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New Sports Bar Could Take Over the Former Home of Boston’s Historic Jacob Wirth

Pending liquor license approval, the Theatre District space could become JW’s Sports Bar and Restaurant

Jacob Wirth interior
Jacob Wirth was one of the oldest restaurants in Boston when it shuttered
Ándrea Pentabona/Eater

The old Jacob Wirth space in the Theatre District (31-37 Stuart St., Boston) might be transformed into a sports bar. A pair of restaurateurs named William Gateman and Nancy Maida — Gateman has ties to the Greater Boston Bar Co., which has been buying shuttered dive bars like the Tam, Sullivan’s, and the Beacon Hill Pub and reopening them with minor changes — went before the Boston Licensing Board on Wednesday and formally asked to buy former German restaurant Jacob Wirth’s liquor license. The proposed name of the new restaurant is JW’s Sports Bar and Restaurant.

Before the Boston Licensing Board grants Gateman and Maida permission, the pair must get approval from a number of neighborhood groups.

Gateman and Maida’s attorney, Mark Zuroff, said his clients would make changes to the space with “due respect” to the building, which is recognized by both the Boston and National Register of Historic Sites as a historic landmark, Universal Hub reported.

Jacob Wirth shuttered almost exactly a year ago after a fire ripped through the building. The closure was officially due to water damage, although at the time, the restaurant stated plans to renovate and reopen. (Meanwhile, it had already been up for sale for months.) At the time of its closure, Jacob Wirth was among the oldest operating restaurants in the city of Boston; it opened in 1868 and landed in the Stuart Street space a decade later.

It’s unclear what JW’s Sports Bar and Restaurant’s menu will consist of — hopefully some nods to German cuisine, in honor of the space’s legacy — or whether it will feature piano sing-alongs like those made famous by Jacob Wirth. Stay tuned for updates on the shiny new replacement for one of Boston’s most historic spaces.

Historic Jacob Wirth Could Become a Sports Bar [UH]
Two Boston Dive Bars Made a Festive Return on New Year’s Eve [EBOS]
Popular Dive Bar Returns to Beacon Hill [EBOS]
Fire Hits Building That Houses Very Old German Restaurant in the Theater District [EBOS]

Jacob Wirth

31 Stuart Street, Boston, MA 02116 617 338 8586