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Blue Hill Bar & Grille Crowdfunds Its Quest to 'Revitalize Roxbury's Culinary Scene'

Blue Hill Bar & Grille plans to bring "great food to Roxbury at prices the neighborhood can afford."

Blue Hill Avenue in the 1960s
Blue Hill Avenue in the 1960s
City of Boston Archives/Creative Commons License

Blue Hill Bar & Grille launched a Kickstarter campaign earlier this month to raise $35,000 so it can open in the historically significant, but recently notorious, Blue Hill Avenue neighborhood of Roxbury.

Boston native and young professional Jamal Gathers writes that Blue Hill Grille will cater to the new demographic moving into the area. "With help from legendary Mayor Thomas Menino, Blue Hill Ave (Roxbury) is transforming! There are local businesses thriving and the neighborhood is booming with new housing developments. People who desire to be closer to the city are moving in ... The residents and new businesses deserve a place to enjoy their neighbors, celebrate their neighborhood and enjoy amazing food and drink."

Gathers refers to the negative reputation of this four-mile stretch of road that travels south from Milton to Dudley Square, through Dorchester, Mattapan, and Roxbury, and the area's not-so-distant, violent past. (In the wake of a grisly 2010 murder in Mattapan, WGBH senior investigative reporter Phillip Martin produced a series that provides background on the area's multifaceted, multicultural history.) Blue Hill Grille's exact location in Roxbury is undisclosed. But with revitalization picking up speed around the neighborhood, "we have chosen a location that reflects our target demographic and market size," writes Gathers, a real estate consultant and sales professional. Blue Hill Grille plans to offer "rustic, good food that everyone enjoys," that is comparable in price to nearby pizza, fried chicken, and take-out Chinese options — but superior in quality. The entrepreneur writes that sustainability and sourcing products locally will be a priority for Blue Hill Grille, as will service.

While the campaign indicates Blue Hill Bar & Grille will employ social media to reach beyond its target demographic, Facebook and Twitter pages haven't surfaced yet.

Blue Hill Bar & Grille has until Saturday, May 16 to meet its $35,000 campaign. If successful, it appears Gathers plans to break ground this summer and open fall 2016, based on the estimated delivery time of backers' rewards.

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