Sunday Jazz Brunch Moves to Orleans Once Johnny D’s Closes for Good

Bassist Larry Kukers is taking up residency next door to the legendary music club in Davis Square.
"Plugged in Between sets at Sunday Brunch - Johnny D's in Somerville" by mgstanton on Flickr / Photo via Creative Commons

Plugged in Between sets at Sunday Brunch – Johnny D’s in Somerville” by mgstanton on Flickr / Creative Commons

When Johnny D’s Uptown Restaurant & Music Club closes for good in mid-March, Davis Square will lose a lot: Gone will be an institution run by the same family for nearly half a century, which brought local and touring musical groups to the stage on a daily basis, including the likes of Ben Harper, Gillian Welch, and Booker T. Jones.

But one thing Somervillans and music fans don’t have to say goodbye to is jazz brunch with Boston bassist Larry Kukers. Orleans, the casual, contemporary restaurant next door to Johnny D’s, has announced Kukers is on the bill for their Sunday brunch, beginning March 20.

Kukers is a freelance musician who has played with jazz and R&B legends including Bo Diddly, Ronnie Spector, and Freddy Cannon. Alongside guitarist Matthew Dorko, he has been a part of Johnny D’s venerable jazz brunch since 1997, providing a soundtrack of subtle and spontaneous music by which to enjoy platter-sized pancakes.

But Johnny D’s award-winning flapjacks aren’t long for this world: “Orleans will be combining Larry’s sound with its fantastic brunch menu to create a new Davis Square tradition,” the restaurant says.

Orleans’ brunch, available every Sunday from 9 a.m.-1 p.m., offers a few omelets, including the Davis Square, with cheddar, bacon, mushroom, and tomato; Benedicts with country ham or avocado and tomato; breakfast pizzas, including one topped with tater tots, corned beef hash, and two soft eggs; a variety of burgers, salads, and more.

Before Kukers takes the stage next door, there are two more weekends of Johnny D’s jazz brunch before the venue shutters for good, after its final show on Sunday, March 13.

Orleans, 65 Holland St., Somerville; 617-591-2100 or orleansrestaurant.com.


Jacqueline Cain Associate Food Editor at Boston Magazine jcain@bostonmagazine.com