The Garrison House is bringing pub grub and a mug club to Brookline

"We plan on being here and being established in the neighborhood for a very long time."

Elm Street Taproom offers a mug club
Beer at Elm Street Taproom, sister restaurant to The Garrison House. Elm Street Taproom

For nearly 30 years, the historic building at 6 Harvard Square in Brookline was occupied by the Village Smokehouse. In 2016, it changed hands and became Magnolia Smokehouse. Next month, the storied space will once again be reinvented, this time debuting as The Garrison House.

Run by Hawkeye Hospitality (Elm Street Taproom, Five Horses Tavern, Worden Hall), the Garrison House is set to open in mid-September. Dylan Welsh, owner of Hawkeye Hospitality, told that this is the longest project he’s worked on.

“I think I’ve been at it for 20 months since the first phone call,” Welsh said. “We’ve been under construction since this past November, and I’ve been on site almost every day. It’s been quite the journey.”


While Welsh said they are still working on the food menu, the current lineup features appetizers like poutine, crispy confit chicken wings, and Kobe beef meatballs, along with salads, pizzas, and sandwiches. Entrées include filet mignon, oven-roasted salmon with risotto-style farro, and Gruyère and white cheddar macaroni and cheese. The Garrison House will also incorporate a mug club, which, like the Elm Street Taproom mug club, will require members to sign up through a customized Garrison House app that is currently being developed. Each member of the mug club will have their own mug hanging behind the bar, and will be able to take advantage of dozens of draft lines available upstairs.


In the accompanying downstairs lounge, the Village Social Club will occupy the space formerly known as the Ellis Room. Its menu will feature fewer draft lines — 14, as opposed to the 30 upstairs — but with more craft cocktails. Welsh said the Village Social Club will also offer live music and other entertainment.

“We’ll just see what the neighborhood is calling for,” he said.

The Garrison House’s aesthetic will closely follow Hawkeye Hospitality’s other restaurants, though Welsh said they have kept the historical bar top from Prohibition that has been passed down through the previous tenants. Though planning for the restaurant began before COVID-19, there are markers of the pandemic’s impact on the design. A patio will be fashioned out of two parking spaces on one side of the restaurant, and Welsh said they splurged on retractable windows, an updated air filtration system, and a pickup window.


“It should be very convenient for people who are interested in takeout,” Welsh said. “I’ve never done that in any of my other [restaurants] in terms of having a takeout window.”

When it debuts, the Garrison House will start with dinner, followed by brunch and lunch. Still, Welsh said the landscape is changing by the minute, and he needs to focus on filling in staffing gaps at his other locations before he can open this new Brookline venture.

“We plan on being here and being established in the neighborhood for a very long time,” Welsh said. “We really want to do it the right way. We want to be thoughtful.”


Follow @garrisonbrookline for updates on an opening date.

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