Prior plans for a dual-purpose bike and coffee shop in Dorchester have changed, but the intended space will ultimately still get a tenant. A pair of experienced entrepreneurs will open Comfort Kitchen (611 Columbia Rd., Dorchester) within the Upham’s Corner comfort station, bringing cafe fare and pop-up dinners to the historic space.
Serving as a cafe during the day, Comfort Kitchen will also have full-service dining in the evening, with additional events and appearances from local chefs and entrepreneurs, arranged through a partnership with Commonwealth Kitchen, a non-profit incubator that’s helped fuel dozens of food businesses in the Boston area.
Comfort Kitchen founders Nyacko Perry and Biplaw Rai are also the founders of Yin Consulting, and Rai sits on the board of Commonwealth Kitchen. He is also managing partner of the Shanti Restaurant Group and co-founder of Dudley Cafe. Perry and Rai will bring in Kwasi Kwaa — who runs a Ghanian pop-up called the Chop Bar — to serve as head chef of Comfort Kitchen. The team will also aim to provide equitable pay, starting employees at a $15 per hour minimum.
The comfort station is in the midst of a basic rehabilitation, and construction on the restaurant itself could begin in November. Eventually, the space will accommodate seating area for 35 and a bar area. The restaurant could open in May 2020. Previous plans for the comfort station, which was built in 1912, involved a coffee shop and bike shop, a nod to the building’s prior use as a bike shelter.