At long last, Boston’s Seaport District is on the verge of welcoming a dueling piano bar to its ranks. D’s Keys Dueling Pianos (391 D St., Boston) will open on July 7 with cocktails, hot dogs, and two pianos raring to go.
The piano bar will open within the Element Hotel, and the team behind it has previous experience in this realm: Robert Morse and Matt Nichols (the latter of whom will also serve as one of the venue’s pianists) have operated Providence’s Point Street Dueling Pianos for the last several years, and they’re building off of that model for Boston’s bar.
Despite the name, D’s Keys will feature no actual duels between pianos; rather, it features two pianos front and center and all seating angled toward the stage, according to Nichols.
“We have two piano players who take requests from the audience,” he said. “At the top of every hour, we do what we call band sets, and then we add in bass and drums and guitar for a song or two, but after that’s over we go back to pianos.”
Howl at the Moon, another dueling piano bar in Boston (and part of a national chain), typically plays more band sets, according to Nichols, while D’s Keys will differentiate itself with a heavy emphasis on piano-only performances and sing-alongs.
“Since our show is all-request and patrons of all ages join us, expect to hear song requests ranging from the 1950s through present day hits,” Nichols previously told Eater.
In addition to live music, D’s Keys will serve cocktails, offering a similar selection to Nichols’ other spot in Providence. Morse has years of experience as a bartender, and as Nichols says, “He’s just really, really great at putting together drinks that people seem to really enjoy.”
There will also be shots, along with a range of wine and beer. As for food, the team’s keeping it simple: hot dogs with mustard, ketchup, or relish.
“We’re looking to encourage people to just come in and have the night club experience more than anything else,” Nichols said. They will provide catering options for private functions, and they’re looking into allowing people to bring in their own takeout food.
The venue will accommodate 300 people.