Drink in Fort Point may be Boston’s epicenter of mixology, and the Butcher Shop and Toro make South End the best place in the city for wine, but Inman Square is quietly turning into a neighborhood for laid-back drinking. Four bartenders – Highland Kitchen’s Beau Sturm and his wife Trina of City Bar, Silvertone Bar & Grill’s Josh Childs, and Jay Belleau, most recently of Audubon Circle) - will open Trina’s Starlight Lounge in mid-September. It’s looking to be the cocktail equivalent of great beer bars like Bukowski’s, the Druid and the soon-to-open Lord Hobo. Trina’s décor and menu will recall the fifties and sixties, but not reflect it. The cocktail menu - with seasonal drinks like a mango margarita dusted with BBQ powder - will change often.
Inman Square’s evolution as a drinking and dining destination can be traced back to one restaurant: East Coast Grill & Raw Bar. “Chris Schlesinger was really sort of the founder of this neighborhood as a hang out spot,” Tupelo’s Jen Deadrick told us. “East Coast has a really macho tone of ‘hey bro, come hang out at the raw bar.’ That really helped solidify the neighborhood as a good place for drinking alongside good food.” Schlesinger landed in Inman Square only because it was cheap. “We didn’t have a lot of money and it was an affordable neighborhood,” he says. He passed the savings onto his customers, who kept increasing. “I think Cambridge is getting squeezed a little on the price end. A lot of the younger people have been looking for more affordable places and Inman Square is one of those.” If Schlesinger initially had to settle for Inman Square, Trina’s Beau Strum sought out the neighborhood. “If I could have picked a location to be in, it would be Inman. We feel so lucky and privileged to be able to do that.”
Trina’s Starlite Lounge will open in mid-September at 3 Beacon St