Across the street from famed Boston Citgo sign, the Red Paint Hospitality Group has opened a new neighborhood bar in Kenmore Square, aptly dubbed The Kenmore.
The Red Paint Hospitality Group added The Kenmore to a sizable collection that includes The Westland, Hopewell Bar and Kitchen, Avenue Bar, The White Horse Tavern, Harry’s Bar and Grill, The Last Drop, and The Corner Tavern.
The space was once inhabited by The Lower Depths, which was known for having a cash-only policy, and closed in June after 13 years in business. The new owners have dropped the cash-only policy but have kept the attitude and ambiance of the previous occupant.
The Kenmore provides the comfort of a classic Boston bar, this one far from the hustle and crowds that plague downtown Boston. Multiple sports games play on ESPN behind the bar that is lit by dimmed lights disguised as beer kegs.
On a snowy Monday night in Boston, The Kenmore supplied warmth in both food and atmosphere. Sparsely crowded with only a few people at the bar and a couple of groups occupying tables, The Kenmore offered a relaxed feeling. In regular bar fashion, protocol is seat-yourself. Seating options include high-top chairs at the bar, booths, and lone tables.
Classic bar food to warm the soul can be found on the menu. But the affordable prices are this restaurant’s best asset—every item on the menu is less than $10 before tax. The catch is that there is no catch: Inexpensive prices are not indicative of substandard food at The Kenmore.
Cheap prices and good food may label The Kenmore a hot spot for college students who study near and around Boston. The hours also make the bar a great late-night food option. It is open from 11:30 a.m. to 1 a.m. Sunday through Wednesday and until 2 a.m. Thursday through Saturday.
Burgers range from $4.95 to a maximum of $6.95. The classic “K” burger, topped with the secret “K sauce,” resembles a Shake Shack burger, but with 10 times the flavor and more bang for your buck. The burger, priced at $4.95, comes with salted shoestring fries. Cooked to be delectably juicy, the burger sits between two buttery, flaky buns that rival any brioche you have ever had. All buns can also be substituted for a gluten-free alternative bun for an additional $1.50.
The basic dog is another great option on the menu. A regular dog rests on a bed of toasted bread for $2.75 at The Kenmore. Beyond burgers and dogs, it also serves other options, including the cheesesteak egg rolls and the Kenmore fries—not to mention chicken lollipops and onion dip.
As for the Kenmore fries, they’re the bar’s namesake for a reason. Topped with the Kenmore seasoning and dipped into the complementary ranch dressing, these shoestring fries, which are only $5.95, are not to be missed—a clean tray and greasy hands afterward are evidence enough.
The grain bowl seems to be the healthy option in a slew of bar food but by no means does this meal disappoint. For $9.95, the bowl includes brown rice, roasted chicken thigh, sweet potato, spiced pepitas, avocado, mixed greens, cumin, and lime vinaigrette, making for a colorful and tasty ensemble.
The egg rolls, priced at $8.95, are a Western take on the Eastern dish. The combination of shaved steak, melted cheese, and caramelized onions is purposefully placed in the roll to juxtapose a soft filling with a crunchy exterior.
Any new neighborhood bar would not be complete without a drink menu. The bar does not serve liquor but has beer and wine available and on display. Similar to the food, the drinks are also inexpensive.
The only complaint that came out of an evening at The Kenmore was the slow service that resulted in staggered meals for the whole group. One person in the party did not get a meal until the rest had finished eating. But this was only a minor flaw compared to our experience during the rest of the evening.
With its affordable options for bar food and an easy-going vibe, a night at The Kenmore invites a crowd that wants good food and good company.
Featured Image Courtesy of The Kenmore / @thekenmoreboston