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has anyone been to Mass Ave yet?

misssinclair Feb 4, 2011 10:59 PM

wondering if anyone has been yet

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  1. g
    grant.cook RE: misssinclair Feb 5, 2011 05:45 AM

    Yes, I drive up and down it most every day.. nice road, gets a bit congested though passing through Porter Square.

    1 Reply
    1. re: grant.cook
      Blumie RE: grant.cook Feb 5, 2011 06:34 AM

      I cross it all the time, usually in central sq, but avoid it due to the congestion.

    2. MC Slim JB RE: misssinclair Feb 5, 2011 07:33 AM

      You kidders!

      Given that this is a Lyons Group joint that seems pitched at a younger crowd, I'm not going in with high expectations of the food. Such places are best viewed as saloons and singles bars, as a rule (think Harvard Gardens). The focus is on burgers and fondue, the latter a curious choice, as it seems both datedly faddish and already adequately served by The Wine Cellar down the block.

      It's also an incredibly poor choice for a name: try finding its website. The cocktail list doesn't look as stupidly vodka-centric as I expected, so that's something. I'll give it a shot at some point, but if I'm looking for drinks in that neighborhood, the newly-awesome bar at Clio is much likelier to call to me.


      The Wine Cellar
      30 Massachusetts Ave., Boston, MA 02115

      Harvard Gardens
      320 Cambridge St, Boston, MA 02114

      3 Replies
      1. re: MC Slim JB
        misssinclair RE: MC Slim JB Feb 5, 2011 08:14 AM

        Hmmm. My friend went the other night and he is 38 and loved it. Is that still considered young these days because I would love that! He didn't even try the burger or the fondue, I think it's just something that urban daddy chose to write about. Name is definitely funny! I am going to check it out soon and will report back.

        1. re: misssinclair
          MC Slim JB RE: misssinclair Feb 5, 2011 08:36 AM

          I could be amiss in my (not having tried it) assessment, but I think the prices and cocktails are generally good clues to whether it's aimed at a more youthful crowd (which I define as 20-somethings) or not. Historically, that space has attracted that kind of crowd since Newbury Steak House closed, too. By contrast, Back Bay Social Club, another nearby Lyons Group venue that is also brand-new, seems tilted a little older. That's just me reading the tea leaves, and ownership's positioning doesn't always work to attract the crowd they hope for, anyway.


          Back Bay Social Club
          867 Boylston St, Boston, MA 02116

        2. re: MC Slim JB
          tatsu RE: MC Slim JB Feb 6, 2011 09:20 AM

          Very bad name. I thought Lord Hobo was a great name for the exact opposite, it's a unique search phrase.

          Lord Hobo
          92 Hampshire St, Cambridge, MA 02141

        3. p
          pathfinder RE: misssinclair Feb 5, 2011 07:33 AM

          I went to the soft opening for the restaurant. Though it was the first couple of nights and they were trying to iron out some food and service issues. The room is very cozy and comfortable, very inviting. The service in the dining room is very week. Most staff you can tell does not have that much experience. The bartenders seem to be the shining light in that department. The food had some hits and some misses. The menu is small plates meant to be shared and they come out when they are ready, so no coursing. This is great if you do not mind sharing with your dining companions. The kobe sliders with the quail egg was at the top of my list. If I were to go back it would be to sit at the bar and have a snack.

          5 Replies
          1. re: pathfinder
            MC Slim JB RE: pathfinder Feb 5, 2011 07:37 AM

            I see that they have a working fireplace, pathfinder: did you notice if that thing was blazing? If so, that would be a plus in my book.


            1. re: MC Slim JB
              pathfinder RE: MC Slim JB Feb 5, 2011 07:45 AM

              It was blazing. If you have ever entered the previous restaurant Match, it is the same fireplace. This website picture kind of gives you a glimpse of what it looks like http://calendar.boston.com/boston-ma/...

              1. re: pathfinder
                rchudy RE: pathfinder Feb 5, 2011 10:11 AM

                I went the first week, while the flavors aren't completely original, Chef Dixon has always done a masterful job in the execution department. I'm not sure why it was built around "fondue and sliders" via online media people, it's really just small plates that happens to have fondue and sliders on the menu. Everything I tried was delicious that night, and enjoyed the space very much. Did have some issues with the bartender who took way too long to fix a drink, but the waitstaff was attentive.

                1. re: rchudy
                  Swankalicious RE: rchudy Feb 5, 2011 06:51 PM

                  I haven't been yet, but I find it hard to believe that a fondue restaurant is going to make a go of it in that location with another fondue spot just down the street. Unoriginal food concept plus unoriginal name doesn't scream "must try!" to me, although I'm hoping (as per reports) that they do more than fondue and sliders well.

                  1. re: Swankalicious
                    MC Slim JB RE: Swankalicious Feb 5, 2011 08:45 PM

                    A couple of Hounds have made the point that it's not just about fondue and sliders, a press version of the menu that I bought into myself. It sounds like folks who have actually been describe it as a broader small plates concept.


          2. y
            y2000k RE: misssinclair Jul 15, 2011 08:14 PM

            I found out that 94 Mass Ave will be closed after Sat dinner service - for 4 days for a restructuring and rethinking. Supposedly will reopen for business next Thursday, perhaps with new concepts & menus. Does anyone have more info on this?

            17 Replies
            1. re: y2000k
              postemotional1 RE: y2000k Jul 17, 2011 05:26 PM

              Yes, they were taking applications at the Lansdowne this past Friday for the new place.

              94 Mass Ave. had the integrity issues that are the plague of the day.

              I applied for a bar job there and the person giving the intake interview mentioned integrity prominently.

              1. re: postemotional1
                MC Slim JB RE: postemotional1 Jul 17, 2011 10:12 PM

                Can you explain what you mean by "integrity issues"? Is that a euphemism for thieving, or something?


                1. re: MC Slim JB
                  postemotional1 RE: MC Slim JB Jul 20, 2011 01:55 PM

                  Yes, you know the ax that I grind. The place is staying, the staff, including the Asst. Mgrs. is going. Pat Lyons has been back from Italy for some time and he is pissed when he has 1000's of guests and 100's of dollars.

                  The Lyons Group excels at taking money. They may not have the best products but they collect and getting the money is the reality of capitalism.

              2. re: y2000k
                mharrell RE: y2000k Jul 19, 2011 11:21 AM

                Mass Ave didn't close; they are just doing some painting, cleaning & working on new menu. It will be open tomorrow night.

                1. re: mharrell
                  hiddenboston RE: mharrell Jul 19, 2011 11:38 AM

                  It didn't? How does that explain the hiring of a new staff for the place?

                  1. re: mharrell
                    MC Slim JB RE: mharrell Jul 19, 2011 02:45 PM

                    Lyons Group seems to be trying to spin the fact that the first concept didn't work, they've closed and are effectively doing a reboot of the space, staff, and menu. Not sure why, but on the one hand, they were secretive about what they were doing, and now are complaining that observers drew the most obvious conclusions, i.e., "the first concept was a flop: it lasted less than six months."

                    The new-new place will still be called 94 Mass Ave, apparently.


                    1. re: MC Slim JB
                      Uncle Yabai RE: MC Slim JB Jul 19, 2011 11:50 PM

                      Bring back the Newbury Steak House.

                      1. re: Uncle Yabai
                        Gabatta RE: Uncle Yabai Jul 20, 2011 06:43 AM

                        After living around the corner for a decade, I can safely say that the space is cursed.

                        After Newbury Steak House closed shortly after a fire a long string of suckitude has ensued...Cafe Mojo, 575, Blue Cat, Match, Mass Ave...

                      2. re: MC Slim JB
                        hiddenboston RE: MC Slim JB Jul 20, 2011 06:16 AM

                        Looks like it will actually be called the Mass Ave Tavern.

                        1. re: hiddenboston
                          MC Slim JB RE: hiddenboston Jul 20, 2011 09:06 AM

                          I'd call that an improvement over 94 Mass Ave, and a huge improvement over Mass Ave. As I said in my "terrible restaurant names" bit, I'm always amazed when owners get something that important so wrong. What were you thinking? Don't you have any friends who can be honest with you? Did you consider The Google?


                          1. re: MC Slim JB
                            postemotional1 RE: MC Slim JB Jul 20, 2011 01:57 PM

                            The name is not as important as the $$$.


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                            1. re: postemotional1
                              MC Slim JB RE: postemotional1 Jul 20, 2011 02:03 PM

                              I tend to believe that a good name is better for the $$$ than a terrible one.


                          2. re: hiddenboston
                            Gordough RE: hiddenboston Jul 20, 2011 09:25 AM

                            I know the space is cursed but a place with very good pub food (with an excellent burger $11-$12 or less) and great beers on tap might just be enough to be a winner. Is there anything like that in the immediate neighborhood?

                            1. re: Gordough
                              hiddenboston RE: Gordough Jul 20, 2011 11:31 AM

                              Woody's on Hemenway isn't too far from there. Love their pizza...

                              1. re: Gordough
                                BostonZest RE: Gordough Jul 20, 2011 01:51 PM

                                Lower Depths in kenmore Square fits that bill. Not so much pub food as good munchies but an option.

                                Lower Depths
                                476 Commonwealth Ave Ste 1, Boston, MA 02215

                                1. re: Gordough
                                  jgg13 RE: Gordough Jul 20, 2011 02:59 PM

                                  It's not quite fitting of that description but in that immediate area I enjoy going to the corner tavern for something in that general mindset - the "great beers" part is the biggest killer, but what I recall from my trips there was that they had a small yet decent tap list.

                          3. re: y2000k
                            QCumber RE: y2000k Jul 20, 2011 07:20 PM

                            I walked by the place tonight around 10:00 - prominent sign says "Mass Ave Tavern" - some 20 people or so inside eating and drinking, so it appears to be open again.


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