Many customers wait a few weeks before visiting a new restaurant, giving the staff time to work through kinks. But beware: Those who wait too long will miss out at Liquid Art House. The restaurant/art gallery’s opening exhibit, Street Art – Outside In, is only open until June 17, when it will be replaced by another show. It’s all part of founder Ruta Laukien’s vision for the just-opened spot, which anchors the Arlington, a new apartment complex on the edge of Bay Village.
“I called it liquid because it’s a place that’s going to constantly change. I think about it like a theater, where every time you come in, you’re going to have something a little bit different,” Laukien says. “We’re really focusing on making art approachable. I love art. I’m very passionate about art, but I’m not an art connoisseur. I find galleries, museums can be a bit intimidating, especially for younger people.”
While the opening exhibit’s street art focus might seem meant to appeal to a younger crowd, it also reflects LAH’s goal of turning the space into a canvas for local and international artists. With pieces by Syria’s Tammam Azzam, Brazilian artist L7M, Iranian expats Icy and Sot and even local artist Coyote Painting Walls, the former home of the Boston Consolidated Gas Co. headquarters has been filled with fiery social commentary.
There’s plenty of heat in the kitchen, too, with chef Rachel Klein (OM, Asana) taking on a dinner menu, a bar menu and a special tasting menu that will be inspired by each exhibit. The shiny red rotisserie, Lulu, has garnered early attention, but it’s the D’Artagnan chickens, which feed on scraps from Thomas Keller’s much-acclaimed Per Se restaurant in New York, that have the staff crowing. The dumpling section of the menu will nod to Laukien’s Eastern European background, and the desire to highlight emerging artists will be complemented by wine director Shaun Snow’s selection of small-production wines from countries such as Macedonia.
It’s not only the food and drinks that are for sale at LAH. All of the art can be purchased (using an app called Clio Muse), and you can even custom order the 11-foot chandelier from Murano or the community table, which both grace the bar area.
Whether visitors are buyers, browsers or bon vivants, Laukien hopes the “House” part of LAH’s name will convey a welcoming atmosphere.
“Nobody should be intimidated to walk in,” she says. “Browse through the art and sit down and have dinner—whether it’s at a chef’s table with a seven-course tasting menu or a burger at the bar.”
Liquid Art House | The Arlington, 100 Arlington St., Boston | 617-457-8130 | liquidarthouse.com