If you ask Arlington native Billy Lyons about the history of his town, he will probably tell you about the Cooper’s Flip cocktail. Lyons, who has managed several restaurants over the last 30 years — Stoddard’s Fine Food & Ale and Jasper White’s Summer Shack among them — will inform you that the “shot heard ’round the world” that really matters happened in his hometown, formerly named Menotomy. At the beginning of the American Revolutionary War, two patriots who refused to hide from the advancing British lost their lives when Redcoats stormed Cooper’s Tavern.
What they were drinking is now the signature libation at Menotomy Grill & Tavern, which Lyons opened in June in a renovated space (once a Hollywood Video) that includes high ceilings, exposed brick, and an outdoor patio. On a Thursday night, all 150 seats are filled with a line out the door. The hostesses barely have a grip managing walk-ins. The crush could be the honeymoon phase of a highly anticipated restaurant. But then again, with chef Mark Thompson (formerly of Chez Henri in Cambridge), those hostesses better get the hang of it.