A vibrant new culinary scene is unfolding minutes from Boston in the heart of Historic Quincy, amid the construction equipment and traffic barriers of a rapidly re-developing downtown.
The Hancock District at Quincy Center T stop, 15 minutes from South Station via the MBTA Red Line, offers a bounty of new and soon-to-open eateries in a neighborhood surrounded by one of the nation’s largest collections of colonial and early American historic sites.
Internationally acclaimed Boston restaurateur Barbara Lynch helped create the menu at brand new 16C (16 Cottage Ave., 617-481-2170), owned by her niece and former No. 9 Park pastry chef Kerri Lynch-Delaney. The menu of “fine American cuisine” with Italian accents was developed in Barbara Lynch’s Winchester home.
Savor 16C’s upscale sheet-pan pizzas, original-recipe steak tips from former South Boston landmark The Quiet Man, or its homemade ice cream and cookies for dessert.
Next-door neighbor Alba Restaurant (1486 Hancock St., 617-376-2522), a Quincy fine-dining landmark for 15 years, grows heirloom vegetables on its roof deck garden that pay tribute to the city’s history as the home of farmer-patriots such as President John Adams.
Alba serves prime beef, house dry-aged steaks, fresh local seafood and Mediterranean-inspired specialties. The Alba roof deck is one of Boston’s most coveted summer dining destinations.
The Barbara Lynch Effect is being felt elsewhere around Quincy. Restaurateur Devin Adams and his team opened craft cocktail bar The Townshend (1250 Hancock St., 617-481-9694) in 2015, after years honing their hospitality skills at top Lynch and Garrett Harker Boston hotspots such as Drink and Island Creek Oyster Bar.
The restaurant is named for The Townshend Acts, punitive laws that inspired Quincy natives such as John Hancock and John Adams to revolt against the British crown in the 1700s.
The Townshend team, buoyed by early success, expects to open a second Hancock District eatery later this year. Belfry Hall (35 Washington St.) will be an “urban beer hall” with fresh oysters, updated pub fare, craft beer and a menu designed by chef and Barbara Lynch Gruppo alum Garner Blume.
Rapidly growing Quincy-based J.P. Fuji Group, with eateries throughout Greater Boston, announced this spring that it will open Fuji at West of Chestnut later in 2016. The sophisticated Japanese fusion concept will be the hospitality anchor of the brand-new luxury residential West of Chestnut (32 Chestnut St.) development in the Hancock District.
South Shore-based KKatie’s Burger Bar announced that it, too, is coming to the West of Chestnut development, with a September opening targeted.
The Hancock District is already home to several beloved local food spots. The Gypsy Kitchen (1241 Hancock St., 617-847-1846) sells fine wines, craft beer, European meats and cheeses and its own line of hot sauce. Proprietor Lisa Lamme was the owner of former Le Saucier at Boston’s Faneuil Hall, the nation’s first hot sauce store.
The Fours (15 Cottage Ave., 617-471-4447) is the popular Quincy cousin of the Boston pub named the best sports bar in America by Sports Illustrated.
The Fat Cat (24 Chestnut St., 617-471-4363) has achieved popular success and national notoriety from the Food Network and others for its upscale comfort-food concept, including its signature Ultimate Fat mac ‘n cheese.
And you can still find a touch of gritty old Quincy next to Fat Cat beneath the vintage neon sign of neighborhood dive Sully’s Pub (28 Chestnut St., 617-479-9489), which pours cheap drinks and serves as Fat Cat’s waiting room on nights when business spills out the door.
The Hancock District in Quincy Center stretches from the John Hancock birth site at the intersection of Dimmock Street and Adams Street, south down Hancock Street and Washington Street, to Cottage Avenue.
COLONIAL & EARLY AMERICAN HISTORY IN THE HEART OF QUINCY
The Hancock District and Quincy Center T are surrounded by one of the nation’s finest collections of colonial and early American historic sites.
Visitors touch the Quincy-granite tombs of Presidents John and John Quincy Adams and First Ladies Abigail and Louisa Catherine Adams in the haunting crypt of the Greek Revival masterpiece United First Parish Church (the Church of the Presidents).
The church, built in 1828, was funded by Founding Father John Adams and designed by famed architect Alexander Parris, who also built Boston landmark Quincy Market. The United First Parish has been an active congregation since 1639.
Current construction in Quincy Center is designed to reroute traffic around this holy shrine of American history and build in front of it the sprawling new Adams Green. This public park will serve as the center of community events and hospitality for the city.
Patriot John Hancock was born just a block away, while 69 veterans of the American Revolution are buried in 376-year-old Hancock Cemetery, across the street from the church.
The John Adams (pictured below) and John Quincy Adams birthplaces, the birthplace of the Constitution, the Adams farmhouse mansion at Peacefield, and America’s first presidential library are all within walking distance, as is the 1686 homestead of Dorothy Quincy, wife of John Hancock and first First Lady of Massachusetts.
Quincy is the home of 109 sites on the National Register of Historic Places, seven National Historic Landmarks, and the Adams National Historical Park (1250 Hancock St., 617-770-1175), headquartered across from Quincy Center T stop.
PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION & ACCESS
Downtown Quincy and the Hancock District are easily accessible via the public transportation hub of Quincy Center T Station, which is serviced by the Red Line of the MBTA subway system; three branches of the MBTA commuter rail system; and dozens of MBTA bus routes.
Downtown Quincy and the Hancock District are conveniently located minutes from many of Greater Boston’s major transportation arteries, including the Southeast Expressway (I-93), Route 128, Interstate 95, Route 3, Route 24 and Route 3A.