A Sky-High Cocktail Lounge Is Coming to the Back Bay

Plus, haggis is back in Boston, a local dive bar is offering free hot dogs for life in exchange for a tattoo, and other food news to kick off the week.

Rendering shows a skyscraper that reads Prudential across the top and has an outdoor observation deck

A rendering of View Boston, which will include a three-story observation deck, indoor/outdoor cocktail lounge, and bistro. / Rendering courtesy of Boston Properties

Welcome to our Monday news roundup, keeping you up to date on tidbits of Boston-area restaurant news. Got info that should be on our radar? Send an email.

Catch up on last week’s news

Our October issue is on newsstands now (subscribe here!), full of tasty ways to enjoy early fall—check out this guide to finding classic fall foods around New England, from stuffed clams in Rhode Island to apple cider in New Hampshire. You’ll also find a roundup of Boston’s best new bars and a review of Faccia Brutta, Back Bay’s new coastal Italian spot. Also last week, we rounded up a trio of outstanding Peruvian restaurants you should check out, especially if you love ceviche.

What else is going on?

  • Boston bid farewell to Top of the Hub in 2020; the sky-high restaurant, open for over five decades, offered stunning views, playing host to many a special-occasion dinner, work lunch, or jazz brunch over the years. The Prudential Center has now announced a replacement for the space that housed Top of the Hub and the Skywalk Observatory: View Boston, a three-story observation deck, plus a 50th-floor bistro and a 51st-floor indoor/outdoor cocktail lounge. It’s expected to open sometime next year.
  • Remember the Hungry I, the romantic Beacon Hill restaurant that closed a few years back after a decades-long run? That space is now home to a gorgeous multi-level bookstore, Beacon Hill Books & Cafe. The bookstore itself is now open, and the cafe portion—which will serve breakfast, lunch, formal afternoon tea, and dinner—will open in the coming weeks, with chef Colleen Suhanosky at the helm. (She also owns Rifrullo Cafe in Brookline and is an alum of Gramercy Tavern in New York and the long-closed but beloved Biba in Boston.)
  • A judge intends to dismiss the federal lawsuit filed by several North End restaurant owners against Boston Mayor Michelle Wu. The restaurant owners argued that Wu’s 2022 outdoor dining policy was unconstitutional in that it specifically targeted North End businesses with extra fees. (Here’s the background on the lawsuit, conveniently reimagined in musical theater form by the Dig.) The judge is giving the restaurants two weeks to file an amended complaint.
  • Scottish restaurant the Haven is settling into its huge new Jamaica Plain space, and there’s good news for Scottish food lovers: Haggis is back on the menu. Also, boozy crème brûlée.
  • Remember Wink & Nod, the South End cocktail bar that hosted a different culinary pop-up every six months or so? It closed at the start of the pandemic, but it has announced a comeback, reopening sometime this fall. Keep an eye on Instagram for updates.
  • Allston dive bar the Silhouette Lounge, which came under new management earlier this year, sells cheap hot dogs ($1 to $3.50, depending on the day and time)—but you know what’s cheaper than cheap? Free. Just get a permanent Silhouette-themed tattoo, and the Sil staff will hook you up with a free hot dog each time you visit, forever.
Two simple hot dogs are on a white paper plate, topped with squiggles of ketchup, mustard, and relish, displayed in front of a dive bar wall covered with stickers.

Get one of these babies for free every time you visit the Sil—all you need is a Sil-themed (permanent) tattoo. / Photo by the Silhouette Lounge

Things to do

Be sure to check out our weekly roundup of great events in and around the city, from music and theater to festivals and art exhibits. Here are a few upcoming food events that’ve caught our eye; follow the links for pricing, timing, and other pertinent info:

  • Play “Buffalo roulette” in Brighton at Brato Brewhouse & Kitchen’s Hell Night on October 12, featuring cauliflower, wings, and boneless tenders in a variety of flavors, including the fiery ghost chili.
  • Celebrate Halloween all month long at South End tropical bar Shore Leave, now dubbed Scare Leave and featuring spooky decor, themed cocktails, and a variety of special events.
  • On the North Shore? Speakeasy Donuts is popping up inside Deacon Giles Distillery in Salem on a handful of October evenings for your Halloween-themed doughnut needs. Preordering is required, so be sure to plan ahead. Choose from a long list of scary film characters or request your favorite.
  • Tickets are now on sale for our very own Taste event! This year’s food- and drink-filled extravaganza will be on November 1 at the beautiful SoWa Power Station in the South End. Get to know some of the city’s top chefs and restaurants while enjoying live entertainment, drinks, and a huge lineup of dishes—stay tuned for details on the restaurants that will be attending.