6/20/2018

This place is super small BUT it's DOPE! And so worth it. The talent from the artists that play and sing is so worth it. Just get there early and hang. The drinks are nice and the crowd is always diverse!! There's no wonder why it's been in business for forever! It's amazing! Thanks for keeping true jazz alive!

Diego R

7/21/2018

The best bar in Boston!

Live jazz music from great performers. The place has been around for a while and although it is very small it has a big history behind it.

If you like jazz, show up early and talk to the barman about the place. He will recommend you the upcoming performers and you will learn a lot from Boston, jazz and the neighborhood. Very interesting people.

The performers are great. The place is so small it gets very crowded, so make sure you get a seat and enjoy the show.

Strong drinks and great service.

Totally recommended if you like jazz.

Brian F

7/21/2018

Fantastic jazz club that I wish existed in other cities. There needs to be more places like this where the young and older can connect. The atmosphere is unmatched. Get there early so you get a seat. Although on some nights the dance floor is where to be.

Beatriz L

7/21/2018

Wally’s is a hidden gem in Boston. It’s a tiny bar with excellent live jazz music and very well executed drinks (courtesy of their incredible bar tender, who’s capable of making great drinks even when he’s working the bar alone on a crowded Saturday night). The bar gets crowded pretty quickly, so make sure you get there early if you wanna grab a seat while enjoying the music.

Laneyscha E

8/22/2018

Awesome small and comfy bar! I went 5 days in a row and had a blast. Meet the bartenders Lloyd and Frank. Even the bouncer was cool! Every day a different band played, you can feel an awesome vibe. I got my Wally’s shirt on my last night there. Definitely will be back when in Boston again.

Two weeks later I traveled again to Boston and stop by to say hi to Frank and meet Paul. They are three awesome brothers. My puertoricans friend’s loved the place too. I took new videos this time and hug Frank at least twice because of his great hospitality in that bar.

Thami D

8/22/2018

Today was my first time there. Honestly, I was not pleased about the customer service I received. The waitress was rude. She told my friend and I that the manager said she must kick us out cause we weren't buying drinks! Mind you, we don't drink and we did buy virgin drinks. Honestly, that's not how you speak to customers. We were shocked by what she said. Overall, the music was great!

Christina

9/22/2018

Wednesday 09/12/2018. At dinner our waiter recommended Wally's for music and drinks after dinner. We arrived and, at first, were skeptical because of the small crowded space which was standing room only. We decided to stick it out and give it a chance and it turned out to be the right decision. We eventually got 2 seats at the bar and had a WONDERFUL experience. The music was incredible, some of the best jazz we have heard in years (and we are serious jazz fans). The bartender was also great. He was kind, attentive, knowledgeable, personable, and one of the hardest working bartenders we experienced. We live in Tampa, FL and we would (and we WILL) fly back to Boston just to go here again.

M K

9/22/2018

Outstanding little cozy dive bar with nightly live shows and all of the absolutely free of charge. The atmosphere is on point with some classic jazz tunes playing at all times (before the live shows start or finish), the selection of drinks is on point and prices are definitely friendly for your wallet. The live shows themselves are absolutely mad. The moment I went there the first night I couldn't resist to go back again every other night that I have spent in Boston. It a must for any enthusiast of live music!

Benita C

9/22/2018

I am beside myself! First impressions are definitely welcoming, but unwittingly this wasn't. I am a hardworking mother with 2 jobs employed by the state. I walk into this establishment to urgently and kindly ask to use the ladies room! Owner I'm guessing stated I needed my drivers license! Ok fine I rush to grab my ID , as I return to show identification, he wasn't to eager to see me return. I pleaded! He then looked into my soul 🤔 expressing no such interest or care in the world. I would never recommend this garbage to anyone I know! Simply because this less than human being only cares about getting people drunk!

Andrew C

10/23/2018

Cool, divey bar with great live music and good prices. Only problem is that it's so small that it gets PACKED to the hilt on weekends. But hey, I guess it's packed because it's a great place.

Timothy L

11/23/2018

(After reading my original review, I realize I was unnecessarily heavy handed with the rating I gave. In my opinion Wally's is a great establishment and I will continue to go there)

Quality of music is always great. However, the band is almost always late to perform at the posted 9:30 pm time on Thursday Latin jazz nights and they don't always adhere to the Latin jazz format. It is very frustrating when you patronize Wally's on Thursday expecting to hear Latin jazz/salsa music and you get something entirely different.

Daniel V

11/23/2018

Amazing music! I would recommend this place for all of those who like good music. They have different genras every day of the week but funk and jazz are specially good. Be prepared however for a staff that doesn't seem to be friendly specially if you are a new visitor.

Kun W

12/23/2018

I have only been there once recently and I absolutely love it. They have live jazz that starts around 9 to 10 pm and some students playing music before that. The place is just the right size, it feels like you are in someone's living room. There is a tiny floor if you want to groove to the live music. The beer is also decently cheap and they have a large selection. Definitely will become a regular hangout spot for me.

James G

12/23/2018

A very casual, music-focused venue for local jazz performers. The bar is a little underwhelming, the decor is a little sparse, and the night I was there, there was standing-room only. However, this place clearly thrives on bringing in good music and does so with no cover. I'll keep coming back for the music; it's a great way to experience the talent in the local community.

Brian A

12/23/2018

Five stars for the music, which never disappoints. The space is a bit cramped, but you can bring in your own food. But hey, you're going here for music. And it's always good. So go for that.

Angelo M

1/24/2019

Not much elbow room, bar is dark and dusty, no beers on tap, no food. Exactly what you want an authentic jazz club to be. Decent selection of bottled beers and plenty of cocktail options. The music is second to none.

Claudia D

1/24/2019

$5 beers, $12 mixed drinks. The band was great. Audience members can sit in for a tune. It seats probably about 45 people. Not the most comfortable. The bartender is attentive. You don't have to wait to get your drinks.

Garth T

2/27/2019

Musics great, but the bar service sucks. My friends drink was knocked over by someone that hit the table. Seconds later after ordering I told the bartender, and she said it wasnt her fault and refused to refill it. Anything for a buck at that bar.

John H

3/30/2019

Now this place is something! You gotta know what you're getting yourself into when you come here and need to have a very open mind. The ambiance is absolutely amazing and helps you have a really joyous time. Great environment!

Jeff S

3/30/2019

This place is a gem. Super small but the musicians are top top notch. Saw an excellent jazz funk band on a Tuesday night. You aren't going to get funk like that just anywhere on a Tuesday night. Trust.

Kim P

5/1/2019

Such a cool place, obviously a local favourite because it was packed! Pretty small but if you get there early enough you might be able to get a spot close to the stage. There are also small tables and seats as well. Bar has a nice cocktail menu, highly recommend the Nirvana! Great music, great atmosphere and had a fun night.

Benjy J

5/1/2019

This is HANDS DOWN the best bar in Boston! live band and good service equals a great experience. It was packed but not too hot and the music is better than what you listen to on the radio. I highly recommend going Thursday nights everybody knows that's the best night for bars.

Nathaniel Z

6/3/2019

The one, the only.

The legend is alive, breathing out the finest jazz-funk for you to inhale, to imbibe.

Get drunk on a note, high on a pitch, fall in love with an alto, or a baritone.

Let your self go, home with a melody.

Wally's. A night waiting for you to remember.

Arun P

6/3/2019

It is truly amazing what Wally's showcases in terms of music talent. An easy place with talented and serious jazz performers. You will not realize the time passing.

Gavin L

6/3/2019

Got there near six, it wasn't packed at all. Next time I'll be back with my coworkers. The bill was decent. Feels similar to a cafe in Chicago I liked.

Shawn W.

Stars_5

4/14/2018

Jamming little bar to listen to jazz & have a cocktail or beer. It's small, so go early to listen to a few sets. The bands are usually local students. They...read this and 273 more

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