Category Archives: South End

South End Power Station to become event space

GTI PropertiesLast week GTI Properties in the South End issued a press release, sharing plans for the Power Station which opened in 1896 but fell into disrepair in the last century as the neighborhood and much of downtown Boston languished. However, in recent years, it has served as a parking garage and on occasion as a special event venue like my photo from Illuminus Boston in 2014 shows.

After the SoWa Winter Festival concludes renovations are expected to commence, converting this historic building into an open-concept event space, providing the South End (and Boston) with one of the coolest places to host an event. The renovations, which will start in mid December, will retain all the elements that give the building its charm – the vaulted ceilings, massive windows and “the industrial brick and beam glamour”.  The renovations will bring additional comforts like bathrooms, heat, running water and more.

With ample parking available, its proximity to both I-93 and the Mass Pike and just a short 10 minute walk from the Orange and Red lines on the MBTA, one can expect this will become a popular venue for many events so stay tuned. As I learn more details, I’ll be sure to keep you posted.
GTI properties

 

Union Pizza gets ready to open in South End

Sadly this is merely a placeholder to get your attention and not Union Park Pizza

This past weekend the paper covering the windows for Union Pizza – a new flatbread pizzeria that has moved into the space previously occupied by Harry O’s at 1405 Washington Street – had been taken down.

The husband and wife team behind Union Pizza said that they will serve flatbread and more (the menu was still being finalized when I had the chance to talk to them last weekend). They hope to have a soft opening this weekend so if you have a chance, swing by and introduce yourself. The remodeled space includes a beautiful new pizza oven, a cozy bar counter and seating.

Hopefully Union Park Pizza’s Instagram account will soon share more about their impending opening.

Buona fortuna Union Pizza

Best places to eat in Boston’s South End

Sergio and I love the Mousaka at Kava Neo Taverna

Recently I was reading a post on Eater Boston that provided a host of suggestions on where to eat if you were visiting Boston and it got me to thinking about some of my favorite places to go out in the South End. Below are my suggestions on places to try. I’d be curious to get your thoughts and opinions on my picks and which places you might suggest.

Best South End Brunch: Boston Chops
There are so many options for places to enjoy a Sunday brunch in the South End, but in my mind, nowhere is better than Boston Chops. They easily make the best Bloody Mary in the neighborhood and the menu will appeal to everyone.

Best South End Cheap Eats: Anoush’ella
This Lebanese / Armenian restaurant is such a welcome addition to the neighborhood. They have proven you can have a thriving restaurant business in the South End and not need to charge $20 and $30 plates. Anoush’ella is easily one of my favorite go-to, casual dining options in the South End.

Best South End Coffee Shop: SE Buttery
In my opinion, the Equator coffee that the Buttery serves is the best in the neighborhood. Combine the excellent coffee with tasty treats and cozy setting and you have the perfect coffee shop for grabbing a cup of joe on the go or to meet with friends to catch up.

Best South End “Date Night” Restaurant: Kava Neo Taverna 
The food that comes out of the Greek restaurant Kava is consistently excellent. Take advantage of their sidewalk patio when it is open.  I love their grilled octopus and Sergio is addicted to the Mousaka.

Best South End Fine Dining: Mistral
There is no other restaurant I am more comfortable suggesting when people say they want to go out and splurge or celebrate than Mistral. The restaurant’s service and food is incredibly consistent. If money is tight but you want to treat yourself grab a seat at their bar, order a glass of wine and flatbread.

Best South End Friends Night Out: Beehive
The Beehive has a little bit of everything to offer; al fresco dining on their patio in good weather; a fun bar; and live entertainment. The funky vibe of the place and good food makes it a great place to connect with friends. Do yourself a favor and order a plate of their addictive fall off the bone baby back pork ribs.

Best South End Lunch: Orinoco and Mela
Both Orinoco and Mela are two of my favorite places to grab lunch in the South End. The Venezuelan restaurant, Orinoco, lunch menu is unique to the neighborhood and is a standout. Definitely order the Pepito de Costillita – the ribs will melt in your mouth. And let’s face it the Indian buffet at Mela is so good you’re going to overeat and there is nothing you’ll be able to do about it so make plans to get to the gym later in the day.

Most Underrated Restaurant in the South End: Elephant Walk
Elephant Walk is one of my favorite places to eat – full stop. The menu is unique to the neighborhood; evenly divided between Cambodian, French and a fusion of the two cuisines. When you go, definitely try the Nataing (appetizer) and Khar Saiko (dinner) – trust me.

Best South End Newcomer: Burro Bar South End
Few places have made me happier to visit than the Burro Bar which opened earlier this year. I love everything about this place from the layout which includes a large bar and lounge space with comfy couches to their Monday night fajita specials (which you should definitely try).

Best South End Small Plates: Toro and Myers + Chang
The South End has so many small plate restaurants it was difficult to narrow this down to just two options but both these restaurants continue to impress, which is obvious from the crowds who flock to Toro (a delicious Spanish tapas restaurant) and Myers + Chang (a pan-Asian small plates), seven days a week.

Best South End Treats & Sweets: Flour and Blackbird Doughnuts
The original Flour bakery opened on Washington Street and now has seven locations. After Chef Joanne Chang beat Chef Bobby Flay on national TV, Flour’s sticky buns took on legendary status but my favorite item is their coconut cream pie. Additionally, Blackbird Doughnuts which opened a few years ago has proven to be so successful that they now have three locations; my favorite is the chocolate old fashioned – give it a try and tell me what you think.

What do you think? I’d love to hear what are your “go to” restaurants in the South End. Share your favorite places – all are welcome to comment.

South End named one of the 50 coolest neighborhoods in the world

BostonThe British travel group, Time Out, has included Boston’s South End in their annual listing of the 50 coolest neighborhoods in the world.

Clocking in at #48 in the world (according to Time Out), the South End joins Highland Park – Los Angeles, the West Village – NYC, West Loop – Chicago, Hayes Valley – San Francisco and Central District – Seattle as the other American city neighborhoods to receive the distinction.

Described in the write up as a once neglected neighborhood that locals would do their best to avoid now the South End “has become the city’s artistic hub, with dozens of galleries and design shops that wouldn’t be out of place in any of the world’s culture capitals.

You can decide for yourself where you think Boston’s South End should fit into any list of “coolest neighborhoods” but I’m inclined to agree with the distinction that Time Out recognizes and hope the South End (and the city) continue to work to make this a home for more artists in the future. You can read the full article and see what other neighborhoods were included in Time Out’s 50 coolest neighborhoods in the world.

New South End residential complex “The Smith”

south end residential project, Harrison Albany BlockDevelopers behind one of the largest new residential projects in Boston—a 650-unit apartment complex spread out over more than 3 acres of land between Albany Street and extending to Harrison Avenue officially broke ground and started construction last week on September 18th.

Formerly known as the Harrison/Albany project and now called The Smith , this development will include: 650 residential apartments; approximately 75,000 square feet of new and renovated office space; nearly 20,000 square feet of retail and cultural space; up to as many as 650 below ground parking spaces; as well as open space available to the public.

Bar Lyon opens in the South End

columbus hospitality group

Bar Lyon Bar Lyon/Facebook

The long awaited and highly anticipated opening of Bar Lyon happened this weekend. Bar Lyon is part of the Columbus Hospitality Group which includes such venerable establishments like Mistral, Ostra and Sorellina.

This may be the Columbus Hospitality Group’s tiniest restaurant with only 48 seats in the dining room and an additional 12 seats at the bar, but it has been eagerly anticipated for months. Chef and owner Jamie Mammano and executive chef Cameron Cieslak have crafted a dinner menu that includes soft-cooked omelets, roasted chicken, poached monkfish with Maine lobster and clams, salmon tartare, and steamed mussels as well as a few items dubbed “Lyon classiques”. One also expects that they will have an excellent wine list in keeping with Columbus Hospitality Group’s other restaurants.

Bar Lyon
1750 Washington Street
barlyon.com

The Revolution is the South End’s next boutique hotel

boutique hotel boston, The Revolution Hotel

Courtesy of MOUNT VERNON CO.

A new boutique hotel called The Revolution will be opening just a block away from The Alise Boston (formerly The Chandler Inn) on Berkeley Street in the South End. The local property company, Mount Vernon Company, announced they will turn the home of the former YWCA property at 40 Berkeley Street into a 164-room boutique hotel, which will be managed by Provenance Hotels.

The Mount Vernon Company initially purchased the property in 2014 but left it alone until construction started earlier this spring. The interior will be decorated with paintings by Boston artists, overlaid with the titles of songs by Boston music legends such as Aerosmith and Donna Summer.

The hotel will offer studio suites for business travelers, as well as triple and quad rooms with shared bathrooms for larger groups. “Premium King” accommodations will also be available with ensuite bathrooms with rooms starting at approximately $150 a night.

The property’s large courtyard is being redesigned to house an indoor-outdoor restaurant with the basement converted into a bar that will double as co-working space during the day. Stay tuned for more details.