Warm weather, beer, minigolf, ice cream, puppies — all of that in one place sounds too good to be true, but it is very much a reality at City Hall Plaza. The Patios, a brand-new hangout located at the plaza’s southeast corner, made its debut today, and is already shaping up to be a go-to spot this summer.
Made of nine custom patios and a main pavilion, the area serves as the summer hub for the Wachusett Brew Yard, local ice cream mainstay Honeycomb Creamer, a variety of food trucks, and five holes of minigolf . There will also be weekly “pop-ups” throughout the summer, including visits from the Boston Public Library’s mobile book program and picnic-related giveaways courtesy of Boston Public Market . But of course, the most anticipated pop-up is arguably on Wednesday — or, more accurately, “Puppy Wednesday.” That’s right: every Wednesday from noon to 2 p.m., the Patios in partnership with Shultz’s Guest House will have fluffy, adorable puppies on hand to offer the greatest midwork week de-stresser one could ever hope for.
Luckily, the puppies arrived early for opening day, and they easily stole the show from everything else going on, including an appearance by Mayor Martin J. Walsh. For Shultz’s Guest House Volunteer Jill Teahan, any way to put adoptable puppies — yes, they’re all up for adoption — is always a good thing. “People love puppies, everywhere. Everyone’s enjoying them as much as we thought they would, and we expect that they’ll probably have a waiting list for them all by the end of the weekend,” she said.
Featuring architecture made of reclaimed wood by local sculptor Jeff Smith, the space has transformed the usually plain City Hall Plaza into an Instagram-ready, bona fide destination, and passersby are already taking notice. Ellen McNeill and Jake Heney both graduated from Northeastern earlier in the day, and still wearing their graduation gowns, they couldn’t help but notice the activity as they were walking by. As for their initial takeaways, Heney perhaps summed it up best: “I was just walking home from graduation, and now I’m in a beer garden holding a puppy. So this is about as good as this day could have gone.”
“Honestly, it’s beautiful, and it’s a gorgeous view of classic Boston but separate from the crazy crowds,” McNeill said. “You can enjoy a beer on a hot summer day or night, it’s like everything great about a brewery combined into a sweet space.”
Thanks to the Patios, the drab, brick, empty days of City Hall Plaza might finally be over, and just in time for summer. Time will tell if the space will have people visiting en masse, but at the very least, puppies are certainly a good start. The Patios are presented by Berkshire Bank.Robert Steiner can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.