We just talked to Michael Schlow about the new restaurant we told you about yesterday, Happy’s, a mere stone’s throw from Fenway Park. After clearing up a major misconception (“I don’t hate the Red Sox; I just like the Yankees more”), we got more details on his springtime venture.
First of all, his 175-restaurant ain’t a diner, despite hopeful musings to the contrary. Says Schlow: “I grew up in Brooklyn, and this is not a Jewish deli by any stretch. There will be some items that I include completely selfishly; at breakfast, there will be a New York bagel with lox and cream cheese. We make a homemade pastrami, and there will be a homemade pastrami sandwich. But it won’t be a full-blown Katz’s Deli.”
Instead, expect a breakfast, lunch, and dinner menu featuring people-pleasers like burgers, “adult milkshakes,” and Schlow’s favorite “international non-denominational bipartisan chicken soup” with matzoh balls. (It’s a great hangover cure, apparently.) Schlow also says he’d be open to serving as late as 4 a.m., if business calls for it.
He’s going for a “casual but urban” vibe, telling Grub that it’s a continuation of the great stuff going on at Sweet Cheeks, Citizen and Tasty Burger. “We don’t have a place for three meals a day,” he tells us. Those expecting a dinerishly encyclopedic menu will be disappointed, though; there will be separate menus for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and late night. (So get your lox in the morning.) He also promises “great music,” and, if possible, live entertainment.
As for the name? “As a kid, I’d visit my relatives in Upstate New York. We’d pass Gus’s Tavern, and it was a plain old name, but Gus’s just reminded me of a place that all the people in the neighborhood went to. Happy’s is a made-up character, an old guy maybe tending the bar.”
Finally, bargain-hunters take note: He’s contemplating offering goodies for patrons who visit between the second and eighth inning of Red Sox games. Even games against the Yankees, we’re guessing.