Restaurants

Speakeasy Wink and Nod will reopen in the South End

The hotspot will resume its culinary incubator program.

Chef Louis DiBicarri and owner Euz Azevedo. Photo by Joe Greene Photography

South End cocktail bar Wink & Nod is set to reopen and introduce a vibrant new concept on Thursday.

The speakeasy closed for two years during the pandemic and will welcome guests back to its underground space on Nov. 3. The spot, which first opened in 2014, will resume its rotating culinary incubator program where a new chef will take over the kitchen every six months. Chef Louis DiBicarri will lead the kitchen with his concept “SubRosa,” as the first chef to participate in the program since Wink & Nod closed.

Owner and president of Boston Nightlife Ventures, which owns and operates the bar, Euz Azevedo said that COVID restrictions made it difficult to open earlier, but that Wink & Nod always had plans to return.

“We definitely intended to open a lot sooner than now,” Azevedo said. “But because we are in a basement with no windows, it was complicated. Initially, we were talking about reopening in January, and then omicron wave hit.”

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Bringing back the culinary incubator program, which began when the speakeasy first launched in 2014, will offer the speakeasy fresh energy. Since Wink & Nod first opened, they have had 13 chefs create original menus, featuring cuisine from South East Asia, Italy, Greece, France, and other countries. For chefs, the program provides an opportunity to develop business acumen, while learning what it is like to run a restaurant.

“For us, the benefit for us is that every six months, we have a new concept,” Azevedo said. He added, “We have our finger on the pulse… It’s always something new for the neighborhood.”

DiBicarri’s concept, SubRosa, loosely translates to “under the rose,” implying a kind of secrecy or nod to “underground art culture and cocktails.” On the menu, he will be serving citrus salads, puttanesca, white clam flatbreads, lamb burgers, and spiced pumpkin cheesecake. Through SubRosa, a new, local visual artist will be featured every month or so, their work displayed in the speakeasy.

Wink & Nod will be offering seasonal, fresh cocktails, as well as non-alcoholic options. They will also serve their Black Card cocktails, made with rare liqueurs and priced at approximately $100. The lounge will bring back its Scotch Club, through which brand ambassadors will speak on their whiskey’s “history and tasting notes in a privately held monthly affair.”

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“It’s swanky, cozy, romantic,” Azevedo said. He added, “It’s underground, seductive. It’s that luxury speakeasy vibe.”

Wink & Nod, 3 Appleton St., Boston


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