If you’ve been waiting for the Davis Square restaurant Rosebud to reopen, you’ll be able to see the results of a temporary closure and transformation soon.
Rosebud Bar and Kitchen, a historic Somerville eatery housed in a famous dining car, officially opens on Dec. 1. The restaurant was sold by Alpine Group to new owners, Bindaas Concepts, in June, and closed for renovations in October. When patrons visit the rebranded destination, formerly known for serving regional comfort food, they’ll find a new menu, which features American classics with an Indian twist. Partner Ramya Guttikonda said that she is excited to introduce the Somerville community to a unique fusion.
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“[We’re] bringing both worlds together,” she said. “We’ve been to traditional Indian restaurants in and around Boston, but we never saw any place doing a little fusion… When a group of people walk in, we just want everyone to have something.”
On the menu, largely created by chef Keith Sarasin, guests will find dishes like the tandoori masala steak frites and the masala chai French toast. Rosebud’s popular chicken and waffles have been updated — visitors can now order a Kerala fried chicken and green chili waffle that comes with coconut and maple syrup. They’ll also be able to enjoy a grilled cheese and tomato rasam soup, which is made with thick-cut bread, American cheese, and green chutney. For dessert, Rosebud offers pies from Petsi Pies, coming in flavors like Mississippi Mud. A mango lassi parfait also makes an appearance.
Partner and beverage director Will Corado said that Rosebud will offer beer, wine, and cocktails. Guests can expect to find a dirty chai martini on the menu, made with vodka, chai, espresso, and nutmeg, served frothy and foamy. They’ll also be able to sip on the Bombay to Boston, a variation on an Old Fashioned composed of bourbon, curry bitters, brown sugar, and orange. In the future, ginger beer, a favorite from Rosebud’s former menu, will be offered. Classic milkshakes will be served, with one alcoholic option, the peanut butter whiskey.
The space has not changed dramatically. The iconic red booths have been reupholstered, and the restaurant accommodates 140 total, including bar seats. The new owners have added a game corner, featuring shelves full of board games, from Scrabble to Connect Four. There is also a new merchandise wall when visitors enter, in case they’d like to take a part of Rosebud home. A disco ball hangs over the bar area. Guttikonda said that she wanted the whole restaurant to feel more connected, so the team added details like hanging bells throughout the space.
“When we took over the space, we felt like it was a little detached from one space to another,” she said. “We just wanted to create a flow in the vibe and energy, just to see everything [feel] common from one side to the other side.”
When Bindaas Concepts acquired Rosebud in June, the company had intended to continue operating without many changes, Boston.com reported earlier this fall. When they realized that they were losing money, they decided to pivot and embrace a new concept. Part of their rebranding and renovation process involved undergoing some repairs, revamping the HVAC system, fixing the roof, and changing upholstery, Guttikonda said. For the past two months, management has been repairing the space.
While Rosebud may be emerging with a new personality, Guttikonda said that she would like to honor the restaurant’s legacy and the community that has supported the diner of the years.
“From the upper management to the team on the floor, everyone is very clear that Rosebud has history,” she said. “It’s a landmark. We want to honor that in every way possible, [in] food, service, and in taking care of the place.”
Rosebud Bar and Kitchen, 381 Summer St., Somerville. Monday – Thursday, 11 a.m. – 3 p.m., 5 – 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 10 a.m. – 3 p.m., 5 p.m. – 11 p.m. Sunday, 10 a.m. – 3 p.m., 5 – 10 p.m. Brunch on Saturday and Sunday, 10 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.
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