Lucy’s American Tavern is under construction in Dorchester’s Adams Village neighborhood, adding to the growing number of new restaurants popping up in the area. Between the newly opened Molinari’s and an as-yet unnamed Gerard’s 2.0, Lucy’s will add approachable American comfort to the mix, owner Shawn Ahern told Eater.
Ahern has years of experience in Boston’s restaurant world, including 11 years in operations with Tavern in the Square. Along with his two partners in the project, he has developed a plan for making Lucy’s a neighborhood fixture.
"When the opportunity came up, I was super excited because Adams Village is so cool," Ahern told Eater.
He got a crew together and introduced the concept under the name Sam Maverick’s, which is the name of the corporation behind the restaurant. The team went through a bunch of civic association and neighborhood meetings with that name but ultimately decided on Lucy’s American Tavern as a way to pay homage to Lucy Stone — a Dorchester resident, a prominent suffragette and abolitionist, and the first woman from Massachusetts to earn a college degree.
Now, the space at 11 Granite Ave. is undergoing serious renovations to turn the former Hollywood Video into a functional restaurant. "We're rocking and rolling over there," Ahern said.
Lucy’s has hired industry veteran Chris Bussell (BoMA, Butterfish, Hibernia, and more) as executive chef. "He’s a fantastic chef. He’s been around for quite some time."
"It's a 100-percent scratch kitchen," Ahern continued. "It's kind of gastro; there's definitely comfort food in there."
Here’s a peek into what could be on the menu: a small bar snacks section featuring five or six items, plus little bites like pickled vegetables, mini corn dogs, and warm olive trays. For starters, there could be salt and pepper calamari, Mexican street nachos, and wings smoked in-house.
Lucy’s will "hopefully offer something that's a different dynamic than what the neighborhood's had," Ahern said. They’ll be curing and smoking bacon in-house and will offer a bunch of salads, plus burgers, Cuban sandwiches, tacos, and eight to 10 main dishes like salmon with sweet pea risotto and a take on chicken and waffles featuring a sweet potato waffle.
Ahern said Lucy’s will have an approachable price point, and it will serve lunch and dinner to start, with brunch coming in later.
"For us it's just about going in and having fun," he said.
On the beverage side of things, Lucy's will have 27 draft lines, featuring a mix of craft beer (including offerings from Maine Beer Company and others) and American standbys like Sam Adams, Harpoon, and Bud Light. "In that neighborhood we want to be respectful of where we are and not go too far," Ahern said.
Lucy’s will also have four wines on tap: two white wines, a rose, and a Malbec, plus 18-20 other options available by the glass or the bottle.
"We’ve gotten what we think’s a really cool list," Ahern said. Lucy’s will also make its own sangria and has plans to batch, keg, and tap both a red and a white version. Cocktails will incorporate fresh, quality ingredients he said, with "no sugar bombs."
"I just want people to come in like, 'man, this place is cool,’" he said.
The restaurant will have 150 seats inside the 3,200-square-foot space, with a 50- to 60-seat patio. Lucy’s is working to hire additional staff and could open sometime this summer.
"We just want to get the doors open," Ahern said.