Somerville’s forthcoming Bow Market is already bursting at the seams with food and beverage vendors, but another has joined the mix — wine expert and writer Lauren Friel will bring Rebel Rebel to the complex, where she will showcase a carefully chosen selection of natural wines, as Boston Magazine reports.
Friel came to the project a bit by happenstance, she said.
“I was happily freelancing when I got a call from Alex [Whisnant] of Gate Comme des Filles (who’s also a Bow vendor) telling me I should check out the project,” she told Eater in an email. After meeting with developers, Friel said she was drawn to the community focus of the whole project.
“I wasn’t looking to open a wine bar, but it felt like the perfect home for me. I know everyone says this, but it felt like serendipity,” she said.
Though Rebel Rebel will be small, it will carry a large amount of spirit. The place is named for a David Bowie song, and Friel told Boston Magazine she wanted to bring some of the pop star’s “irreverence, fun, and inclusivity to wine.”
Friel plans to change the collection of wines available at Rebel Rebel in a “rapid-fire rotation,” where she can pick and choose what to highlight each night.
“I’m envisioning at least 15 wines by the glass, around 30 bottles all-told, but the blackboard list means I can change what’s available in real-time during service, which is super exciting,” she said. “I like that sort of frenetic vibe.”
While she’ll be steering the ship on her own, Friel said she plans to take full advantage of the resources available within Bow Market, and guests at the wine bar will be able to snack while they sip.
“What’s so cool about the whole market is that, since we share a license, people can go get empanadas from Buenas, or fries from Saus, or macarons from Maca, and bring them in to Rebel Rebel for me to pair with,” Friel said. “I’ll have snacks on-hand, too, but I love the idea of market-wide pairings.”
Additionally, Friel said, she plans to tap her network of wine professionals for guest shifts.
“I’m hoping to have a small rotation of super-passionate folks behind the bar to lend their own knowledge, but you’ll mostly be seeing my face,” she said. “It’s more or less solo with support from a dream team of wine geeks I basically think of as family these days.”
Friel brings to Rebel Rebel years of experience in Boston’s wine world. She previously served as wine director at Sarma and Oleana and in recent years has consulted on wine programs for restaurants like Committee in the Seaport District, plus several others. She also serves as sommelier for chef Rachel Miller’s North Shore pop-up Nightshade. Additionally, Friel is a former Eater writer and has done extensive freelance work for other outlets like Boston.com, ChefsFeed, Thrillist and more.
Update, 4/25: While most of Bow Market is slated to open in spring 2018, most likely mid-May, Rebel Rebel will debut over the summer.