Earlier this week I had the opportunity to meet and talk to Ted Tye, Managing Partner at National Development, the firm behind the South End’s Ink Block. In their temporary office across from the Ink Block, he showed me their plans for the new development and hinted at more news to share after the new year.
Ink 1 & 2 will open Feb 1, 2015 and are offering 1 month free rent for all 1 year leases and 6 weeks free rent for all 18 month leases.
Whole Foods is scheduled to open in just a few weeks but Ted was mum about giving an exact opening date in January. Don’t worry about the bad weather since 100+ parking spots are reserved for the store. In addition the Ink Block will offer cool amenities including: underground connectivity to Whole Foods so one needn’t go outside in bad weather; a new gym; pool and outdoor function space to enjoy and host parties. Also look for a new Hubway station and parking for a couple of ZipCars.
When speaking to the team at National Development they were keen to impress upon me their desire to leverage their commercial space for new restaurants (non-chains) that can provide more affordable dining options. They want restaurants because they would like to have tenants that will be open after normal business hours to avoid having the block go dark and to encourage more pedestrian traffic.
Last night one of the South End’s most eagerly anticipated restaurants had a soft opening. Upon entering Barcelona South End, patrons will see a large (26-seat) horseshoe shaped white marble bar that opens to the kitchen behind it. The sterile modern decor of its predecessor is gone – replaced by dark wood ceilings and floors that contrast with the white marble bar and subway tile along the back wall.
The tapas menu will offer plenty of temptations at an affordable price with most items ranging $6-$10. If you want more than tapas their menu has Paella, Meat & Fish and Mixed Grilled options ranging from $19 – $25. The cocktail menu and wine list are equally inviting, which makes me think this will become a favorite watering hole for locals looking for a place where they can catch up with friends and nibble on a few bites during the week.
The bar staff was knowledgeable and clearly excited to be open for business, reinforcing an already friendly atmosphere. The food we tried was quite good but sadly our photos didn’t do the food justice enough so I promise to go back for a more thorough sampling. Look for Barcelona to open in the coming days.
Barcelona – 525 Tremont Street – (617) 266 2600
Wednesday, December 10th from 4:00 – 9:00 pm your favorite South End shops will be open to encourage you to shop and dine in the neighborhood.
You can park for free at 540 Harrison Avenue and free Pedi Cabs will be available from 5-8pm to take you to any of the 32 participating retailers in the South End at no cost – just remember not to be a Grinch and tip your Pedi Cab riders.
A handful of restaurants are also participating in the program so you can grab something to eat after you’ve flexed your retail muscle. For every $25 you spend at a participating store you will be entered to win a massive gift basket which has items from each boutique shop. To find out which stores and restaurants are participating on Dec 10th visit www.shopthesouthend.com.
The South End’s newest apartment complex, Troy Boston, is offering two months free rent if you move-in starting this January. The new development located at 276 Albany Street has two towers and when fully open will include 376 apartments, rooftop terraces, rooftop lounge, outdoor swimming pool, fitness facilities, and outdoor pet-friendly space.
You can find out more if interested by visiting their website, troyboston.com.
Last week Nikki Chase from the Boston Herald wrote an article about her favorite after-work cheap eats and it got me to thinking about some of my favorite places in the South End to grab something to eat after work; please share your favorites.
Darryl’s at 604 Columbus Avenue; All their starters are 1/2 price from 5 – 6:30 pm at the bar only.
Estragon at 700 Harrison Avenue; offers something they call “Tapas Blitz where they offer items like fried pork belly with salsa picante. Their blitz menu items are available Monday-Thursday, 5-7 p.m. and range from $1-$5.
Masa Restaurant at 439 Tremont Street makes their tapas so affordable you can’t help but indulge with 50¢ tapas in the bar only. You can order items like grilled chorizo, pork spring roll and shredded chicken taquitos. These super cheap eats are good Sunday – Thursday from 5-7p.m.
647 Tremont (and Sister Sorel too!) at 647 Tremont Street hosts their $2 taco Tuesdays where you can order a variety of house made tacos for $2 each. My favorites include the fried fish and pork almond mole; Tuesdays only.
Stella at 1525 Washington Street; offers cheap eats menu with options that inclued arugula salad, parmesan arancini and (one of my favorites) grilled Italian sausage. Every plate is only $5 until 6p.m. on weeknights only.
On Friday Donna Goodison from The Boston Herald Tweeted that the Franklin Cafe Southie will go before the Boston Licensing Board to sell the business (and alcohol license – of course) to a new spot called Moonshine Kitchen. I can’t find any details about Moonshine Kitchen but any tips from my readers would be welcome.
Source: Boston Redevelopment Authority
This summer I wrote about a new residential project proposed by The Holland Companies that would convert the underutilized and decrepit 46 Wareham Street building into a residential space with The Society of Arts and Crafts (currently on Newbury Street) on the ground floor.
However the plan to redevelop this space has hit a snag according to Zack Huffman’s article in the most recent Boston Courant. The building is zoned for light industrial work (not residential). It is unclear if this means the original plans need to be scrapped or if a middle ground will be found, but the developers are now working on a new plan that would not violate the zoning restrictions. I have no idea what that means, but I do know that the building as it currently stands is an eye-sore and is not serving either the business community nor residents and this neighborhood needs more usable space for both small businesses and residents. I snapped a photo of how 46 Wareham currently looks; we can do better.
46 Wareham Street South End