A phone call with a B-Side staffer who declined to reveal his name shed no light on the matter. At this point, he said, it's all rumors, and the staff is getting very upset about all the people calling to ask if their place of employ is closing. Understandable, if coy.
Other inconclusive evidence (read: gossip imparted by a bouncer) points to a closure in the next few months.
The rumors began swirling in June, after writer Andy Crouch mentioned Lanigan's plans to open a Boston beer bar on BeerScribe. He wrote:
"Daniel Lanigan, proprietor of the Moan & Dove of Amherst and the Dirty Truth of Northampton, has long wanted to return to the Boston market and open his own place. A former worker at the under-appreciated Other Side Cafe in Boston’s Copley/Mass. Ave. district, Lanigan loved the location. For a few months, he was in negotiations to either purchase or take over the Other Side Cafe and transform it into his third beer bar. The deal fell through early this Spring and Lanigan wasted no time in looking for a new spot. The
rumors report now, entirely unconfirmed by this presently lazy reporter, is that Daniel is in negotiations to open his third bar across the river in Cambridge. While I won’t report the name of the rumored takeover target ( because I can’t confirm it and because people would likely riot if they knew, how’s that for a tease?), the spot, if it works out, is centrally located ( no pun or hint intended).
"UPDATE: The location is confirmed and a deal is underway. At the request of Lanigan, I’m still deciding whether to post the name of the place. News of the deal is now the worst kept secret in the gossipy world of the Boston foodie scene as it has gotten back to me through four different sources at this point. In any event, you’ll learn the name soon enough."
If the rumors are true, it's bad news for fans of the cocktail. The B-Side is one of the best local places to sample concoctions vintage and newly invented. (I had a brief but meaningful relationship with their Sidecar, but had to move on because there were too many other worthy cocktails to sample. And their Bloody Mary got many of my Sundays off to a slow and pleasurable start.) It's good news for beer lovers, however, who otherwise had to trek an entire half-mile farther to find a good beer bar -- the nearby Bukowski Tavern.
OK, OK -- the cocktail crowd does have Green Street less than a mile away. But with No. 9 Park doing away with its cafe menu, if the B-Side closes, the landscape of places to get an excellent cocktail and something to eat without breaking the bank will look quite different.
Of course, Barbara Lynch's Drink is opening soon. The cocktail is dead, long live the cocktail.
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ContributorsSheryl Julian, the Globe's Food Editor, writes regularly for the Food section.
Devra First is the Globe's food reporter and restaurant critic. Her reviews appear weekly in the Food section.
Ellen Bhang reviews Cheap Eats restaurants for the Globe and writes about wine.