Article 24's sign has sat above a dormant building at 458 Western Ave. in Brighton since early March, without much for prospective diners to envision other than the slogan "Eat, Drink and Relax." Now the restaurant announced that it's anticipating a grand opening in late April, promising a "rock-n-roll-vintage-garage-inspired new American style" dining experience.
"We're hoping for the second or third week in April," said Julia Slowinski, the director of marketing and events for The Neighborhood Restaurant Group. "It got pushed back a little bit due to construction issues, but we're starting to train our staff this week. We don't want to open in a rush — we want to make sure we nail it on the head."
Article 24 will join The Neighborhood Restaurant Group's developing roster of restaurants, including Local 149, Biltmore & Main, and The Biltmore Bar & Grille. Article 24's name is a play on The Universal Declaration of Human Rights' article on the "right to leisure," something Slowinski said the restaurant hopes to encapsulate with its food and atmosphere.
To achieve that, the primary focus of the restaurant will be on music. The restaurant plans to bring in local bands and DJs to play each weekend. Article 24 is also organizing a few music-themed brunches to crank that musical tone up a notch. While Slowinski didn't want to reveal every theme yet, she hinted at one.
"We have old seltzer bottles from the 1950s and just really cool collectible pieces and antiques that work with our theme."
"We're going to do an EDM brunch," Slowinski said. "It's a cool, different theme that I think the area will take well to. And with a DJ booth right in the dining room, we thought it would be a good edition."
Article 24's interior is still under construction, but Slowinski said the finished space will be two stories, with 130 seats upstairs and 39 downstairs.
"We're really going vintage — we like cool artwork and rustic-looking pieces," Slowinski said. "We use barn wood from Maine. We have old seltzer bottles from the 1950s and just really cool collectible pieces and antiques that work with our theme."
For drinks, Slowinski said to expect a full bar with specialty cocktail classics "you would find at a speakeasy." For food, the restaurant will have menu sections focusing on items like toast, sandwiches, tacos, and ramen. Heading up the kitchen is chef Mark Allen, formerly of Le Soir Bistro in Newton Highlands.
"The food is going to be more fun — creative, interactive, approachable."
"The food is going to be more fun — creative, interactive, approachable," Allen said. "It's not going to be French or Italian; it's going to be a mix of everything. The atmosphere of the restaurant is going to be fun, so we're matching the food with the restaurant."
Article 24's staff is in place, and Allen hopes to begin finalizing a menu within the next few days. But if you're itching for a sneak peak, Allen will be holding a pop-up at sister restaurant Local 149 in South Boston to trial a few of his dishes, though he is unsure of the exact dates at this time.
Local 149 will soon be celebrating an opening of its own, after a pipe burst shut it down in late January. The restaurant's staff found a silver lining in the whole ordeal and took the opportunity to remodel the space with new artwork, bar stools, and more dishes catering to gluten-free and other diets. Local 149 hopes to officially re-open in the coming days.
[Photo: The remodeled Local 149]
"About 80 percent of the menu is old, and we're just revamping it," said Michael Maranan, general manager of Local 149. "Then the other 20 percent is brand new."
Looking forward, Slowinski told Eater that The Neighborhood Restaurant Group is planning two brand-new concepts in Lynn and Andover for later this year. But other than hinting that chef Allen will be involved with both, they want to keep details under wraps for now.