The Street Much less Traveled: The Harwood District’s Distinctive Solution to Restaurant Reopening

Even though other people in the sector scrambled to pivot towards takeout and shipping and delivery, the Harwood District, property to 9 dining establishments, has taken what has been just about a yr of closure to revamp and reevaluate its restaurant business enterprise models.

“Together, we initiated a potent renaissance in Harwood Hospitality Group when our ideas have been quickly closed,” Harwood Hospitality Group vice president Michael Muskat claimed.

With no strain from landlords—Harwood privately owns and operates all of its properties—the district has been equipped to implement a phased reopening approach preceded by staff training, menu remakes, new culinary management, and inside remodels.

“We carefully evaluated every concept’s unique company model, executed a variety of reports, improved our technological know-how, revamped our menus, set up new partnerships, and implemented impressive means to just take our unforgettable visitor activities to the following degree,” Muskat stated.

“In addition to utilizing our Harwood Cares Programme, other crucial elements that we continue to elevate within just about every concept’s small business design incorporate the set up of innovative technologies as well as a further dive into each brand’s DNA and how we creatively convey these components in our fashion, culinary abilities, and much more.”

In Might, Harwood reopened its espresso store thought, Magnolias: Sous Le Pont, and its French bistro thought, Mercat Bistro, followed by its bar strategy, Happiest Hour, in October 2020. Happiest Hour, which is household to four bar spaces, debuted a rethought, foods-forward menu less than Harwood’s new retain the services of, government chef Molly Winkler. Winkler was formerly a chef at Plano-based strategy Sixty Vines.

“Our mantra is to go big or go residence,” Winkler reported.

The new menu is 90 p.c house-built and aims to demonstrate “what friends need to hope from the meals served at a principle recognized for its extensive beer and cocktail application,” Muskat explained. 

Strategies are also underway to fully redo the Italian strategy Dolce Riviera’s menu. The district has introduced in Boston hotshot Chef Tom Griffin to oversee the menu remake.

Dolce Riviera’s new Government Chef Tom Griffin treats the D CEO staff to a sneak preview of the Harwood District’s revised menu.

Previously acknowledged as an rising chief in Zagat’s Boston 30 Underneath 30, Griffin started to make a title for himself in the foods scene at the (now-closed) Cambridge fave East by Northeast. He went on to join Philip Tang at the snazzy Banyan Bar + Refuge and arrived to Harwood from Boston right after a tenure at Sinatra at Encore Boston Harbor with chef Timothy Hixson. Griffin also will be guiding Harwood’s new pan Asian strategy, set to open afterwards this 12 months.

Harwood released Dolce Riviera to the district in 2016. The restaurant’s first vision was basic Italian cuisine—take a move back in time when the Italian and French Rivieras ended up easy nonetheless stylish.

“When Dolce Riviera reopens later this summer, friends will enjoy Chef Tom’s new, approachable menu that is far more balanced than the concept’s preceding renditions. He will deliver seasonality, influences from Italy’s Ligurian area, and a big emphasis on fresh new seafood to the forefront of the Dolce Riviera culinary practical experience,” Muskat reported.

Mercat Bistro opened exclusively for brunch and lunch in May possibly but a short while ago revealed a new dinner menu.

“As restaurants had been permitted to reopen following the momentary shutdown, our insights indicated that numerous of our guests felt most comfortable with get-and-go company and restricted dine-in ordeals for breakfast and lunch,” Muskat continued.

Harwood listened to the data and crafted a menu that compliments the restaurant’s intimate ambiance.

“One of my beloved methods to describe Mercat Bistro is, ‘We just cannot acquire you to Paris, but we can acquire you away,’ Muskat reported. “This genuinely distinguishes when you’re at just one of our nine restaurants you are encountering anything outside of the norm, transporting you somewhere else.”

Mercat’s all-new evening meal menu was made by Executive Chef Taylor Kearney, an award-winning chef who is nicely-versed in French cuisine.

Chef Kearney, who experienced below several notable chefs, which includes Charlie Palmer, Anne-Sophie Pic, and Thomas Keller, worked on the evening meal menu about the training course of 2020.

“We hope attendees truly feel as if they escaped to Paris and are dining streetside in the ‘City of Like,’” he explained.

Highlights on Mercat Bistro’s new supper menu include fresh alternatives from an oyster bar Poulet Rôti, savory French roast hen with Pommes Frites, cauliflower, and white wine jus Crisp Braised Lamb with classic French cassoulet and decadent French desserts together with Clafoutis, Crème Brûlée, and Chocolate Mille-Feuille.


Led by Government Chef Ty Thaxton, Te Deseo’s culinary menu blends flavors impressed by numerous locations of Latin America, with well known impact from Argentina, Brazil, Mexico, and Peru. (food stuff: Rebecca Adler interior: Rob Underwood)

By the shut of 2020, Harwood experienced also reopened Marie Gabrielle Cafe and Gardens for personal gatherings and launched its new notion, British pub Harwood Arms. Energetic Latin principle, Te Deseo, adopted a handful of months ago.

“We are starting the 12 months with the reopening of our Latin-motivated strategy Te Deseo. Future, we’re seeking ahead to reopening a newly renovated Saint Ann Cafe & Bar,” Muskat stated.

 Within just a number of months, Muskat claims all 9 Harwood restaurants will be up and running. Many of the earlier furloughed staff members have returned, and the district is on keep track of to fulfill pre-pandemic staffing stages.

According to Muskat, a boutique resort, new hospitality concepts, and retail in other markets will quickly be on the way for Harwood, but 1st, a dip into what the district averted earlier this year—takeout.

“What’s following for the restaurant field is a ongoing emphasis on adaptability and diversifying the organization design,” Muskat stated. “In the in the vicinity of upcoming, friends will see Harwood Hospitality Group introducing new initiatives for to-go and delivery.”

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