History of Fort Hill, Part 2 (2008). Mural by: Loray McDuffie, Taylor Saintable, Edwin Perez-Clancy, Christine O'Connell, Julia Andreasson, Jorge Benitez, Divah Payne, Lucy Saintcyr, Laua Dedonato, Gregg Bernstein.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Darryl Settles's Corner Bar & Kitchen finds a landing pad

Darryl Settles's latest venture, Darryl's Corner Bar & Kitchen, has opened on the border between Lower Roxbury and the South End. This is the location of the long-time Boston landmark restaurant, Bob the Chef's, and, most recently, of the Stork Club.

Here is how Mr. Settles describes the core concept behind his establishment: "When we first started working on the Darryl’s Corner Bar & Kitchen concept we knew we wanted to be a Great Bar with a great kitchen as opposed to a Great Restaurant with a great bar. The distinction is important."

In anchoring his establishment around a bar, rather than a restaurant, Mr. Settles asserts that the "Corner Bar has always been an important part of our community, whether as a meeting place for revolutionaries or respite for the working man."

With the gentrification of the South End and Northeastern's salient into Lower Roxbury, it seems revolutionaries are scarce on the ground. (Lucy Parsons, anyone?) With the unemployment rate nearing Great Depression levels in Roxbury, the class of working men and women is getting much smaller, too. Perhaps students and the white collar class will make up for the missing proletariat and revolutionaries.

Despite the conceptual emphasis on the drinks, Darryl's Corner Bar & Kitchen does not neglect the kitchen. Here is a three-page pdf of the menu (sans prices).

Mr. Settles has been working his publicity machinery well. A google search for the bar's name yields a solid 50 hits of press announcements and reviews. The Bay State Banner has published a feature article.

That corner of Columbus Avenue and Northampton Street ("the intersection of friends, food, and music") is a quick 7 minute bicycle ride and a brisk 20 minute walk from Mr. Settles's first choice of location for his bar and restaurant, so residents of Fort Hill have yet another convenient choice for drinks and dinner.

A little more than six months ago, Mr. Settles investigated 85 Centre Street on Fort Hill as a possible location for his bar and restaurant.

Iseut via UniversalHub brought Mr. Settles's Fort Hill designs to our attention, providing the impetus for this blog. The first twelve posts conclude with this coda. Those posts chronicle some of the kerfuffle Mr. Settles's proposal provoked on the Centre Street side of Fort Hill. It is bizarre that these posts, from a infant blog with a grand total of 40 posts, aspiring only to cover a tiny part of a middling city, consistently show up high on the first page of a google search on the words Darryl Settles.

Despite our previous opposition, we are very pleased that Mr. Settles's has found a congenial location for his bar and restaurant. We are sorry that some on Fort Hill were disappointed that that location was not at 85 Centre Street. But, we are confident that Darryl's Corner Bar & Kitchen will flourish "at the intersection of food, friends, and music." (So far, the church at 85 Centre Street has remained a reasonably quiet and considerate neighbor.)

The timing of the opening of Darryl's Corner Bar is auspicious for the jazz festival that Mr. Settles founded ten years ago, The Berklee Beantown Jazz Festival, is set to start next week on 15 September and is to run for the next ten days.

The festival is located on Columbus Avenue between Burke Street and Massachusetts Avenue, right on the front steps of Darryl's Corner Bar. [This image is owned by the Berklee College of Music.]

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