The Anchor venue in the Navy Yard has opened for the season, and with the warmer weather coming, anticipates having another great year of food, drinks and programming on the waterfront.
It will be the third season for The Anchor, which operates in an open-air format adjacent to Shipyard Park in the Navy Yard, and operators of the facility believe it will be their best year so far after having ample time to evaluate their menu, their drink selections and their programming features.
Right now, the Anchor is open from 4- 11 p.m. Monday to Thursday, and 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, but Operators Chris Sinclair and Shelby Elwell expect to expand those hours in the coming weeks.
“We anticipate opening from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. more often to accommodate lunches,” said Sinclair. “A lot of neighborhood residents have told us they want to be able to come for lunch. We also do the meal program with Boston Public Schools and that was a huge success last year.”
Programming is also a major piece of the puzzle. Last year, due to COVID-19, they had to have far more programs to accommodate the attendance limits – logging more than 400 programs over the season, which ends on Dec. 31.
“Instead of a fitness class with 50 people, it was six classes with 10 people,” he said. “I anticipate 2021 being similar. We want everyone to have fun. Maybe into the future we would have the ability to host special events and community celebrations, but we’ll be able to maintain these events and the programming frequency.”
Elwell said they had to re-think their programming last year to be less interacting and more instructive. This year, in fact, was the first year they were able to really take an off-season to plan for the summer, fall and winter.
“This is the first time we’ve had a real off-season,” she said. “We took time to prepare for the upcoming season. Last year we had a quick turnaround to get a full season in with COVID. This year, we’ve been able to make those changes with extra time.”
One thing they’ve done is re-thought the food menu. They have hired two sous chefs and have made their catering menu more of their daily menu. In addition, they made some substantial investments into the facility and the kitchen space. Some of the highlights on the menu include pulled pork sliders, crispy chicken tacos, lobster rolls and clam chowder. There is also soft serve ice cream added, and deserts like tiramisu and chocolate chip cannoli.
“It’s comfort food, but with a tropical vibe,” said Elwell. “It’s simple, but we think more appealing.”
On the drink menu, they offer more than 25 alcoholic drinks and more than 20 non-alcoholic drinks. On May 1, they plan to re-introduce a whole line of frozen drinks, which were very well received last year and will be more enhanced with more options this year.
“It’s a big bar by design,” said Sinclair. “We like to have a big selection so there is something for everyone. Everybody should be able to find something they enjoy here.”
The thematic elements that drew out more people to the venue than ever last year will also be back bigger and better in the fall and holiday seasons later this year. The overall programming will kick off on May 1, but for the everyday visitor – the seating arrangements continue to offer space and community at the same time. Plus, they also offer Wi-Fi so that one can set up and work for lunch or meet someone for a work meeting there as well.
Some of the first programming will be the return of Live at 5 acoustic music and the Reggae brunch