November 30, 2021 Construction resumes at historic comfort station this month
Historic Boston is pleased to report the final phase of construction on the historic Upham’s Corner Comfort Station begins in December. In summer of 2022 it will open as Comfort Kitchen, a full-service café with pop-up dinner operations under the management of local food entrepreneurs Biplaw Rai, Nyacko Perry, and Kwasi Kwaa.
HBI was designated by the City of Boston in 2014 to re-develop the very distressed Upham’s Corner Comfort Station in Dorchester. Built in 1912 as restrooms to support the MBTA’s streetcar system, the building was eventually closed in the 1970s and suffered considerable deterioration and vandalism over the last fifty years.
HBI completed the building structural and exterior rehabilitation in 2018, but a change in end user, permitting delays and work stoppages due to the pandemic, slowed plans the final build out of the interior. That work begins this month and includes installation of heating, cooling and exhaust systems, kitchen installation, and modifications to the building that will better support take-out orders.
Once complete, the building will be home to Comfort Kitchen, which has garnered outstanding notices at their Jamaica Plain pop up location over the last several months. The new restaurant and café will celebrate global comfort food with cuisine from the African diaspora, Asia and the Americas. For the business’ principals Rai, Perry and Kwaa, this will be a place for community building in a neighborhood they love through the vehicle of food.
Historic Boston is very grateful to the very generous donors to this project: the City of Boston Community Preservation Funds, Barbara and Amos Hostetter, Eastern Bank, and the 1772 Foundation. Substantial project funds have also come from allocations of Massachusetts Rehabilitation Tax Credits from the Massachusetts Historical Commission.
The architect for the first phase of preservation is Utile, Inc. Architecture + Planning. Comfort Kitchen is working with the firm Supernormal on its fit out. The contractor for both phases of the project is MJ Mawn, Inc.
For more information on the project and for regular updates visit http://www.historicboston.org