by Rick Winterson
In another piece of good news for South Boston’s One Seaport at Courthouse Square, a new restaurant has located there. At 5 p.m. last Friday evening, January 26, “75 on Courthouse Square” opened its doors on the second floor of WS Development’s VIA building. The restaurant will be open seven (7) days a week for dinner. At some point during the month of February, “75 on Courthouse Square” will open for lunch as well. Watch for it.
This is restaurateur Thomas A. Kershaw’s sixth establishment, which include his first, the grand Hampshire House at 84 Beacon, along with three “75” restaurants – 75 on Chestnut Bistro, 75 on Liberty Wharf, and now his largest site at 75 on Courthouse Square in One Seaport. Two iconic, world-renowned “Cheers” bars at 84 Beason and in the Faneuil Hall Marketplace round out Tom Kershaw’s sextet of enterprises, which are incorporated under the Hampshire House Corporation business umbrella. To provide a coverage opportunity, Tom scheduled a press lunch in 75 on Courthouse Square last Thursday. The managers of the new “75” were on hand. Tom brought along Markus Ripperger, the CEO and President of his Hampshire House Corporation. Markus is originally from Zurich, Switzerland, where he had become a highly regarded Executive Chef. By way of France, London, and Boston, he joined Hampshire House Corporation in 1992, starting as its Executive Chef and becoming the Corporation’s CEO/President. More about both these gentlemen later.
We mentioned that 75 on Courthouse Square is large. It has a striking main dining room that looks directly out on picturesque Courthouse Square. This view stretches from Seaport Boulevard to Northern Avenue at the Moakley Courthouse. There’s also a capacious bar to one side of this dining room. More intimate dining areas are available, including private rooms if desired. The décor is understated (good!), the views are certainly attractive, and the interior treatment with polished dark brown wood, warm light yellow, and arched entryways is modern, but with a classic Spanish feel. Perhaps “an American bistro” describes it best.
Getting there is easy. Take a short cab ride. Or you can drive of course, but then you’d have to park somewhere. The Red Line to South Station, followed by a one-stop Silver Line ride to the Courthouse “T” Station, puts you right outside 75 on Courthouse Square. In good weather, it’s a short, ten-minute walk from within the Seaport District itself, the Financial District, or the nearby Fort Point neighborhood
The press lunch last Thursday featured some of the signature dishes that 75 on Courthouse Square will become well known for. Their crab cakes, lamb chops and Nantucket seafood stew were notably delicious offerings. The cheeses were local as well as sustainable, and were accompanied by compotes, chutneys, and artisanal breads.
South Boston Online obtained the main menus at the press lunch. These look attractive and varied, with 30 or so offerings listed that include filet mignon and various fish dinners among the principal plates, as well as the press lunch preparations. Main courses range from just over $20 to just over $30; soups, salads, and 75 burgers are proportionately less. The fact sheet given out at the press lunch states “offering comfortable food at reasonable prices”, which certainly seems to be the case.
Tom Kershaw, in addition to his many professional achievements, has been a leader in Boston’s dynamic tourist and trade industries – Chairman of the Board of Boston’s Convention and Visitors Bureau (18 years) and past President of the Massachusetts Restaurant Association are two examples. He has performed award-winning community work in and around Beacon Hill, and is a diligent volunteer in several young peoples’ causes. He is a graduate of Swarthmore and the Harvard Business School. Markus Ripperger is form Zurich, Switzerland’s largest c ity. H e g arnered E uropean-wide recognition as an Executive Chef before joining Hampshire Hotel Corporation 25 years ago. He then successfully combined his European chef’s heritage with classic New England dishes that have resulted in signature culinary creations. Markus still takes direct responsibility for the menus at Hampshire House and the three “75’s”