Haley.Henry Wine Bar Opens This Weekend
Real estate costs are skyrocketing, kitchens are hard to staff—what’s an entrepreneurial industry veteran to do when she wants to open her own restaurant? Go small. Enter Haley.Henry (stylized as haley.henry), a unique sliver of a wine bar opening in Downtown Crossing on Friday, August 5.
The first ownership venture from Haley Fortier (Sportello), Haley.Henry is inspired by tiny, European wine bars found in cities like Barcelona and Paris. That influence will be seen on the expansive, Old World wine list, as well as in the fare: Haley.Henry’s focus is on tinned fish, a favorite bar snack in countries like Portugal, Spain, and France, which is making waves in Boston this summer. Along with Haley.Henry, conservas are also prominently featured at the MET Group’s latest, Saltie Girl.
Fortier developed a taste for tinned fish about 10 years ago, on a trip to Spain, she previously told Boston. Yes, that includes tuna and sardines, but she discovered the offerings are much broader than most Americans are used to, including mussels, octopus, razor clams, and more. At Haley.Henry, Fortier is sourcing a variety of tinned fish from Portugal, Spain, and France (by way of Ekone Oyster Company in Washington state), and presenting it simply.
In addition to the tinned fish options, there will be cheese and charcuterie boards, as well as a streamlined list of small plates by chef Carolina Curtin. Haley.Henry’s open kitchen will have no open flame cooking, but there will be things like “foie in a jar,” seasonal toasts, like sea trout roe, cultured butter, and radish; composed salads, and a few crudo and ceviches. Curtin is a Boston native who joins the Haley.Henry team after stints at Menton, Sycamore, Liquid Art House, and the Four Seasons-Maui.
Curtin’s menu is complemented by a few draft beers, plus more in bottles and cans, and a list of 40-50 wines curated by Fortier. Many of these will be available by the glass—a constantly changing list of open bottles will be on display—as well as by the half-bottle.
“I want to be a wine bar, with education,” Fortier said previously.
Kristie Weiss, former guest services manager at the Lenox Hotel and a front-of-house veteran of Blue Ginger, No. 9 Park, and Select Oyster Bar, is on board as general manager.
Making the most of just more than 680 square feet in Downtown Crossing, Haley.Henry will store its wine collection on a mezzanine, visible from dual, sapele bars, and two tables. In total, Haley.Henry seats 26. It is located on the ground level of 45 Province, next door to MAST’. Fortier sees a lot of potential in the neighborhood.
“When we opened [Sportello] in 2008, we were the first thing down there [in Fort Point]. It was fun to see the community grow and really change,” she previously told Boston.
“It is beyond exciting to be opening haley.henry in Downtown Crossing; a neighborhood steeped in history and yet experiencing a renaissance,” she says in a press release today. “I have been dreaming about this for a long time and I’m thrilled that I have the opportunity, with my amazing team, to bring to life a funky, authentic wine bar here in Boston.”
haley.henry, 45 Province St., Boston, 617-208-6000, haleyhenry.com.