A funky Fenway restaurant is about to add a ’70s-style music lounge with its own special menu. Hojoko — O Ya’s Tim and Nancy Cushman’s Japanese izakaya-inspired restaurant at the Verb Hotel (1271 Boylston St., Boston) — unveils a vinyl lounge called the Groove on Friday, April 19. The lounge takes inspiration from similar venues in Japan, inviting customers to play some of their own vinyl and offering a new menu (see below) from chef de cuisine Rob Wong.
The Groove will operate inside Hojoko seven days a week, from 5 p.m. to 2 a.m., serving the new menu until 10 p.m. Alongside casual snacks, the menu features a “Hello Kitty caviar service,” with salmon roe and sturgeon caviar available by the gram alongside soba waffles, miso-maple syrup, wasabi tobiko, whipped crème fraiche, and green onion.
Additional dishes include panko fried shrimp, short rib katsu sandwiches, and “hamachos,” a version of nachos with torched hamachi, nori-dusted tortilla chips, dashi queso, avocado crema, and shiso slaw. There are also “kimcheezy” fries, served with Hojoko’s kimchi and more dashi queso. Beverage selections include highball cocktails, sake, whiskey, beer, and wine.
Hojoko, which has celebrated Boston’s music scene since its opening, will unveil the Groove on April 19, coinciding with the restaurant’s collaboration with the Boston Music Awards and a host of live performances and DJ sets.
The Groove’s first day will feature a live music series called Ones 2 Watch, which will recur each Friday from 5 to 7 p.m. through May. Other musical events will include bring-your-own-vinyl days, showcases of Berklee musicians, and performances by local DJs.
Hojoko worked with design firm Elkus Manfredi for the lounge area, which is located in Hojoko’s front room, a space previously used as sort of an enclosed patio with open windows.
“We are hopeful that The Groove is another way Hojoko and The Verb Hotel are helping to support and enhance the ‘b-side’ of the Boston music scene,” Tim and Nancy Cushman said in a press release. “The ’70s den vibe is a great setting to hear some music and enjoy some cocktails and food with all sorts of new friends that you just haven’t met yet.”
The Cushmans are also busy with a few other new projects, including two stalls at the soon-to-open Time Out Market in Fenway; Wong is also working on those menus. Per job postings, those two stalls are slated to be called Gogo Ya Crispy Sushi Nori Tacos and Ms. Clucks Deluxe Chicken and Dumplings. The Cushmans also have something new brewing in Chestnut Hill, and they’re about to open an O Ya location in Mexico City. Their existing restaurants, aside from O Ya and Hojoko in Boston, include O Ya, Covina, and Roof at the Park South Hotel in New York City.
See below for a look at the opening menu for the Groove: