The Case For Chris Douglass in Fort Hill

A potential “game changer” of a restaurant is coming to 85 Centre Street in Roxbury, according to Dishing. Devra First doesn’t name any names and neither a visit to Everyblock nor a call to the Boston Licensing Board turned up any recent victualler or liquor license applications. But that doesn’t mean we can’t make an educated guess!

One: First explicitly uses the phrase “game changer,” which implies a restaurateur with some level of renown. Second, there’s this phrase: “It’s somewhat off the beaten restaurant path, something the potential manager has a bit of a history with.” There’s also a “rather fabulous patio space.”

The whole thing sounds an awful lot like Chris Douglass, the pioneering chef behind the now-shuttered Icarus, which opened in the South End before it was gentrified. He now runs Dorchester’s Ashmont Grill (which has a pretty fabulous patio of its own) and Tavolo. It would take a pretty visionary restaurateur to open a space in Fort Hill, which isn’t exactly gentrified yet. Take a look at Douglass’ press release upon closing Icarus this spring (emphasis ours):

“Like the mythological figure it was named after, ICARUS took flight in 1978. Its young chef, Chris Douglass, was hailed as a pioneer for offering diners upscale New England cuisine in a neighborhood that was un-gentrified to say the least. … Today the ICARUS neighborhood is home to a kaleidoscope of restaurants. The intense competition and the economy’s recent pinch to dining dollars, were challenges Douglass could not control. Instead, this beloved (and prescient) chef turns to a new neighborhood and a new dining direction for his next act.

Ever the pioneer for finding and feeding the residents of “under-served” neighborhoods, Douglass opened two casual, moderately-priced restaurants in (un-gentrified) Dorchester, MA.”

When reached for comment, Douglass’ spokesperson Chris Lyons told Grub Street that she hadn’t heard anything about opening in Roxbury, but admitted she didn’t know for sure. For now, we’ll file this one under “developing.”

Restaurant Rumor Mongering [Dishing/Globe]

Earlier: Icarus to Shutter July 1

The Case For Chris Douglass in Fort Hill