Jason Byron Owens is a Southerner who has made Southie his home. He’s lived in South Boston for 12 years and, in March, the native of Nashville, Tenn., opened Local 149 in City Point.
City Point is a sleepy residential part of South Boston that abuts the Atlantic and stretches to L Street. Visitors come mainly to see Castle Island and Fort Independence, but Owens says that wasn’t always the case.
“City Point used to have much more commercial significance. It was the original home of the New England Aquarium and in the early 1900s it was a swinging part of Boston.”
Owens, who also co-owns Southie foodie store American Provisions on Broadway, and another neighborhood joint, the Biltmore in Newton, enjoys researching his adopted home ’hood’s history. Local 149 is on P Street, just minutes from the beach, in the spot that housed ’80s and ’90s neighborhood staple, The Farragut House. Before that, it was once the Pleasure Bay Lounge. Although he’s added some retro touches, such as the amazing collection of colored glass soda siphons, Local has a modern simple design with an earthy wood-clad interior and facade. Owens wanted to reflect the neighborhood as it is now, he says. “It’s transitioning, it’s a more varied mix of people.”
While other areas with waterfront views are attracting luxury condo developers, City Point real estate prices are still reasonable … for now.
“How much longer it will stay that way, I don’t know,” says the 36-year-old. “I see developments going on all the time and they don’t stay on the market long.”