I headed down to 303 Café Saturday to meet a friend and to listen to some jazz. While there, I had a beer with an acquaintance and ended up meeting a newcomer to East Boston.
That’s the scene now a days at this popular neighborhood eatery. 303 has cultivated a vibe that is comfortable and welcoming and its small, intimate setting now complete with some jazz encourages conversations among tables and camaraderie among friends.
Of course the menu of hard to find beers does help loosen everyone up a bit.
The Sumner Street cafe had been seeking a change of use and occupancy for their restaurant to include live entertainment. Last year their efforts were successful.
The Boston Zoning Board of Appeals (BOA) voted in favor of allowing the change of use and occupancy at 303 Cafe. The popular restaurant gained support of East Boston’s elected officials, the Chamber of Commerce and East Boston Main Street. 303 Cafe also received strong support from members of the Jeffries Point Neighborhood Association after a community meeting there.
The process took some time and the BOA approval was only the first step. Following another hearing a few weeks later, 303 was given the green light to start showcasing the many talented musicians living here in Eastie as well as people from the city.
“It will be non-amplified jazz, blues, gospel, lounge, type atmosphere,” said Jones. “We also hope to do some Wii type stuff.”
Jones and, Tom Clackett pulled off arguably one of the most successful and highly anticipated grand opening of a café two years ago.
The Café, located at 303 Sumner St., is the type of neighborhood place you’re more likely to find in the South End or Back Bay yet is a perfect fit in Jeffries Point.
Inside, hardwood floors accent exposed brick walls that are decorated with local art. There’s a very warm, intimate feeling at 303 Café and you’re sure to bump into someone you know from the neighborhood having lunch or sipping a cappuccino.
“We felt this café is exactly what East Boston needed,” said Jones. “To have a real neighborhood place with a community feel was our goal.”
Since its opening, 303 Café has enjoyed nonstop business. And aside from the array of different coffees, smoothies, teas and other beverages 303 Café serves, the unique menu is sure to keep you coming back for more.
“Really the cafe side was a catalyst for the restaurant,” said Jones. “We wanted to provide items that you really can’t get anywhere else in East Boston.”
The cafe offers good food, hard to find beer and wines and perhaps Eastie’s first and only buffalo meat burger on a toasted kaiser roll with waffle fries.
Also there are burritos, a falafel wrap or delicious twists on traditional roast beef or turkey sandwiches.
“We wanted to provide healthier options so all our food in zero trans-fat and we have a wide array of vegetarian or vegan dishes,” said Jones.
303 Cafe also serves a full breakfast menu with items like poached eggs on top of crab cakes, a breakfast burrito, thick sliced french toast with nutella, raspberry and whip cream.