Row 34, a Boston favorite for seafood and beer, will add its fourth location in fall 2022, opening at 314 Main St. in Cambridge’s Kendall Square, owners Jeremy Sewall and Shore Gregory announced today. It will join locations in Boston’s Fort Point neighborhood (the original spot); Burlington, Massachusetts; and Portsmouth, New Hampshire.
A mainstay on the Eater 38, a collection of Boston’s essential restaurants, Row 34 is a great example of what it means to be a modern New England seafood restaurant, highlighting local seafood in preparations both high-brow and lower-brow: Go all out with a seafood tower and maybe some caviar; keep things simpler with fish tacos or fried oysters. Fans find that the popular restaurant can be a fit for everything from a special occasion to an impromptu hang at the bar. (Whatever the occasion, save room for the butterscotch pudding.)
In late 2013, partners Garrett Harker, Skip Bennett, Jeremy Sewall, and Shore Gregory opened the Fort Point location under the tagline “a workingman’s oyster bar.” It was the more casual sibling to Island Creek Oyster Bar in Boston’s Kenmore Square, which closed in 2020 — a little more boisterous and fun but with the same emphasis on excellent seafood, particularly oysters from Bennett’s Duxbury-based Island Creek Oysters. Row 34 expanded to Portsmouth, New Hampshire, in 2015.
Early 2021 saw the separation of the Row 34/Island Creek team, with Gregory and Sewall continuing to operate the Row 34 brand — and rebranding the Burlington, Massachusetts, location of Island Creek Oyster Bar as the third Row 34. “We’re looking forward to continuing our relationship with Skip Bennett and our Island Creek Oyster farm family in the years to come, and have the utmost respect for both his team and his products,” Sewall said in a statement at the time. Indeed, Row 34 — which is named for a specific variety of oyster from Island Creek Oysters — continues to highlight Island Creek oysters and Row 34 oysters from the Duxbury farm.
Once the new Row 34 restaurant opens, it will eventually serve lunch and dinner daily and will be able to accommodate private events, a necessity in Kendall Square as the biotech- and office-heavy neighborhood starts to emerge from the effects of the pandemic. (Another recent opening in Kendall Square, Mex Taqueria & Bar, has the same idea; its massive three-story space is pretty much tailor-made for hosting private events of all vibes and sizes.)
While waiting for the opening, check out one of the other three locations, or try your hand at some Row 34 classics at home; Sewall recently released a cookbook of stories and recipes from the restaurant, including whole fish recipes, tips on preparing a raw bar platter, information on smoking fish, and lots more.