Rumor has it that today the owners of The Cathedral Place (a.k.a the “new Fritz”) will be getting keys to the The Red Fez in Boston’s South End at 1222 Washington Street.
Since the naming rights for Fritz reside with different owners, the new space cannot be called Fritz, but I was told most of the staff from that bar which we mustn’t mention will help open The Cathedral Place. The 300-person capacity, 40 car parking lot, outdoor patio and entertainment license that all come with the space make 1222 Washington Street a very appealing location. Should the stars align, one can (I’m crossing my fingers as I type this) expect a new gay bar to open deep in Boston’s South End.
Hold the press. Did you see the article in the Boston Herald today? Of course you didn’t – which is why I’m here to point it out to you. They are reporting that Mayor Marty Walsh, is advocating for a “late night task force” to help reshape the city’s nightlife — with a mandate to look at 3:30 a.m. closings.
The article mentions that the group will look to create a pilot program in the Seaport District to test extending the closing time of bars and restaurants, possibly easing into it by allowing establishments to serve alcohol until 2:30 a.m. but stay open until 3:30 a.m. The staggered closings could help avoid the crush of people who file out into the streets at 2 a.m. This comes just months after the MBTA announced they will launch a pilot extending weekend service back to 3 a.m.
It goes without saying that I’m in favor of this and hope it can also help struggling restaurants and bars who may now be able to collect more revenues by staying open longer. Now if we can do something about those pesky liquor licenses I think we might actually be able to foster a nightlife that would allow more gay bars to open.
You can read the article here.
Did you read the Boston Herald this morning? Most likely not, so you likely missed this gem from John “Wacko” Hurley.
Parade organizer John “Wacko” Hurley said…”there’s no way, shape or form that they’re (MassEquality) going to get back in…I went into a bar and got a beer today, and I got more cheers than I ever got in my life…” More here.
For the first time in Boston’s history, organizers of South Boston’s St. Patrick’s Day parade said they wold invite the LGBT group, MassEquality, to walk in their parade. The deal is being brokered by incoming Mayor Marty Walsh, but it includes an important caveat: MassEquality, cannot wear T-shirts or hold signs that include the word gay or refer to sexual orientation. My reaction to the deal, “Are you kidding me? Is this 1994?“
The time for keeping quiet has passed.
This would have been an interesting offer back in 1994 when then incoming Mayor Tom Menino was speaking as an advocate (for the first time) for the LGBT community, but the times have changed. Parade organizers steadfast refusal and isolation of the LGBT community casts an ugly shadow on their event and this latest ‘offer’ does little to improve their image or that of their Irish heritage.
MassEquality issued their response shortly after the Boston Globe published the story, which you can read here, but I think is summed up in this quote from their response, “LGBT people should not have to silence who they are to celebrate other parts of their identities.“
What do you think?
The Trophy Room (a.k.a. The Old Fritz) has a Facebook page that you may want to check out and like if you’re into that sort of thing. The owners of The Chandler Inn will be reopening a newly remodeled space that will operate as a bar and restaurant in the near future. That new space will be called The Trophy Room. Currently their Facebook page alludes to a spring opening and shares artist renderings of the design and decor you can expect to see when they open for business.
Boston Spirit magazine will host their 7th annual LGBT Executive Networking Night on Thursday, April 17, 2014. Over the years this event has grown so despite the fact that it is more than a month away, I would highly recommend registering before they fill to capacity and cannot accept anymore RSVPs.
The night of networking will take place at the Marriott Boston Copley Place Ballroom from 6-9:00 pm. This year’s keynote speaker is Sudbury, MA native and well respected, comedian Paula Poundstone.
LGBT Executive Networking Night
Marriott Boston Copley Place
Thursday, April 17, 2014
$10 Admission Fee
Reserve Your Place Today Here
Real estate agents, those selling homes and snobs will rejoice that Boston has the fifth highest median housing prices in the United States; behind San Francisco, San Diego, Los Angeles and New York City.
At least that is what I learned last Wednesday when I was reading The Boston Globe. Analysts with HSH.com apparently calculated how much buyers would need to earn to afford the principal and interest payment on a median-priced home in their market.
While I am happy that property in Boston is so valuable, providing more affordable housing is something I think is essential to this city.
What are your thoughts?
A couple years ago I wrote a series of posts called “How to survive a Boston winter”. I wanted to provide some guidance for those unfamiliar with New England winters.
Considering how brutal this winter has been, I thought I’d share one of the tips from that original series of posts. Get yourself to the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum.
Head for the original building that was Mrs. Gardner’s home. The building was modeled after a Venetian palace and in the middle is a small garden. The site of grass and scents of flowers is a wonderful way to fool your senses into thinking it is spring time – at least for an hour or so until you head back outside.
Earlier today I wrote that the former South End gay sports bar, Fritz, might reopen in a new location later this year.
This afternoon I received an email from the owner of Fritz indicating this was a rumor and he has not sold the name or logo. #WickedBummer
UPDATE Fritz will not reopen in the Red Fez: details here
One of my most read blog posts from 2013 Farewell to Fritz appears to have been incorrect. At the time Fritz had announced they would close in early 2014 to remodel but would reopen better than before. However, persistent rumors led me and others to believe Fritz days were numbered, and I bemoaned the loss of a great gay neighborhood / sports bar.
Now rumors indicate that Fritz will indeed reopen but not in the Chandler Inn space. This blogger has been told that Fritz will get the keys to The Red Fez at 1222 Washington Street in the South End in early March and they plan to reopen there. The new space is double the size of the original bar, has a full kitchen, patio and parking for patrons.
I’ll continue to look into these rumors. It isn’t clear if the owners plan to do any remodeling or when they may open, but if you have any news to share, contact me at email@example.com.
Anyone who has spent any amount of time in Boston will be familiar with the Government Center parking garage shown above, but for those who have moved away or don’t come into Boston often you may not know that Boston-based developer HYM Investment Group LLC intends to raze major portions of the existing 11-story garage to clear the way for six new buildings – transforming the 4.8 acres in the heart of the city.
The project will radically transform the area, which the developer describes as “an underutilized 1960s-era parking structure” into a transit-oriented, mixed-use development with a new public plaza and pedestrian connector. The proposal includes 771 residential units, 204 new hotel rooms, 1.3 million square feet of office space, 82,500 square feet of retail space and 1,159 parking spaces.
Despite the fact that parking is always an issue and the development will significantly decrease the number of existing parking spaces, I think it is a great idea. You can track the progress of this project on the BRA website here and you can read more about the development on the project’s website here.
One month from today Boston’s traditional (although no longer truly) Irish neighborhood, Southie, will host their annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade. Boston’s former mayor, Tom Menino, made news back in 1994 when he did the unthinkable in Irish-Boston and took the organizers of Boston’s St. Patrick’s Day parade to court for banning “The Gays”. The parade that year was cancelled by the organizers rather than comply with the State’s highest court which ruled against them. Later they were allowed to maintain their “no gays” ban thanks to the US Supreme Court but Menino never joined the parade in the 20 years he served this city as mayor to show his support for Boston’s LGBT community.
This gay voter has a long memory and I wanted to say thank you to Mr. Menino. I remember 1994. Will & Grace hadn’t even premiered yet (it started in 1998). To put this in perspective, two years later in 1996 Bill Clinton would sell-out the LGBT community by signing the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) into law.
Declining participation from both Boston restaurants and diners has forced the organizers of Boston Restaurant Week to do some soul searching to help breathe new life into the ailing biannual foodie event.
This year it has been rebranded as Dine Out Boston the new two week event that will run from March 16-21 and 23-28 is hoping to lure both restaurants and diners back with a tiered pricing structure that offers lunches for $15/$20/$25 and dinners for $28/$33/$38.
FYI – American Express will apparently offer a $5 credit on cardholder statements when they spend $21 or more on an enrolled American Express card at a participating restaurant, during Dine Out Boston. I couldn’t figure out how to enroll my card; neither Dine Out Boston nor American Express had any information. If you figure it out, let me know.
Elizabeth Stefan and Kim Greiner of Summer Street Communications have helped create Boston’s first Hotel Week Boston. The program is designed to help travelers secure great deals at some of Boston’s best hotels from February 16 – 23, 2014.
Contemplating a staycation? Want to see what other perks and discounts are being offered at participating properties? Check out the website, hotelweekboston.com.
Jesse Brackenbury, the next leader of Boston’s Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Greenway, said last week that he wants to significantly increase the presence of public art and other new features in the downtown park network. My response, “Most excellent. Let’s do it.”
The quote and image atop this post is from the Rose Kennedy Greenway’s Public Art on the Greenway: A Five Year Strategy 2013-2017. The Greenway’s vision for this work (according to their website) is to bring innovative and contemporary art to Boston through free, temporary exhibitions on the Greenway that engage people in meaningful experiences, interactions and dialogue with art and each other. I won’t wax on about the potential here – I’ll keep my trap shut (for now). Want to learn more about this? Check out the Greenway’s Public Art Program web page, here.