Category Archives: SoWa

OTTO Pizza to open in South End

A new pizzeria is about to open in the SoWa district of the South End neighborhood. The popular (and ever expanding) Portland Maine-based pizzeria, OTTO Pizza, will be opening at the 345 Harrison Avenue apartment complex (located across from the Ink Block in the South End).

No opening date has been shared, but I’m looking forward to the addition to the neighborhood. Pizzerias provide a more affordable dining and take out alternative in the South End, and this neighborhood needs more “fast, casual dining options”. As a result, I think OTTO Pizza will find a great deal of success filling this underserved and under-represented dining niche once it opens.

SoWa Power Station and Pho on Thayer (new restaurant) seek liquor licenses

SoWa Market Food Truck

GTI Properties had Jeff Gates (former parter of The Aquitaine Group) speak at last week’s East Berkeley Neighborhood Association (EBNA) – formerly known as the Old Dover Neighborhood Association. He shared GTI’s plans for two interesting projects; a new restaurant called Pho on Thayer at 530 Harrison Ave. and converting the long abandoned Power Station 540 Harrison Ave. into an event space.

This week Jeff will again be speaking on behalf of GTI at a Virtual Abutters Meeting on Thursday, December 10th at 6PM, seeking approval for the transferance of two all-liquor licenses for these properties. Jeff shared some preliminary sketches of the proposed Asian restaurant, Pho on Thayer that included decor, layout and design. I assume no plans have been created for the Power Station since none were shared but you can check out the progress on Instagram, here.

If approved, both projects would bring life to commercial space that has been mostly vacant and unused. However neighbors had questions about noise and traffic at last week’s EBNA meeting. If you live in the neighborhood and have questions about either project you can join the Virtual Abutters Meeting (info below).

Virtual Abutters Meeting
6PM Thursday, December 10th
WebEx: https://bit.ly/2JEBANe
Dial In: 408.418.9388
Access Code: 179 762 8102

South End Stroll

The South End Business Alliance (SEBA) and South End Local have partnered to create a “multi-date” 2020 Holiday Stroll and with so many local and small businesses struggling I’m hoping more people will come out to buy local this year and show the South End businesses some love.

South End Stroll
December 3-5, 2020
List of Participating Shops / Businesses

More than 90 local businesses and working artists will be opening their doors (of course there will be strict adherence to state guidelines and everyone must wear a mask and observe social distancing protocols).

Underground GetDown is June 29th

Get Down at the Underground FREE public party at Ink Block on June 29 is being hosted at the Underground at the Ink Block park that is under the I-93 expressway. The event is being hosted to celebrate new murals in the park that are done by street artists, Dana Woulfe (Boston), GoFive (Boston), Greg Lamarche (NY), Indie184 (NY), Marka27 (NY/Boston), Matthew Zaremba (Boston), Muro (Spain), and Silvia Lopez Chavez (Boston).

RSVP for your Free tickets or to purchase VIP 21+ tickets here

This is a FREE event but there is a 21+ VIP area that you can reserve tickets for now. Early bird access to these tickets provides a slight discount if purchased on or before Sunday, June 23rd.

South End ParkUnfamiliar with the Underground at the Ink Block park? Learn more here. You can learn more about the featured artists, here. Check out my post about this cool park check out my post from September 2017, South End’s newest park Underground Ink is open.

SoWa Open Market returns this Sunday

Photo courtesy of SoWa Open Market

Starting this Sunday the SoWa Open Market will return, kicking off its 16th season on Sunday, May 5th. The market will be open every Sunday through October and will include over 175 artisans, farmers and food trucks in the trendy section of the South End, referred to as SoWa. The market is hosted in the parking lots between 460 – 540 Harrison Ave.

Photo courtesy of SoWa Open Market

This season will feature the return of the SoWa Beer Garden. Created in partnership with Craft Collective. Each week a different local brewer will take over the taps. Brewers will include Fiddlehead Brewing Company, SingleCut Beersmiths, Finback Brewery, Banded Brewing and many more. Special events are scheduled throughout the season; one which will be happening soon is the Mother’s Day rosé pop-up with The Urban Grape. In addition there will be plenty of  live music, lawn games, and shopping.

SoWa Open Market
Every Sunday through October
10AM – 4PM
460 – 540 Harrison Avenue

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

 

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.

SoWa real estate boom in Boston’s South End

The Boston Sun reported the amount of development allowed along the Harrison-Albany Corridor in the South End has far exceeded what had been planned, and it is forcing them to revisit the traffic and infrastructure models put into place in 2012.

The Quinzani’s project, the Harrison Albany Project and the 345 Harrison project (which is now open) were all projects that took the City by surprise.  Those projects combined, resulted in 32% more development than had been anticipated in 2012, and account for approximately 1,900 new apartment / condominium units. The crazy thing is that figure doesn’t even include the 250 unit building that the Ink Block announced earlier this month called The Ollie on the corner of Albany and Herald Street. That is a lot of development for what essentially is a 6 block corridor at the edge of the South End.

New South End development: 7INK by Ollie

National Development7INK by Ollie is a 14-story residential building that developers are saying will include 250 shared suites and micro-studios. Scheduled to open in 2020, Ollie will be Boston’s  first all inclusive, co-living development. Ollie will be located at the corner of Herald and Albany Streets on the former site of the Independent Taxi Operators Association building in the north east corner of the Ink Block.

The building will provide a full range of services, unique community engagements and shared amenity spaces. The development will have additional perks such as coming furnished and receiving complimentary weekly cleaning with fresh linens and towels as well as bath amenities.

For more information about the new residential building proposed by National Development visit their website at, ollie.co/boston.

This weekend: First Fridays and the SoWa Art Walk

SoWa Art Walk

By Evan Rosenberg || 450 Harrison Avenue – Artist Studio #307A 

This weekend celebrate and explore Boston’s most vibrant arts community at the Annual SoWa Art Walk. Make the most of this two-day event on your own, with friends or even as a date – it’s free to peruse and makes for a great opportunity to  see Boston’s creative economy up close. Perhaps the best date option is perusing studios and galleries this Friday as part of “First Fridays” where each month artist studios and galleries welcome people from 5 – 9PM.

I’d also like to give my friend and Boston-area artist, Evan Rosenberg a shout out and encourage you to stop by and visit his debut showing from his current series, Therapy, which will be at Abigail Ogilvy Gallery’s 450 Harrison Ave showroom on the 3rd floor in studio #307A.

Did you know the SoWa Art & Design District has more than 300 working artists studios, and is the largest concentration of contemporary art galleries in the city? Plan on coming out either Friday evening for First Fridays or for the SoWa Art Walk on Saturday and Sunday.

SoWa Open Market opens on May 6th

SoWa Open Market returns on Sunday, May 6, 2018

In four weeks the SoWa Open Market 15th season will open and this year the organizers have announced a new beer hall and taproom, housed in the iconic SoWa Power Station will be a part of the market every Sunday, from May 6 through October 28, 2018. Partnering with the Craft Collective, more than 60 curated “adult beverages” from local breweries will be featured in this year’s “SoWa Beer Barn”. In addition to great beer, there will also be lawn games, live music, yoga classes, and lots of food trucks.

In addition to the new beer hall and food trucks located by the Gaslight parking lot, further up the street the Market will host their weekly farmer’s market as well and continue to feature artisans every Sunday, May 6 – October 28, 2018 from 10 AM – 4 PM.

More information about the SoWa Open Market

Which restaurant will open first in the South End in 2018

south end diningIt is hard to say which restaurant will be the first to open in Boston’s South End in 2018 but it is interesting that two contenders are restaurants that focus on cuisine south of the Mason-Dixon line, Southern Proper and Bootleg Special. 

While Boston has an Italian or French restaurant on what seems like every corner, the city has relatively few restaurants that seek inspiration from the South and even fewer that do it well.South End diningChef Jason Cheek will be opening his restaurant, Southern Proper, at 600 Harrison Avenue in  The Girard relatively soon, considering the space has signs saying “Opening Winter 2018”. The new space will include more than 1,500 square feet of dining, bar space and patio seating.

If Cheek’s name rings a bell it might be because he has a distinguished career working at several excellent restaurants including The Maiden, Sam’s at Louis,  Coppa and Toro to name just a few.

south end restaurant, Stephen ChanA restaurant that looking to open even before Southern Proper is the traditional style Louisiana seafood boil, called Bootleg Special, owned by the former Castle Square resident, Stephen Chan. The restaurant’s menu will include items like crawfish poutine, po’boys and beignets.

Southern Proper hopes to get a live music license, which I hope they can get – this city needs more places that offer live music – not fewer and their location on the corner of Tremont and Herald Street means there are very few residents who could / should be impacted.

It is interesting to note that both of these restaurants constitute new space for the South End, adding to the dizzying number of new restaurants that have opened in this tiny downtown neighborhood.

In the case of Southern Proper, it is going into a new mixed-use residential space that previously was a parking lot in SoWa and in the case of Bootleg Special, to my knowledge the space was never a restaurant; previously it had been a dog daycare center.

14-story co-living residential building proposed at Ink Block

Ink block, south end real estate

Rendering via Elkus Manfredi Architects

Newton-based National Development is the real estate developer that built the Ink Block. Earlier this week they proposed building a 14-story residential building on a sliver of land along Albany Street that would either be a part of or abut the Ink Block. The developer describes the potential new building as a 245 “co-living, multifamily” residential building that would be marketed towards Millennials.

The development is being marketed as micro-apartments with many units smaller than 400 square feet that also offers organized social activities (e.g. regular wine tastings, sightseeing tours, etc…) designed to help bring residents together. According to the article on Curbed Boston, the apartments are marketed more as places to sleep, shower and cook the odd meal. Such a set up has zero appeal to me, but I can see how someone who is new to town or is rarely home may like this sort of set up. The project still needs Boston Planning and Development Agency approval. Stay tuned.

South End’s newest park Underground Ink is open

South End ParkIn case you missed it, a new (and very cool) park officially opened in the South End this past weekend. Located under the I-93 overpass by the Ink Block, it shows how creatively the city is thinking and how space once unused and unsafe can be transformed.

I first wrote about the park called Underground at the Ink Block or Underground Ink for short in August in this post. Since then, finishing work was done and street artists from all over the United States including Los Angeles, Miami, New York City and Boston were invited to come and bring life to the concrete ramp walls that define this urban park. The developers behind the neighboring Ink Block, National Development, will manage the new park.

Below are photos that I took while enjoying the opening party on Saturday afternoon. When you get a chance I’d recommend you check it out. You can also like the park’s Facebook Page to learn more about upcoming events.

InkUndergroundBos

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SoWa Art Walk is May 6-7

Boston South End Art WalkThis coming weekend, Saturday, May 6 and Sunday, May 7  be sure to check out the annual SoWa Art Walk from 11:00AM to 5:00PM both days.  The art walk will coincide with the SoWa Open, Vintage and Food Market which is now also open both Saturday and Sunday.

The SoWa Art Walk is really an amazing and fun way to spend a few hours of your day perusing art in a variety of mediums and includes hundreds of local artists and artisans (many in their studios located at 450, 460 and 600 Harrison Avenue,  35, 49 and 59 Wareham Street and 46 Waltham Street).