A historic building in Coolidge Corner will have a new tenant later this year: Allium Market will open within the S.S. Pierce Building on the corner of Harvard and Beacon Streets, bringing cafe fare, cheese, and specialty foods to the neighborhood.
The cafe is the work of Talia Glass, who’s modeling the concept with Michigan’s famous Zingerman’s Delicatessen in mind. There will be three components to Allium: the market section, a cheese shop, and the cafe, which will serve George Howell Coffee.
Customers will order at a counter from a menu that includes light dishes with bread sourced from Clear Flour near Packard’s Corner. Expect to see items like goat cheese toast, bread topped with mixed chickpea salad, and even scallion cream cheese and salmon toast, along with salads, spreads and dips, and made-to-order cheese boards that tap into the cheese section of Allium. Additionally, Tania Peterson will serve as Allium’s in-house pastry chef, bringing to the market and cafe years of experience at restaurants and catering companies around Boston.
“The emphasis is really just creating awesome food each day,” Glass said. “In an ideal world we’d like to be running out of things at the end of the day.”
The market component will reflect the tastes of Glass and her team.
“We’re gonna carry a pretty broad selection of imported and domestic dry goods, pantry staples, and foods that are sourced by our team,” Glass told Eater. Those items will include olive oils, vinegars, pickled vegetables, sauces, and more.
“It’s the stuff that myself and our team love, have tried, and gotten to know,” she said, and there will be an emphasis on sampling. “Every single thing in the store, the second you walk in the doors, you have the ability to try everything. Our overall focus in kind of all elements is to just create a really great experience for our customers.”
Glass is from Michigan and used to work at Zingerman’s before moving to Boston, where she worked with Whole Foods. After the move, she missed the Zingerman’s experience, and the idea for Allium fomented from a joke that she would one day need to open a similar place in Brookline. With some prodding and investment from her brother, who lives in Somerville, Glass decided to move forward with the project and was able to secure the former Walgreens space within the S.S. Pierce Building, which was once used for a neighborhood grocer.
“We’re kind of taking that history of the building and bringing elements of that to our design,” Glass said. With south-facing windows, the space will have plenty of natural light, with the cafe area in front filled with plants and drop-down light fixtures. Beyond the cafe, there will be the cheese section of Allium, which will expand into the market section. The space is oriented on an angle, Glass said, noting that her architect called it “the right amount of funky.” There will be classic fixtures, mill work, and carpentry, but the focus will be on the food. Allium is in the buildout phase and could be headed towards an opening later on in the fall.
• Allium Market [Official Site]