A taste of the South will land in Medford on Monday when The Porch Southern Fare and Juke Joint opens its doors, a reimagining of the original location which closed in 2018.
Chef/owner Jonathan Post and partner Cenk Emre have translated The Porch, which they originally opened in Wakefield in 2016, into a larger space within the River’s Edge mixed-use development in Medford. Inside the 8,500-square-foot restaurant is room for 250 seats, a bar, a music stage, and a lounge area with high-top seating, games, and pool tables. A 50-seat patio will also be open, weather permitting.
While Post has been a regular fixture in the Boston area dining scene — the chef previously worked at Blue Ginger, 80 Thoreau, and Moody’s Delicatessen — The Porch is a love letter to his Nashville roots. Post, along with executive chef Alex Horowitz, will highlight regional Southern cuisine on the dinner menu, which includes Nashville hot chicken, shrimp and grits, barbecue pork ribs, and skillet cornbread. A custom-built, 1,000-pound wood-fired smoker will drive the restaurant’s whole hog program.
To accompany the Southern fare, beverage director Oliver Castro-McClung designed a drink program that features local craft beer and cocktails, with a heavy focus on whiskey.
But the regional homage doesn’t stop with food and drink. Sourcing from his hometown, Post commissioned artwork by Nashville-based artists — including Richard Cook and Amy Tyndell — to create paintings of revered musicians like George Jones, Willie Nelson, and Dolly Parton. Architect and design firm Stack & Co. created a Southern porch vibe in the entryway to the private dining room with wood details and a blue ceiling, while the rest of the dining area is defined by modern textures and design.
Barbecue and beer aren’t the only reason to visit The Porch. Live music is a central component of the restaurant, with a focus on alt-country, blues, and rockabilly. The Porch’s first show on July 20 will showcase Nashville band The Minks; tickets will be available on The Porch’s website starting Monday.
“We can’t wait to open the doors and welcome people to The Porch,” Post said in a press release. “Having the opportunity to create a true Southern experience for our guests — from authentic wood-fired bbq and the Nashville Hot Chicken I was raised on, to awesome live music shows and that down-home Southern hospitality — is so exciting. Just like on a proper Southern porch, we hope guests come to relax, hang out, and have a blast with friends and family while eating and drinking really well.”
The Porch will open Monday with dinner service offered daily from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m., and lunch service launching later this summer.
The Porch Southern Fare and Juke Joint; 175 River’s Edge Drive, Medford; Daily 5 p.m.–11 p.m.; theporchsouthern.com