Earlier this morning, Charlie’s Sandwich Shoppe on Columbus Avenue in the South End, announced via Twitter that they would be closing at the end of June. Charlie’s first opened their doors in 1927 and has remained a popular cheap eats diner serving mostly South End residents, but through the years many a celebrity has stopped in to be photographed while enjoying some of their famous hash.
More about the story here.
Click on map to enlarge
Perhaps you have seen Thrillist Boston’s “T” Bar Map. They skipped over the Silverline 4&5 that cut through my neighborhood so I created my own version and took a bit of liberty starting at the Tufts NE Medical Center because I prefer the bar at the W Hotel over Jacob Worth’s.
You can check out Thrillist’s map (complete with close ups of each MBTA line) by linking here. Check out my list of South End watering holes near Silver Line stops in the South End.
Back in February BostonInno was the first to report that the national coffee chain, Peet’s Coffee, would open in the space previously occupied by Francesca’s Cafe at 564 Tremont Street.
Since Francesca’s closed last August, the large windows overlooking Tremont Street have been papered leaving onlookers to speculate what is happening with this prime commercial space in the heart of the South End. Yesterday I happened to walk by the space and was surprised to see all the paper removed, the door slightly ajar and the windows overlooking Union Park open.
Sadly, there isn’t much to report as you can see from the photos, but hopefully that will all change soon. The space is ideally suited for a cafe and while I would’ve preferred a local chain or independent coffee shop, it serves nobody to have this space empty and unused.
The reopening of Delux Cafe in the South End today ends what seems to have been a rash of new restaurant openings here and around the city that only have dishes in the $20 – $30 price range.
So I wanted to dedicate this post to Delux and all the other cheap eat alternatives here in the South End. For the sake of argument I’m suggesting a restaurant with the majority of main plates priced less than $15 constitutes a “cheap eat”. Aside from Delux Cafe, here are a few restaurants to consider.
ADDIS RED SEA is an authentic Ethiopian restaurant located in the heart of the neighborhood on Tremont St. Main dishes range in price between $8-$15; sharing plates makes dining even more affordable.
ANCHOVIES is nestled discretely on Columbus Avenue and serves home style Italian-American cooking. Main dishes for dinner all come with bread and a house salad and range from $12-$15.
PARISH CAFE S.E. is on the corner of Tremont and Mass and serves up American style comfort food for $14-$15 in such large servings half portions are worth considering unless you are really hungry.
PICCO The Pizza & Ice Cream Co. (PICCO) menu is mostly pizza, sandwiches and pasta. This place has a large patio that also provides excellent people watching. Main dishes range from $8-$14. For an even cheaper option; split a large pizza and delicious dessert.
What are some of your favorite cheap eats for dinner in the South End and around the city?
You may recall Delux Cafe was incorrectly reported that it had closed earlier this year (for the record, that incorrect report didn’t come from this blog – at least not this time). The restaurant had actually been sold to a longtime employee and they closed temporarily to give the place a good cleaning and do some remodeling.
It appears the remodeling is now complete because the Delux Cafe Twitter handle today has indicated they will be reopening at 5pm.
The construction at 275 Albany Street between Traveler and Berkeley Street now has a name and will be called Troy Boston.
The two residential towers will have nearly 400 units (it is still unclear if they will be apartments or condos), a garage with 180 spaces and 6,000 square feet of retail space. It will be interesting to see how this little corner of SoWa in the South End is transformed as the much larger complex “Ink Block” opens across the street from Troy Boston.
Trophy Room opening night
The Trophy Room had a soft opening on Thursday but as word spread the crowds came. When I first arrived at 7:00 pm nearly half the bar was gay but by the time I left close to 9:00 pm (see photo above) it had noticeably tilted to a predominantly gay clientele.
Tonight The Trophy Room will roll out their full menu which includes small shared plates, soups, salads, burgers and flat breads ranging from $7 – $14. The menu has a few main plates that range $16 – $19 and include honey-bourbon steak tips, roasted chicken, cod and shrimp fra diavalo all prepared under the watchful eye of chef Evan Campbell.
The redesigned space seems larger than before thanks to raising the ceilings, a large mirror over the bar to make the space seem wider, and relocating the entrance further up Chandler Street. While I didn’t try anything to eat and can’t comment on the menu, the bar staff is handsome, friendly and fast; that combined with a familiar location and a nice redesign bodes well for the The Trophy Room.
Trophy Room Boston at 26 Chandler Street, South End
Although signs have recently been placed outside the Trophy Room restaurant and bar, indicating they will be open to the public this Friday. They will have a soft opening on Thursday (tomorrow) after work to welcome the neighborhood. The space is the former home of Fritz but it will re-open as a neighborhood-friendly space rather than a ‘gay bar’. No plans on Thursday? Swing by and check it out. The space looks great.
Look for more posts about new openings in the South End that are targeted for later this summer in the weeks that follow.
Late last year it was reported that Caffe Nero – a London-based chain that operates 650 specialty coffee shops would open their first US coffee shop here in Boston’s Downtown Crossing this spring.
Rumors are now being whispered that Caffe Nero is also looking at space in the South End. If you’re a coffee lovah like me, the proliferation of coffee shops in the neighborhood is a welcome break from seeing a new bank opening every other week. I’ll circle back with more info shortly.
40 Berkeley, a 206-room hostel in the South End, sold for $17.2 million. According to the Boston Business Journal, the deal on the 80,000 square foot building closed last Friday.
Bruce Percelay, chairman and founder of the Mount Vernon Co., had this to say about his firm’s acquisition and plans for the space, “Given that we already have hotel experience with two properties in Nantucket and one in Portsmouth, NH, this is a business that intrigues us, and we feel there is a real opportunity in Boston to provide an affordable alternative to the more costly hospitality options in the city. The concept of small rooms and very attractive lobbies has taken hold in New York City and is certainly a consideration for us to apply in Boston.” Full story here.
Later this summer Woodmeister Master Builders will be moving into the retail space on the corner of Washington and Waltham Street in the Wilkes Passage building. This will be their fifth location with other stores in New York City, Nantucket, MA, Newport, RI and their home office in Holden, MA.
In related news, word on the street is the PetCo previously reported to open in the space across the street in Rollins Square may now be off. Conflicting rumors make this hard to determine for certain.
Wink & Nod a self-proclaimed ‘craft cocktail speakeasy’ is located near the corner of Appleton and Tremont Street in the South End. They opened for business last month so I suggested to a colleague / friend that we pay a visit to check out the South End’s newest watering hole.
The photos which I pulled from Wink & Nod’s Facebook Page give you a glimpse into this subterranean space that has come together under the guidance of the ever present and friendly General Manager, Curtis McMillan. Gone are the mirrors and modern, clean lines associated with the former tenant, Noche, and in its place are dark and rich colors with comfortable leather banquets, large arm chairs and couches to recline and sip one of the many cocktails or nosh on some of the food chefs Jeremy Kean and Philip Kruta seem to crank out quickly.
I have to admit I was somewhat circumspect when Curtis first told me about his vision for the space several months back, but I enjoyed my first visit. The space is comfortable and doesn’t take itself too seriously. Be sure to check out their signature cocktails – all named after notorious cougars. On my first visit I enjoyed a mezcal mixture called the Mrs. Robinson and my friend opted for the Joan Collins. However, if our selections don’t appeal to you fear not – there are plenty of small screen and big screen vamps to seduce you, from the Cattrall which does look tempting to the Raquel that is served in a funny looking tiki mug.
The menu looks interesting, but I didn’t explore it properly on this visit. I do plan to go back and will try some of the food on my next visit. Wink & Nod is a welcome addition to the neighborhood, and I wish it much success. Have you visited Wink & Nod? Let me know what you think.
Wink & Nod is located at 3 Appleton Street in the South End.
The people behind Cathedral Station shared their first press release today. In the release they acknowledge that rumors have been circulating for the past few weeks, but they wanted to confirm that Cathedral Station, a Sports Bar that caters to the LGBT community and neighborhood will be opening at 1222 Washington St in Boston’s South End in May.
It went on to also confirm that the bar will be under the direction of Larry Basile and William (Billy) Svetz, the former GM of Fritz. Other familiar faces from Fritz will include Gary Staples and Joe McGowan. The bar will open following some upgrades being made to the property including an entertainment area with pool table and dart boards. Look for a new Facebook page in the coming days.
Motley has long been one of my favorite shops in the South End but sadly this past week they closed their doors. The owners left a heartfelt message on their Facebook page here.
Although Motley was much more than a t-shirt shop, over the years I posted a number of purchases – Motley always sold some of the best t-shirts anywhere in the city. Here are a few of my favorites.
Tonight The BiNA Family Hospitality Group will open their latest restaurant, Merrill & Co. This is the same restaurant group who also own jm Curley’s, Bogie’s Place, Bin 26 Enoteca and Lala Rokh. However this is their first venture into Boston’s South End. They are located at 1 Appleton Street, formerly the home of 28 degrees. While their menu is not available online (yet), executive chef Jason Cheek (previously with KO Prime) indicated they would focus on local seafood.
Wink & Nod shall open this Saturday, according to G.M., Curtis McMillan. BNV has remodeled the space that had previously been home to their subterranean restaurant and lounge, Noche. Although they’ve not shared much about the menu, Boston.com featured a write up last week announcing that the chefs would be Philip Kruta and Jeremy Kean – best known for a North End pop-up restaurant.
I’m happy to see these spaces coming back to life and bringing more dining options to the neighborhood.