The team behind Bar Mezzana is heading across the street—and underground—for the follow-up to its South End debut. Set to open this month in a subterranean spot at the new 345 Harrison apartments, Shore Leave will dish out Pacific Rim-inspired fare and colorful cocktails in a Tiki bar atmosphere.
“Tiki is an amalgamation of a lot of different cultures descending into one place to take you away from day-to-day life for a little bit,” beverage director Ryan Lotz explains. “We’ll still have a lot of things here that relate to the neighborhood but through a lens of tropical escapism.”
With inspiration from Thailand, Vietnam and California, the nightly menu by chef Colin Lynch will consist of smaller plates such as brioche lobster har gow dumplings and maitake tempura steam buns served with Sriracha mayo and fresh kimchi. Large-format dishes will include options like whole-roasted Rohan duck served with pineapple hoisin, scallion pancakes and lettuce wraps.
TIKI TIME: Shore Leave will focus on tropical drinks and shareable food.
“A lot of people associate Tiki with southeast Asia, but it’s really an American idea that was brought back for nostalgia from World War II,” Lynch says. “So it’s kind of this idea that everywhere that the Pacific Rim touches, we’re using as flavor references.”
The bar program will highlight twists on mai tais and other Tiki classics as well as more than a dozen original cocktails like the Amaro di Cocco, a Negroni and piña colada hybrid made with dark and Jamaican rums, toasted coconut, Campari, sweet vermouth and pineapple juice. The restaurant’s eponymous drink blends spices and tropical fruit with ingredients like Madeira and molasses. Guests can also enjoy frozen drinks and large-format cocktails that can even be paired with a bottle of Champagne.
The team tapped previous collaborator David Hacin to design the 112-seat interior that features walls adorned with scalloped shingles and mirrors behind the bar to mimic a tropical sunset. The space will also have a semi-private dining area for large groups to gather.
“The reason you come here is to hang out with people and enjoy,” Lynch says. “The drinks are shareable, the food’s going to be shareable. I want people to come in looking to relax and to just enjoy each other’s company.”
UPDATE: Shore Leave opened on Nov. 19.