Either I’m getting soft in my old age, or they’re finally figuring out how to open decent bars in downtown Boston. My latest surprise, after Highball Lounge, is Savvor Restaurant and Lounge. Taking over the old District space, the Leather District locale (as no one actually calls it) is a curious mix between high concept Southern and Caribbean comfort food, and crafty cocktails.
While the bones of the place are similar, it looks more like District with a make-under, or after it got home and changed out of its clubbing clothes. It’s got the feel of a nicer restaurant folded into a loft-like club, with beautiful hardwood floors, brick walls and creamy blue banquettes. There’s very little window exposure, which is OK, because there’s absolutely nothing to see out on the streets at night down here. That’s a bonus, in my estimation. Any bar on a heavily trafficked street can do well, but they’ll have to work a little harder here to get people out. I think it could work. It’s the type of space that financial types nearby would go when they want to feel like they’ve got a little of their edge left, or worth a trip alone for fans of chef Carey Dobies, recently of UpStairs on the Square, who is doing crawfish hush puppies, crispy pig skin cracklins, fried quail, waffles and the like.
On the cocktail front, general manager Courtney McCall and team are having fun with an eye on classics and trends that should appeal to a drink-minded crowd. “We want to be able to appeal to a broad audience, trying to get the after-work crowd, but we also want to appeal to friends in the industry, to extend the late night menu and be that place when people get off work they can come in have a muffuletta and a beer and be taken care of like they do for everyone else,” she says. The late night menu is open until midnight while the bar until 12:30 on weeknights and 2 on weekends.
“We’re doing everything that I always wanted to do behind the bar,” McCall continues. The focus is on bourbons and ryes, and, playing into the Southern and Caribbean tone of the cooking, plenty of rums.
Among the more notable drinks are a Flip n Stout, which combines Appleton 12-year rum, honey, lemon, egg white and Slumbrew Porter. “It almost has a dessert quality,” McCall says. “It’s got sweeter tones of the aged rum with the chocolate of the stout.”
Another stand-out is the No. 2 cocktail, which infuses Plantation rum with anise, clove, cinnamon, then works in an apple shrub and soda. Just don’t hold the name against them. “We’re really good at making drinks,” McCall says. “We’re just no good at naming them.”