Photo is courtesy of MassDOT
This past Friday afternoon, MASS DOT held a ceremony, showcasing new lighting installations that will be used to artistically illuminate the I-93 Viaduct. Later this spring the space under Boston’s highway in the South End will open as a 400+ space 24-hour parking lot. The improved lighting, and staffed parking lots is intended to help better connect adjoining South End and South Boston neighborhoods. This is such a smart, creative use of space under Boston’s Interstate 93. I love this project and am happy to see such a creative use of lighting. It almost makes the concrete underside of the expressway interesting. More on this here.
Vacant space at 520 Harrison Avenue in the South End (most recently used by Mitchell Gold as a pop up store) is being converted into a trendy new home for Phillipostyle. According to the signage outside, the new home will operate as a hair salon and day spa providing manicures, pedicures and massages.
I’m happy to see a new business coming into this space but based on the amount of work that still needs to be done, it appears that Phillipostyle is still several weeks away from opening. I tried calling the number they provide outside for details (857) 362-7410 but never heard back from them.
Despite the fact that there is a snow emergency, parking ban in effect most South End restaurants are open for business (at least for tonight). To entice you to come out some restaurants are offering social media “Blizzard Specials”. For example, Boston Chops is offering $1 Snow Storm oysters (at the bar only); The South End has the Buttery Blizzard Burger Special $10 (normally $17); and BoMA has a Snow Day Special where all draft beers are $5, burgers and flatbreads are $7.99.
To date the following South End restaurants and bars have let me know they are open tonight: Aquitaine The Beehive BoMA Restaurant + Bar Boston Chops Cinquecento Estelle’s Estragon The Gallows Gaslight Brasserie du Coin J.J. Foley’s Kitchen Boston Metropolis Cafe PICCO Red Lantern Tremont 647 / Sister Sorel South End Buttery Union Bar & Grille
Harrison Avenue Midnight 2-Jan-14
Harrison Avenue 12PM 2-Jan-14
Harrison Avenue Midnight 2-Jan-14
Harrison Avenue 12PM 2-Jan-14
Nationally, you can follow this snowstorm on Twitter using the hashtag #Hercules but Bostonians are using #BOSnow to track the impact locally. Above are photos of Harrison Avenue in the South End. The first series was taken at Midnight and the second at 12:00 PM Thursday.
Boston’s snow emergency / street parking ban has just gone into effect so the owners of those cars better move them quickly otherwise they’ll be ticketed and towed.
The South End restaurant and bar space perhaps best known as the former home of Icarus, but most recently occupied by Noche made news earlier this year when the owners, Boston Nightlife Ventures (BNV), said they would reopen as a cocktail speakeasy restaurant in early 2014 named Blind Tiger. I wrote about it and included some artist renderings in my post Blind Tiger.
Earlier this month BNV announced they were changing the name to Wink and Nod after initial tests indicated Blind Tiger sounded too much like an Asian restaurant. Euz Azevedo told foodie blog, Eater Boston, Wink and Nod will feature “a serious craft cocktail program with a dinner menu that can be paired well with the inspired drinks and are encouraged to be shared.”
While I’m happy to welcome a new restaurant and bar, BNV has a dubious record of managing restaurants. Maybe this will be the restaurant that proves me wrong. I’ll be more than a little curious to see who they partner with to develop their menu and see how it is managed after the opening. I was a regular at Noche’s bar on Wednesday nights and miss the space.
After 10 years, the 7 Eleven at Rollins Square has officially closed. While nothing is official, rumors suggest that Pet Supplier, Petco, is eyeing the space. With so many pets in the neighborhood I’m sure many would like to see such a store come into the neighborhood but rather than trading one national chain for another, I would far prefer to see a local retailer replace the 7 Eleven.
Do you live in the South End? What would you like to see go into the vacated 7 Eleven space at 1310 Washington St.?
Ink Block courtesy of BRA
Last week I wrote about another South End residential construction project that has been proposed and is currently being reviewed at 345 Harrison Avenue in my post, South End Residential Construction Boom.
This week I noticed a rather cool map Boston.com has created that pins current and proposed residential construction projects in the South End. If you are curious to see what has been proposed and learn more about these projects you should definitely bookmark, Boston Redevelopment Authority: Development Projects. However, the Boston.com site offers a cool view of projects (large and small) with before and after pictures that is worth checking out, Boston.com Interactive South End Residential Construction Map.
Graybar Electric Co. at 345 Harrison Avenue
Boston’s South End continues to boom with so many construction projects it makes my head spin. Perhaps Curbed Boston said it best late last month in their post, South End’s Constuctionpalooza Rocks on at 345 Harrison.
Nordblom rendering of proposed new residential complex for 345 Harrison Avenue
Just blocks from my home there are currently two large construction projects underway; the Ink Block will add approximately 500 condos / apartments and 275 Albany Street is being prepped to add another 400 condos / apartments. Last month developer Nordblom proposed replacing the Graybar Electric Co. building located across the street from the Ink Block with a new apartment complex that would include 13-story and 14-story buildings and add another 600 residential units.
Aerial view of proposed residential complex at 345 Harrison Avenue
Should Nordblom get approval to build, that would mean 1,500 new residential units may be added within just blocks of each other over the next few years, transforming what has been mostly vacant and under utilized space into a vibrant section of the South End with more residents, restaurants and retail space.
Shoppers who come out and brave the cold will receive a 15%-20% discount from participating South End retailers. The goal is to encourage shoppers to support local businesses.
This year’s holiday stroll includes more than 30 South End retailers and if you show your receipt from a participating shop you can receive $10 off dinner from participating restaurants.
Buy / Shop Local – Support South End Businesses 4-8 PM
For a complete list of participating South End retailers and restaurants link here.
So Eater Boston reported that The BiNA Family Hospitality’s latest newsletter (the owners of: jm Curley’s, Bogie’s Place, Bin 26 Enoteca and Lala Rokh) has recently added a logo for a new space called Merrill & Co. This leads one to believe that the South End rumor I reported earlier this month is more than just neighborhood gossip. According to the newsletter this new restaurant in a yet to be named location (cough, cough 1 Appleton Street) will open in the Spring of 2014.
Eater Boston Article: Rumor Mongering
BiNA Family Hospitality: Newsletter with new Merrill & Co. logo
Persistent rumors suggest that Sibling Rivalry’s plum location in the South End will soon be a Spanish tapas and wine bar.
Word on the street is the owners behind the popular Spanish tapas restaurant, Barcelona Brookline, will go into the space formerly occupied by Sibling Rivalry at 525 Tremont Street in the South End.
When I reached out to the ownership, I received neither a confirmation or denial, but a promise that more information would be shared soon. It is hard to say what may happen, but when I hear more, I’ll be sure to pass it along.
In late October I heard rumors that jm Curley in DTX was considering opening a new location in the space formerly occupied by 28 degrees in the South End. However, when I contacted Suzanne Dagenais – GM for jm Curley & Bogie’s Place – she responded that the ownership remained open to new ventures but there would not be “any more jm Curley’s in the South End or elsewhere.”
Fast forward to mid-November and word on the street is that the owners of jm Curley have inked a deal that will have them moving into the space formerly occupied by 28 degrees. If this turns out to be true it will be great to have them in the neighborhood. Not familiar with jm Curley’s? Check out their website, jmcurleyboston.com.
UPDATE – NOV 15: I was contacted again by Suzanne Dagenais. She confirmed the owners are looking at this space, but have not finalized negotiations (this runs counter to what I was told about the deal being inked).
According to Suzanne, should a deal go through, the space would be for a separate concept not yet determined. It is hard for me to believe that owners would agree to move into such an expensive space and not have a full business plan if only so they can get financing. What I’ve concluded from Suzanne’s email is it is unlikely jm Curley’s will open, but the owners are probably looking at a higher end option to make the space economically viable.
Could the soon to be departing jm Curly chef Sam Monsour be involved with the jm Curley’s owners in this new space? Time will tell I suppose. More about Chef Sam Monsour’s departure can be found in EaterBoston’s article.
Rumors of Fritz’s closing was first whispered to me early this summer, but I paid it little attention. It seemed strange that such a successful bar would close, but as the rumors persisted it became obvious that there was more truth than fiction and this wasn’t just neighborhood gossip.
Earlier this month Fritz confirmed on Facebook that they are closing at the end of this year. The owner of the Chandler Inn is remodeling the space to turn it into a restaurant and bar and make it more welcoming to the entire neighborhood (cue the bugle to play taps as yet another gay bar bites the dust).
Fritz is my favorite place in Boston to watch a game and even though I’m always a fan of seeing new restaurant open, I’m torn and left with a bitter taste by its closure. I’ll miss Fritz. What are your thoughts?
Blind Tiger made news earlier this month when food blogs around the city shared renderings of the space currently being remodeled and announced an early December opening. Conventional wisdom suggests if Boston Nightlife Ventures (BNV) is targeting an early December opening, one might realistically expect this to open in early 2014.
Blind Tiger is a self-described “craft cocktail speakeasy”. The design shows a lot of dark wood, leather, red accents, and chandeliers. The look has more in common with the long-standing tenant, Icarus, that closed in this space in 2009, than the previous restaurant, Noche, that BNV first opened here.
The images above of Noche Boston were a marked departure from the old Boston feel of the earlier tenant and one of the reasons I feel the bar scene was so vibrant initially. Perhaps the change back with this redesign will have the same effect, but I prefer the sleek look of Noche to the speakeasy vibe, that was trendy 5-10 years ago but now seems a bit overdone in Boston.
I’m curious to see how this redesign turns out and wish BNV much luck. What are your thoughts on the redesign?
The space formerly known as Francesca’s Cafe at 564 Tremont Street in the South End abruptly closed last month when the building’s new owner, Fredmund “Freddie” Kiley, is rumored to have pushed out the long time tenant. It is believed that Mr. Kiley would like to have a higher end cafe or restaurant in the space, but the existing space was deemed to be too small.
A South End resident told this blogger that the framed structure recently erected (see the above photo) is meant to expand the commercial space at 564 Tremont Street so it will be more attractive to a new tenant. Clearly Kiley has the midas touch when it comes to working the system here in Boston, because I’ve rarely seen anything approved so quickly in this neighborhood. Although Francesca’s may be missed, I’m more than a little curious to see what may come into this newly expanded space and when it might open.
Know anything about this project? Give me a shout.