A Downeast Cider bar is coming to the Greenway in May. Cheers!
The Rose Kennedy Greenway is giving people another chance to say cheers. The nonprofit that runs the downtown park has tapped Downeast Cider to run an outdoor pop-up bar on its winding grounds, on Dewey Square Plaza across from South Station. It will be the second one on the Greenway.
The open-air bar — which will serve a rotating crop of the East Boston company’s ciders, as well as beer and wine — is scheduled to open in late May and follows the success of the beer garden Trillium Brewing Co. opened four blocks away last year.
Officials at the Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Greenway Conservancy and Trillium have been in discussions about bringing the outdoor taproom back this summer to the space it had along High Street, which the nonprofit’s officials estimate 100,000 people visited last year.
But given the beer garden’s popularity, the conservancy wanted to add outdoor libation locations, targeting the plaza on Atlantic Avenue and the flow of tens of thousands of commuters who funnel through downtown and the nearby train station each day. In the request for proposals it released earlier this year, the conservancy said it envisioned a “hybrid of commuters, young professionals, and tourists as the primary audience.”
The 4,000-square-foot bar would be open Monday, Wednesday, and Friday evenings, as well as Saturdays and Sundays, through October.
“We loved the Trillium Garden. As the conservancy thought about a second space, we wanted very deliberately to offer something different,” said Jesse Brackenbury, it executive director, of tapping Downeast Cider. “We just felt like it was important to have a diversity in experiences.”
“You have a real density downtown . . . a lot of people who are flowing past as commuters,” he added of the new location. “For all the reasons we were confident about the Trillium Garden being successful, we’re confident about this additional partnership with Downeast.”
The conservancy has been hunting for new revenue to bolster the park’s coffers after years of pressure from the state to rely less on public funding. It has pushed its own-source revenue to more than $1.1 million annually, and through a new 10-year lease it signed last year with the state Department of Transportation it will also receive a combined $14 million in financing from the state, the city, and local businesses over the next decade.
The agreement was the first that included financial help from the city and the park’s abutters for the park’s annual $5 million operating budget.
The nonprofit conservancy is expected to sign an agreement with Downeast that will include a mix of fees and a share of revenues — similar to its deal with Trillium.