Tonight Marks a New Era at Silvertone Bar & Grill

After nearly 20 years, Josh Childs and his partners have sold the downtown institution. The new owner promises to carry the torch.

Silvertone Bar & Grill

Silvertone Bar & Grill. / Photo provided

Silvertone Bar & Grill is back in business tonight after a few days of summer vacation, but the original owners aren’t headed back to the downtown office. Josh Childs, Maureen (Mo) McGovern, Mary Palmer, and Katy Gehan-Childs announced this afternoon they have sold the Boston institution to David Savoie.

Boston Restaurant Talk first reported rumblings of the change of hands this spring.

Other than the new manager of record, very little about Silvertone will change. Savoie, a longtime regular, plans to keep the name, overall concept, menu, and bar program—and of course, cases and cases of Miller High Life. Savoie will “spruce up some things,” and plans to extend the hours in the coming weeks, according to a press release.

“I’m lucky Mo McGovern and Mary Palmer, two of the previous owners, have handed off such a well run spot. I’ve always been a fan and now can put my spin on a classic Boston institution,” Savoie said.

Silvertone opened in March 1997, at a time when Boston in general and downtown in particular lacked bar-focused restaurants.

“The Hotel Nine Zero was literally rubble and the Suffolk Law School Library building was a hole in the ground. You could see Park Street from our front door. No. 9 Park wasn’t even open quite yet,” recalled Childs in a 2014 interview with Boston, when the cofounder and longtime face of Silvertone retired from bartending there. “It’s amazing how different downtown is these days. It’s changed as dramatically as the bar scene has in the last 20 years.”

Over 19 years, Silvertone’s reputation grew as a welcoming, neighborhood lounge with attainable prices and approachable food, like club sandwiches, macaroni and cheese, and steak tips with mashed potatoes and greens. On the bar, it offers well-executed classic cocktails and an array of Miller High Life boilermakers. Silvertone has received multiple Best of Boston nods over the years, in categories ranging from Best Downtown Restaurant to Best Affordble Wine List to Best Pick-Up Bar.

It’s also a well-known industry haunt, a regular after-work hang for luminaries like Barbara Lynch, Garrett Harker, and Ming Tsai in its early days, and the place where Childs first met Jamie Bissonnette, he recalled in the 2014 interview.

“When we opened the restaurant, we never thought it would have a 19-year run. In such an unpredictable industry, it’s something that we’re very proud of,” Childs said today.

The former face of Silvertone isn’t leaving the greater Boston restaurant scene. With partners Beau Sturm and Jay Bellao, Childs owns Audubon near Kenmore, and Trina’s Starlite Lounge and Parlor Sports in Somerville. Along with chef Suzi Maitland, Childs and Sturm will open the Paddle Inn in Newburyport later this year.

Silvertone Bar & Grill, 69 Bromfield St., Boston, 617-338-7887, silvertonedowntown.com.

  • kinopio

    It’d be nice if they opened on sundays now.