Brad Druckenbroad looks at all the people living in the new downtown high-rises and thinks: “Those people need to eat.” And as the executive chef at the forthcoming Kingston Grille & Bar, he hopes his new restaurant will be well-positioned to capture those potential customers when it opens in late February.
The 115-seat spot occupies the U-shaped footprint of the late Kingston Station and maintains more than just the layout: The new owners kept the bar, floors and partially tiled walls. But changes do stand out. The awning has been removed, letting natural sunlight pour into the front seating area. Dark wallpaper lines some walls, while wire-caged lights hang from the ceiling. A door was installed to officially cordon off a 25- to 30-seat private-dining area that now also sports a small bar.
“In this area, you have a lot of corporate chains, and then you have people earning seven-figure salaries. … They need somewhere to go,” Druckenbroad says before referencing nearby competitors. “We’re not trying to be Townsman by any means,” he continues. “With Townsman being a four… you’ve got to fill in that three-star market.”
The menu will be mostly American bar food, with staples such as mac-and-cheese, cioppino and a ribeye as well as a section for sandwiches that will include an Italian sub and a Philly cheesesteak. The housemade burger will come with a choice of 17 toppings ranging from sweet-onion bacon jam to pickled jalapenos, not to mention at least a half-dozen cheeses.
“We might eventually make it like if you’re ordering from a sushi card, where you just mark a card with all the info for the burger,” Druckenbroad says. “You can come in here and get the burger for $11 or really add on and make it a $20 burger.”
The beverage program will include craft cocktails as well as eight beers on tap and 25-30 brews available by bottle. Next to the bar is a small stage that can fit a three-piece band, and plans are in the works for live music on the weekends. And don’t be surprised to see weekday menu specials featuring tacos, oysters and burgers. Druckenbroad says as long as he can get diners in the door, he can convince them to become repeat customers.
“I want to get people in here to see what we’re all about,” he says. “I think we have a really good location. We can kind of knock it out of the park, if we do it right.”
Kingston Grille & Bar 25 Kingston St., Boston