Deep Ellum Is Back, Along with Its Beloved Truffle Gorgonzola Fries
The popular Allston bar and restaurant has been reborn in Waltham.
When Allston mainstay Deep Ellum closed in 2020 after a 13-year run, it hit hard: The cozy neighborhood spot was a gastropub-y beer bar before those became ubiquitous, beloved for its house-made charcuterie, good vibes, and delightful patio. Today, March 17, Deep Ellum returns—this time in Waltham—with lots of old favorites and some new surprises.
“We are very excited to have the chance to resurrect Deep Ellum,” cofounder Max Toste tells Boston. Toste and business partner Aaron Sanders weren’t really planning on reviving Deep Ellum, but the perfect space fell into their laps: 467 Moody St., the former home of beer bar the Gaff. Mike Coen and Steve Murphy, owners of the Gaff, were looking to shift focus to a bar they own in Beverly, the Indo, so Coen reached out to Toste—they’ve been friends for years and have played music together—to check out the space. Says Toste, “When Aaron and I walked in, we both immediately thought the same thing, ‘Man, this feels like Deep Ellum!’”
The Gaff served up craft beer, good food, and a fun atmosphere for 14 years, says Toste, so it’s not a stretch to picture Deep Ellum in the same space, continuing the legacies of both the Gaff and the original Deep Ellum.
The food menu at the new Deep Ellum will be similar to the original, says Toste, although the kitchen is unfortunately too small for brunch. Look for items like: meat, cheese, and tinned fish boards; niçoise salad; deviled eggs; truffle gorgonzola fries; and porcini mushroom poutine, a new addition. There will also be Oklahoma-style onion smash burgers and lentil mushroom burgers, plus a meaty Italian sandwich, another new item Toste is particularly enthusiastic about. “It’s delish,” he says.
To drink? Manhattans and other classics, along with a variety of old Deep Ellum favorites, on the cocktail side, says Toste. There’ll be some low-ABV and non-alcoholic cocktail options, too. Plus: natural wines and 14 rotating draft lines for beer, with a focus on classic European beer styles and some local picks. “Don’t look to find overly hazy beers,” says Toste, “’cause I don’t like them.” Do keep an eye out for cask ale, though, which will be offered when available.
The space is a bit smaller than the original, now seating 40, but the layout is similar, featuring a long bar and high tin ceilings. (“And our signature ceiling fans,” says Toste. “Mike had installed them years back because he liked them at Deep Ellum so much!”) Moody Street’s outdoor dining status is currently under review—for the past few years, a portion of the street has been shut down to cars and turned into patio space in the warmer months—but the team will take advantage of that if allowed this year. There’s also a small area out back that could someday play host to a deck.
Just 12 miles west of Boston, Waltham isn’t always a top-of-mind dining destination for those in the city—although Moody Street in particular has an excellent stretch of restaurants—but it’s “a great neighborhood for the kind of neighborhood bar that Deep Ellum was,” says Toste. Not to mention that a lot of the old regulars live in, or near Waltham, “so it doesn’t feel removed from where we were before really.”
The new Deep Ellum will be open for lunch and dinner daily with one menu all day, with the kitchen until midnight and bar until 1 a.m. (earlier on Sundays). Toste and Sanders are joined by three other partners: Glen Cancelleire (general manager), Jose Paz (chef), and Brian Beattie (director of operations). “We are really excited to pick up where Deep Ellum left off,” says Toste, “while also reimagining it with our whole team’s experience and passion.”
467 Moody St., Waltham.