Somerville's culinary innovation scene will get a bit larger this summer when Foundation Kitchen expands into a second space down the street from its current location on Washington Street. A former restaurant will transform into a shared kitchen and demonstration venue for Foundation, catering to businesses, chefs, and food lovers.
"We are hoping that we should have everything geared and ready to open for June 1," said Ciaran Nagle, a proprietor of Foundation Kitchen, who told Eater they started planning for this new location at 3 Washington St. back in January, when they first came across the property.
After months of zoning and permitting, they are now doing some interior renovations to the 3,000-square-foot space, to accommodate a front section with 24 seats for demonstrations and two kitchen areas — one for cold goods and another fully equipped for cooking, complete with two ranges, a grill, fryers, two convection ovens, and plenty of storage.
The building used to be a restaurant, Nagle said — The Seven Sons Diner. A day after he signed the lease and was leaving the restaurant, a man pulled up who told Nagle he was the seventh son and gave him the full story on the history of the building.
There is a front section of the space that was used as seating for the restaurant. For Foundation Kitchen, this will serve as a multifunctional space where cooking demonstrations, pop-up restaurant experiences, and private parties will be held.
In the rear of the building, the cold kitchen will be home to a number of future tenants, including ice cream makers, health food caterers, and more.
"We've got great people who have their applications pending with us," he said. "As soon as we're up and running we'll be ready to rock and roll."
Some potential future residents include Cafe Luna catering and the Somerville Arts Council, among others. The new Foundation Kitchen venue will be limited by its space and how much its storage equipment can accommodate.
"It depends on how we grow — it'll be a phase by phase aspect for us," Nagle said. As for the event space, he said, "we'll be bringing in either celebrity chefs or up-and-coming chefs who are looking to start up their restaurants."
A revolving restaurant experience will be a nice addition to the business, he said, something that can be "exciting and vibrant for the neighborhood."