Chris Henry is leaving the Barbara Lynch Gruppo to become executive chef at a new venture in Southie, Coppersmith. In his announcement on Facebook, Henry says his new team is aiming for a mid- to late-April opening. (UPDATE: A press release says late April or early May.)
Henry, who began his culinary career in the Washington, D.C. area, moved to Boston in 2008 and became executive chef at South End Buttery. The Gruppo hired him as a cook in 2011, and he has moved up the ranks there to become chef de cuisine of both catering company 9 at Home and at cocktail bar Drink.
Coppersmith is a new kind of eatery. A converted machine shop, the huge space will have food trucks permanently parked inside, which will support the main menu as well as provide extra resources when the venue hosts competitions, demonstrations, and other events. The 250-seat establishment will also have a patio and a rooftop garden, and will operate as a coffee shop by day before turning into a restaurant in the evening. The menu will be "global, hand-crafted, social fare" consisting of "familiar staples, as well as exciting interpretations of classic dishes with influences from all points on the map," Henry says via a press release. "We love the Julia Child approach of from-scratch, prepared slowly, and served simply...and whole-heartedly embrace the 'localvore' philosophy."
"It's going to be a great spot, and I can't wait to see you all there!" Henry writes on Facebook, also promising to keep his followers posted on Coppersmith's progress.
If you'd like to congratulate the chef in person, Henry and the Gruppo team will be making tiki cocktails and "some fun food" this Sunday, March 15 at Drink to celebrate his last night with the company.