The group behind Craft Table & Bar is banking on a mix of nostalgia and innovation for its new East Boston restaurant, slated to open at the end of October. Frank Peace, CEO of New England Craft Restaurant Concepts, chose to repurpose some design elements from its past life as Ecco Boston and Al Sablone’s Veal ’n’ Vintage while putting the group’s own touch on most of the space.
“One of the things we wanted to be was approachable to everybody that lives within the community,” Peace says. “We wanted it to be warm and welcoming, yet feel polished enough that you could go out and have a wonderful date or a business meeting.”
While customers might recognize the wall of famous signatures located in the back of the restaurant and the black-tile backsplash behind the bar, the rest of Craft Table & Bar has been renovated to set a rustic atmosphere that’s filled with refurbished wooden tables to seat about 90 people. The soft blue hue of the freshly painted walls complements the large mural of East Boston hanging in the dining room. Created by a local father and son, the 2011 commission had until recently been hanging outside the building. And while the Eastie location factored into the interior of the restaurant, it also had an equally large impact on the menu.
EASTIE REVIVAL: All of Craft Table & Bar’s dishes are made in a scratch kitchen.
The menu from the scratch kitchen is a combination of sentimental favorites—Stella’s Chicken Parm is a recipe that has been in Peace’s wife’s family for more than 100 years—and new creations such as the char-grilled N’awlins Oysters with garlic butter and asiago crumbs. The restaurant will also have a 20-tap system in place that houses craft beers, and a cocktail menu will feature drinks like the Bennington Bramble, a take on a bourbon bramble featuring Triple 8 Nor’Easter Bourbon and muddled blackberries.“There’s sort of a renaissance going on in East Boston,” Peace says. “There’s all kinds of real estate development happening, and old and new are melding together. I think that’s really a cool thing. As we started to go through the menu, I wanted to incorporate a little old and a little new.”
With craft-centric offerings, Peace expects his latest culinary venture to find its foothold in East Boston. The location is the first in Boston proper for the rapidly expanding New England Craft Restaurant Concepts, which has a coffee chain—Brew on the Grid—in addition to a few other Worcester-based spots.
“Boston is one of the most unbelievable cities in the world, and East Boston is just an iconic place that we had to be,” Peace says. “This to me says, ‘As restaurateurs you’ve arrived.’”
Craft Table & Bar 107 Porter St., Boston crafttableandbar.com