We’ve been hearing about the development of Patron's Mexican Kitchen and Watering Hole for a few months now, as owner Marc Kadish has gradually transformed the former Big City pool hall into a new Mexican and tequila bar concept. You might have expected a classier update on the fratty Allston bar in line with many of the other recent, flashy tequila-centric bar openings, and you'd be half right.
The back room has been remodeled into a much more attractive dining room; leather banquettes and two fire places provide a relaxed feel, and ornate mirrors, old clocks and art adorn the walls. A few pool tables remain, however, taking up the right side of the second-story space, and the bar pushing outward from the center toward that side remains largely the same, which is to say: Allstony.
Despite the conceptual focus on tequilas now, there is still, however, a Jagermeister shot machine behind the bar, and an encouragement to ask about tequila jello shots on the menu under the list of mezcals.
The existence of that list is encouraging all the same, ranging from approachable, and popular mezcals, like the Monte Alban silver, lightly smoky, slightly astringent, with notes of banana peel, and Ilegal reposadao, with its smooth caramel, to slightly more sophisticated styles, like the much smokier, sharper Del Maguey Chi Chi Capa.
Best of all, most are under $10, save the rarer Del Maguey Pechugay, with its intense smoke and salinity. The tequila list is much longer, with a similar spectrum. (The name, incidentally, doesn't refer to the tequila brand, but rather the Spanish word for boss, although that seems like a confusing choice given the word association.) Like the Sunset Grill downstairs, in the same family of bars, the tap selection here is vast, with some 80 beers to choose from.
“The spotlight is on boutique mescals and creative agave cocktails,” owner Marc Kadish said in a statement on the opening. “I think our $4 margaritas will be a real crowd-pleaser, but our beer-drinking customers will certainly not be disappointed,”
That's probably more likely. The cheap margaritas, and $4 tapas menu are likely to be the biggest draw here. Although if they can introduce the Allston nightlife crowd to the wider world of agave, like his bars have done with beer over the years it's a welcome change.
138 Brighton Ave., Allston