First Look: Trophy Room in the South End

By Scott Kearnan  |  April 23, 2014
Credit: Joel Benjamin

This Friday you can finally eat at Trophy Room, the South End newcomer at 26 Chandler Street that inhabits the former location of Fritz Lounge. For now, whet your appetite with this look around the gleaming space - and a glance at some tantalizing menu items. 

Head here to find the full menus of food (from chef Evan Campbell of Lynn's Pub 47 Central) and cocktails (from bar manager William Barr Yerxa, a longtime vet of Cambridge's Friendly Toast).

  • Credit: Joel Benjamin

    Shiny and new. The restaurant sparkles with white subway tile and glistens with handsome leather banquettes. There's seating for 82, including the high-tops and bar seats in this front bar area. But there's also room to grow; the space boasts a brand new wall of windows that open to Berkeley Street (perfect for a breezy brunch), and owner Cliff Long hopes to add an additional 20 or so sidewalk seats down the line. 

  • Small and mighty. Chef Campbell's menu includes a number of pretty-looking small plates, including the Drunken Mussels ($10.25), steamed in a house lager and infused with aromatics and lemon zest. 

  • Raising the bar. Trophy Room inhabits the space that formerly belonged to Fritz Lounge, a popular gay sports bar. Though he's re-imagined the space as a more elevated dining destination with wide neighborhood appeal, owner Cliff Long says he wants to maintain the vibe of familiarity and inclusiveness that marked that favorite hangout. (In fact, weekend brunches will still be known as "Fritz Brunch.") If anything, guests will have a much nicer new bar scene for mixing and mingling. The wine list, created by general manager Delphine Chauffier (formerly of Newbury Street's La Voile) features mainly French, Italian and American sips. There's also 20-deep beer list, helpfully arranged "from light to dark." 

  • Credit: Joel Benjamin

    Mixing it up. Back to those cocktails. Bar manager William Barr Yerxa is pouring out some creative concoctions with sports-themed names, including this World Cup ($12), a coupe glass of Plymouth gin, Lillet Blanc, Aperol, lemon, and egg whites; and Runner Up ($12) a neat sip of Bulleit Rye, Carpano Antica, Crème Yvette, Green Charteuse, and grapefruit bitters. 

  • Credit: Joel Benjamin

    We have a winner. The name "Trophy Room" refers to the shiny trophies on shelves that run the length of the restaurant walls, all accrued from various sports teams that have frequented Fritz over the years. It's a nice homage to a vibrant past life. 

  • Divine design. The main dining room can be partitioned from the bar area. The entire space was designed by Peter Niemitz, the man behind other glam restaurant spaces like Cinquecento, Eastern Standard and Kirkland Tap & Trotter

  • Beautiful bites. There are plenty of hearty entrees, including honey-bourbon steak tips, shrimp fra diavolo, and flatbread pizza topped with duck sausage and prosciutto. But we're also excited to order up a haul of smaller noshes, like this Trophy Scotch Egg ($9.75), a breaded and flash fried soft poached egg atop a warm prosciutto and kale sauté.