Will Gilson's Bridgestreet to Become “Puritan & Co.”

By | Chowder |

As Will Gilson has learned, things can change when you’re “with” restaurant. (Photo courtesy of Gilson).

Bridgestreet, chef Will Gilson’s anticipated new Inman Square restaurant (heading into the former Bosphorous space), will now be known as Puritan & Co., Gilson told me late last week. The new name reflects a slight thematic change of the restaurant, as well as hints to the space’s former life as the Puritan Cake Company in the early 1900s.

“At first we wanted Bridgestreet to represent the way people would refer to Cambridge Street [in Inman], and nobody got it,” Gilson says. “It was like having to tell a story over and over again.” The historically-inspired name also represents a slight shift in concept. “We are putting more of a focus on New England heritage and doing it in a fun way, whether that be hardtack crackers or New England dishes like Indian pudding,” Gilson says. “We wanted our name to embody the change.” He should know a thing or two about that type of fare, since he’s a 13th-generation New Englander.

Certain elements we previously told you about, like the oyster and charcuterie bar and housemade vermouth, will still remain. Puritan & Co. is aiming for an October opening.

In the meantime, enjoy the above photo—”The joke is that this is my first child,” Gilson says of opening a restaurant from scratch. “We are at month 7; it was going to be a girl, and now it’s a boy.”

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  • Margaret F.

    As a faithful Chowder reader, I was introduced to the pop-up Brasstacks Boston back in December when CHowder went to one of their meals. Looks like Will Gilson is also a fan, as he completely stole their concept, including the Indian Pudding. What a fraud. Google the Chowder post. Pretty damning stuff.

  • http://mcslimjb.blogspot.com/ MC Slim JB

    I think it’s a little premature to judge how much Puritan & Co. is “stealing” the Brasstacks concept. Most of what I see sounds like the same kind of seasonal / local / charcuterie / raw bar thing that Gilson has done elsewhere. But the notion that any operator “owns” a concept is absurd: Brasstacks does a pop-up, and no one else can ever put a historically-themed dish on their menu again without being accused of thievery? If you’ve got a restaurant concept that you think is so unique as to be proprietary, maybe a better strategy is to line up a space before you unveil it in public.

  • bob

    Bostonchefs.com shows at least half a dozen local restaurants doing Indian pudding, which as a mainstay New England dessert is hardly off-limits to reinterpretation by anyone but a one-off pop-up. You could say that anyone serving it is ripping off Durgin Park or Locke-Ober or whoever has served it longest, but that would be rather silly.

    The really funny part is that Gilson as part of EatBoston was one of the first to do local pop-ups, so you could just as easily claim that Brasstacks ripped the pop-up concept from him.

    I think part of what is actually happening is that local chefs tend to be into the cocktail bar scene, and the classic cocktail trend is inspiring a similar take on classic dishes. Kitchen in the S. End is another example.

  • Margaret F.

    The issue is not the theft of the Indian Pudding. It is the overall concept of not just cooking new england food, but focusing on “new england heritage”. I have no doubt that the food at Puritan and Co will be vastly different than what one would find at a Brasstacks dinner, but the lifting of the concept is still clear. He could have referenced many other classic new england desserts, but he pointed to one of their more well known dishes. It’s circumstantial evidence, but too coincidental as far as I’m concerned.

    • Wdgilson

      Margaret,

      I am not one to scan the internet and try to clarify every comment that gets take out of context, but now I have a PR team that alerts me of when there may be issues. I can assure you that I am not ripping off the concept of brasstacks. In fact I have spoken to them about our concepts and how to keep them separate and different. Also, the stories about Puritan & Co. that make it to the internet share about 10% of what I tell the media people. If you would like to preview any of the concept, I would be happy to share our complete press release with you. We are excited for the opening, and hope that you will give us a chance when we finally get the doors open.

      best,
      Will Gilson

  • Margaret F.

    Love to take a look at it. mgfran1@gmail.com