A Refreshed Bull McCabe’s Pub Reopens Tomorrow

The "hole-in-the-wall feel" will remain, but the Union Square restaurant is getting a facelift and a revamped menu.

Bull McCabe's

Bull McCabe’s Pub before its cosmetic makeover, Photo via official site

A cozy spot in Union Square has been shuttered this week as it undergoes a cosmetic update, and when it reopens tomorrow, Bull McCabe’s will have a brand-new menu, too.

“We’re not getting too big for our britches,” owner Brian Manning said. “We know who we are, and we know what we want to be.”

The diminutive pub is a solid neighborhood spot that serves better-than-it-needs-to-be fare from a truly tiny kitchen—Manning estimates it at about 50-square feet, including equipment. Previously, it was known for a range of huge burgers, as well as daily fried seafood offerings.

The food was always really good, but with everything else going on in Union Square, [people] were missing us,” Manning said. Bull’s has brought on chef Michael DeSisto to scale up the offerings. He most recently led another small kitchen at the North End’s Daily Catch, but he previously worked for Manning as a sous chef at the restaurateur’s larger space near Porter Square, McCabe’s On Mass.

“[DeSisto is] prepared to come into a small shop kitchen like we have,” Manning said. Plus, the chef is a well-known face at Bull’s. “He was one of our regulars. He saw the potential for what we can do with the food, and he knows our customers, and he knows what our crowd is and what people are looking for.”

Appetizers range from $5-$10, with options including house-made salt and vinegar potato chips with French onion dip; Parmesan fries; and Reuben sliders. Sandwiches are $10-$13, including beer-braised shredded shortribs, caramelized onion, and spicy goat cheese on Iggy’s rosemary focaccia; a house burger with bacon-Sriracha aioli; and a vegetarian option with barbecue jackfruit and house slaw. Entrées, such as veggie lasagna with Capone’s pasta; gnocchi bolognese; and Jamaican jerk flank steak with sweet plantains, jasmine rice and beans, are $16-$20.

Bull McCabe’s former menu was always supplemented by specials, and Manning said that will continue. The eight-seat bar will still meet your needs: Bull’s shared on Facebook that it will implement a $10, 32-ounce pour of session craft brews.

As far as the space goes, Bull McCabe’s will have new barstools, updated decor, and redone floors when it reopens tomorrow at 3 p.m. Manning also gave the stage area a good sprucing-up: Bull’s hosts live music six nights a week, with a strong focus on local reggae. He said the venue will maintain its “hole-in-the-wall-feel,” but it will look like a more professional setting to match the quality of talent that plays on the tiny stage.

It’s crazy to shut down a restaurant, and we know that,” Manning said. “If we are going to do it, we’re doing it right. These are all intentional moves we’re making for the betterment of the restaurant.”

Bull McCabe’s Pub, 366 A Somerville Ave., Union Square, Somerville; 617-440-6045 or bullmccabesboston.com.