City Style: 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.