Thursty: Revamped Audubon is back in action

Sampling drinks at Audubon Boston. Credit: Derek Kouyoumjian
Don’t you feel yourself relaxing just looking at that drink? Credit: Derek Kouyoumjian

Having been a longtime fan of Trina’s Starlite Lounge in Inman Square, one of my only complaints about the place is that there’s only one of them to go around. The re-branding of Audubon Boston, just outside of Kenmore Square, doesn’t entirely remedy that, but since it’s from the same operating team, it will have to do.

The owners of Trina’s recently took over the space formerly known as Audubon Circle, and while it won’t have the same neo-dive atmosphere, they plan to transform it into the type of neighborhood spot with tricked-out comfort food, craft beer, and cocktails that they’re known for. They already know the space well; in fact, it’s where two of the co-owners, Beau Sturm and J Bellao met while working together years ago.

“I was 20 and I got hired here by Beau,” Bellao says. “He was the general manager and he hired me as a bar back, washing dishes, working the door, and one thing lead to another. I just loved it here …The area is wonderful, and the neighborhood is up and coming.

“We’re trying to institute the same kind of neighborhood, everybody’s welcome vibe we have over at Starlite, just in another neighborhood.” In part, that means carrying over chef Suzi Maitland’s cooking, but giving it room to breathe. “Suzi is one of the most talented chefs I know. Getting her out from behind the ‘dog of the day’ and 3-4 hamburgers menu, she can come out and do some really fun stuff. We wanted to do something different, not necessarily southern food, but people being able to be social, a lot of shared plates.”

For the cocktail program, they’ve begun with a short list of classics, and, having kept most of the staff on board, plan to expand outward from the basics. Among the new bar staff is Tyler Wang, recently of Kirkland Trotter and Tap, and formerly of No. 9 Park. His Fire In the Orchard cocktail, made with apple brandy, mezcal, pear liqueur, Lillet, lemon and agave is one of the standouts on the menu at the moment. Elsewhere they’ve pulled from throughout classic cocktail tomes for inspiration, highlighting standbys like the Hanky Panky, made with gin, sweet vermouth and Fernet Branca, and The Royal Bermuda Yacht Club Cocktail made with aged rum, orange liquer, velvet falernum and lime.

“Right now our cocktail list is an educational program for all of us,” Bellao says. “The clientele that’s coming in, maybe the place itself wasn’t a cocktail destination before, but a place to come in have a beer, a glass of wine, cheap bites. Now we want the cheap bites, and to be up to par with anything in the area. We’re never going to be Eastern Standard, or Hawthorne, they’re the best, but there’s no reason we can’t have fun and put out some rad cocktails.”


Drive charged in fatal hit and run, police…

The NYPD has arrested a man they say is responsible for a fatal hit and run in Manhattan last weekend. Doohee Cho, 33, was hit…


Mayor de Blasio raises minimum wage for some…

Mayor Bill de Blasio signed an executive order Tuesday morning that will raise the minimum wage for workers employed by private companies that receive more…


3 myths about the working poor

Linda Tirado works to debunk some common stereotypes about the working poor in her new book, "Hand to Mouth."


Lawsuit funding advances: friend or foe?

Reporter was commissioned to write this in-depth article Many plaintiffs awaiting resolution of their lawsuit or legal claim often find themselves in a tricky financial…

Going Out

Which NYC restaurant lost its three-star Michelin rating?

A record 73 restaurants in New York City collected coveted Michelin stars on Tuesday as a mix of trendy spots and fine-dining stalwarts underscored the…


Interview: Metro chats with filmmaker Meir Kalmanson, man…

A New York filmmaker hands out smiles to its residents.


TV watch list, Tuesday, Sept. 30: 'Selfie,' 'Utopia'…

'Selfie' This modern day take on the "My Fair Lady" story stars John Cho in the Henry Higgins role. Perhaps instead of "the rain in…


Can't-miss weekend events continue to attract the masses

Reporter was commissioned to write this in-depth article Earlier this summer, the Firefly Music Festival drew crowds of tens of thousands of people to Dover, Delaware.…


Mets 2014 report card

The Mets wrapped up their eight straight season without a playoff appearance last weekend. Needless to say, they fell a bit short of general manager…


NFL Power Rankings: Cowboys, Packers, Ravens, Chargers climb

NFL Power Rankings: Cowboys, Packers, Ravens, Chargers climb


Ryan Quigley making a big impact for Jets…

Ryan Quigley, now in his second year as the Jets punter, had an exceptional afternoon with six punts for an average of 51.7 yards per punt.


3 positives to take from Jets loss to…

The Jets suffered another loss Sunday — 24-17 to the Lions — but the reason why it hurts so much for Jets fans is that…


Products that support breast cancer awareness and research

Asics GT-1000, $100 Asics’ third pink collection in collaboration with Christina Applegate’s Right Action for Women includes this pink-accented version of its best-selling GT-1000 3…


Dr. Marisa Weiss: Where we stand on breast…

As an oncologist and a survivor herself, Dr. Marisa Weiss knows the urgency felt by those diagnosed with breast cancer. Genetic testing has accelerated the…


Bees' stingers hold new hope for cancer cure

A promising new lead in the search for a cancer cure has turned up in a place that most people naturally avoid. A team from…


Emily Henderson on small space design

Design expert Emily Henderson shows us how to upgrade our cramped quarters.