Ready, set, eat.
This week Coppersmith, your massive, multifaceted new South Boston hangout — which awesomely features two food trucks in the middle of the dining room — revs into action. Last night the big brick building's garage-style doors roll up to welcome limited crowds for a "friends and family" soiree, with additional soft-opening events scheduled throughout the week; Friday, September 11 will be the grand opening to the public. And trust us, you'll want to get inside this sprawling 15,000-sq.-ft. behemoth with several unique, distinct dining areas — from a communal-table-filled dining room to a coffee-brewing daytime cafe and Airstream-equipped 80-seat roof deck. In the most important room, the kitchen, is chef Chris Henry, previously of South End Buttery and star restaurateur Barbara Lynch's empire, where he helmed the culinary of both Fort Point's Drink and 9 at Home, Lynch's high-end catering outfit. Click through the slide show to see the space and read about menu highlights.
"We went from 15 seats to 15,000-sq.-ft.," laughs co-owner Travis Talbot, a restaurant developer whose consulting firm, Red Door Hospitality, has helped launched restaurants like Bostonia Public House and Sterling's, to name a few. He'd originally envisioned an intimate eatery as his next venture, but the chance to move into this massive former copper foundry at 40 West Third Street in South Boston was too good to pass up. Roll-up garage-style doors lead to the street, and the main dining room features long communal tables where guests dive into chef Henry's menu of wide-ranging New American. For something more eclectic, hit up the two food trucks stationed inside, where Henry will serve up a separate, oft-changing menu of globally inspired street food. The food trucks will also be used for special events — from catered private parties to visiting-chef competitions, many of which may benefit the various partner nonprofits with which Coppersmith is aligned. Making a positive social impact is a big part of Coppersmith's larger mission, says Talbot, who collaborated with the Malden-based nonprofit Triangle to form Coppersmith Works, a program offering hospitality training and employment to marginalized populations, particularly those with disabilities.
Behold. From Coppersmith's main dinner menu, check out this Grilled Bistro Filet ($28) with duck-fat potatoes, spring greens and salsa verde.
The restaurant seats about 350 in total, and the 22-ft.-high ceilings boast some cool design elements — including some big, whirring fans salvaged from the original foundry.
The long bar features 12 draft lines, with one rotating tap spotlighting unique micros or benefiting local charities. (For the opening, expect a special brew Coppersmith created with Harpoon.) Plenty more craft beers will be available by the bottle and can. The cocktail menu features historic cocktails given modern twists: think the New England Cobbler, which updates the sherry cobbler by using Rainwater Medeira, a now rarely produced lighter, drier variety mixed with dark rum, simple syrup, orange slice and raspberry garnish. The L-shaped bar features a reinforced ship hull as its base (with copious charging outlets for smartphones), salvaged West Indies mahogany for its top and a glistening copper drink rail.
Just because it's a former foundry doesn't mean the presentation can't be refined. Check out the beautiful Canary Melon Salad ($12) topped with Virginia ham, fig vinegar and mint.
It's all in the details, and from light fixtures to dining tables, Coppersmith has plenty of funky industrial-chic accents.
You'll queue up for a separate menu of globally inspired street food served from the stationed food trucks — perhaps these Korean BBQ Spareribs ($6) with scallion, sesame and kimchi.
A bird's-eye view from the second-floor catwalk. When doors officially open on Friday, you'll also find at the multifaceted restaurant an annexed cafe (open from 6 AM to 4 PM) for light bites, pastries, grab-and-go eats and coffee drinks from its espresso bar. (The entire restaurant is also equipped with lightning-fast Wi-Fi for daytime worker bees.) There's a 60-seat ground-level patio and an 80-seat roof deck with an Airstream trailer that will be used to sling cocktails and raw-bar selections. Oysters, ahoy.