The Gallows Group is "branching out" like a banyan tree from the projects they're known for in the South End — The Gallows and Blackbird Doughnuts — with Banyan Bar + Refuge, slated to open later this summer, writes The Improper Bostonian.
Hiring former East by Northeast executive chef Philip Tang trumps securing the landmark Hamersley's Bistro space in the South End, owner Rebecca Roth Gullo reveals. She also admits that if her team hadn't signed a lease for Blackbird Doughnuts a month before the Banyan space and talent became a possibility, the Gallows Group probably wouldn't have opened the doughnut shop in January. "But fortunately, it actually is working out," she said.
As previously reported, Banyan's menu will be extensive. The Improper notes it will have five different sections: raw bar and other cold items, salads and vegetables, small bites, things from the grill, and large plates. Tang tells the Improper guests can have a variety of eating experiences, which he is looking forward to. The chef also notes the dishes will span Southeast Asian, South Asian, and Chinese influences. An increasingly-active Instagram account shows the kitchen staff testing a potential snack, Japanese takayoki.
With eye-catching, 20-foot light fixtures made from banyan tree branches — pictured on Instagram, perhaps? — the Improper notes the new space will differentiate itself from the iconic Tremont Street bistro, which closed this past fall after 27 years. Roth Gullo previously told Eater she was excited about the raw bar they planned to install, with six seats right next to the expo line. The new bar is twice the size of Hamersley's, and the open kitchen is the only noticeable holdover in a restaurant that has been otherwise gutted, according to the Improper.
Look forward to trying more sake, as Banyan will open with single-serving options of the rice wine playing a "starring role" on the extensive bar menu, COO Seth Yaffe tells the magazine.
When Eater spoke with Roth Gullo and Yaffe in May, they were targeting July for Banyan's debut. Keep an eye on social media for updates.