Tag Archives: South End

Alexandra Hotel in South End approved

Rendering of renovated Alexandra Hotel

The decrepit Alexander Hotel on the corner of Washington Street and Mass Avenue may finally (after so many false starts) have the backing it needs to be restored to its former glory. Earlier this month the BPDA (Boston Planning and Development Agency) approved developer plans for the redevelopment of the historic Hotel Alexandra.

Above is a photo of what developers are proposing to do, which includes restoring the facade (see photo below for what it originally looked like). The developers will also include more floors so the building will go from five to thirteen stories and have approximately 150 hotel rooms as well as a ground floor restaurant and cafe space and a rooftop level bar / restaurant.

south end, historic south end

Alexandra Hotel – October 1899 | Source Wikipedia

The Hotel Alexandra was  built at the end of the 19th century; first opening their doors to the public in 1875. Despite its beautiful and distinctive look, the hotel began to fail in the first half of the 1900s and has been permanently vacant for more than twenty years.

112 Shawmut mixed use project gets financing

South End development, Shawmut Avenue/Washington Street Block Public MeetingI first wrote about this project in the fall of 2017 but since then with the exception of a public meeting held last spring, there has been very little news about the proposed mixed use complex that will span nearly 2 acres on the border of the South End and Chinatown. Little news until last week when the developers announced they had received $105 million in construction financing.

For those unfamiliar with this project the Shawmut Avenue/Washington Street Block project will include three new buildings and represents a collaborative effort between the developer and two Chinatown community organizations. All combined the project will include more than 500 residential units, 230 parking spaces as well as space to house two religious sanctuaries with combined seating for 1,130 people, a gymnasium, fitness rooms, offices, classrooms and meeting spaces for religious education, recreational and social services uses. The new buildings will also have new space for retail.

Alexandra Hotel public meeting is January 9th

south end, historic south end

Alexandra Hotel – October 1899 | Source Wikipedia

The Hotel Alexandra was  built at the end of the 19th century; first opening their doors to the public in 1875. Despite its beautiful and distinctive look, the hotel began to fail in the first half of the 1900s and has been permanently vacant since the early 1990s. The most recent owner, The Church of Scientology, bought the building in 2008, hoping to convert it into a local headquarters, but the property’s poor condition and lack of funds ultimately led the church to sell.

New owners have proposed bringing the historic building back to life as a boutique hotel. Their plans include making this into  a twelve story building, creating  space for a ground floor restaurant and café and a rooftop level bar/restaurant. They will also look to restore the hotel’s facade.  Want to hear more about the developers’ plans?  Attend the Wednesday, January 9th public meeting. You can also submit your comments here.

Alexandra Hotel Public Meeting
Wednesday, January 9th || 6:00 – 7:30PM
Boston Water & Sewer Commission Building
2nd Floor Training Room || 980 Harrison Avenue
For more info email Michael.A.Sinatra@Boston.gov

Revolution Hotel opens in South End

boutique hotel boston, independent hotel boston, south end hotelA 164-room boutique hotel called The Revolution, opened last week, in the former YWCA building at 40 Berkeley Street.

The hotel’s name and decor draws upon Boston’s pioneering past, in particular through artwork and music, which is quite obvious the minute you check out their website (link shared below), follow their Instagram Account, revolution_hotel or Twitter, revolution_bos.

The hotel offers shared rooms for the more budget conscious travelers. Some rooms right now start at just $100 / night, but these “quad rooms” (from the photo I saw here) are more reminiscent of an upscale hostel.  More traditional hotel rooms are also available for travelers like the King Room shown below.

The Revolution Hotel

boutique hotel boston, independent hotel boston, south end hotel

KIng Room at The Revolution Hotel – Boston

South End’s newest restaurant Shore Leave opens

south end, restaurant, polynesian, tikki bar

Photography by Sarah Storrer

Earlier this week Boston’s newest Tiki Bar and the South End’s latest watering hole / restaurant opened. Shore Leave opened to the public in new space beneath the CVS across from the Ink Block on Monday, November 19th. The entrance to this new restaurant is located down  a little side street between Washington and Harrison Avenue at 11 William E. Mullins Way.

Shore Leave
11 William E. Mullins Way
Dinner 5PM-11PM / Bar 5PM-1AM
shoreleaveboston.com

The owners of the delicious Italian restaurant, Bar Mezzana, are the people behind Shore Leave.  The subterranean location was originally expected to serve as storage for the CVS but as you can see from the beautiful photo from Eater Boston, the island decor makes you feel like you’re somewhere tropical. The cocktail menu offers drinks for the individual, couples as well as groups. And the food, as you might expect, has a distinct Asian / South Pacific flair, with options like Yellowfin Tuna Poke, Filipino BBQ Ribs and Dan Dan Wontons.

You may check out their menu by visiting their website (shared above) and can read more about the new restaurant in the recent article from Eater Boston.

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.