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Forum Bar & Restaurant reopens with revelry

Parth Patel, Matt Kaighn, John Bennett, and Martin Story enjoyed a beer at the bar in the newly renovated Forum Bar and Restaurant.Kayana Szymczak for the Boston Globe/Boston Globe

Where to Forum Bar & Restaurant, the Boylston Street establishment located at the epicenter of the Boston Marathon bombings. It reopened in August after four months' closure.

What for To support a local business and celebrate a final step in the area's return to normalcy. Forum was the last Boylston Street business affected by the attacks to reopen.

The scene On a Thursday night, normalcy is in full swing. Forum's first floor is packed with patrons engaged in life-affirming post-work revelry. Music thumps loudly. The place has been remodeled, with a brighter look and a smaller bar that allows for freer milling about. A pack of women wearing stripes roams the floor, big glasses of red wine in hand. Dudes in plaid shirts take photos together. In a curved booth, couples canoodle. At the bar, a woman in a Boston hoodie sits next to a group of people speaking Italian. Customers in T-shirts and jeans mingle next to a woman dressed in skintight black with 5-inch cherry patent leather heels. At a corner table, the cussing accelerates as the night wears on. The upstairs dining area is as calm and quiet as the downstairs is frenetic — here there is a small, hushed bar and a group of women eating.

Pan Roasted Halibut is served at the newly renovated Forum Bar and Restaurant in Boston.Kayana Szymczak for the Boston Globe

What you're eating Forum has a new executive chef, Dan Schroeder, and a menu divided between classy bar food and reimagined bistro fare. At the bar, that might mean fish tacos with halibut, pickled radish, slaw, and cilantro vinaigrette. The upscale version: pan-roasted halibut (pictured) with lobster-chorizo risotto, pea tendrils, and beurre blanc.


Care for a drink? A section of the cocktail list is devoted to seasonal potions. The ginger nectarine smash showcases summer fruit (albeit crunchy), spicy ginger, and mint, along with Mount Gay Black Barrel rum.


Overheard People gossiping: "They knew each other in high school and had a secret thing." People complaining about gossiping. People comparing life to the show "Suits." People comparing alimony settlements. "You get more. She's working and has a college degree." Talk about food television: "And then the Barefoot Contessa comes on. I try to sleep through Giada. She's annoying." Talk about travel: "There were rooms that were really expensive. Mine was only $300 a night. The food was awesome, the wine was awesome." A man explains the difference between lager and IPA to his girl. A bartender asks a diner, "Agua?" Another bartender calls the women "my love." A patron discusses her child's educational prospects. "It's as good as going to Harvard," her companion says reassuringly. "She's going to be with dingdongs!," the mother frets.

755 Boylston St., Boston. 857-991-1831. www.forumboston.com.

Devra First can be reached at devra.first@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @devrafirst.