On September 8, Earls Kitchen + Bar opened their second Massachusetts location within The Shops at the Prudential Center in Boston’s Back Bay. This new flagship location is Earls’ 10th and largest concept in the United States joining its sister restaurant at Assembly Row in Somerville. Earls Kitchen + Bar, the iconic staple from Canada, strikes a balance of healthy and indulgent by offering a menu diverse in culinary experiences inside a lively, high-energy bar and dining environment complete with an unmatched rooftop patio where authentic hospitality takes center stage.
One of the most successful, family-owned independent restaurant groups in North America, Earls was founded in 1982 from humble beginnings as a laid-back beer and burger joint. The brand has grown to a sophisticated yet casual dining experience rich in global culinary influences and made-from scratch cuisine that reflect local flavors and trends. Earls restaurants are noted for their unique personalities that are each curated differently, with local artists selected to contribute to the overall design, and menus that are crafted with an eye toward location and demographics.
With comforting yet innovative design features, the Prudential Center location sets the stage for a multi-level, 14,500 square foot space complete with a three-season rooftop patio and lounge whose overall design lends itself to different social and dining experiences. Whether dressed up or dressed down, Earls’ happy and hospitable setting makes every guest feel right at home no matter the occasion. Upon entering from the shopping center’s arcade level, guests find themselves in the HDTV-lined upbeat bar, dubbed “The Cocktail Lab.” Proceeding upstairs, its 300-seat dining room is anchored by an expansive open feature kitchen where guests have the opportunity to sit at a “kitchen counter” to catch all the action. The second level offers an energetic lounge and bar area. By popular demand, the eye-catching papier-mâché animals that were featured in Earls’ original Canadian location have made their glorious return to the brand and the walls feature a large collection of artwork from local Boston artists. Eye-catching artworks include a neighborhood-themed mural by Christopher DeLorenzo (Boston), a Zakim Bridge painting with giraffes in the forefront by Scott Listfield (Somerville), a brightly colored and whimsical piece titled “Shake Ya Tailfeather” by Timmy Sneaks (Boston) and a series of prints on the gallery wall created by a group of varied local artists. Outdoors, Earls Kitchen + Bar at the Prudential Center is home to a three-season rooftop bar and lounge that is decked with a sprawling tree and an ivy-lined wall. Earls’ scenic al fresco space seats 200 and features a retractable roof for city stargazing in addition to offering a lowered private area with relaxed lounge seating for social group outings, celebratory occasions or a romantic night out on the town.
When it comes to cocktails, Earls is known for bringing the “fun.” With its innovative beverage menu curated by internationally renowned beverage director Cameron Bogue, Earls’ cocktail gurus shake-and-stir modernized classics in addition to pouring authentic craft cocktails and balanced libations with a twist of novelty. Using freshly-squeezed juices, seasonal fruits, small batch syrups and market-fresh herbs, Earls raises the bar one step further by pouring collaborations between Bogue and his bartender friends who span the globe. At the Earls’ Prudential location, guests are treated to three distinct bar experiences: the “Cocktail Lab,” a first of its kind concept that is located on the arcade level of the shopping center where some of Boston’s top mixology personalities make cameo appearances weekly; the sprawling main bar that abuts the dining room; and, an outdoor bar on its rooftop area that overlooks courtyard gardens.
Earls also features local and regional craft beer selections and an unpretentious wine list focused on quality and value that is curated by corporate sommelier David Stansfield, a wine educator and writer who is known for his wit and keen understanding of the wine experience. Comprised of a concise and sophisticated collection of globally-sourced varietals – including up-and-coming modern wineries alongside iconic international producers – the wine list is presented in an easygoing fashion that is tailor-made for its Prudential Center location with a heavy focus on wines of Italy and classic biodynamic producers.
Earls’ motto of “Eat a Little, Eat a Lot” is materialized through its globally-inspired menus that achieve the perfect balance between healthy and indulgent. Designed to capture how today’s guest wants to eat, each Earls menu is unique to its local market and surroundings. At its core, Earls offers diverse selections ranging from bibimbap, jeera chicken curry, sushi and south-of-the-border specialties in addition to serving up classics like gourmet burgers, steaks and fresh seafood. Guests in a hurry can take advantage of Earls’ “Power Lunch Menu” guaranteed to have one in-and-out in less than 45 minutes, and the restaurant also highlights seasonal “New & Notable” features, a daily “The Happiest Hour” menu featured from 3-6pm and 9pm through close, and a weekend brunch menu.
Earls Kitchen + Bar at the Shops at the Prudential Center: 800 Boylston Street, Unit 107; (857) 957-0949; www.earlsrestaurants.com.