Smoke was in the room, but it wasn’t car exhaust. No, that function of the former Citgo gas station at 182 Western Ave. is officially gone.
Stone Hearth Pizza Co. in Allston-Brighton’s Barry’s Corner is now open for business. The new neighborhood destination at the corner of Western Ave. and North Harvard brings good, sustainable food, a fun, vibrant atmosphere and a pedestrian-friendly dimension to an area known as a campus/community crossroads.
“It’s gone from fueling your car to fueling your body,” said co-owner Jonathan Schwarz, standing in his new restaurant just a few days after their Oct. 31 opening. “This is like a dream come true, a vision realized,” he said.
A terrifically warm, modern and sustainainably built space, the 40-seat restaurant still hints at its past. Two large glass-lined garage doors form one wall. (The doors are fully functioning and will be rolled back for outdoor seating and dining when weather allows.) A second wall of floor to ceiling windows creates a light, welcoming space framed by orange and yellow walls. But the focal point of the dining area is the wide, warm arch of Stone Hearth’s steel fronted pizza oven and its pizza prep-counter.
The vision for the space came from long-time friends Schwarz and Christopher Robins, who wanted to create a family-friendly neighborhood dining spot anchored in the core values of family and community and delicious and sustainable food. The Allston restaurant, their third location in the Boston area, realizes all of those. It is sustainably designed, uses local ingredients in the menu, and one-third of the staff are residents of Allston-Brighton.
The transformation at Stone Hearth is the latest in a string of improvements to Harvard-owned property in Allston and part of Harvard’s focus on bringing active, community focused uses to the neighborhood.
Library Park was dedicated the Ray V. Mellone Park Nov. 5. On Nov. 18, the Harvard Innovation Lab, will celebrate its opening. A new sushi restaurant, Maki Maki, is slated to open in the Brighton Mills Shopping Center in the next few weeks. And the Harvard Ed Portal Annex, an extension of the popular Ed Portal that will offer more space and programming for Allston residents, will open later this winter.