Commonwealth Ushers In Patio Expansion With Sunday Pop-Up Brunch Series

Steve ‘Nookie’ Postal is welcoming Eventide Oyster Co., Steinbones Jewish barbecue, Moody’s Deli, and more to Kendall Square this summer.

The Commonwealth patio

The Commonwealth patio. / Photos provided

Most everybody loves brunch, but you’d hard-pressed to find the restaurant industry veteran who loves working the brunch shift.

Steve “Nookie” Postal knows this well, two-plus years into running Commonwealth in Kendall Square. This winter, the chef/owner gave his staff—and himself—Sundays off, and Commonwealth’s popular Marky Mark and the Funky Brunch is on indefinite hiatus. But starting June 19, a new series called Sunday Slam will offer different choices every weekend, on Commonwealth’s soon-to-be-gigantic outdoor patio.

Sunday Slam invites chefs from Boston and beyond to essentially take over Commonwealth’s kitchen, new outdoor bar, and Sunday service. Get ready for pop-up menus by Eventide Oyster Co., Postal’s own forthcoming Steinbones, KO Pies, and more. Check out the full schedule below.

I wanted to bring [brunch] back, but in a little bit of a different iteration,” Postal says. “We came up with the idea of sharing our space with all these great people and introduce them to the city or Kendall.” 

Plus, he adds, it’s a great excuse to show off Commonwealth’s expanded patio. The corner has offered tables overlooking the Broad Canal since Commonwealth’s debut, but this summer, Postal is nearly doubling the seating out there to 150, and adding a bar and lounge, specifically for guests who aren’t interested in having a full meal al fresco. RODE architects designed the addition.

BHaley Designs is currently retrofitting a 1960 Dodge D100 as a fully functional bar that will be parked on the patio in the next few weeks, Postal says. The chef found the pickup truck at a junkyard and gutted it. The hood is fitted with stainless steel and will serve as the outdoor bar’s ice well and other storage, and the bed is repurposed as a bartop with about 16 seats, Postal says. Elsewhere on the new outdoor lounge, there are communal tables and other new seating options. During the Sunday Slam, the outdoor bar offerings will be tailored to the pop-up.

On June 19, Postal himself is treating Kendall Square to Central Texas barbecue. The chef recently returned from a visit to Austin.

It’s Father’s Day, so I thought it might be a fun day to do some barbecue, like how I saw it in Texas. Real simple, everything served on platters,” he says.

The special menu, while still to be determined, will put Commonwealth’s Lang 84 Deluxe smoker to good use, he says. “We’ll do brisket, we might do some shortribs, probably some turkey, beef sausage, and a bunch of different sides.”

Eventide Oyster Co., a James Beard Award-nominated Portland, Maine, seafood hotspot, is bringing its famed brown butter lobster rolls and other casual fare to Cambridge every other week. Commonwealth’s chef de cuisine Ellie Campbell and sous chef Nicco Muratore are creating a pan-Asian street food spread for their featured Sunday in July, dubbed Shanghai Samurai. In August, Puritan & Co. chef Will Gilson is planning to make bar pies and grinders, Postal says.

Each Sunday Slam will vary—the visiting chefs will decide their own menus, prices, and style of service. Hours will also vary, though Postal anticipates it running from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. or so. Check Commonwealth’s website for details.

“This won’t be your typical dining experience. It’ll be more casual, more outside-the-box.”

Commonwealth Sunday Slam 2016
Schedule subject to change

June 19: Central Texas BBQ Pit by Nookie Postal
June 26: Eventide Oyster Co.
July 3: Steinbones by Nookie Postal
July 10: Eventide Oyster Co.
July 17: Szechuan Samurai by Ellie Campbell and Nicco Muratore
July 24: Moody’s Delicatessen & Provisions
July 31: Eventide Oyster Co.
August 7: Puritan & Company
August 14: Eventide Oyster Co.
August 21: KO Pies

Sunday Slam, Sundays June 19-August 21, Commonwealth patio, hours vary, 11 Broad Canal Way, Kendall Square, Cambridge, 617-945-7030, commonwealthcambridge.com.