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Feb 4, 2011 10:59 PM

has anyone been to Mass Ave yet?

wondering if anyone has been yet

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  1. 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

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

    2. 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

        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

          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

          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. 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

            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

              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

              1. re: pathfinder

                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

                  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

                    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. 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

              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

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


                1. re: MC Slim JB

                  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

                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

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

                  1. re: mharrell

                    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: Uncle Yabai

                        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

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

                        1. re: hiddenboston

                          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

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


                            You're on the Guest List!

                            1. re: postemotional1

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


                          2. re: hiddenboston

                            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

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

                              1. re: Gordough

                                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

                                  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

                            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.