Restaurant Openings

ArcLight Cinemas Is about to Open With Funky Popcorns From Local Chefs

Here's a sneak peek at the movie theater's crafty Café Bar menu, with za'atar-spiced kernels from Sofra, cool cocktails, and more.


ArcLight Cinemas at Hub on Causeway will serve organic wines, specialty spiced popcorn, and more

Who needs Netflix? ArcLight Cinemas at Hub on Causeway will serve organic wines, specialty spiced popcorn, and more. / Photo courtesy of ArcLight Cinemas

It’s a given these days that any new movie theater will be stacked with amenities like plush seating, reserve-ahead tickets, and craft beverages to entice viewers to leave the comfort of their own couches. ArcLight Cinemas, opening this month at the Hub on Causeway development, will have all of that—plus some unique local flavor to start things off: Sofra, Mamaleh’s, and other area restaurants are creating limited-edition popcorn spices for the opening menu at ArcLight Cinemas Café Bar.

The in-house bar and lounge boasts 65 seats on the main level of the soon-to-open cinemas. It’s a standard enhancement for the Los Angeles-born theater company, which is known for all-reserved seating, commercial-free screenings (besides select trailers), and exclusive programming like Q&A events and limited-release showings. Along with a full bar boasting house-made syrups, New England craft spirits, and other hallmarks of a Serious Cocktail Program, ArcLight Cinemas Café Bar will have a selection of local craft beers and organic wines, too.

Then there’s the snacks, which go well beyond bags of Swedish Fish and Starburst. The menu includes salted lavender cashews, market veggies and sumac-scented hummus, and a crispy potato “tornado” (skewered potato spiral) with garlic malt aioli, as well as larger plates like Neapolitan ​pork and beef meatballs with marinara and garlic bread, and a Croque Monsieur panini​ ​served with a light side salad.

And ArcLight has even tapped some noteworthy locals to spice up its popcorn. You can get a sneak preview beginning November 18, when ArcLight-branded popcorn carts located inside the adjacent TD Garden will debut the inventive collaborations: say, popcorn spiced with za’atar, courtesy of pastry chef Maura Kilpatrick’s unparalleled ​Sofra Bakery; pickled salt spice from ​Mamaleh’s Delicatessen​; chocolate pie spice from Somerville chocolatier Gâté Comme des Filles​; and smoky Cajun spice from Cambridge blender ​Curio Spice​ Co. Once ArcLight opens later in the month, you’ll be able to buy the special popcorn flavors from concessions stations on each level of the cinemas, as well as at the Café Bar.

ArcLight hopes to continue collaborating with Boston-area chefs and restaurants to change up the special offerings over time, according to a cinema rep. This isn’t the first time Boston names have upped the movie-popcorn game: When ShowPlace Icon opened in the Seaport in 2018, it served up a year of chef-created blockbusters.

Now that the Bruins and Celtics are back on Causeway, the area’s new development is increasingly active, too. Erykah Badu hits the stage this week at Big Night Live, the brand-new music venue that’s also home to Boston’s very own Guy Fieri’s Tequila Cocina. A huge new Star Market is now serving the neighborhood, and Banners Kitchen & Tap is open with a huge selection of sports bar-adjacent fare and experiences. Hub Hall is bringing a ton of quick-service options in the form of a new food hall this winter; and Eater Boston just reported that renowned New York City cocktail consultants Proprietors LLC (Death & Co.) are expanding into Boston with a new concept called Sound Advice.

ArcLight is set to debut during the week of Thanksgiving—plenty of time for you to catch this holiday season’s hottest releases. When it opens, the café bar will be accessible to the ticketless public as well as moviegoers daily from 11 a.m.-11 p.m.

ArcLight Cinemas, opening November 2019, 60 Causeway St. Boston, 323-615-2550, arclightcinemas.com.

ArcLight Cinemas Boston Café Bar Menu

COCKTAILS

Abby Singer​ / House-made strawberry-cream soda

Bat Country​ / House rum blend, banana liqueur, fresh lime juice, honey

Below the Line​ / Blanco tequila, passion fruit​ ​liqueur, pineapple, lime

Citizen’s Arrest​ / Bourbon, Ramazzotti, apricot, cane syrup, lemon juice

Deep Focus​ / Bourbon, aged rum, cola syrup, bitters

Obscura​ / Gin, Aperol, Campari, St. George raspberry

Laces Out ​/ Lemon, ginger, yuzu soda

Riverwild​ / Rye whiskey, sweet vermouth, Bigallet China-China, walnut and mole bitters

Call Sheet ​/ Gin, allspice, lime, maple, Fever Tree Tonic

First Take​ / St. George Citrus vodka, lime, grapefruit liqueur, real cranberry

SNACKS

Signature snack mix with atomic dust
Olives with rosemary and lemon
Salted lavender cashews
Popcorn flight: coconut curry popcorn, spicy cheddar popcorn, and caramel corn

PLATES

Nacho Dog /​ ​beef hot dog, nacho cheese sauce, pickled red onions, scallions, ​jalapeños, crumbled tortilla chips

Crispy Potato Tornado​ / ​skewered potato spiral served with garlic malt aioli and ketchup

Lil Gems Salad​ ​/ green goddess dressing, watermelon radish, Persian cucumbers, snap peas / add grilled chicken

Market Veggies & Hummus​ / selection of market vegetables with sumac-scented hummus

Nacho Tots​ ​/ crispy tater tots, nacho cheese sauce, scallions, sour cream, and ​jalapeños

Popcorn Chicken​ ​/ crispy chicken bites served with ranch and garlic-malt aioli

Neapolitan Meatballs​ ​/ pork and beef meatballs served with marinara, garlic bread, and freshly grated parmesan

Croque Monsieur Panini​ ​/ sourdough with ham, gruyere and bechamel sauce served with light side salad

Godmother Panini ​/ sourdough, salami, soppressata, ham, provolone, pickled red onions and hot pepper spread served with light side salad

Margherita Chicken Panini​ / ​sourdough, grilled chicken, Roma tomatoes, mozzarella, basil and arugula served with light side salad

Cheese & Charcuterie Board​ ​/ selection of two cheeses and two cured meats accompanied by fig jam, lavender cashews, pickled red onions, and crackers