Category Archives: SoWa

GQB and First Friday

Guerrilla Queer BarI’m still in sunny, warm Brazil, but I wanted to get this post up for those of you contemplating what to do tomorrow night.

Open to doing  something different? The first Friday of each month Boston Guerrilla Queer Bar (GQB) overtake traditionally straight bars.  Since the Boston bar scene can be restricting, GQB gives you the opportunity to break out of your routine. Curious which bar will be overtaken on Friday? Check the group’s Facebook page or its website, www.BostonGuerrilla.com.

Is the bar scene not really your thing? Looking for something to do that won’t break the bank? Come over to my neighborhood in Boston’s South End to participate in First Friday. This event which runs from 5:00pm – 9:00pm at 450 Harrison Avenue allows you to walk through the many working art studios, view art and artisan crafts and chat with the artists. Its a great way to mingle and meet people and after you are done, there are literally a half dozen restaurant options within 2-3 blocks to either grab dinner or enjoy some apps and cocktails.

SoWa ManSwap Sunday

SoWa Open MarketManSwap returns to the SoWa Open Market this Sunday. Guys bring your gently used clothing and accessories, for each item you bring you’ll get a swap ticket to exchange for another item.

South End rumor mill: Immaculate Conception and Sibling Rivalry

GTI PropertiesThe South End rumor mill is grinding fast and furious these days.  Earlier this year SoWa Boston confirmed GTI Properties purchased the Jesuit Urban Center and the Immaculate Conception Church on Harrison Avenue.  Unconfirmed reports suggest that GTI Properties plans to convert these two 19th century structures into 80 apartments.

In addition to news about GTI Properties latest development, rumor has it that a Mexican restaurant will soon be opening in the space formerly occupied by Sibling Rivalry on Tremont Street in the South End.

sibling-rivalry

At this point, this is only an unconfirmed rumor but it is one that I’ve now heard from two different restaurant owners in the South End. Questions remain who may be behind the new restaurant, but if it is true this extends a streak of Mexican restaurants opening in Boston that I thought had run its course.  This would be the first second (sorry El Centro!) Mexican restaurant to open in the South End and be just two blocks from Masa, a southwest bar and grill. If the rumors prove true, the new restaurant could give both El Centro and Masa a run for their money.

SoWa Open Market reopens today

SoWa Open Market Opening Day

The SoWa Open Market has returned this weekend after a winter hiatus.  This year’s market has expanded and now includes 110 indie designers and artists at 460 Harrison Avenue; more than 75 specialty food and farm vendors at 500 Harrison Avenue; and 30 food trucks serving up all sorts of good eats at 540 Harrison Avenue.  The market will run every Sunday from 10am – 4pm through the end of October.

SoWa Art Walk Sunday

PrintThe city of Boston has so many events going on Sunday one’s head could spin trying to see and do everything.  However, if you end up in or near the South End, in addition to the Oyster Festival and the SoWa Open Market, from 11AM to 6PM on Sunday is the SoWa Art Walk. If you’ve never attended, come down and check it out; support the local art scene – I think you’ll be impressed.

More information here, www.sowaartwalk.com.

SoWa Open Market returns next Sunday

Boston SoWa MarketBoston’s SoWa Open Market starts next Sunday, May 5th and according to the organizers, the market will be bigger than ever, featuring 110 indie designers and artists + 30 food trucks + 75 specialty food and farm vendors.  Mark your calendars, the SoWa Open market is every Sunday from 10am – 4pm through the end of October. More information on the market  can be found here.

SoWa Open Market expands

sowa-open-marketThe SoWa Open market will start its 10th season in the South End in a few weeks and the growing popularity of this Sunday market is evident with news that it is expanding yet again.  According to mysouthend.com, the Farmer’s Market, which only joined the SoWa Open market a couple of years ago will double in size hosting 60 vendors of specialty foods and fresh produce each week.  Additionally, 25-30 food trucks will be on hand each Sunday serving all sorts of foods and treats.

SoWa Open market is held each Sunday starting in May and running through October from 10am – 4pm at 460 Harrison Avenue. More information is available on their website at, www.sowaopenmarket.com.

Mitchell Gold pop up store opens in South End

Mitchell Gold + Bob WilliamsLate in 2012 Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams opened their newly expanded furniture store which doubled the floor space of their original storefront.

So I was surprised to see that Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams have opened a sizable Pop Up furniture store at 520 Harrison Avenue near the intersection of Harrison and Randolph Street.   According to the sales rep I spoke to the store will remain here in SoWa for the next few months and they are open from 10am – 6pm daily. Unfortunately, I did not get a phone number, but you may contact their flagship store in the South End for more details at 617-266-0075.Mitchell Gold Pop Up Store

Winter in Boston

Harrison Avenue

Click on image to enlarge

I woke up this morning to look out at a blustery day filled with snow blowing up and down Harrison Avenue in Boston’s South End.

This is a view from my fourth floor apartment; to the left you can see Harrison Avenue heading toward E. Berkeley Street and to the right is a view of the BSC South End gym and Gaslight restaurant. Hard to believe that spring technically starts in approximately 30-days.

Cinquecento rolls out weekend brunch menu

CinquecentoStarting this weekend, you will have another option for brunch as Cinquecento opens to serve patrons from 10am – 3pm on Saturday and Sunday. The menu which is posted on their website here, is divided into pastries, smaller first plates, eggs, salads and pastas; all very reasonably priced it would appear.

According to the press release, Cinquecento’s brunch menu will include savory Italian dishes like truffled polenta with poached eggs, grilled steak and eggs with Pecorino biscuits, as well as sweeter options like crepes with whipped lemon ricotta and native honey, ricotta fritters and sugar donuts.

You can call to make a reservation at (617) 338-9500.

Boston Chops in the South End

Boston Chops South EndRecently I chatted with the people over at Boston Chops.  Rumors of their opening still remain unconfirmed, but waitstaff has already started training so hopefully the wait is nearly over.  When the doors open, Boston Chops hours will be 4pm to 1am; serving dinner from 5pm to midnight – daily.  Boston Chops will also be open for  brunch on Saturday and Sunday from 10am to 3pm, but I was told brunch will not be available immediately.

The menu is either not finished or when I spoke to them they wanted to keep the information private. I was told the menu focuses on allowing patrons options not often associate with steak houses. For example, you will be allowed to choose your cut of steak for their signature steak frites and you will be served unlimited fries.  While that sounds delicious, when I asked about prices I was told Boston Chops is an “urban steak bistro” with approachable prices. Huh? I have absolutely no idea what that means.  However, if Chef Coombs restaurant Deuxave in the Back Bay is any indication, main plates could range from  $31 to $39; let’s hope Coombs opts for a more affordable price point here in the South End so I can visit more often.

Patrons of the previous restaurants in this space will remember a very dramatic interior.  Boston Chops brings a completely different look and feel to the space, using dark woods, burgundy tones and heavy unfinished steel. The 30-seat bar and a large lighting fixture designed to look like chandeliers from Burgundy France will provide a sophisticated vibe.  Construction was still on-going when I wrote this post earlier in the week, but I have faith it will look beautiful and will be a fantastic (and welcome) addition to the neighborhood.

You can stay up to date on the latest information about Boston Chops by liking their Facebook page here.

SoWa Open Market closes for season

The SoWa Open Market and the  Farmer’s Market which opened this spring officially closed today at 4PM.

The market which draws thousands each weekend will take a hiatus during the winter months and be back in the spring of 2013. I’ll miss having this just outside my condo and look forward to its return in May 2013.

Restaurant review: BoMA Restaurant and Bar

After more false starts than an entire NFL season, BoMA Restaurant + Bar finally opened their doors to the public last week.  The renovation of the space is dramatic and exudes a warm and cozy vibe.  Dark colors contrast with the exposed brick and oversized, unique chandeliers that provide a relaxing environment to meet for drinks or grab dinner.BoMA Restaurant and Bar

The dinner menu at BoMA has sixteen options including “Small Plates” which is how Chef Bussell describes appetizers; these range from $8-$12.  The menu also includes three options referred to as “Lighter Fare”, but think “pub grub” since it includes food like their burger with duck fat french fries.  Lastly, there are six “Large Plates” ranging from $20-$27.

BoMA Restaurant and BarWe started our dinner with the roasted beets and goat cheese salad $11 and roasted clams and chorizo $12. Both were very satisfying, but I preferred the clams and chorizo with my ale.  Beer lovers note BoMA has 16 craft beers on draft that will rotate with the seasons.  Below you can see we opted for the comfort food listed in the “Lighter Fare” portion of the menu.  The Fish-n-Chips is $15 and the BoMA burger is $14.  Both hit the spot and I predict will be some of the restaurant’s best sellers.BoMA Restaurant and Bar

Earlier this month I was invited to try their menu and we ordered the Chestnut Ravioli, Duck Confit, Rabe in Pistachio Cream ($24) and Grass Fed Hangar Steak, Texas Hash, Greens in Chili Garlic Butter ($26); read here for more about these tempting meals.

As mentioned above, BoMA is located in the South End at 1415 Washington Street across from The Cathedral of the Holy Cross.  Although BoMA was not taking reservations this past weekend you can call ahead at (617) 536-2662.

BoMa on Urbanspoon

American Field pop up market

Boston American FieldThis weekend, Ball and Buck will be hosting the inaugural “American Field” All American Menswear pop up market at the Power Station at 540 Harrison Avenue in the South End’s SoWa district.

More than 50 vendors will be showcasing, and selling, their Made in USA products. Food trucks will be serving great eats and it appears there will even be a beer garden featuring Local Micro Breweries.

540 Harrison Ave, Saturday & Sunday Oct 20 – 21

More information about the event here, www.americanfield.us

South End development underway

A few weeks ago I mentioned on my blog the city of Boston had approved a new hotel and residences to be built just a few blocks from my home.  I am so happy to hear that space currently used as a parking lot near Interstate 93 will be redesigned and add space for residents and commercial purposes.

I have paired a photo from Google Maps with the image of the proposed development offered by the Boston Redevelopment Authority.  The $165  million dollar project will include 3-story parking garage, 19-story residential tower, and a 11-story hotel that has 325 “micro-rooms” (I have no idea what a micro room is but I don’t care since I live two blocks away and hopefully will never need to make use of the rooms).

This development happens to be next to the neighborhoods largest redevelopment plan that is currently underway called the Ink Block (shown above). The  project revitalizes 6 acres of land previously owned and occupied by the Boston Herald Newspaper.  The Ink Block plans propose multiple buildings of mixed use space with more than 470 rental residential units, retail space (including a 50,000 square foot Whole Foods) and 400+ below ground parking lot.