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.
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).
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.
You can follow this account on Instagram here, instagram.com/sowabos.
Do you like this weekly post? Check out previously featured IG accounts here.
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.
Unfamiliar 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.
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
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.
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 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
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.
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.
In 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.
It seems like each year the SoWa Farmer’s Market gets better. The variety and quality of vendors is excellent and although it can definitely add up (no bargains at this market) it is my favorite place to shop for groceries.
Although the market is open both Saturday and Sunday (the market expanded to Saturdays for the first time this year), one of my favorite vendors, Valicenti Pasta Farm in Hollis, NH is only at the market on Sundays so I generally shop then to pick up one or two (and sometimes three) packages of their homemade pasta. If you’ve never splurged to purchase fresh made pasta (and I don’t mean fresh made pasta that has been sitting in a grocery store chain freezer for a week), then you are really missing out. The way these pastas absorb the flavors of the sauce puts dry pasta to shame. If you live in the area and have never ventured over to the SoWa Farmer’s Market, make it a point to check it out. All the vendors come from area farms and the selection is really excellent.
SoWa Farmer’s Market is open Saturday & Sunday from 10AM-4PM through October 2017, but note that Valicenti Pasta Farm is only there on Sundays.
This 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).