Boqueria — a small chain of Spanish tapas bars with locations in New York, D.C., Chicago, and Nashville — will expand to Boston next, a representative for the company confirms. It will open around the first half of 2023 in Boston’s Seaport District, going into the former One Kings Lane space at 25 Thomson Place.
The same address is also home to fast-casual chain Dig and taqueria chain Bartaco. The latter, incidentally, has the same parent company as a different chain of Spanish tapas bars, Barcelona Wine Bar, which has two — going on three — Greater Boston locations, but none of those is near the Seaport. Indeed, Boston already has some solid tapas options, Barcelona Wine Bar and otherwise, but they’re mostly concentrated in the South End; the Seaport could certainly use some Spanish food.
This will be the ninth location for Boqueria, which draws inspiration from Barcelona’s world-famous public market, La Boqueria. The restaurant serves a wide range of tapas, fancy Spanish hams, seafood paella, and seasonal entrees, and the wine list is entirely Spanish, with easy-drinking, popular picks as well as more adventurous options.
“Boston’s Seaport is iconic,” says Boqueria founder Yann de Rochefort, a New York-based restaurateur who was born and raised in France, exploring Spain during childhood summers and later as a student. “The neighborhood is an extraordinary culinary destination built by trailblazers such as Barbara Lynch ... and we are excited to become a part of it.” He notes that the team has been looking for the right space in Boston for years and is excited to have come upon this location “with such incredible architectural features illustrative of the Seaport’s industrial past.”
The first Boqueria opened in 2006 in New York City’s Flatiron neighborhood, receiving a two-star review (“very good”) from Frank Bruni at The New York Times. Since then — a golden era when tapas cost around $6 — Boqueria has expanded to four New York locations as well as two in D.C., one in Chicago, and one in Nashville. It’s an excellent spot for group dining, according to Eater staff in New York and D.C.
Boqueria’s Boston location will seat nearly 150 and will serve lunch, dinner, and weekend brunch. Here’s a peek inside one of the D.C. locations to give an idea of the vibe. Stay tuned for updates as the opening gets closer.