From on-the-go breakfast tacos to matcha service, lobster rolls to prix fixe French breakfasts, Juliet is about to cover a lot of bases when it opens in Somerville's Union Square at 7 a.m. on Monday, February 29.
In a series of essays, drawings, and photographs, owners Josh Lewin and Katrina Jazayeri — collectively Bread and Salt Hospitality — have been documenting the process of opening their first permanent restaurant after a variety of pop-ups, both long-term and one-offs, around Boston and beyond. Located in the former Sherman Cafe space, Juliet is another kind of cafe, meant to take after a European-style cafe rather than an American coffee shop.
"We don’t want to compete with some of the other places in the Square that are doing that," Lewin previously told Eater. "We want to add something that’s not already here...what we’re more inspired by is the European-style cafe where it’s a place away from your home, and it is very much a restaurant. It doesn’t mean it’s where you go for your special occasion or your weekend, but it’s an all-day, everyday restaurant and a place where you can have some fun."
Part of Juliet's concept is aimed at being commuter-friendly; there's a bus stop right outside. To that end, there are a variety of coffee and tea options, breakfast tacos, pastries, and other takeout-oriented foods. For those who dine in, most will order at the counter and sit at a table, but there are six full-service counter seats available as well along the edge of the kitchen for those choosing, for example, a prix fixe Japanese breakfast. (The whole kitchen is wide open, providing a focal point for the room.)
The team was hands-on in the build-out of the space; Jazayeri refinished chairs, affixed legs to tables, and assembled the branch art along the walls (made of very local fallen branches), among numerous other tasks.
One of the highlights of the bright space is a pastry case, right in front of the entrance. It was the sole Brimfield purchase; it was formerly a German jewelry case. Aside from pastries, retail items will reside inside, such as t-shirts. The case is sandwiched between pieces of the counter, the top of which is made of handsome California redwood.
Juliet maintains the rough layout of Sherman Cafe, aside from the complete opening up of the kitchen, but there is one important improvement that may be on former customers' minds: the bathroom. The new one is huge, relatively speaking.
Juliet will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily.