The somewhat religiously-themed restaurant Centre Street Sanctuary is heading towards an April 1st opening in Jamaica Plain, "and that's not an April Fool's joke," owner Adam Rutstein tells Eater. The 80-seat restaurant will be located on the campus of the shuttered Blessed Sacrament church, and much of the space is actually constructed of reclaimed bits that Rutstein found at old churches and warehouses. The bar, for example, is made from a piece of a closed church in Watertown. Some parts of the construction are over 100 years old, and of course, there's stained glass.
Rutstein is aiming for a design and concept that fits comfortably into JP while also appealing to destination-seekers from beyond the neighborhood. He explains the cuisine as a twist on comfort food. The menu, which includes small plates, also features entrees with mix-and-match sauces (partly to help accomodate various dietary restrictions). One heavenly teaser: the cheese plate will feature fried cheeses with different dipping sauces.
As for the drinks, Rutstein is consulting with a mixologist to create a cocktail list that pairs well with the food and current trends. And along the lines of the small plates, half bottles of wine will be available.
While the overall concept came first, it was the location that inspired the religious theme; "I have a little bit of a sense of humor," says Rutstein. The theme comes out not only in the decor but also on the menu, which has sections like "In the Beginning," "Creations," and "Temptations," the latter of which contains, of course, desserts.
Rutstein has been in the industry for twenty years as a consultant and operator, but this is his first time owning a restaurant.
UPDATE: This post initially indicated that the restaurant would have 12-20 seats. There will actually be a patio with 12-20 seats, depending on permitting, but the restaurant itself has 80 seats, with 42 in the bar area and 38 in the dining room.