Despite its legacy as a hot shopping and restaurant strip, Boston’s Newbury Street gets a bit snoozy in the evenings, when popular restaurants like Little Whale Oyster Bar and taco spot La Neta close before 11 p.m. Pinky’s, a new, vibey cocktail bar with late-night hours, is aiming to change that perception.
Co-owner and managing partner Rich Sullivan, of retro Miami-themed restaurant the Flamingo and the quirky downtown Boston bar Rock & Rye, hopes Pinky’s will serve multiple functions for the neighborhood, both as a charming date-night spot with patio seating and a happening nightlife destination. Sullivan grew up in the industry; his father, Richard Sullivan, Sr., owned R.F. O’Sullivan’s in Somerville for 50 years. Because of these local ties to the restaurant industry, Sullivan, who’s launching Pinky’s with partners Ty Di Stasi and Jairo Dominguez — all part of the Sneaky Good Hospitality Group, which owns the Flamingo and Rock & Rye — is extremely hands-on.
“We’d like to be that neighborhood spot where you can come and feel comfortable, everyone knows each other’s names,” says Sullivan. “It’s kind of like a Cheers vibe.”
Although diners can easily have a whole meal at Pinky’s, it’s intentionally designed to serve as a spot for drinks before or after a night out. The bar features modified classics like an espresso martini shot and an apertivo spritz pitcher inspired by the omnipresent Aperol spritz. Inside there are only bar seats and high tops — though they’re plentiful — and the small plates menu is designed for passersby who want to grab a snack in between stops.
Said menu, led by Boston Chops and Post 390 alum Scott McCarthy, pulls on global flavors. Diners will find Argentinian empanadas with a chimichurri crema, mushroom potstickers in a ginger-garlic sauce, and potato skins topped with osetra caviar. A brunch menu is also in the works. Sullivan says it will feature traditional fare like lobster eggs benedict but with some spins, like patatas bravas in place of home fries.
As for the photo-ready interior, mixing vibrant wallpaper prints and vintage inspired chandeliers, that’s all thanks to Sullivan and his partners. “It’s all in house,” he says. “That’s the fun part of the business is designing the restaurant.”
Highly designed, Instagram-friendly restaurants can often attract a crowd that’s more interested in the right filter than the food menu, but Pinky’s was already populating with neighborhood residents on opening night. Eager for a new local spot, Maeve Awiszus and Allysa Barry were excitedly confirming the bartender’s schedule and planning weekly meet-ups at Pinky’s. Though to be fair, they did discover the watering hole on TikTok.
Pinky’s is located at 269 Newbury Street. Opening hours are 4 p.m. until 1 a.m., Tuesday through Sunday.