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Birds of Paradise, From Bartending Hitmaker Ran Duan, Takes Root at the Speedway

The nostalgia-soaked spot will recall the days when Pan Am soared the skies in luxury

A man stands against a white marble bar, looking at the camera. There are tropical plants to his right and a mint green wall behind him.
Ran Duan will open Birds of Paradise this summer.
Blossom Bar [Official Photo]

The latest cocktail lounge from Baldwin Bar’s imaginative founder Ran Duan is a nostalgic trip back to the days when Pan Am airlines soared the skies in luxury. Birds of Paradise, a 45-seat cocktail bar, will open at the Speedway in Brighton (525 Western Avenue, Brighton) this summer, according to the Boston Globe.

The idea behind Birds of Paradise grew out of pandemic isolation, when no one was traveling, Duan tells the Globe. Born out of wishful dreams of escapism, the menu pulls inspiration from the idea of Pan Am plane tickets between Brazil and Japan.

Birds of Paradise is taking root on the site of the former Charles River Speedway Headquarters administration buildings, a redeveloped area centered around an 8,000-square-foot courtyard.

Other tenants include Notch Brewing, the Salem-based brewery that expanded to the Speedway in July 2021 with sizable taproom and beer garden; Hummus v’Hummus, an Israeli “hummuseria” from chef Avi Shemtov (also behind the Chubby Chickpea food truck and Sharon restaurants Simcha and A La Esh) that opened April 8; the Koji Club sake bar from sake expert and O Ya alum Alyssa Mikiko DiPasquale that opened in February; Super Bien, a South American wine bar and grocery store featuring Buenas products; and Somerville-based, nut-free ice cream shop Tipping Cow.

Duan, Eater Boston’s 2014 Bartender of the Year, opened Baldwin Bar inside his parents’ restaurant Sichuan Garden II in Woburn, which is also inside the historic Baldwin mansion. Later, he planted seeds for the tropical drink-charged Blossom Bar and Ivory Pearl, both in Brookline.

Birds of Paradise

525 Western Avenue, Brighton, Massachusetts 02135

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