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Jan 19, 2013 03:22 PM

Skybokx 109 - Natick, promising...

Went to Skybokx 109 across from Neiman Marcus at Natick Collection for dinner last night with the family. This was previously Owen O Learys space.

I've been waiting for a decent sports bar in the Metrowest area and this place certainly has some promise. The bar area is huge and has a vast amount of plasma TVs on both sides of the bar and plenty more TVs spread around the restaurant. The layout kind of reminded me of the Yardhouse in Dedham and they definitely are counting on a big bar scene.

There's really little to no similarity between the other Bokx109 in Newton. This menu is focused on bar-type food with only a few entrees on the menu. We tried the buffalo wings and I really enjoyed them. Good size wings, nice and crispy on the outside and the sauce has a nice kick. There's a few other sauces to try and I plan on giving them all a try. We saw a nice platter of nachos pass by and they looked good but for some crazy reason, the restaurant chose to use cheese sauce instead of melted cheese. To me it's a rookie mistake and hopefully they change the menu and use the real stuff.

We stuck with sandwiches and a salad for dinner. I had the Turkey Club which was good. Avocado, bacon, decent bread. Solid B+. The fries are very good. Very thin. Think Houstons. Everyone liked them.

Kids had a burger. Looked decent but I didn't try a bite.

Wife had the Fall Farmer salad with chicken and enjoyed it.

Beer list was just ok, nothing special. Hopefully they get a few more craft beers on the list. It has all the basics but only one or two microbrews. Didn't bother to checkout winelist.

Although the place officially opened on 1/9, it still hasn't had a full blown opening yet. I think last night was the first night they were offering all of the menu items so I'm sure they will tweak it a little over time. The manager was very friendly as was the rest of the staff.

Overall I think this place will be a solid place to go watch a game, grab some drinks and enjoy upscale bar food. You won't make the trek just for the food, but there's really no other place in the area that as nice and has a ton of tvs. I, for one, hope it does well and sticks around.

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  1. Thanks for the report. I too have been waiting a long time for a decent sports bar to open in the area. I also completely agree about the cheese sauce on nachos. Unacceptable especially for an establishment portraying itself as a gastro sports pub.

    I wonder if Beer Works is still planning on opening down the road in the old Bugaboo Creek space.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Gordough

      I'd hold off judgement on the cheese sauce until you try it.....lots of chefs these days are trying the simple molecular gastro trick of making what looks/behaves like nasty "nacho cheese sauce" using sodium citrate and quality cheeses:

      I'd inquire first....could be the real McCoy (of course if it isn't, I agree completely)!

    2. Think " Tavern in the Square" with 1/8 the beer and food menu. It's a big open space with lots of smaller TVs in random places and a poorly curated bar. The food menu looks like it comes from the "Gastro" section of a Sysco truck so I skipped on that. If you want a beer have some backups in mind, they didn't have th first three I ordered off the list, and don't bother with the Long Island Iced Tea.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Unfoodie

        Okay, am I the only one who bursts into laughter at the "gastrosports" designation on the place? Like, I expect eating contests, or cooking contests...And by these reviews, it doesn't hew too closely to the current definition of a gastro PUB either....

      2. The website is a train wreck. Make sure you turn up your speakers.

        6 Replies
        1. re: Bob Dobalina

          Yikes! Those 2 guys need to get a *little* more excited, don't 'cha think?

          1. re: Science Chick

            Those two bro-dudes probably just looked at the menu and realized there are *five* types of wings, and a "piccata schnitzel" sandwich with "frizzled Amish chicken breast". If you weren't aware, the frizzled Amish are among the most sought-after of organic farmers. Also, they are clearly excited to be hanging out at the sports bar of a suburban Hampton Inn.

            (That website does commit multiple cardinal sins of good design. So annoying and unhelpful.)


            1. re: MC Slim JB

              Looks like they might have read C-hound comments.....newer webpage design is WAY toned down and streamlined. Still, hard to get all worked up about a sportsbar in a Natick 2-star hotel (as MC already pointed out).

              1. re: MC Slim JB

                I think they might frizzle at the presence "tomato bling" on their "Gold Rush" wings. Guy Fieri's Honky-Tonk Double Barrel Meat Loaded Blast would fit right in here.

                1. re: nsenada

                  Took me a few to research your comment......but now I am rolling on the floor from the hilarity. Especially funny to a veg like me!

                  1. re: Science Chick

                    Despite the plagiarism controversy, that is one of the funniest things I have read in a long time.

          2. Ate there on Saturday night with friends. Asked for a table with a view of one of the big screens so we could watch the B's, and they gave us a table with a great view. This was not where they were originally taking us, we were pleased they could change our table so easily.

            Menu had tons of interesting choices, waitress was very helpful with recommendations, but she seemed a bit overworked as visits were few and far between. Everything we had (apps, salads, burgers, etc) was very good.

            Per the waitress, the owner of Bokx 109 sold that and opened this, which explains the similarity of names. Doesn't make sense to me, but I'm not in charge.

            6 Replies
            1. re: L2k

              Bokx is a slaughterhouse term for a carcass container. So, picture one of those, but up in the sky.


              1. re: MC Slim JB

                When we ate at Bokx 109, it was explained to me in much more delicate terms

                1. re: L2k

                  One is still left with the question: how did the bokx get up in the sky? Explosion at the abattoir? Well-aimed two-hooved kick? Tractor beam from passing ship of beef-loving aliens? Inquiring minds want to know.


                  1. re: MC Slim JB

                    Maybe that's the place the poor cattle go to *after* the abattoir (that ole skybokx in the sky......)!

              2. re: L2k

                went back there on Friday and it was a whole 'nother story.

                Had the same table, so that was nice, but different waitress, and lots of issues. I got the clam and bacon chowder . . . but no spoon. By the time I flagged someone down (and I was literally standing to do so) and got a spoon, it was cold. And my wife wouldn't let me do my famous "waiter, I can't eat this soup" routine!). Got a fresh one, didn't taste any bacon in it, but whatever.

                One diner: "No peanut sauce, I am very allergic. Not on the side, don't even bring it". Dish came with the peanut sauce on the side. Asked for a manager now, he came over and took away the peanut sauce and confirmed with the kitchen that none was put on the food. Asked if everything else was alright, so I pointed out the 4 empty glasses on the table (out of 5). Refills came . . . eventually, with his promise that he'd be "right there if we need him".

                Other problems were less interesting. Portions were definitely smaller than last time when we had a ton of leftovers.

                Bill came, no adjustments, no apologies, nothing. I got the host who got a different manager who seemed to be the GM. Told him of our prior success at the restaurant and the multiple issues that night, including the "right there if we need him" manager. "yeah, that's a problem, I'll take care of this". Brought back the bill with all the apps removed, which was about what I expected at that point. Ended up having a lengthy (friendly) conversation with the GM, but I don't think we're going back.

                1. re: L2k

                  Very disappointing. The Natick/Wellesley/Framingham/Wayland area is in DIRE need of casual places to grab decent drinks and food. Pretty sad when the best beer selection for miles is the dreadful (in terms of food) chain, British Beer Company.

              3. Ate at Skyboxx 109 last night. The Caesar chicken wrap was okay, typical but fresh. The haddock fish and chips with fries and meatloaf dinner with mashed potatoes and steamed broccoli was very good. With three sodas and tip, $50.00 for 3 people.

                7 Replies
                1. re: eatingjoy

                  we were there last week and now they have Live Music on Wednesdays thru Sunday. In a sports bar. Where I go to watch a game and shoot the XXXX with my pals. But there's a girl with a guitar (who was pretty good) singing into a microphone at a volume that makes conversation difficult at a minimum.

                  1. re: L2k

                    No live music while we were there; just the tv's going but we were there earlier in the evening.

                    1. re: eatingjoy

                      Staying at the Hampton Inn tonight and was too lazy to go elsewhere. This place is nothing more than you'd expect: a sports bar serving all varieties of Sysco meals. The best parts of the place are (1) in addition to the typical crap beers, they have a small handful of really good ones, (2) the young couple performing acoustic covers was surprisingly good, while playing at a volume that did not rule out conversation, and (3) for a place serving Sysco crap food, the cole slaw was surprisingly good -- oniony and a very light dressing, probably vinegar and not mayo. The fish in my fish and chips was passable. The fries were terrible. The service was well intentioned and friendly, but not surprisingly on the amateurish side.

                      Look, if you're looking for a place that's showing a game you want to see and you want someone else to deep fry or microwave your frozen food, there's nothing wrong with this place. But I really wish I had driven five minutes down the road to Sichuan Gournet. This is not a chowish place by any stretch.

                      1. re: Blumie

                        Boy, it is possible to have two very different experiences at the same place. I enjoyed my meal without any expectations since it was my first time there. I have been to the Thai restaurant in town near the train sta., Bills Pizza and the Mexician place near the mall. So far, Natick hasn't been a memorable food stop but I am still trying to get more familiar. The 20 min train ride to Boston has more of the options I seek.

                        1. re: eatingjoy

                          A few more Natick suggestions.

                          Thai: Krua Thai on Rt 27 (North Main St) - north of Rt9 at the corner of Rutledge.

                          In the same building - on the Rutledge Rd frontage: Spalla's Chicago Dogs and Italian Beef. A welcome spot in the neighborhood for this ChicagoLand native.

                          Very good Japanese: Oga's. Rt9 at Rt 27 (N. Main St).

                          Is there a particular cuisine you're looking for in the Natick area?

                          1. re: NE_Wombat

                            How nice of you. I am open to try anything. Fish, Greek, Steakhouse, you name it!

                            1. re: eatingjoy

                              The Aegean in Framingham should satisfy your Greek needs