CS: Man of the House

Eastern Standard’s suitably chic Andrew Holden serves up hospitality with a side of style.


Like that other wunderkind GM in the neighborhood, Andrew Holden was just 28 when he was picked early this year to manage a major-league operation: Kenmore Square’s booming brasserie, Eastern Standard. Formerly restaurant manager of the prestigious but far smaller Clio and Uni, Holden now presides over a room that buzzes from breakfast to late night and keeps scores of tipplers happy at its nearly 40-foot-long marble bar. The stylish Watertown native dishes on being a good host, our city’s attitude adjustment, and baseball cap etiquette:

COMFORT ZONE Hospitality is wanting everyone to feel comfortable. If someone comes in here for a grilled cheese, they’re greeted with the same enthusiasm and sincerity as if they were here to drink bottles of wine and eat charcuterie for hours.

BABY STEPS When I was little, my father was a producer on some of Julia Child’s shows. There are stories of her setting up as I ran laps around her kitchen. I like to think of that as inspiration for my restaurant career.

WELL SUITED Wearing a suit is a personal choice for me, a sign that I take pride in my position. A lot of my suits were custom-made in Thailand—but I’m also a fan of the quick Filene’s Basement run.

TYING IT TOGETHER I look for ties with some color in them, interesting paisleys or other patterns. I’m okay with not always following the current style.

DRESSING DOWN I’ll definitely wear a suit and tie every day, but I look forward to having a day off and wearing sneakers, jeans, and a sweatshirt. Shaving? It’s the worst.

HAT TIP There’s a place for the baseball cap (I wear them all the time). At the bar it’s fine, but at the dinner table, it’s got to go.

ATTITUDE ADJUSTMENT I think Boston’s getting more cordial. Now people are like, OK, we’ve got a championship; let’s be a bit more agreeable. And try to win another one.

THE VITALS: Andrew Holden
JEANS Levi’s, DDCLab
T-SHIRT the Hundreds
SNEAKERS Adidas Rod Laver
DESIGNERS Yohji Yamamoto, Hugo Boss
COLOGNE Issey Miyake
MOISTURIZER Trader Joe’s Udderly Smooth
BEER Houblon Chouffe IPA
CHEESE Formaggio Kitchen
ETHNIC RESTAURANTs Merengue (Dominican), Dok Bua (Thai)
TREAT J. P. Licks malted coffee shake
GETAWAY the Cape and Islands