The long-awaited Time Out Market is officially open in the historic Sears-Roebuck building at 401 Park Drive in the Fenway. The food and cultural hall opened on June 27, and features 15 eateries with food from Boston’s top chefs and restauranteurs and two full-service bars— all selected by Time Out magazine editors. With rows upon rows of communal tables, patrons can make new friends while enjoying tasty bites of everything from lobster rolls to chicken and dumplings.
“Time Out Market Boston brings a new and unique experience – the next great food and cultural destination – to the city and one of its greatest neighborhoods, The Fenway,” Time Out Market CEO Didier Souillat said in a press release. “We are incredibly proud that Boston’s most outstanding chefs have accepted our invitation to join Time Out Market – they have all been carefully chosen by our Time Out editors to bring the best of Boston under one roof and offer a true taste of the city. Our guests get to choose from over 100 fantastic dishes every day of the week from morning to night: whether guests are stopping by for breakfast to get coffee, smoothies or an acai bowl, enjoy seafood, mezze or pasta for lunch, or an evening of craft cocktails, pizza or culinary masterpieces with family and friends. It is our mission to democratize fine dining – we are making fine dining casual, and casual extraordinary.”
Restaurateurs and people alike are very excited about what the market has to offer. Originally opened in Lisbon, Portugal in 2014, the Time Out Market concept is expanding across the United States to cities like Miami, Chicago, New York, and Boston. Each location locally sources food and chefs to create an experience tailored to the city.
The Sun spoke to several vendor workers and market-goers at a pre-opening celebration on June 26. Caelan Huffman, a bartender at one of the bars, said that one of the most compelling things about Time Out Market is its locally sourced ingredients. He said that the craft cocktails are created using alcohol from Boston distillers. In addition to the craft cocktails, there is an array of 14 different local craft beers and two local craft ciders on tap from breweries like Night Shift Brewing Company in Everett and Idle Hands Craft Ales in Malden.
Noah Danoff of Union Square Donuts is thrilled to be an eatery at the market. With locations in Somerville, Brookline, and the Boston Public Market, Danoff said sharing a space in the Fenway with “such big names” was an honor.
“It’s a great opportunity to showcase our donuts in an iconic area of Boston,” he said. “We’re handcrafted donuts, and this is a space that reflects that.”
Danoff said that he has a signature Time Out Market donut in the works, but he couldn’t reveal any details other than it will include the iconic black and white colors of Time Out Market’s signs, and that it will incorporate elements of a traditional black and white cookie.
Danoff said the community aspect of the market is also something he’s proud to be a part of—strangers eating donuts will not be strangers anymore, he said, thanks to the expansive wooden tables that take up the middle potion of the 25,000 square foot hall. “Community is such a big thing,” Danoff said. “Food is community.”
Curious eaters worked their way around the room to try all the different options offered. The overall consensus was that the market is a great place to gather after work and meet new people, and some said it makes high end eating accessible to more people.
Mara Sassoon and Meaghan Glendon enjoyed Italian cuisine from James Beard Award-winning chef Michael Schlow. “We’re very excited,” Glendon said, calling the market a “new millennial playground.”
Eric Waller and Alex Grady tried food from Chef Peter Ungar’s Tasting Counter, as well as a variation on Craigie on Main’s signature burger, of which only 18 are made per night at its Cambridge location. Grady was especially excited about the burgers—she was glad to have more choices from a place that typically has such exclusive offerings.
While many at the pre-opening event lived or worked in the Fenway, others came from farther away. Renee Ross and Howard Pinstein live in Jamaica Plain, but were eager to come to the Fenway to check out the market. Ross said her niece was Nicole Eisenman, a contemporary artist who created sculptures that were revealed in 401 Park’s new green space last month.
“I think this is fantastic,” Ross said of the space. “It brings people together which really is wonderful.” Ross said she believes the market is a great place for people to “come out and have a nice evening.”
Whether you’re in the mood for Asian cuisine, seafood, Mediterranean fare, deli, or Italian, Time Out has something for everybody. But what about dessert? Don’t worry, those with a sweet tooth are not left out. Aside from Union Square Donuts, Time Out Market also offers treats from Gelato and Chill and George Howell Coffee.
Time Out Market will be open on Monday to Friday from 7:30am and Saturday and Sunday from 9 a.m. with breakfast items at some eateries; all other eateries open at 11 am. The market closes at 11pm Sunday-Thursday and midnight on Friday and Saturday. For more information and a full list of eateries, visit timeoutmarket.com/boston.