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2016 Preview: 10 Most Anticipated Boston Venues for Meetings and Events

The conference spaces, eateries, drinking spots, and more slated to open in Boston for events and entertaining next year.

Photo: Morgan Ione Yeager

Looking for a new venue to host your next event? Here are the most anticipated Boston restaurants, corporate event venues, hotels, conference centers, and party rooms to open next year. These new and renovated Boston venues will accommodate groups large or small for private and corporate events, conferences, meetings, weddings, business dinners, teambuilding activities, cocktail parties, and more.

1. Currently in the middle of the biggest renovation since its opening in 1949, the Museum of Science is in the process of creating the Yawkey Gallery on the Charles River. Filled with natural light and featuring expansive views of the river, Cambridge, and the Back Bay, the permanent exhibit will highlight connections between natural habitats and urban design. There will be a “living wall” featuring a lush two-story vertical garden and a 30-foot waterfall. A dramatic River Loom sculpture, created by artist Reuben Margolin, will be suspended from the ceiling. Phase two of renovations begins in March and is expected to be completed by the summer.

2. Boston's South End will welcome SRV, a Venetian-style bacaro, early in the new year. The 132-seat restaurant will have a private dining room that seats 50 or holds 60 for receptions. Diners will enjoy small bites alongside Venetian-style dishes like homemade pastas and fish. In the spring, an outside courtyard patio for 50 will be available for private events.

3. A contemporary French restaurant from chef Carl Dooley, who appears on the current season of Top Chef, and catering industry vet Robert Harris will open in mid-January on Massachusetts Avenue in Cambridge. With a 20-seat dining room and a small standing bar area, the Table at Season to Taste will serve a nightly prix-fixe menu for around $65 a person. While details have yet to be released, the restaurant will be available for buyouts for private events.

4. Chef and World Barbecue champion Andy Husbands will open Smoke Shop in early spring. Housed in the former Tommy Doyle’s space, the restaurant has undergone complete reconstruction with an array of event spaces that will hold as many as 200. There will be two spaces for semiprivate events: one in the traditional dining room for as many as 34 guests, and another for 65 guests that combines the bar space and high-top tables. A seasonal patio will accommodate 40.

5. With high demand for event space at Puritan, the beloved Cambridge restaurant just took over the empty space next door. Beginning in January, it will become Puritan and Company, a private dining space that will hold 30 guests. The room can even be sectioned off to fit as few as 15 guests, and the private function manager will work with guests to create prix-fixe meals, buffets, or Ă  la carte menus.

6. Slated to open in January, Juliet will be the first brick-and-mortar concept from Bread and Salt Hospitality. The casual Union Square café and restaurant will seat 19, including at a six-seat dining counter. It will be available for full buyouts for guests craving everything from breakfast tacos to ragu alla Bolognese.

7. Hotel Commonwealth in Kenmore Square debuted a new wing in mid-December and is now booking for 2016 events. Thanks to the expansion, there’s now 6,000 square feet of meeting space, a 2,000-square-foot outdoor terrace, and nearly 100 additional guest rooms and suites. Red Sox fans may be interested in the Fenway Park Suite, which overlooks the Green Monster.

8. Boston’s financial district now has the city’s first luxury CrossFit gym. Opened in December, Brick Boston is now booking private events and parties for 2016. The 22,000-square-foot space won’t be your typical gym space, however. In addition to providing intense workouts in a beautiful atmosphere, guests can enjoy organic juices and smoothies, massages, and luxe lounge areas.

9. Stoked Pizza, the beloved food truck known for its regular spots on the Rose Kennedy Greenway and Lawn on D, announced plans to open its own spot in Washington Square. Along with menu staples such as the barbecue chicken and bacon pizza, the new location will have an expanded menu that includes salads and sandwiches. The restaurant is expected to open in late winter or early spring.

10. Chef/owner Rachel Klein will debut RFK Kitchen in Needham in April. The eclectic menu will feature Klein’s modern interpretations of approachable classics, with a nod to global cuisine. The space will be available for buyouts; smaller groups can book a semi-private space with audiovisual capabilities that will seat 12, a front lounge for receptions of 30 guests, or an interactive chef’s counter for 26 guests.

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