Former patrons of Woodward, which closed last year, will find a familiar sight at the new King St. Tavern in the Ames Boston Hotel. The chic white shelving behind the bar remains mostly the same, and the layout within the dining space almost mirrors the previous spot. Heck, even a few of the staff members from Woodward have returned, including general manager Christina Tommasino and head bartender Jesse Dupuis.

But don’t be fooled by appearances. While the decor might not have changed much, the experience offered at King St., which opened this month, is royally different from its predecessor.

Start with the food, which leaves little for the customer to worry about. The menu is a four-course prix-fixe (prices will be in the $35 to $65 range), and everyone is served the same first three courses: bruschetta, soup and a deconstructed chopped salad. For your fourth course, you choose a protein from a chalkboard menu of nine to 12 offerings, each accompanied by a side of truffle fries.

“We wanted to deviate from the traditional tavern food that is prevalent in this area, and we wanted to give everyone an experience,” Tommasino says.

That experience extends to another aspect of King St., which offers live music every night. The weekly schedule features a specific genre on each day—for instance, former American Idol contestant Erika Van Pelt performs on Tuesdays, while a DJ from JAM’N-FM (94.5) spins on Fridays.

The artists occupy a stage in the back of the space, and there will be plenty of standing room around the nearby bar, where Dupuis will be offering cocktails from a menu that’s expected to change seasonally. One drink Tommasino thinks will be a showstopper is the New Classic, made with rye, Aperol and yellow Chartreuse and topped with a flamed orange. The bar is expected to draw a steady after-work crowd, with complimentary hors d’oeuvres available during happy hour, before taking on a decidedly different vibe later in the night when the music begins.

“We’re really pushing into Boston’s music scene,” Tommasino says. “The feel will change throughout the night.”

For Tommasino, the best change is that’s she’s back working in the same space she felt so connected to: “I love this building. I love this space. I was really excited to come back.”

King St. Tavern | Ames Boston Hotel | 1 Court St., Boston | 617-979-8103 |

King St. Tavern

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