Building off the success of Bar Mezzana in the New York Streets area of the South End, restaurant partners Jefferson Macklin, Colin Lynch and Heather Lynch have signed a lease to occupy the basement retail space in the new 345 Harrison Ave. development – and they’re bringing as much Tiki to the hip hula as anyone can take.
Macklin and the Lynches have been the focus of much talk about their expansion to the new building, which is directly across the street from the 18-month-old Bar Mezzana, but details were unveiled at the Old Dover Neighborhood Association meeting on Tuesday night, Feb. 20, ahead of any major plans or liquor applications.
Macklin said it will be a bar concept with food and will have a South Pacific Tiki theme – dubbed at the moment ‘Shore Leave.’
“We feel the appropriate theme would be a Tiki bar,” said Macklin. “It’s time to have a little fun and go on a two-hour vacation in the neighborhood…When we started Bar Mezzana, we wanted to have multiple concepts within five years. That builds an economy of scale and lets you take care of employees that have been with you…We are very big believers in the neighborhood. We think the New York Streets has a very high ceiling with all of the tall buildings and development going on. We had an opportunity to sign a lease on the basement space and we did.”
The first floor retail for the massive new 345 Harrison Ave. building has been claimed by CVS Pharmacy, which most in the neighborhood have cheered as there aren’t any such services in the New York Streets or Old Dover areas. Macklin said CVS was going to use the basement for storage, but decided against it. That left them with an opportunity to lease the 4,200 square-foot., windowless space.
Colin Lynch will handle the menu, which will be Asian and traditional fare, with Heather Lynch concentrating on service, and the entire operation specializing in highly executed cocktails. There will be 116 sets in the operation with some private dining spaces.
“We do find that the South End needs a place to congregate and have a good time,” said Macklin. “We’re excited to be in the basement, and the CVS will be above us and will be able to block out any noise from the neighbors.”
Already, they have engaged a restaurant contractor to begin the build-out.
The partners said they would be pursuing a liquor license and have identified one to buy on the private market, but they need to move fast. They said the seller wants to get things moving fast, and they might have a hearing before the License Commission in March or April.
They said they would be coming back to Old Dover to seek their support when the licensing starts.
Macklin said they would be seeking a 2 a.m. license, but would follow the same path as Bar Mezzana and close at 1 a.m.
“We are of the opinion as an ownership that nothing really good happens after 1 a.m.,” he said.
They will also be seeking a live entertainment license to have light music or a DJ on some nights, but no stage will be there, and there will be no ticketed events.
The entrance would be at street level on Mullins Way rather than Harrison Avenue. The 345 Harrison developer hopes to open up the Harrison Avenue side of the development at the end of April, and Shore Leave hopes to have access to the space by May.
They expect to open, if all goes well, in September or October of this year.