New BBQ Restaurant and Cafe Coming to Eastie’s Waterfront

Since Uncle Pete’s Hickory Ribs in Day Square closed there’s been a terrible void of traditional Southern BBQ in East Boston. Two decades ago, when Uncle Pete’s was thriving, residents would flock to the location to chow down on smoked ribs, pork and other meats. 

Since the early 2000s, Eastie residents have had to go elsewhere for their BBQ fix until now. 

Last week the developer of Clippership Wharf, announced progress on two new restaurant leases at the mixed-use residential development on the waterfront near Maverick that includes the Smoke Shop and Cafe Iterum. 

General Manager of Development in Boston at Lendlease Nicholas Iselin reported that The Smoke Shop, an award-winning barbecue restaurant, recently signed a lease at the mixed-use community, where it plans to open its fifth full-service location next year.

After spending over 20 years on the competitive BBQ circuit with his team “iQue”, Chef and Pitmaster Andy Husbands has taken countless BBQ-focused trips around the country, and authoring three BBQ cookbooks. 

The Smoke Shop’s BBQ menu is Husbands’ tribute to his favorite dishes and the different styles of BBQ across the country.

The new Eastie location will expand the Smoke Shop’s existing Boston-area footprint with its location at Clippership Wharf. Offering award-winning BBQ paired with New England’s largest American whiskey collection, the location is scheduled to welcome guests by summer 2022.

 “The Smoke Shop has always attracted a wide spectrum of people – it’s not uncommon to see one customer in shorts and flip-flops eating next to someone else in a suit,” said Husbands. “That’s why Eastie made sense for our next location, as it aligns with the high-energy vibes and diverse crowds inside our restaurants.”

With over 4,000 square feet of space, The Smoke Shop will offer full-service dining, takeout and catering options. Three separate outdoor patios add an additional 2,000 square feet of dining space. The space is being designed by Sousa Design Architects, the firm behind the restaurant’s existing locations.

The Smoke Shop will feature its standard-bearers–like Famous Wings, 1st Place Ribs (yes they won 1st place in many competitions), Texas-Style Brisket and the Burnt Ends– are joined by more chef-driven dishes like Fried Catfish and the Gardein Hot Bowl. 

Iselin also reported that interior construction on Cafe Iterum is underway in preparation for a November opening. 

Spearheaded by renowned Boston chef, Matt McPherson, Cafe Iterum will serve its refined coffee and modern American cuisine to morning commuters, telecommuters, Eastie residents and visitors alike. 

The 1,100-square-foot dining space has an industrial-inspired look with a mix of concrete and metal finishes, supplemented by clean woods, abundant plants and large windows to warm up the space. A 1,400-square-foot patio offers additional seating, including options adjacent to outdoor fire pits.

 “I was drawn to East Boston for Cafe Iterum because it is filled with people who are truly invested in this community and want to see it do well,” said McPherson. “And as Clippership Wharf shares our sustainability mindset, it was only natural to launch the concept here.”

Aiming to be a zero-waste, sustainable café intent on improving the food system, Cafe Iterum has partnered with Eastie Farm to responsibly source local food. This aligns with Lendlease’s climate-resilient efforts at Clippership Wharf, including the creation of a living shoreline and installation of a flood barrier system.

 McPherson worked with architecture and design studio Pink Projects, led by Ryan Pinkham, to design the interiors of the café. Graphic designer Joshua Duttweiler designed the café’s branding.

“The art installations, recreational facilities and other incredible public amenities that activate the Clippership Wharf site make it an energetic destination for the people of Boston,” said Iselin. “We’re excited for these two dining concepts to enhance the sense of community we’ve created at this dynamic waterfront development.”

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