SoWa Open Market is each Sunday, 11:00a.m. – 3:00p.m. at 500 Harrison Ave.
After a 6-mos hiatus, the SoWa Open Market returns to 500 Harrison Avenue this Sunday. This year’s market includes the artisan, farmer’s and vintage markets. Spring Brook Farms, The Herb Lyceum, When Pig’s Fly Bakery, and Blackbird Doughnuts are a few of the 20 vendors who will be there every week. Here is a full list of vendors participating in this year’s Farmer’s Market.
In addition to the markets, many of the galleries and studios along Thayer Street will be open to the public. However, due to health and safety regulations, the market will initially open without the beer garden and food trucks but check back for updates later in the season.
The 2021 SoWa Open Market hours are Sunday from 11am – 3pm (Vintage Market 11am – 4pm) Sunday, May 2, 2021 through October 31, 2021.
For more information about the individual markets and safety protocols put in place to ensure everyone’s health and safety, visit their website, sowaboston.com/sowa-open-market.
Earlier this month it was reported on the Boston Restaurant Talk blog that SOWA Hospitality Group (a division of GTI, Inc.) would be opening a new French restaurant in the space formerly known as Gaslight.
The new restaurant called, Brasserie, will likely open the second weekend of May. Today, signage is being added to the 560 Harrison Avenue building and the parking lot is being freshly paved. Friends & Family events are scheduled for next week to get the staff and kitchen ready for a full opening and daily meetings are taking place with staff as the team readies to open.
I’m optimistic Brasserie will be successful because veteran restauranteur, Jeff Gates, has been overseeing the opening. SOWA Hospitality Group made the decision to make no discernable modifications to the space so Brasserie looks like a Gaslight reboot rather than a new restaurant, but perhaps that was the intention all along. Regardless, it will be good to see the lights come back on and the patio once again full of people.
The restaurant industry was hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic. By September 2020, WBZ-TV reported that 20% of all restaurants in Massachusetts had closed for good. Spring 2021 has reversed those trends as many restaurants come out of hibernation and news of new restaurant openings replaces the more depressing news of closures that we became accustomed to last year.
With an increased optimism comes new investment to bring life back to spaces that pre-pandemic were popular and profitable. Seizing this opportunity, GTI Properties has hired Jeff Gates to oversee the food and beverage operations at the SOWA Power Station, which is being converted into a special events space and to open and manage three new restaurants in SOWA – one of which will open next month.
Brasserie, located at 560 Harrison Avenue (formerly Gaslight) will open in May, according to a Boston Restaurant Talk blog post. If that timing is correct, a quick walk by suggests that not much will likely change in decor or design but Gaslight was a juggernaut so the key to Brasserie’s success will be staffing and management.
Roma 500 at 500 Harrison Avenue (formerly Cinquecento) will likely open later this year. Unlike Brasserie, significant renovations and remodeling are required. Roma 500 will have an enlarged outdoor dining patio and bar. No other South End restaurant has an outdoor bar, making this a unique (and welcome) addition to the neighborhood.
Finally, Pho on Thayer, at 460 Harrison (building B) will open in new space that was briefly used by Mohr & McPherson but is now vacant. Late last year Jeff Gates petitioned the city on behalf of GTI to transfer the Hungry I liquor license to Pho on Thayer so the restaurant will have a full bar.
Stay tuned for more details as they come available, I’ll be sure to share that information here.
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).
Sowabos is the Instagram account for the section of the South End we live. The account is filled with photos of events like the SoWa Open Market and the monthly First Fridays where the first Friday of each month the galleries and studios along Thayer Street at 450 and 460 Harrison Ave.
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).
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
Developers 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.
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.
7INK 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.
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.
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.
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.
It 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.Chef 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.
A 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.
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.