The Departed: Curious Liquids (1997-2000)

“The Departed” is a semi-regular feature in which we eulogize long-closed, yet still-missed restaurants of Boston.

Curious Liquids was, for us at least, the real Beacon Hill destination where everybody knows your name. At the cozy coffeehouse across the street from the State House, we’d run into people from the high school we started out at, the high school from which we graduated, our citywide theatre group and people we just knew “from around.” We’d sit in the antique chairs in the alcove room that looked out onto Park Street, nurse mocha steamers and gossip. It wasn’t just us either. Throughout the cafe, groups would cluster over books or the board games from the shelves. In one corner, Suffolk students held a study group. In another, State House types tried not to spill coffee on their suits. The tables were covered with Edward Gorey cartoons and the music was never obtrusive and, to our teenage mind at least, the absolute height of cool. The place was open until 2am, making it one of the only options for underage Bostonians after dinnertime. The staff was even friendly! They’d spot you a slice of the (really very good) cake when you were low on cash and, perhaps more impressively, they refrained from laughing at the myriad teenagers embarrassing themselves throughout the upper level. As a teenager, we’d fantasize about having study groups at Curious Liquids during our college years and bringing our kids there for hot cocoa someday, but sadly, that was not to be as the cafe was evicted in 2000.

These days, we go to the Otherside Cafe and yell over the music while we split a pitcher of beer with our friends. It’s fun and all, but it really isn’t the same. Curious Liquids sold their menu to the Bagel Plus Cafe, but the atmosphere didn’t follow. Every so often, we walk by the intersection of Beacon and Park, hoping to spot a resurrection of Curious Liquids, but it’s always still a Fox News station (the horror!). We’ll just keep dreaming.

Want one of your old favorite haunts to get the Departed treatment? Let us know!

Curious Liquids Cafe [Jay’s Home Page]
A Curious End [Boston Phoenix]
The Otherside Cafe [MenuPages]
Bagel Plus Cafe [MenuPages]

[Photo: Web Weekly (Harvard Medical School)]

The Departed: Curious Liquids (1997-2000)