The fate of Hell’s Kitchen alum and Back Bay Harry’s owner Jason Santos’ restaurant, Blue Inc., his first post-Gargoyles on the Square haunt, has been speculated about for several weeks. That speculation is over, and you can test out the new waters yourself this Friday night.
The hush-hush friends-and-family mixer hosted by Broad Street Riot was held tonight, emboldening a new life into the space which GM and Creative Director Andy Kilgore (No. 9 Park, Stoddard’s, The Merchant) calls a “New England oyster bar and Atlantic coast cookery” replete with full raw bar that aims to rival the kind found at Neptune Oyster in size, if not in diversity.
“There will be a lot of New England sourced oysters, along with selections from the West Coast,” Kilgore said, adding, “and the crudo is not to be missed.”
The space itself is largely the same as Blue Inc., noting the stark difference in mood lighting (supplied by the metallic dome light fixtures overhead, as well as the nearly floor to ceiling “RIOT” signage at the end of the bar). Upon entering you’ll notice the half-wall separating the bar area and dining room has been removed giving it a tad more of a fluid feel. But the most visually striking addition is the accents of wood tables that were custom built out of a first-harvest of barge doors reclaimed from the USS Liberty, a dry-docked WWI vessel which also provided the wood for the new custom bar.
The kitchen will be helmed by Mark Christian McMann, a former chef de cusine at Dorchester’s Ashmont Grill, as well as Bistro Du Midi and Bergamont in Somerville. Expect Honey Fried Chicken and Waffles as well. Because they serve it.
The large print of 1960s swinging-London icon Twiggy previously adorning Blue Inc’s walls has been replaced with a cork-wall art installation festooned with hand-stenciled lyrics to the Mighty Mighty Bosstones agitator “Riot on Broad Street”. The song, as with the space, was named for the famed 1837 clash between Irish immigrants and American citizens that happened when “natives” attacked an Irish funeral procession for fallen Roxbury firefighters, ending with over a thousand brawlers in a Gangs of New York-style, Yankee-versus-Irish dust-up for the ages.
And if you can believe it, it had nothing to do with sports.
BROAD STREET RIOT. SOFT-OPENING THIS WEEKEND, 131 BROAD ST., BOSTON.
Dan is a freelance journalist and has written for publications including Vice, Esquire, the Daily Beast, Fast Company, Pacific Standard, MEL, Leafly, Thrillist, and DigBoston.