Seth Barnett, lawyer for the company that owns the now closed Blue, Inc. on Broad Street, came prepared to a Boston Licensing Board hearing today: He figured somebody would ask why his client would want to name the replacement restaurant after the Broad Street Riot.
And, indeed, board member Milton Wright asked what the deal was with wanting to name the place Broad Street Riot.
Barnett said that while Barney Fanning's across the street is named after one of the five men arrested in the Protestant-on-Catholic riot, and Nix's Mate down the street is named after an island where the bodies of executed pirates were left to sway in the wind, Broad Stret Riot's name has a strictly culinary meaning: It's going to be a Boston seafood place with a "riotous Southern twist," for example: Oysters made with pork. The "oyster-based menu" will have lots of other "riotous" Boston/Southern pairings, he said.
"That's the basis for the name," he said. Other than the name, the restaurant will not feature any references to the riot and the name is "somewhat of a coincidence," he said, acknowledging that "I know people may be sensitive to that," even if the riot did happen 175 years ago.
In any case, he said, the riot led to the creation of a fulltime Boston fire department, "so some good came out of it."
He added that the new restaurant will have the same seating and hours as Blue.
The board decides tomorrow whether to allow the name change.