Crane River Cheese Club opened its permanent location on Beacon Hill on Wednesday, August 3. Owner Brian Poe, who also runs Tip Tap Room, says he can guide people in selecting everything from spices to butters to cuts, and even offer instructions on how best to prepare wild ostrich.
Poe has been involved with a lot of Boston restaurants over the years; in addition to Tip Tap Room and Crane River Cheese Club, he also helms Parish Cafe in Back Bay, where he prepares game meat such as elk, yak, ostrich, and beer. Crane River Cheese Club, came about as an early pandemic-era delivery service catering to areas north of Boston. However, with the new storefront, located in Boston proper nextdoor to Tip Tap, Poe is able to do something he’s never done before: retail.
The shop sells cheese, meat, and pantry items, while also serving grab-and-go salads and sandwiches. And, yes, you can order an ostrich filet. “Yes, I’m selling wild game, ground meats, and steaks,” Poe says. “I’m excited to break down a wild boar and discuss it with people, and discuss how to cook it.”
Crane River will serve to accentuate Boston’s already respectable cheese and charcuterie scene. Many Bostonians are familiar with Formaggio Kitchen, perhaps the most famous cheese outlet around, with two Cambridge locations, one Boston location, and one New York location, and cheeseheads recently welcomed ready-to-eat charcuterie shop, Kured, into the fold on Beacon Hill.
Poe is excited to be indulging his interests even more while maintaining the relationships he’s built through the pandemic, giving locals an option much more personable than an Amazon Fresh truck. “For 30 years I had to run to the table, run to the kitchen, but now I can develop a relationship with people who are preparing food at home,” Poe says. “It’s their plate but we talk it through and have fun together.”