Harvard Square has plenty of bars, but only last Thursday did it welcome its first dedicated to oysters.
The Hourly—an “Oyster Bar” restaurant that offers seafood and cocktails—opened its doors last week at 15 Dunster St. in the former home of Kennedy’s on the Square, a gastropub that closed last March after less than a year in business.
The Grafton Group owns the new bar, adding to its portfolio of restaurants in the Square. The Grafton Group already owns four other local establishments: Grafton Street Pub and Grill, PARK Restaurant, Russell House Tavern, and Temple Bar.
Grafton Group owner Patrick Lee said his company was inspired by the success of the fresh seafood “raw bar” at Russell House Tavern and wanted to open up a “true oyster bar” in Harvard Square.
“As part of our full raw bar, we offer eight varieties of oysters—which provides a great way for students to learn about and try new kinds of oysters,” Lee said of the new restaurant. “Students 21 and over can choose from our curated selection of wine and beer and sip cocktails that are made to be enjoyed with seafood.”
In addition to staples like clam chowder and lobster rolls, the restaurant offers burger and pasta dishes. The Hourly also has two bars offering an extensive drink menu of signature cocktails, beer, and wine.
Lee said the group named the restaurant “The Hourly” as a nod to Harvard Square’s history. The restaurant is located on Dunster Street, which once served as a meeting point for horse-drawn wagons known as “Hourlies” because they departed each day on the hour for Boston.
Previously, Harvard Square Business Association Executive Director Denise A. Jillson expressed concern that construction on the nearby Smith Campus Center might deter customers from frequenting the restaurant.
“We want people to know about The Hourly because many people don’t walk down that street because of the construction of the Smith Campus Center.” Jillson said.
Currently, the restaurant is only open for dinner from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m., but is planning to add lunch and brunch service in the middle of October, according to Lee.
The restaurant can seat 96 people and is planning to open up a patio in the space next to Mike’s Pastry that will expand the seating capacity to 116 people.