You can’t keep a serial publican like Clint Nolan down, at least when it comes to Northbridge venues. First there was La Cholita. Then came Pleased To Meet You and the at-times password-protected Sneaky Tony's, shortly followed by Joe’s Juice Joint with Alabama Song close behind. Come November, Nolan’s Lavish Habits group will welcome venue number five to the family with the opening of Henry Summer, a sprawling, predominately outdoor "wine and cocktail garden" that sees Nolan turning his attention to the former The Shed site.
“I’ve been looking at the site for years,” says Nolan. “I’d be leaving La Cholita late at night and would always think, ‘I’d love to do something there.’ The opportunity finally come up last year.”
The name, meanwhile, can be traced back to something Nolan spied in an antique store. Henry, according to Nolan, “is a nice respectable name,” while summer tends to trigger happy thoughts. Nolan, naturally, won’t be tackling Henry Summer on his own. Luca Baioni, the group’s beverage manager, is in charge of the booze side of things (expect lighter, fresher drinking including alcoholic sodas on tap, kombucha-based cocktails and house natural wines) while La Cholita head chef Melissa Boulaire is overseeing the food. Following the beverage program’s lead, light is going to be the menu’s touchstone. Think more along the lines of roasted pumpkin and labne, fresh seafood and sweet potato fries, and less pizza and other traditional pub grub.
On paper, Henry Summer might sound like a sudden change of tack for a man synonymous with small, intimate venues peddling hearty booze and big-flavoured eats, but Nolan believes the time is right for change.
“Henry Summer is something completely different for us and Northbridge, but I believe it’ll be well received by the public and bring something that’s been missing from the area,” he says. “I just love Northbridge. It’s gritty yet multicultural and extremely diverse and I love being part of its evolution.”
Henry Summer opens in November.
69 Aberdeen Street, Northbridge