Last week the Ink Block announced that a new Capital One 360 Bank and Cafe would be opening soon to which I tweeted in response: The fact that Capital One has concluded (ahead of much of their competition) that banks are not exactly loved by everyone so they’ve started including coffee shops is a smart marketing move on their part but it is hard for me to cheer for another bank to open – even if that section of the neighborhood is underserved.
So I’d like to champion the news that a coffee shop, CUPPACOFFEE, (without the added baggage of a bank) will be opening in the Troy at 55 Traveler Street possibly as early as mid March. CUPPACOFFEE is an Australian coffee house which means they will also sell Aussie foods like meat pies, lamingtons, anzac cookies and other treats.
It appears as if Whole Foods at the Ink Block in the South End will be open for business starting Friday, January 9th at 10:00 AM. Local chefs will be making appearances the opening weekend including the likes of Joanne Chang-Myers.
Parking is available at the new grocery store and tours are even available this week to get a sneak peek at the newest (and largest) Whole Foods to open in Boston. You can follow them on Twitter for more updates @WFM_SouthEnd.
Despite the fact that I’m currently in Brazil, friendly tips from readers continue to help me keep you posted about life in the South End. Just as I was the first to share with you news about BoMA’s closing earlier this year, I’m happy to be the first to let you know the Elephant Walk South End quietly opened their doors for business this past Sunday evening. News of their opening came to me from two readers, Dave & Owings, who happened to be walking by the restaurant Sunday evening.
While the restaurant has not noted the opening on their website or facebook, and they are not taking reservations on Opentable.com yet, look for these updates in the days that follow. I will be in Brazil through the holidays so at this point I have no further details to offer, but if you do check out Elephant Walk let me know your thoughts about the décor, menu and food.
Congratulations to the owners of Elephant Walk. I want to welcome them to the neighborhood and wish them much success.
Elephant Walk – 1415 Washington Street – (617) 247-1500
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.
The annual SoWa Holiday Market is Dec 13 &14th. Never mind the fact that it is not in SoWa – perhaps they should rename this the South End Holiday Market?
If you like arts & crafts this is the place to be. The craft fair opens at 11 a.m. both days closing at 6 p.m. on Saturday and 5 p.m. on Sunday. Expect to find an array of indie goods, including: handbags, jewelry, pottery, letterpress stationery, silk-screened t-shirts, baby clothes, re-purposed wool accessories and more.
The SoWa Holiday Market is in the Benjamin Franklin Institute, at 41 Berkeley Street. Admission is $5. More information about the Holiday Market can be found on their website, www.sowaholidaymarket.net.
Big changes are in store for one of Aquitaine Group’s signature south end restaurants. Effective January 1, 2015 Union Bar & Grille, which first opened eleven years ago in the autumn of 2003 will close. Aquitaine Group, which owns Union will retain the space and reopen a new restaurant under a new name with a targeted opening for April 2015. There is no information about the new concept, menu or who will help run the re-branded space. However, the Aquitaine Group understands the competitive South End restaurant industry better than most and have an impressive track record.
A lot has changed since October 2013 when Union opened. They were one of the first restaurants in the emerging SoWa district of the South End. Despite the fact that earlier that year Wilkes Passage and Rollins Square had opened, the restaurant scene in the South End didn’t cross over Tremont Street with but a few exceptions. Union’s presence with their gourmet, house ground burger and 10k Tuna changed all that and shortly after more restaurants followed.
I have a lot of fond memories of Union but the restaurant has lost its way and newer restaurants nearby like The Gallows and Boston Chops have proven to be tough competition for a restaurant that has not been updated in over a decade. I look forward to the new space when it reopens in the spring of 2015 and wish them all the best.
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.