Where to: Night Shift Brewing at Boston’s Lovejoy Wharf.
Why: Because it’s the larger, restaurant version of the popular seven-year-old Everett brewery, with table service, an efficient menu, comfy banquettes, and a coffee bar. Soon, there will be outdoor seating.
The Back Story: Co-founder Rob Burns strives for a slightly different vibe and atmosphere than at the Everett location — an affordable but sit-down night out, the kind of place where you can get a burger and a beer for under $20. It’s already a hangout for the influx of people moving to the growing neighborhood in the shadow of TD Garden.
What to Eat: Nothing over $15. The menu is divvied into share plates, sandwiches, salads, and sweets. Lots of dishes are made with Night Shift beer: tri-colored chips with ranch sauce using Whirlpool New England pale ale; a soft pretzel or mac and cheese with light-bodied Nite Lite lager cheddar sauce; Reuben flatbread with sauerkraut, black pastrami, mozzarella, red onions, and Morph IPA. There’s plenty here for lighter eaters, too: a veggie burger with lemon thyme aioli, a “goddess” bowl with veggies doused in a pilsner vinaigrette; quinoa bites; deviled eggs. There’s a $6 kids’ menu too, plus a late-night menu served Thursdays through Saturdays after 11 p.m. If you’re in a hurry, call in your order and pick it up at the adjacent cantaloupe-colored coffee bar, also home to a beer case and merchandise counter.
What to Drink: Night Shift beer, of course, including tried-and-true and experimental varieties. The list is easy to scan, divided into Easy Drinking, Hoppy, Dark, and their signatures — Sour and Weird. Right now, that’s Ever Weisse, a honey-noted sour ale aged with hibiscus, kiwi, and strawberry. Get a flight of favorites for $12. Next door at the coffee bar, there are mochas, lattes, and espresso.
The Takeaway: A pleasant perch by the water, filled with families and workers from Converse next door, with plenty of room to spread out. The only drawback is parking, for those coming from afar. Please, please don’t drive. You will need many beers to forget the trauma. There’s absolutely nowhere to easily put a car, unless you want to double-park next to delivery trucks and pray. This area — also home to the new Alcove restaurant — is for foot traffic only. There’s a parking lot right in front for authorized vehicles, though. You’ll look at it longingly from behind the wheel.
1 Lovejoy Wharf, Boston, 617-456-7687, www.nightshiftfamily.com