Welcome to Summer at The Speedway

Photo by Christian Phillips

With summer just around the corner, it’s time for an update on the Charles River Speedway!

It can be tough to point to  anything anniversary-related around the Speedway, because we never had a “grand opening” moment. (Actually, we had several “grand openings”!) Part of that is because construction schedules are always tricky, but also because COVID brought big delays. The realities of small businesses going through a global pandemic translated to a very staggered start. Notch Brewing opened in July of 2021, Bellwether Salon and House of Art & Craft opened that fall, Koji Club opened in February of 2022, Super Bien in August and so on…

So, instead of focusing on one particular day, let’s say this: we are approaching a new summer season at the Charles River Speedway and we have a lot of really interesting things going on here. With a few new small businesses joining our community this spring, there is a feeling around these parts that we are entering into a new, exciting phase of vitality and creativity here at the Speedway. 

We invite everyone to join in the fun!

Learn all about our Speedway community or – check us out on Dining Playbook!

Notch Brewing/Notch Provisions

Named Boston’s Best Brewery in 2022 by Boston Magazine, Notch Brewing’s Brighton taproom and biergarten is their take on a traditional Czech and German-style beer hall. Notch Brewing is well known for their classic session style beers from the Czech Republic, Germany, England, and Belgium. Notch Provisions has its own storefront facing the courtyard, and provides beer-friendly foods like sausages, cheese plates, pretzels and more. 

Bellwether Salon

The Speedway is lucky to be home to Master Stylist Melinda Brandt. This inclusive one-chair salon studio provides a one-on-one experience in a welcoming environment, amidst the backdrop of all the buzzing Speedway central courtyard.

New! Pizza Project

Just opened! Long-time Speedway friend, collaborator, and maker of delicious things, Dan and Allie Spinale have just opened their first brick and mortar location here at The Speedway. The focus of their menu here will be on Sicilian slices and sandwiches, with inventive salads and specials coming soon. 

House of Art & Craft

Filled with soothing scents, beautiful hand-poured soy wax candles and aromatherapy products, this is the first permanent brick + mortar location for Steysy Clark.  As well as being a resource for sustainable goods, Steysy also hosts regular workshops where participants learn to craft their own candles and soap. 

The Koji Club

THE place in Boston to enjoy all things sake. At award-winning Koji Club, guests can enjoy sake while also learning about its culture and history from industry leader and tastemaker Alyssa Mikkiko Dipasquale.  A beautiful jewel box of a space, the experience here is immersive and intimate. The Koji Club was recently named to Conde Nast Traveler’s Hot List – Top 20 restaurants in the world and Esquire’s Best Bars in America, 2023.

Super Bien

This sparkling gem of a Latin American grocery store-meets-wine bar from the Buenas team features empanadas, sauces, and snacks galore. The food is fun and incredibly tasty, the South American natural wine list is one of a kind, and there are a ton of great food finds to bring home to keep the party going. 

Birds of Paradise

From Ran Duan and the award-winning team behind Blossom Bar, Baldwin Bar and Ivory Pearl, Birds of Paradise features thoughtfully-made cocktails and “airline snacks” inspired by the golden age of travel.

New! Boston Women’s Market Incubator Shop 

BWM is bringing a new concept to The Speedway this summer – an incubator shop with a rotating slate of local women-founded small businesses, makers, and artists. The Incubator Shop is open Thursday-Sunday.

Opening soon: Rite Tea & Espresso (opening June 2023)

The first dedicated bricks and mortar location for the Wicked Thrawl, which has been popping up inside The Koji Club for the past six months. Rite will feature a very special tea program, espresso drinks, pour over coffee and a really exciting rotating slate of seasonal drinks. 

Photo by Adam Parshall

Garage B

A former Garage building, today it is the flexible events space located within The Speedway complex. Garage B hosts weddings, corporate events and meetings, family celebrations, and frequent markets and community events. 


The Speedway is a vibrant, dynamic marketplace in Brighton. Once the headquarters for the Charles River Reservation parkland, today the revitalized historic buildings and central courtyard are home to a unique collection of small businesses – including bars, restaurants, shops, a hair salon and a flexible event space. 

Built between 1899 and 1940, the Charles River Speedway is considered one of DCR’s “origin properties.”  Arranged around an interior courtyard, the buildings once served as police headquarters, Superintendent’s residence, horse stables, and maintenance garages for the Charles River Reservation, formerly under the authority of the Metropolitan District Commission. The complex was also a companion facility for the Speedway trotting park, a horse and bicycle racecourse that curved for a mile along present-day Soldiers Field Road.

Long underutilized, and then vacant for over a decade, the buildings fell into disrepair.

Through a unique public/private partnership called the Historic Curatorship Program, Architectural Heritage Foundation and DCR set forth on the redevelopment of the historic property in 2019, with the first tenant, Notch Brewing, opening their doors in July of 2021. 

Read more about the redevelopment of The Speedway.

Historic Boston Gets $250K AHF Loan For Upham’s Corner Rehabilitation Project


May 23, 2033


Abandoned Trolley System Building Now Houses ‘Comfort Kitchen’

BOSTON — Historic Boston Inc., the active nonprofit preservation organization, has secured a $250,000 loan from the Architectural Heritage Foundation for the Upham’s Corner Comfort Station in Dorchester, home to the new Comfort Kitchen restaurant.

The loan is to support the rehabilitation of the historic building, furthering an objective of Historic Boston, which is to help support local businesses in the neighborhood.

Historic Boston, which purchased, re-envisioned, and oversaw redevelopment of the abandoned structure at 611 Columbia Rd. in Dorchester into a restaurant, secured the loan from the Brighton-based lender.

Comfort Kitchen, serving customers since it opened for breakfast and lunch and dinner in January, is one of several Boston-based projects benefiting from proceeds of AHF’s sale of Boston’s Old City Hall. 

“Historic Boston’s objective was to preserve and reuse a local historic building, support an entrepreneur, and help to strengthen the Upham’s Corner commercial district,” said Tony Lopes, Director of Real Estate of HBI. “This project checks all those boxes besides just being a great new place to eat.”

The loan from AHF was secured at a below-market fixed rate, refinancing a construction loan following the successful completion of work on the building earlier this year.

“When we sold Old City Hall, we knew we wanted to use a portion of the proceeds to fund the historic preservation projects in Boston’s neighborhoods,” said AHF President Sean McDonnell. “The chance to support community-based development made it an even more attractive opportunity for AHF’s board of directors and staff. We are proud to play a role in this exciting project and thrilled to support the good work of Historic Boston and Comfort Kitchen.” 

Since 1966, AHF has been at the forefront of preserving and reactivating historic properties to stimulate community growth. AHF partners with public entities, nonprofit organizations, and private developers to find solutions for complicated historic preservation projects. 

Cameron S. Merrill of the law firm Merrill & McGeary of Boston and Jason A. Panos of The Panos Law Group of Peabody were legal advisors on the transaction.


The former trolley system comfort station, a stucco 940-square-foot facility with full basement, underwent a $1.9 million historic rehabilitation with improvements that created Comfort Kitchen, a full-service café with dinner operations. The architect for Phase One of the development was Utile, Inc. Architecture + Planning of Boston. Phase Two, including the restaurant design, was by Supernormal of Cambridge. The contractor was  MJ Mawn, Inc.

The Upham’s Corner Comfort Station served Boston’s streetcar system and is near the MBTA’s Fairmount commuter rail line, as well as being within the City of Boston’s Upham’s Corner Main Street District. The building is a one-story stucco and tile “mission style” building built as a convenience station in 1912 to support the expanding streetcar system in Boston. It was designed by Dorchester architect William H. Besarick, who also designed the nearby municipal building at the corner of Columbia Road and Bird Street, as well as many triple-decker residences in the area.

The building is located on what was once part of the Dorchester North Burying Ground, which is listed in the State and National Register of Historic Places and within the cemetery’s Boston Landmark designation.


HBI is a nonprofit preservation and real estate organization that rehabilitates historic and culturally significant properties in Boston’s neighborhoods so they are a usable part of the city’s present and future.

HBI works with local partners to identify and invest in historic buildings and cultural resources whose reuse will catalyze neighborhood renewal. HBI acquires and redevelops historic structures and provides technical expertise, planning services and financing for rehabilitation projects. HBI projects demonstrate that preserving historic properties is economically viable and that they can be usable and functioning assets in a community.

Please visit HBI at  www.historicboston.org .

Let’s work together.