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The braised short rib gnocchi weaves in spinach, cream. and lemon sunflower seed gremolata.
The braised short rib gnocchi weaves in spinach, cream. and lemon sunflower seed gremolata. Baramor

IN THE KITCHEN Baramor owner-operator Arpit Patel was working in the corporate world when he started imagining where he could focus his energies instead. “Opening a bar is a common fantasy a lot of people joke about,” he said, but he began to think, “Maybe it is crazy, but doable.” He wished to create something more than a bar, however. “I wanted to do things other bars aren’t doing, and to be actively involved in the community,” he said.

THE LOCALE Baramor is located in the former Terry O’Reilly’s pub space in Newton Centre. Patel wanted a venue with an already built-out restaurant, and after months of searching for space, “I saw something in this location, right by the Green Line [MBTA station]. I got lucky, because bars don’t usually sell when they’re in great locations,” he said.

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The restaurant, which opened in May, contains both front and back bars and can hold up to 99 people. The team renovated the entire interior and massively upgraded the kitchen to suit a vision of serving destination-worthy food.

Baramor has both a front and back bar and has 11 draught lines regularly rotating local brews.
Baramor has both a front and back bar and has 11 draught lines regularly rotating local brews. Baramor

ON THE MENU Baramor bills itself as “your hometown gastropub,” a nod to the team’s dedication to being a scratch kitchen. “We want to be food-focused. We buy ingredients and make everything in-house,” Patel said.

Prior to Terry O’Reilly’s closure, Patel spent six months at the pub to better acquaint himself with the business. He hired executive chef Tim Moss to help shape a menu befitting a gastropub serving American-inspired elevated pub fare with southern touches, and ran weekly “test kitchens” to gauge what offerings struck a chord with diners.

So what made the menu? No surprise you’ll find a namesake burger ($15), the pub classic topped with cheddar cheese, pickled red onions, and wilted kale and jazzed up with house-made bacon jam and a jalapeno spread. Also popular is the buttermilk fried chicken sandwich ($15) on a buttered brioche bun; it can be ordered “Nashville hot” for a spicy kick. Each comes with hand-cut chips; we opted instead for orders of the hand-cut fries ($1 extra) as well as the truffle-Parmesan variety ($2 extra).

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There are creative twists, including the bam-bam cauliflower ($11), which tosses the florets in a house-made sweet-and-spicy sauce. Gnocchi has appeared in various presentations, including the current braised short rib version ($28). The menu has already evolved several times, adding specials such as chickpea fritters ($10) and baked crab dip ($16) to the regular lineup.

And of course, there’s beer — 11 draught lines, to be exact, with weekly rotations of almost exclusively local brews.

“The goal is to introduce products not many people know about,” Patel said, including the Baramor Session made exclusively for the restaurant.

The restaurant runs special dinners pairing food with beer, wine, and cocktails, and is likely to reintroduce the “test kitchen” concept in the new year, Patel said. It stays open until 1 a.m. “even when we have no guests” and he expects to remain open during winter storms and holidays as well.

Baramor strives to be more than an eating and drinking establishment. It runs a “pull for charity” program, whereby $3 from a dedicated draught line is donated to a rotating charity; the program has already raised $6,000, Patel said. In addition, $3 from items on the chef’s features menu also goes to charity.

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“We are committed to the local community, so we want to do something permanent and meaningful,” he said.

That’s not all: Beverage director Shawn Couter fostered a book club that regularly draws between 15 and 20 readers/drinkers/diners — again, with the intention of building community and a sense of neighborhood, Patel said.

“Once people come in, our job is to make them happy,” he said.

Baramor, 45 Union St., Newton Centre, 617-202-6718, www.baramornewton.com .


Rachel Lebeaux can be reached at rachel_lebeaux@yahoo.com.