CloverDTX Opens February 3
The latest brick-and-mortar location of Clover Food Lab is putting on the finishing touches for an early February debut. CloverDTX opens on Wednesday, February 3, a company representative confirmed this afternoon.
CloverDTX takes over a former Boloco restaurant, and while the entrance from School Street and the general layout remains the same, it looks substantially different in its new incarnation. “The most important part of our restaurant design is how intimate you can be with what’s going on with the food,” founder Ayr Muir says, referring to a handful of stools at a red oak counter near the rear of the restaurant, where guests will soon have front-row seats to meal prep. But throughout the restaurant, customers can see see into the newly-opened kitchen.
An expansive, live-edge, red oak table anchors the new space, and one of the things delaying CloverDTX’s opening are the delivery of smaller tabletops. The restaurant will also have wall-mounted menu screens and a retail area offering whole bean coffees, loose teas, lentils, and house-made, grab-and-go items, like Clover restaurants in Cambridge, Brookline, and Burlington.
Muir is excited to install a custom-built, clear glass beer cooler at CloverDTX in the next month or so, with similar models following in the rest of the Clover restaurants that offer beer and wine. (Currently, all but Burlington and CloverHFI in Central Square are licensed to sell beer and wine.) When CloverDTX opens next week, beer and wine won’t be on the menu, but eventually, it will have six draft lines, visible from behind glass at the front counter. Featuring rotating pony kegs from Notch, Jack’s Abby, Mystic, and other local breweries, Muir is giving brewers the reigns on what Clover restaurants will pour, he says.
Jasper Hoitsma, a Rialto alum and the opening manager of CloverBUR, the company’s first suburban restaurant, is on board as general manager of CloverDTX.
The small, ever-changing menu will definitely feature a new, blue oyster mushroom sandwich with tarragon miso mayo, fried blue oyster mushrooms, Maine tomatoes, and kale; plus daily soups, popovers, and whoopie pies, made fresh every Friday evening.
The Downtown Crossing restaurant is Clover’s first in Boston, though it has long parked its food trucks within city limits. Park Street and Longwood Medical Area mobile units are hibernating for the winter, but they will return this spring. “At most of our restaurants, 80 percent of our customers come less than 5 minutes to get to us, believe it or not,” Muir says.
It won’t be the last restaurant in Boston: Up next, Clover will expand to 160 Federal St. in the Financial District, likely in March; and Muir is in talks with a landlord in the Longwood Medical Area, too. A long-awaited stationary truck on Newbury Street, powered solely by electricity from the Hynes Convention Center MBTA stop, still eludes, though Muir is hopeful it will open in March, too. A state inspection of the MBTA’s power is the only lingering punch list item, he says.
CloverDTX will introduce itself during an open house on Monday, February 1, with complimentary Barismo Coffee and house-made apple cider doughnuts from 8-11 a.m. On Tuesday, pay what you wish for the full gamut of menu items from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. (or until it’s all sold out), with all proceeds going to the Food Project. Business as usual kicks off Wednesday, February 3, from 7 a.m.-11 p.m. On weekends, it will be open Saturdays from 8 a.m.-11 p.m. and Sundays from 8 a.m.-8 p.m.
CloverDTX, 27 School St., Boston; cloverfoodlab.com.