The South End Open Studios was this past weekend. The two-day event which draws thousands to the neighborhood, allows art collectors and enthusiasts to talk to local artists and visit galleries; all told – more than 200 studios and galleries are open. In addition, artisans and specialty stores which comprise much of the retail space in the South End’s SoWa district (South of Washington) participated in the event this September.
Weather was perfect for this weekend’s art walk which included painters, sculptors, and designers who make jewelry, clothing, furnishings and more. Below are a few photos from a small number of the participating galleries and artists.
Bobby’s Vintage Clothing on Thayer Street
SoWa has more than 200 active studios and art galleries
The caliber and variety of artwork is amazing
Yesterday, Eater Boston wrote a post entitled, Upcoming South End Restaurant to Focus on “The Cow”. The post comments on a job posting on Craigslist looking for “Chef de cuisine, Executive Sous, Chef & Sous chef” who have “a strong understanding of the cow”.
Eater Boston’s article wonders out loud which of the new South End restaurants might be hiring for these positions, naming Estelle’s, BoMa , and Cinquecento. However, my money is on Brian Piccini’s latest endeavor, Boston Chops, which is targeting a late November opening (pending construction).
Looks like the Mayor and the Boston Redevelopment Authority just approved a cool new mixed use building in space that is currently occupied by a parking lot in my neighborhood, the South End.
Located at 275 Albany Street, the development includes a 3-story parking garage, 19-story residential tower, and a 11-story hotel. I have no idea what micro style rooms means, but I’m just happy it will bring more people to the neighborhood. The development will be just one block away from the Ink Block.
More about this project and others approved by the city of Boston here.
The Aquitaine Group made news in the fall of 2011 when they announced they would remodel the restaurant space previously occupied by Rocca in the South End and reopen it as the first Italian restaurant property the group owns and manages.
Cinquecento has garnered much attention and as recently as last week, positions for restaurant managers and a bar chef were seen posted online. The 300+ seat Italian-concept restaurant has been eagerly awaited and although a definite opening has yet to be confirmed, Trattoria Cinquecento will definitely open before the end of next month. Look for a soft opening the middle of September 2012.
The Ink Block refers to the 6 acres that was the long-time home to the Boston Herald. The newspaper has since moved their headquarters to the Seaport District, and a developer has renamed the property the Ink Block with plans to demolish the existing buildings and erect new ones ranging 5-9 stories.Plans include nearly five hundred apartments, space for several retail and restaurants and as of last week a Whole Foods grocery store. The chain confirmed last week that they had signed a long-term lease to have a 50,000 square foot store, making it the largest in Boston. The store is expected to open in 2014.
This “No Man’s Land” sits beside two major highways (I-90 and I-93), and will be a welcome addition to both The South End and Chinatown which is just across the Mass Pike. The development has spurred interest in other properties abutting the Ink Block.
News about BoMa (or is it Boma?) opening in space formerly occupied by the Bombay Club but best known as Pho Republique’s home was reported in May on this blog and elsewhere. At the time, word was the owner, Shane Manfred, would open in late July but now it appears BoMa hopes for a mid- to late-August opening.
There remains a lot of work, but beautiful folding windows that open to Washington Street have been installed, ensuring this will be a popular place on warm evenings where you can dine or drink across from the beautiful Cathedral of the Holy Cross.
A quick peek at the new space through their newly installed windows shows Manfred has flipped the floor plan, building a large bar that can accommodate 20+ along the front left wall and added a wine rack along the back left wall.
Incidentally, in my first post about BoMa I speculated the four lettered name might be an abbreviation for Boston, Massachusetts but I’ve been told it is an African word meaning “home” or “safe haven”.
Each Sunday in Boston’s South End is the SoWa Open Market. This market has been going on for several years and with each passing summer it seems the market gets larger and better.
The 2012 season started last month and each Sunday in addition to a dozen food trucks and hundreds of artists, there is a sizable farmer’s market. The image above is just one of the items I purchased last weekend. Check out the SoWa Open Market today which runs from 10am – 4pm each Sunday.
More information about the SoWa Open Market >> Here.
Starting today, the SoWa Market returns. This year the market which runs from 10am – 4pm each Sunday, will include more than 60 local farmers and specialty food vendors, 100+ local artists and designers, more than a dozen food trucks and the SoWa Vintage market.
SoWa Open Market will run through the end of October and can be located at 460 Harrison Avenue. There is more information about the SoWa open market online at, www.sowaopenmarket.com.
Coinciding with the return of the SoWa Market is the SoWa Art Walk. The Art work allows people to meet and view artwork in participating South End galleries as well as private artist studios.
Participating studio buildings are located at: Thayer Street – 49 Waltham Street – 450, 460, 486, and 524 Harrison Avenue – 35, 49 and 59 Wareham Street and Laconia Lofts.
More information about participating artists and galleries is available online at, www.sowaartwalk.com.
SoWa Open Market returns for its 9th season starting next Sunday. Each week the market will draw more than 60 local farmers and specialty food vendors, than 100+ local artists and designers as well as more than a dozen food trucks. Next to the Open Market, the SoWa Vintage market will also be returning.
The market runs each Sunday, starting May 6th and ending in late October. Hours of operation are from 10am – 4pm.
The market is located at 460 Harrison Avenue. You can learn more about the SoWa open market by visiting their website at www.sowaopenmarket.com.
Ink Block courtesy of BRA
Despite the South End’s gentrification, a corner of my neighborhood near the Mass Pike and Chinatown has remained a no-man’s land only notable for it’s tenant, The Boston Herald. The Herald’s announcement last year that it would leave it’s home of more than 50 years has resulted in a recent proposal dubbed the “Ink block”.
The ambitious plan calls for replacing The Boston Herald building with multiple buildings of mixed use space that would include 470+ rental residential units, retail space and 400+ underground parking space.
The Boston Herald building is scheduled for demolition in the fall of 2012 and based on the neighborhood’s enthusiastic response, I hope they can start building this welcome addition right away.
MCSlimJB a Boston-based restaurant critic, tweeted that the Union Park Neighborhood Association was contacted by Deuxave / dbar owner with plans to open a steakhouse in the old Penny Savings building on Washington Street.
Back in August I listed this as a rumor that had been buzzing through the neighborhood in my post Dishing some South End gossip. However, I thought Brian Piccini (owner of Deuxave and dbar) was unable to make this happen. There’s no word about what hurdles remain for this to happen or when the unnamed restaurant will open for business, but stay tuned.
Thanks to Adam and his hospitality blog for the tip.
The SoWa Winter Farmers’ Market is an extension of the SoWa Open Market which in recent years has grown to include a Farmer’s Market. Unlike the SoWa Open Market which runs from Spring through the end of October, this market will provide South End residents with food products from the New England region through the winter months.
Market Location: Held indoors at 485 Harrison Ave, Boston MA
Days and Hours of Operation: Every Sunday from 10AM-2PM through through April 29, 2012. Excluding December 25, 2011 and January 1, 2012.
There is ample free parking.
The SoWa Open Market which draws people each Sunday to my corner of the the South End will close down for the season to reopen again next spring. Its always sad to see this close if only because it serves as yet another sign that winter is fast approaching.
The farmer’s market which is part of the SoWa Open Market has been so successful that they have decided to host it indoors starting Sunday, November 13th.
The market will be held every Sunday except December 25th and January 1st through April 29th from 1oAM – 2PM at 460 Harrison Avenue. Want to learn more? Want to participate as a vendor? Visit the Winter Famer’s Market website.
Union Bar and Grille, a signature fine dining restaurant owned by the Aquitaine Group, will be introducing a new menu that may take some by surprise and delight many. This is not the typical summer to fall menu change Boston diners are seeing around the city as chefs substitute plates with ingredients more in line with the season.
The new menu which will roll out later this month will include more small plates and a lower price point. Why the change? Why now? Contributing factors are likely the soft economy and the fact that small plates is a dining trend that remains popular; especially in the South End.
Union has been a destination restaurant almost since its first day, but the landscape in the South End has changed and revamping their menu is a smart move. This foodie will be excited to sample the many new options and if you live in the area – I’d encourage you to do the same.
Union Bar and Grille is located at 1357 Washington Street in the South End.