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Student hangout Tavern Allston reopens, new design embraces diversity of area

Tavern in the Square, a popular bar among students in Allston, was closed for renovations and rebranding over the summer. PHOTO BY JOSEE JEAN MATELA/ DAILY FREE PRESS STAFF

As students headed home and enjoyed the summer downtime, Tavern Allston hurried and labored for months to makeover the restaurant from floor to ceiling. The popular student hangout closed in July and had a tight deadline before the new school year.

Students heading to the tavern can grab a bite to eat while celebrating Allston’s diversity. The tavern reopened Aug. 28. The Brighton Avenue location, formerly known as Tavern in the Square Allston, brought guests a reinvented menu, extensive renovations and an infusion of the community’s vibrancy.

Katie Lang, property and relationship manager for Broadway Hospitality Group, said the new approach was devised to “represent the melting pot of the Allston community.”

The artistic and creative roots in Allston were visually incorporated into murals that adorn many of the restaurant’s walls. In the main dining area, the Boston skyline hugs a series of wooden booths. In the club area, another mural depicts a mystical woman through an exuberant mix of blues, pinks and purples.

The art is counterbalanced with a combination of wooden and black furniture. In order to cater to the Boston sports crowd and provide a new way to watch games, Tavern Allston integrated 14 flat-screen televisions into the space.

General Manager Max Rosen said teamwork and communication were crucial to create the modernized restaurant. In addition to the ongoing construction, the team had to undergo new trainings, new hirings and a new space to navigate.

As for his favorite part of the rebrand, Rosen had a quick answer.

“The new food menu and beverages are killer all around,” he said.

The menu received a new facelift to match the evolving demands of customers. Lang credited head chef Anthony Clarke with spearheading the new fresh offerings to cater to a wide breadth of tastes.

“We have a whole new menu because we don’t serve just one kind of person,” Lang said.

Replacing the former brunch buffet is a new a la carte brunch matched with a live, local DJ. The atmosphere is paired with a new mimosa tower delivered directly to the customers’ table.

A new array of drinks has been introduced, such as Adult Capri-Suns and four original “Share-a-bowls.” Four new mixtures are served: Party Girl Punch, Daytime DM, Take Me Back and the A-Line Margarita (which is served smoking from liquid nitrogen).  

The restaurant plans to host themed nights each week. Lang listed possible ideas as “Slide into my DMs Mondays” to feature an array of sliders, Tot Tuesday to highlight smothered Tater Tots and Awko Taco Wednesdays in reference to the phrase used frequently by the Kardashians.

Lang also highlighted the importance of social media in promoting the new transformation. She credits Instagram as a “serious tool where the audience can reach out.”

Lang responds to every message received on the @taverninthesquareallston Instagram account, which has over 1,000 followers as of Sept. 2. She emphasized the importance of the direct line to guests in community engagement.

Also, the tavern now offers VIP cards to some community members. Only offered to a small group of select people, the card would provide guests with special privileges such as shorter waits in line and extra attention from staff, according to Lang. The methods to procuring such a card have not been announced.

After seven years in the area, the restaurant hopes to bring back old patrons and draw in new attention.

“There’s something for everyone here,” Lang said.

India Wilkerson, a senior in Sargent College, said she welcomes the new changes to the location, while still referring to the restaurant by an abbreviation based off of the establishment’s former name.

“It looks great — still as lively as ever,” Wilkerson said. “TITS Thursdays will never die.”

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