Yeehaw: Boston to get country-themed restaurant

The Lyons Group wants to turn a closed taqueria on Lansdowne Street into a down-home eatery serving old-fashioned Southern food to the sound of country, bluegrass and folk music.

The Boston Licensing Board formally votes this afternoon whether to allow the company to convert La Verdad into Loretta's Last Call.

Lyons lawyer Dennis Quilty said the new restaurant would be Boston's first country-themed city. In recent years, country has become more popular in Boston - Fenway Park now hosts at least one country concert a year.

Licensing Board Chairwoman Nicole Murati-Ferrer ended the hearing with a series of questions to proposed manager Erica Dorsey:

Are you a Massachusetts resident?
Are you a U.S. citizen?
Do you like Southern food?

Dorsey responded yes to all three.

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Nice. All you need now

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..are W.T. Sherman and George Thomas visuals and you'll have an ultimate southern welcome.

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Failed concept for Boston

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Bostonians don't like anything that is "country". (WKLB plays pop rock with a twang...that ain't no country music.)

I would be shocked if this works as a concept.

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Ya

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White girls from Boston are obsessed with country, My GF and her friends go to country fest every year.

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Probably more about tourists

Some additional non-scary food options for large groups of convention-goers.

Are you old enough to remember Hee-Haw? This might be aimed at the people who watched that, as well as homesick students.

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Bostonians don't like

Bostonians don't like anything that is "country". (WKLB plays pop rock with a twang...that ain't no country music.)

Well, I don't expect that this restaurant will be featuring music by Merle Haggard or the Carter Family. Probably pop music with a twang. So it will probably appeal to all the people who like that sort of thing, and more power to them.

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You do not speak for all

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You do not speak for all Bostonians. Many Bostonians love everything about Country Music and if you have not tried Southern Food, you will be in for a taste treat.

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I'll definitely try it

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As long as they don't try to maintain the fiction that grits are an actual food meant for human consumption.

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Romanian...

...cuisine -- doubt there are any Romanian restaurants in Boston or Massachusetts or even New England.

I have 3 words for you...

Shrimp and Grits

Here's a version I make often but even the barebones recipes, like Bobby Flay's below, are worthwhile (NB- be sure to use good grits, NOT Quaker):

http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Shrimp-Grits-367141

http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/bobby-flay/shrimp-and-grits-recipe.html

A few years back, the "Globe" I believe, quoted a a complaint dating back to the colonial era submitted by prisoners who were fed up being served lobster all the time. There is a similar document dating back to colonial times in Charleston, SC expressing similar sentiments about shrimp & grits.

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Pickup trucks, gun racks, and dogs

Will there be more generous parking spaces for the pickup trucks? Place to check in firearms and cowboy hats at the door? A dog concierge? Oh, I suppose they need to clarify what southern they had in mind, Texas vs. more eastern southern, or more Nashville, Duck Dynasty etc..

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DOES NOT BODE WELL!

Southern ≠ Country, as half the habitues of VA & SC will be happy to tell you. At great and snide (but polite!) length.

So I foresee a range of Southern and western and generic "country" (see: stewed apples or scrapple or anything involving potatoes) mass produced food and probably oversweet barbecue and "reinterpreted" collard greens.

If they want to do upscale non-region-specific but nearly traditional Southern, as opposed to the excellent not traditional Southern of Hungry Mother, they couldn't do better than to steal the chef here http://gbrowns.com/

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The music part

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..will be interesting.

It tells me the Lyons Freres still have some sense of where things are headed.

There is always a following here for authentic folkloric music. This might include Marta Sebestyan, actual Cajuns from rural Louisiana, the Tony Rice new grass circuit and whatever else is going on there.

The corporate country stuff has its scene and plenty of old media pumping.

Waltham was a focus area.

And then you have the Americana trend, sonic nostalgia from weepy genius Uncle Tupelo refugees. That may be one of the last bits of 'alt rock' or whatevs that still has legs.

To me it is like an indication that the over hyped folk slop that was called 'rock' that became some kind of generational sleeve wear for my cohort and the Gen X version is over.

We're heading back to the timeless basics of tavern music that would be familiar to Turlough O'Carolan.

It's nice to see it all head back that way.

The legend in their own mind rock era may have had its moments but it really was a bunch of posturing by suburban doofuses and eternal sophomores with the world's weight on frail shoulders and a billion neurotic English majors parsing the crap lyrics.

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There is always a following

There is always a following here for authentic folkloric music. This might include Marta Sebestyan, actual Cajuns from rural Louisiana, the Tony Rice new grass circuit and whatever else is going on there.

This is Landsdowne Street, not Cambridge. I'm sure the musical offerings will be heavy, heavy, heavy on the corporate country with the occasional Willie Nelson or Johnny Cash tune thrown in to offer three minutes of relief to anyone with actual taste who is unfortunate enough to wander into the joint.

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It depends on the scale.

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I'm thinking more like Johnny Dee's

My general sense, shared with my friends who worked in Club Land for longer than I did, is that the whole phenomenon of the really big show is passing from the scene for now.

The Middle just had Cracker downstairs a few months ago. Back when people cared more about seeing bands, that would be a Paradise sized show. These things are usually for 200 to 300 person venues now.

The formula works for Johnny Dee's and was used by Pauls Mall and Jonathon Swifts in bygone times.

And the main remaining hipster pit with much buzz left is the Lizard Lounge which sounds like the model the Lyons brothers are invoking.

Venue size will be the tell.

Corporate country does numbers where it does them but that makes for high performance fees and ticket prices.

If you are just trying an atmosphere concept with reasonably authentic live dinner music, nearly any batch of fiddle scrapers and such will work.

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