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.
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.
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).
Despite the ongoing pandemic, economic downturn, and social unrest, many of my neighbors in the South End are spreading holiday cheer with their creative fall and Halloween decorations.
The fall is always a beautiful time to be in Boston and this year’s efforts by my neighbors to embrace the season is appreciated by me and I’m sure many others. Below are some more photos of the creative expressions shared by neighbors embracing the fall and Halloween season. Take time to walk around the neighborhood and check out their creative decorations.
Bucking a trend of recent restaurant closures, I’m glad to write that this past Thursday Chef Michael Serpa opened his new seafood restaurant, Atlántico, in the South End at 600 Harrison in space formerly occupied by Southern Proper.
The seafood restaurant has a really interesting menu that is mostly comprised of Spanish & Portuguese tapas that is broken down into several sections including an oyster bar (what else would you expect from the chef behind Back Bay’s Select Oyster Bar), a larger selection of cold and hot and grilled tapas, and for those who are very hungry a large paella. Prices range widely, but the dinner and drink menu is currently available online, here.
The restaurant is open for dinner 7 days a week and according to the website weekend brunch on Sunday from 11am to 2pm. Café service will be available Monday to Friday from 7am to 2pm.
I’ve yet to check out the restaurant but do plan to see if the cafe is open this week to try some of their pastries, breakfast sandwiches and coffee.
Atlántico 600 Harrison Avenue 857-233-2898 || email@example.com
Hours of Operation Weekday café service 7AM – 2PM Dinner daily starting at 5PM Sunday brunch 11AM-3PM
At the height of the coronavirus epidemic in Massachusetts The Acquitaine Group Italian restaurant, Cinquecento, which was closed due to a statewide shutdown to flatten the curve with COVID-19 infections was flooded with approximately five feet of water from a water main break on Harrison Avenue.
Since the mid-April flood there has been a lot of activity to make the building (and surrounding buildings) habitable again but earlier this week the successful Italian restaurant with the beautiful patio announced that they will not reopen. Below is a photo of me at their Rosso Container Bar on their beautiful patio.
However, since I first wrote about this European-style coffee bar a lot has happened and I wanted to remind people about this great little cafe which may not be on your radar. Since reopening after the coronavirus lockdown, the cafe has updated its menu adding items like Iggy’s bagels (which yours truly just devoured) avacado toast and for those who like sweets some very tastey cookies.
At the moment MOD Espresso, is giving away their delicious cookies with the purchase of a coffee so for a little more than $2.00 you can get a great cup of coffee and a cookie (I’m partial to their oatmeal raisin).
485 Harrison Avenue
8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. (Mon – Sat)
10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. (Sun)
Welcome to the South End’s newest coffee shop, Mod Espresso, by stopping by and sampling some of their delicious La Colombe coffee. It is a personal favorite.
The chic cafe sits inside the Modern Relik home design showroom located at 485 Harrison Avenue. The European-style coffee bar, was developed by Michela Larson who locals may remember opened the very popular (and still missed) Italian restaurant, Rocca, in the South End. In addition to serving excellent coffee, Mod Espresso has a limited menu that includes sweets like cookies, cakes and pastry as well as some savory bites you can grab for lunch or snacks. The cafe will be expanding their hours in the weeks that follow but is currently open 7-days a week. Check out some photos of this chic new coffee shop on Harrison Avenue, courtesy of the Mod Espresso Cafe.
A new residential development has been proposed for 566 Columbus Avenue. The building which sits at the busy intersection of Mass and Columbus Ave was purchased earlier this year by New Boston Ventures, and the new owners have proposed redeveloping the site into a new six-story mixed use commercial and residential building (rendering shown above).
The proposed project (currently unnamed) would feature a community oriented ground floor with approximately 5,000 sf of commercial space that would include a social enterprise café with outdoor seating, an art gallery, and improved community space for the United South End Settlements, which has been in the existing building since the mid 1970s.
The proposed project would include 66 residential home ownership units, 11 of which would be reserved for artist live/work spaces, as well as 42 below-grade parking spaces. The proposal would seem to make much better use of the space as it exists today (see below).
Photo of La Canular in the South End from Boston Magazine
The former home to Sister Sorel reopened this past Wednesday as Le Canular, the South End’s newest wine bar. According to the article in Boston Magazine the wines will all be priced at $13 and there will be a limited menu that you can check out Wednesday through Saturday from 6 p.m.-midnight.
I’m happy to see the space reopen and wish Maslow and his team much luck. While I’ve enjoyed the food at its neighboring Whaling in Oklahoma, I still can’t shake the feeling that I’m sitting in Tremont 647. I hope the transformation from Sister Sorel to Le Canular is more successful.
Boston Magazine recently featured an article about a new Mexican restaurant that will open inside the Revolution Hotel. Cosmica Mexican Eatery & Bar will focus on “inventive Mexican street food” and include items like chorizo-queso jalapeno poppers and duck carnitas tacos with mole verde – sounds delicious.
The new restaurant will be managed by the successful Wildlife Hospitality team, who also run The Beehive in the South End and Harvard Square’s Beat Brew Hall. Although the article didn’t mention a live entertainment license, I would bet you can expect Cosmica to offer live music. The hotel pays tribute to Boston’s rich music history and it would be only fitting that this new venue help the city’s current generation of musicians thrive.
Cosmica currently says they expect to open in November, but after taking a quick walk by the property this past weekend, it looks like a lot of work still needs to be done so we will see. Stay tuned.
The title of this blog post was my response to Mark Bruso’s recent article in the Boston Business Journal, that asks that question. His article focuses on several reasons why he believes the South End is Boston’s next big thing.
He points out how centrally located the South End is as well as its proximity to major interchanges. Bruso further asserts that the South End is home to a highly skilled workforce (more so than any other downtown neighborhood) with “79% more healthcare workers and 52% more management professionals than the next best neighborhood”. Moreover, the neighborhood is projected to see a boom in office market space, that is expected to double over the next five years due to three developments: 80 East Berkeley St, 321 Harrison Ave and the huge BMC Exchange that will replace Boston’s Flower Market.
Unlike the near universal criticism leveled at the Seaport, which is defined by buildings best described as unimaginative, glass boxes with few public spaces – the South End maintains a distinctive look, known for its 19th century Victorian Bowfronts, Renaissance Revival, Italianate and French Second Empire row houses as well as beautiful parks and converted brick mills housing artists, small businesses and residences. But his most compelling argument in my mind really is the livability and quality of that life. He points out that this tiny downtown neighborhood is home to more than 120 eateries and 25 bars – making it a mecca for young professionals.
I agree with all of Bruso’s assertions and hope that if development does indeed take off the City will use those appealing traits outlined in his article to insist that developers make greater investment in building affordable housing (in this community), space for small businesses to thrive and better public transport.
Last Monday Black Jack Pasta Kitchen opened in the space formerly occupied by Morse Fish Co. at 1401 Washington Street. Their opening continues a trend of more affordable take out dining options that have been popping up through out the South End over the past 2-3 years.
Their menu is very approachable with hot and cold subs ranging from $8-$10, choose your own pastas range from $11 – $15 depending on your sauce and toppings and larger entrees range from $14-$16.
The menu provides a nice compliment to Union Pizza which is next door and recently opened after the Greek sub shop, Harry O’s closed. I’ve yet to try the food at Black Jack Pasta but their pasta, subs & garlic bread reviews on Yelp seem decent and will likely be a popular place for grabbing a quick dinner.
Black Jack Pasta Kitchen
1401 Washington Street – South End
11AM – 11PM daily
Heather and Colin Lynch of Bar Mezzana, Shore Leave, No Relation, and the soon-to-open Black Lamb brasserie on Tremont Street in the South End
The team behind the popular restaurants Bar Mezzana and Shore Leave / No Relation will be opening a third restaurant in the South End called Black Lamb in the space previously occupied by Stephi’s on Tremont Street, that closed earlier this year.
Located at 571 Tremont Street in the heart of the South End, Black Lamb is described as an “American brasserie” and will serve lunch, dinner, and weekend brunch. Although there are few details about the new restaurant, plans are for it to open later this summer.
You can follow their progress on their IG account, @blacklambbos. More information about Black Lamb from EaterBoston here.
I am both happy about this announcement and torn. Sergio and I are in between what I will refer to as the South End’s “Temptation Triangle” situated between the soon to open Tatte Bakery, South End Buttery Cafe and Flour.
Back in 2015 I hosted a blind croissant tasting to see who made the best croissants in the South End. At the time Cafe Madeline was the clear winner. I may need to try another tasting to see if Tatte can take the title away from the French cafe located on Columbus Avenue.
The Steven Cohen Real Estate Team has published their Spring 2019 South End Stakeholder’s report. Their report compiles data pertaining to the real estate market both locally and nationally.
The findings will not be a surprise but does help put the latest real estate boom in perspective. Below are a few of the findings that caught my attention.
Boston remains one of the most robust and expensive markets in the US. The city of Boston has a median listing price of more than $500,000 and prices are projected to grow by 4.6%.
Boston is growing faster than city planners expected (population estimate for Boston in 2030 will top 760,000 residents). In response Mayor Walsh wants to build 69,000 more units with more than 20% earmarked as “affordable units” for qualified buyers.
The South End was second to Southie for number of sales by neighborhood; 632 units were sold in 2018 vs. 598 in 2017.
The median sale price in the South End is now just under $1,000,000 at $990,000 in 2018 vs. $925,000 in 2017.
The South End continues to increase in cost which is both great news for home owners and disappointing if we want to remain a vibrant community. With prices continuing to rise, it seems less likely that we will meet our own commitment to be a community that welcomes everyone.
The South End’s revival is nothing short of amazing, but I would like to see this neighborhood become a place where more people from different walks of life have an opportunity to be a part of this amazing community and the spiraling cost of housing makes that less likely so the Cohen report is bittersweet to read.