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WS Development Update 02/09/23

Hospitality Luminary and Community Leader Nia Grace Joins Forces with Big Night to Bring Soul to Boston's Seaport

Nia Grace, the venerable community leader and owner of Darryl’s Corner Bar & Kitchen and The Underground Cafe & Lounge, has partnered with Big Night, a first-of-its-kind entertainment, hospitality, creative, and media company, to open ‘Grace by Nia’.

Grace by Nia will open in Seaport, Boston’s newest neighborhood, with the guidance and support of WS Development, the owner-operator responsible for opening more than 80 new retail concepts in the neighborhood over the last 5 years.  In partnership with WS Development and with financial support of Eastern Bank, Grace by Nia has secured a marquee location with prime visibility at one of the Seaport’s most iconic intersections where Nia’s name and brand will be illuminated prominently on Seaport Boulevard.

Soul Meets Style in the Seaport. The alluring, modern-day supper club will put a new twist on the timeless charm and decadent aesthetic of supper clubs from a bygone era. Flaunting a laid-back, whimsical soul-infused menu, a captivating speakeasy lounge, and an intimate stage for live jazz music and other entertainment, Grace by Nia ventures to bring a new brand of cultural vibrancy to one of Boston's busiest and most lively neighborhoods.

A Roxbury native, Nia Grace says this new concept is about bringing the heart of the South and the flavors of soul food to one of Boston’s trendiest areas. “When you look around a new robust area like the Seaport, you see a vibrant neighborhood full of possibilities,” said Grace. “I am thrilled to be bringing my concept there, and helping to increase the diversity of restaurant ownership in the Seaport.”

“One of the silver linings of the pandemic was that Nia and I started working together,” said Ed Kane, Owner of Big Night. “While we had known of each other in the industry and shared many mutual friends, it wasn’t until the spring of 2020 that our worlds collided. What started as a joint effort to help advocate for our industry and employees evolved into a full-fledged business love affair and incredible friendship. We shared so many common interests, values, and work ethics. We each brought to the table our unique cultural differences and strengths. Together, we decided to join forces and create something so unique, so necessary, so needed, and so purposeful in the Seaport. For the last year and a half, we have been working together on this project and it is without question the most important project of my career. To work together with Nia, to see our teams working together, to create something so magical with her is pure joy.”

“Our commitment in Seaport is to catalyze local businesses, businesses that bring that inimitable special something to the neighborhood,” says Jeremy Sclar, CEO of WS Development. “This has been a passion project: joining forces with Nia and Ed to realize the Grace by Nia concept and of course, to further broaden the cultural and artistic fabric of the district.”

Grace By Nia spans 5,000 square feet and includes a stage and lounge on the main floor with adjacent restaurant seating. Walls are adorned with dramatic floor-to-ceiling dark curtains to evoke the moody vibe of an intimate jazz club. Guests can take-in curated jazz, R&B, soul, hip-hop, and other scheduled live music, as well as live DJs for late night entertainment. Craft cocktails will be made with spirits from Black and minority owned beverage and wine companies. The menu is heavily inspired by the South with a twist of flavors from the Gulf states to reflect Grace’s family roots. Menu highlights include innovative takes on Southern classics such as hush puppies, corn muffins, lobster casseroles, and Maryland style crab cakes with a New England twist.

“Nia and Ed are innovative entrepreneurs at the forefront of shaping a uniquely creative vision of Boston as a destination for all, says Bob Rivers, CEO and Chair of the Board of Eastern Bank. “Their newest venture will help to bring greater diversity, inclusivity and vibrancy to the Seaport’s future development, and we look forward to supporting their vision for one of the city’s most dynamic and thriving neighborhoods.”

Grace by Nia will be opening in Spring 2023 at 60 Seaport Blvd and will be the 20th venue in Big Night’s profile, which includes several other Seaport venues such as Empire, The Grand, and Scorpion Bar.

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