A First Look at Earls Kitchen + Bar at Assembly Row

The Canadian restaurant group makes its Northeast debut in Somerville with a New England-focused menu.
earl's kitchen

A rendering of the inside of Earl’s Kitchen & Bar at Assembly Row. Artwork provided

On September 12, Earls Kitchen + Bar will open its first location in the Boston area. The “upscale casual” concept, with 65 locations throughout Canada and the United States, will make its Northeast debut at Assembly Row in Somerville. The Canada-based restaurant group will join other upcoming eateries such as Slumbrew’s American Fresh Taproom, Ernesto’s Pizza, Papagayo, PAUL Bakery, Legal on the Mystic (a Legal Seafoods property), and Outback Steakhouse.

Earls Kitchen + Bar was founded in 1982 by Leroy Earl “Bus” Fuller and his son Stanley Earl Fuller, who continues to own and operate the family business. The restaurant has evolved from a burger and beer joint into an area-specific scratch kitchen that attempts to use as many regional specials and local ingredients as possible.

The Assembly Row kitchen will be helmed by Earls Kitchen veteran executive chef, Tim Pennington, who will incorporate signature dishes—burgers, ribs, and a section of steaks in 7-, 9-, and 10-ounce portions—alongside some new culinary creations designed specifically for New England. Standouts from the “globally-inspired” menu include jeera chicken curry with coconut basmati rice and naan; a Hokkien noodle bowl with yu choy, king oyster mushrooms, and add-ons like tofu and shrimp; a crispy tuna sushi cone with fish roe, Japanese mayo, and pickled ginger; and a Fenway Burger stacked high with onion rings, red pepper relish, and aged white cheddar. All breads, buns, and desserts are baked in-house daily.

earls kitchen

BBQ back ribs at Earl’s Kitchen. Photo provided

Heading up the beverage side of things is Cameron Bogue, a decorated mixologist who comes off a long tenure with Daniel Boulud. Bogue helped open Boulud’s first Canadian restaurants, DB Bistro and Lumière in Vancouver, then moved to New York to re-open Café Boulud. He also helped launch Boulud’s first cocktail bar, Bar Pleiades, which was named as one of Bon Appetit‘s Best New Cocktail Bars in 2010.

Bogue’s beverage program is dedicated to using only handmade syrups and fresh, hand-squeezed juices. Along with plenty of local craft beer and an expansive wine list, Bogue will offer cocktails such as his Earls Old Fashioned (bourbon, demerara sugar, root beer bitters), Tequila Sunset (blanco tequila, Aperol, lemongrass, fresh orange and lime juices, meringue foam), and the Mad Hatter (vodka, pear, black tea, kaffir lime, coconut water), which serves four.

The restaurant was designed by  E+ Design & Construction, a firm that focuses on energy-efficient buildings, custom LED lighting, and the use of reclaimed and repurposed materials.

Below is a look at the menu:

Earls Kitchen + Bar – All-Day Menu

#102 698 Assembly Row, Somerville; earlsrestaurants.com.


Christopher Hughes Chris Hughes, Food Editor at Boston Magazine chughes@bostonmagazine.com