Bond Street Social officially opens on Friday. Waterfront Kitchen, within eyesight of Bond Street Social, opens Oct. 28. Both are at the west end of Thames Street—which proved to be a problem for DuClaw Brewing Co.
I walked by the new establishments yesterday. They look great from the outside, and the menus I’ve seen are appealing. But they’re located blocks away from the bustling stretch of bars and restaurants in Fells. It’s a walkable stretch and shouldn’t make a difference. It evidently did to DuClaw, which closed its restaurant there in late 2009.
I can’t help recalling a conversation I had with David Benfield, president of DuClaw, on the downtown restaurant’s last day. He said its location, on the outskirts of Fells Point and Harbor East, factored into the company’s decision to end its lease there. “The store was not a great performer,” he told me at the time. “We were missing the critical mass.”
That said, I think Bond Street Social (beautifully reconfigured in DuClaw’s old space) and Waterfront Kitchen’s focus on interesting food and drinks will draw folks to that end of the street and continue a tighter connection between all the Harbor communities.
Bond Street Social, which will have a soft opening on Thursday, has brought in executive chef Neill Howell (formerly of Stanton Social in NYC) to create a menu of global dishes inspired by European, Latin, Asian, and local Chesapeake Bay cuisines. Signature items include plates like foie gras PBJ, duck spring rolls, and miso-glazed salmon in addition to creative “social drinks” in glass fusion jars, craft beers, wines, and specialty cocktails.
Waterfront Kitchen, with a menu by experienced local chef Jerry Pellegrino of Corks, will emphasize seasonal ingredients and American cuisine, a sophisticated wine list, and incorporate the educational mission of Living Classrooms by training at-risk men and women for careers in food service.
The restaurant, designed by Patrick Sutton Interior Design, also has a sweeping view of the harbor.
It’s exciting to welcome two new restaurants to the area. Then, in November, Wit & Wisdom in the Four Seasons Hotel, opens. I’m looking forward to lots of good eating in the months ahead.
Preview photo of Bond Street Social