Boston, MA– God bless the DJ. They are what they play. They’re living nostalgia, even if the music they constantly play can seem like it speaks nothing to you about your life. Especially if it’s a meta-concept.
In the case of the Groove, a new 70s-inspired vinyl record lounge opening at Hojoko in the Fenway this week, the DJ is a retro throwback to a retro throwback of a time 25 years ago.
The Groove, which will unveil its grand opening this Friday, April 19th, promises a “‘70s den vibe”, replete with lush decor designed by Elkus Manfredi and vintage music curated by staff from Nuggets and In Your Ear! Records.
“We are hopeful that The Groove is another way Hojoko and The Verb Hotel are helping to support and enhance the ‘b-side’ of the Boston music scene,” owners Tim and Nancy Cushman stated in a press release. “The ’70s den vibe is a great setting to hear some music and enjoy some cocktails and food with all sorts of new friends that you just haven’t met yet.”
The Groove would not be the first time Hojoko has blended their approach to both music and food. The four-year-old restaurant recently hosted a live performance from long running cult favorite Shonen Knife, as well as a pop-up from New York’s Tokyo Record Bar. Now, the restaurant is extending the latter concept one step further by hosting regular “bring your own vinyl” nights—a theme already popular in as wildly disparate locales as Tokyo, Austin, New York and London.
“It feels super laid back, wicked comfortable,” the Groove communications director Alyssa DiPasquale told Boston magazine recently. “The music is on point for the vibe, and you can get really delicious cocktails. We’re bringing it here to Boston.”
The preliminary cocktail list includes the obligatory sake selection, alongside Japanese whiskey and beer, a specialty Japanese-inspired highball drink selection created by bar manager Darren Swisher and for the handful of people who want to display their ostentatiousness, a selection of champagnes that can fetch well into $600 a bottle (how 1970s).
But if you’re expecting nothing more than a sake blossom paired with a heaping helping dose of Earth Wind & Fire remixes (and I for one can testify that the two pair quite lovely), think again. Hojoko executive chef Rob Wong has produced a special Japanese fusion snack menu for the Groove, with items such as salmon kushiyaki, short rib katsu sandwiches, tuna tataki, Latin inspired torched hamachi nachos and perhaps the most bizarrely extravagant item of all—“Hello Kitty caviar service,” with salmon roe and sturgeon caviar alongside soba waffles, miso-maple syrup, wasabi tobiko and whipped crème fraiche.
“We’re still our irreverent selves,” said DiPasquale. “The Groove is going to be a really intimate version of what we offer.”
Because when your customer demographic was born twenty odd years after your throw-back atmosphere, intimacy in lieu of nostalgia might be the next best substitute.
The Groove is located in the lounge of Hojoko at 1271 Boylston St in Boston and opens Friday, April 19th. Hours will be from 5:00 pm - 2:00 am. For more information, visit http://www.hojokoboston.com/