10 New Boston Bars and Clubs for Events

By Kara Baskin August 1, 2011, 9:20 AM EDT


Photo: Atsushi Tomioka

These new bars, lounges, and nightclubs in Boston have indoor, outdoor, private, and semiprivate spaces that can accommodate groups small and large for events, meetings, product launches, holiday parties, presentations, and other types of entertaining.

1. Opened in June, Bijou is the newest venture from George Aboujaoude of Avalon nightclub and partners Mete Aslan and Kevin Fitzpatrick. The mod lounge, in the theater district, offers two stories of drinking and DJ-fueled dancing. The Jetsons-esque second floor is lined with booths; the third level, outfitted with two bars and the area’s only JBL Series 5 sound system, has a dance-hall feel. The second and third floors are available for buyout and accommodate 281 and 345, respectively. Areas of the club can also be roped off for private events.


2. Blue Inc., within walking distance of South Station, opened earlier this month and is helmed by blue-haired chef Jason Santos of reality TV show Hell's Kitchen. A bar menu offers quirky dishes like mini-Kobe corn dogs with onion batter; a drinks menu called “Crazy Cocktails” touts curiosities like a Fat Boyz margarita with candied grilled jalapenos, beef stock, and smoked chili sea salt. Private cocktail receptions are available for as many as 60 people; custom menus are available.

3. Splashy, bilevel Forum, accessed by floor-to-ceiling glass doors, opened earlier this month on Boylston Street in the Back Bay. Available for buyout, the restaurant accommodates 320 guests. On the second floor, a private dining room that can accommodate 30 has a dedicated bar and audiovisual equipment. A semiprivate dining room with two six-top tables is also available. On the first floor, a 45-seat bar, lined with HD televisions, is available for buyout, as is a 10-person table at the rear of the floor. Custom menus are available. Forum is known for its cocktail list, which has a craft selection with house-made infusions and handpicked herbs.

4. From the team behind Royale, Guilt opened in June. The 5,000-square-foot nightclub is beneath Royale, in a more intimate space. The 409-capacity club is available for semiprivate events every evening and for buyout on Fridays and Saturdays. The space has four HDTV screens, a retractable screen with a projector, greenrooms, and two full bars. Two V.I.P. areas are offset by wrought-iron railings. Burgundy walls, golden sofas, and mirror-studded walls create an Old Hollywood feel. The well-known address was formerly JukeBox, one of Boston’s longest-running clubs.

5. Open since March, South Boston’s Local 149 considers itself a throwback to a simpler time, with neighborly service and an unpretentious feel. The restaurant is available for buyout and seats 94 people. The 1,500-square-foot space houses a wood-burning fireplace, a 25-seat bar, and a private alcove for larger parties. Hardwood flooring was reclaimed from a Boston church, and the tabletops were fashioned from wooden workbenches. Special features include a decorative wall of backlit vintage seltzer bottles. The brushed stainless bar offers 22 taps, with a large local and Belgian craft beer selection. Food pays homage to classic pub fare, with chicken and waffles, fresh oysters, and a large cheese and charcuterie selection.

6. International chocolatier Max Brenner opened a Boston branch—part lounge, part candy shop, part restaurant—in March in the Back Bay. The space is available for buyout and can hold 150 guests. The restaurant is known for its distinctive cocoa-themed offerings, including a wide range of spiked and nonalcoholic hot chocolates, dessert martinis, frozen chocolate frappes, smoothies, and coffee. A slider bar offers a selection of bite-size sandwiches with fillings like meatballs, chicken, Angus beef, and pulled pork, plus waffle fries sprinkled with cocoa powder and onion rings with chocolate dipping sauce. The bar area is reminiscent of an old-fashioned soda shop, with wooden stools and ornate hanging lamps.

7. In the Sheraton Commander Cambridge, close to Harvard Square, Nubar opened in April and is helmed by Bill Flumerfelt, who formerly ran the well-regarded Icarus in the South End. A private dining area, curtained from the main dining room, offers cocktail receptions for 60 standing and 28 seated. The sedate space, which also has a fireplace, is anchored by a honey onyx bar and a collection of high-top tables, illuminated by drum-pendant lamps. A large collection of after-dinner drinks includes a wide selection of cognac, brandy, and port.

8. The 62,000-square-foot Ocean Club, perched on Marina Bay with skyline views, opened last summer. The club is available for buyout, with a capacity of 1,600. It offers live entertainment, four bars, ping-pong tables, and a professional volleyball court. A dozen waterfront cabanas are available for rent, with personal table service, mini fridges, plasma televisions, and towel service. DJs and live bands provide entertainment. Frank DePasquale, a North End restaurateur, operates the venue. The space is open exclusively on weekends.

9. The Salty Pig, a charcuterie and cheese bar, opened in June across from the Back Bay T stop. Accommodating 65, it is available for buyout. A 50-seat patio is available for buyout as well. A reclaimed wood bar accommodates 14 guests with chairs made from recycled material, including one crafted from 111 recycled Coca-Cola bottles. The menu highlights a range of mix-and-match cured meats and cheeses, as well as flatbread pizzas. The bar program focuses on local draft and canned beers, including selections from Maine, Vermont, and New Hampshire, as well as West Coast I.P.A.s.

10. Vito’s, the North End’s first sports bar, opened this month. It is available for buyout, with a capacity of 85. The space, reminiscent of a private club, features a marble bar, distressed leather banquettes, and Tiffany lamps. In keeping with a sports theme, there are six flat-screen televisions; sports memorabilia lines the walls. An eclectic menu features the Italian staples that the neighborhood is known for, with a twist. In addition to fusion items like ‘Bruzzese sausage nachos, an assortment of wings, tacos, and burritos are available.

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