Three months after signing a letter of intent with a Brighton landlord, the locals behind Brato Brewhouse + Kitchen are officially headed for 190 North Beacon St. They just inked a 10-year lease, and cofounder and chef Jonathan Gilman is hopeful the neighborhood brewpub will open in 2018.
In the meantime, Gilman and brewer Alex Corona have secured a commissary kitchen workspace, launched a catering business, and plan to continue their beer-and-food-focused pop-ups even more regularly next year.
“By no means are we going to be dormant,” says Gilman, who in November left his longtime role as sous chef at Cambridge Brewing Company. Corona will leave his position as head brewer at CBC by the end of the year. “We’re both diving full in [with Brato].”
And that is a big risk, says the first-time entrepreneur. Hence formalizing a catering company with the proper permitting, rather than on a pop-up-by-pop-up basis. Providing spreads of Brato’s breads, grilled cheeses, sausages, pickles, and more for office parties, weddings, and other events will help the team fund the brewery’s buildout; their goal is to book a few events every week, beginning in late January.
That will include regular stints at some of the local breweries that have helped Brato establish itself thus far, like Idle Hands, Lamplighter, and Dorchester. Stay tuned on social media for those details, Gilman says; they’re close to officially announcing a New Year’s Eve party in Dorchester.
“What we really want to do [with the pop-ups] is demonstrate our understanding that food and beer have fundamentally connected relationship,” Gilman says. Brato, which debuted back in March, is building a menu around the idea of fermentation. The name, a play on the prefix for bratwurst and the Greek word “to brew,” “signifies a bridge between beer and food, which is a lot of what we stand for,” Gilman said previously.
At the Brighton brewpub, they plan to make this connection clear. Early drawings put an open kitchen near the main entrance, with a 10-barrel brewhouse at the back of the room, encased in glass. “As soon you walk in, you’ll see food cooking, you’ll see beer brewing. It will really connect people” to the culinarians’ inspiration, he says.
They plan to add about a 1,000-square foot outdoor space to the 4,500-square foot, standalone building, with more formal seating inside for 85-100 people, and casual, standing space outside. Gilman is stoked about the location, a 10-minute walk from the new Boston Landing Commuter Rail station. Already home New Balance, WGBH and other media companies, and the Boston Bruins, the Celtics and other companies are making the move to the area in the coming years.
“In the next 10 years, that area is really going to boom unlike any other neighborhood in Boston,” Gilman says. “And Brighton has a lot of charm to it. I lived in Allston for a while, just around the corner, and I love the neighborhood vibe it had. We always want to be a brewpub for the neighborhood we’re in, and we think we can do a good job pleasing the people directly around us.”
But they also intend to make Brato Brewhouse a destination for beer and food lovers. The location is “very accessible to people west of the city, which is a huge group of people. Being on the outskirts of the city really helps us,” Gilman says.
In addition to the planned pop-ups, Brato is also seeking additional outside investment, and the cofounders are considering a crowdfunding campaign in 2018.
Brato Brewhouse + Kitchen, opening in 2018 at 190 No. Beacon St., Brighton, bratobk.com.
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