Written by Christine Fennelly
- A menu with 40 (rotating) craft beers.
- One hundred whiskeys to choose from.
- And a bar top designed with 12,720 pennies.
That’s just a few of the interesting facts about Southie’s newest locale, Worden Hall.
Located at 22 West Broadway, directly across from the Broadway T station, Worden Hall is the latest in restaurateur Dylan Welsh’s endeavors.
“When we decided to open a third location, Southie was a no-brainer,” he said. “We look for diverse, growing neighborhoods, and South Boston certainly is that.” Welsh owns two other restaurants, both named “Five Horses” in Davis Square and in the South End. He’s opening Worden Hall with business partners Dan Hemm and Sarah Hanson.
What’s with the name, Worden Hall?
“I grew up in Saratoga Springs, New York, just four houses away from the racetrack. I worked at the track all through high school, so racing and Saratoga are a big part of my personal history. When I was doing my research before launching this spot, I met with the oldest living Saratogan, Minnie Bolster. She’s 97 years and old and sharp as a tack. She gave me a coaster she took from the original Worden Hotel – it was a large hotel, frequented by tourists, locals and celebrities alike. It wasn’t the most grand spot, but it was very welcoming to all walks of people, and that is exactly what I want Worden Hall to be – open and welcoming to all,” explained Welsh.
Welsh is a history buff, and as such he likes to incorporate salvage pieces and fixtures into his restaurants. He’ll head out to Brimfield and select antiques he can repurpose for his locations. The hostess station at Worden Hall is constructed from old mailboxes.
“We hired Peter Niemtz to design Worden Hall, and Peter and I worked side by side designing the bar, the booths, lighting, etc. I’m very hands on.”
The bar top is one of the most interesting aspects of the site. It is a glass topped bar with 12,720 shiny pennies lined up perfectly. “Yeah, that was an interesting project. My partner Dan and my wife and I spent many evenings sorting through rolls of pennies to find the shiny ones. I kept going back to the bank and asking for more penny rolls. It was a tedious task but the result is pretty cool.”
Worden Hall will have a private dining area with capacity of 25 for family gatherings, events and business meetings. “We hope to host business lunches and community meetings in the space. When it is not reserved, we can open up the walls and add additional dining space to the restaurant,” said Welsh.
Worden Hall opens on Thursday, August 27th and operating hours are 11:30 AM – 11:30 PM. Right now they are offering one menu, but expect to expand to different lunch, dinner, bar snacks and brunch menu in the future.
The restaurant’s executive chef is Tim Quinn. Welsh and his management team have hired 85% of the staff needed for Worden Hall. “We’re a hospitality group, with longtime employees, and we like to promote from within, so some of our existing employees will transfer over here to our new site.”
Let’s give Worden Hall a warm Southie welcome to the neighborhood!
To see a full menu visit: https://www.zagat.com/b/boston/look-inside-worden-hall-races-into-south-boston