January 31, 2022 Upham’s Corner Comfort Station Shapes up to Comfort Kitchen’s Plans
Work is picking up at the 1912 Upham’s Corner Comfort Station as the crew from contractor MJ Mawn tears up the concrete floor of the building’s basement to accommodate new plumping that will support Comfort Kitchen’s new café and restaurant. Previous plans did not include any significant build-out in the basement, but Comfort Kitchen will need to use every square foot of space in the building and the basement will be used for food prep, clean up, staff meetings and storage.
You’ll recall that HBI began the rehabilitation work on this former public restroom for the MTA’s trolleys in fall of 2018, with initial plans to house Sip & Spoke Bike Kitchen, a combination bike and coffee shop. But, after completing structural improvements, roof replacement, façade restoration, and exterior paving, that tenant made the decision not to proceed. Construction halted while we searched for a new use and tenant, and thankfully, we found Dorchester residents Biplaw Rai and his wife Nyacko Pearl Perry, who partnered with chef Kwasi Kwaa to plan a new restaurant called Comfort Kitchen – a new cafe and restaurant with a menu inspired by comfort food of the African diaspora. They decided this little gem of a building was just right for their concept, so their team began designing the space with the help of architect Supernormal. They also began raising the funds necessary for build out and operations of Comfort Kitchen. And then the pandemic came along and slowed progress on pretty much everything. But Comfort Kitchen found other restaurants who allowed them to use their kitchens for pop ups, providing an opportunity to test menus and develop a reputation for excellence.
Construction is anticipated to be c omplete in mid-July. More construction updates to come.