New Bee’s Knees Supply Company Opening in Allston [Updated]
Update: Tuesday, August 4:
Better late than never. Bee’s Knees Supply Company finally opened its Allston space Tuesday, just in time for a hailstorm. But don’t worry, all the provisions inside—from produce and vino, to cafe and comfy seating—are more than OK. A stark contrast from the bar that occupied the space previously (RIP, J-Tree), the new Bee’s Knees helps Allston’s “Green District” go gourmet. —Yiqing Shao
Allston, the Boston neighborhood best known for its raucous college parties, basement concerts, and “Allston Christmas,” just got a little more bougie. Coming soon: a Bee’s Knees Supply Company outpost—its existing flagship a gourmet grocery and cafe in Fort Point known for its selection of wine and beer.
In Allston, the two-story, 9,500-square-foot location—larger than its current 5,500-square food store in Fort Point—is situated across the Griggs Street/Long Avenue Green Line T stop at 1316 Commonwealth Ave., formerly home of the sports bar Joshua Tree.
The new Bee’s Knees comes with a different concept and unique vision, according to owner Jason Owens, who describes it as “a more evolved store” than its Seaport sister.
“This isn’t a replica of what we do downtown,” Owens says. “[Allston] is its own neighborhood, and should have its own identity.” Owens promises that the new space will have its own identity as a store that caters to Allston’s residents, with countless new and different brands and products that will be specific to this location.
What will be the same, however, is the Bee’s Knees commitment to quality and the store’s loyalty to local producers and “makers of things,” as Owens calls them, describing a close partnership with the brands sold in the store.
The neighborhood’s young population and the influx of new residential development—the location is next to a young Starbucks by the “Green District”—made this an ideal spot for a small business dedicated to quality.
“What we do is very culinary driven, and it’s about the best of things, mainly in the food and beverage world and culture. It doesn’t mean the most expensive or fancy necessarily,” Owens says.
The Fort Point location, which opened in 2013, caters to its neighborhood in the Seaport, and the Allston store will do the same. Owens says that he’s actively sought feedback from the new location’s neighbors. In addition to cultivating the finest and freshest collection of new products, Owens has prioritized improving the bitter taste that Joshua Tree, which closed in January 2014, left in many of the neighbors’ mouths.
“We want to be a good neighbor to people, whether they’re our customers or not,” Owens says. This focus on the area’s pre-existing community includes selling meals to-go and hiring people who live nearby.
The new Bee’s Knees Supply Company is still being finished, but Owens says that hopefully customers won’t have to wait long.
“We would like to open yesterday!” says Owens, who credits the delay to the season’s deluge of snow, but estimates that Allston customers can munch on Bee’s Knees’ artisanal grocery foods within the next 30 days.