Back in our Hot 100 issue, we filled readers in on the fact that the Back Bay hotspot Saint would soon be renovated and relaunched. Now the paint is just about to dry on the brand-new party place: Storyville (90 Exeter Street, Boston, 617.236.1134), slated to open in early September. Sure, it sounds like an amusement park where librarians take their kids for rides on Dr. Seuss-themed rollercoasters, but the name actually has much more sophisticated origins. (no offense intended for to the Lorax.) This Exeter Street location is where the hugely influential jazz producer, George Wein, a native Bostonian who also founded the Newport Jazz Festival, opened his Storyville nightclub in the 1940s, naming it after New Orleans’ bygone red-light district in homage to the birthplace of jazz. Storyville jumped around a bit — eventually landing in the Kenmore Square building that now contains a Uno Chicago Grill — but jazz legends, like Louis Armstrong and Ella Fitzgerald, flocked to it no matter where it was located. Billie Holiday even released a live album composed of performances at the spot. But you won’t find jazz music in this newest incarnation. Instead, velvet ropes will part to reveal DJs spinning in a newly redesigned club room. Classic cocktails and small plates will be served up in a second room, an ultra-loungy space designed, naturally to evoke the naughtiness of a speakeasy in a red-light district. So you can expect decor flourishes that nod to New Orleans — but an overall vibe that will stay true to our own local color. “Too often, I hear about people trying to emulate Vegas, New York, or Miami,” says owner Brian Lesser. “I think it’s time we concentrated on creating a venue that’s uniquely Boston.” Music to our ears.
Article taken from Stuff Magazine (Aug. 23, 2011-Sept. 5, 2011 Issue)
Hot 100 Issue: http://stuffboston.com/hot100-2011/archive/2011/07/25/hot-reincarnation-the-space-formerly-known-as-saint.aspx