Ok well first off lets answer everyone’s favorite question: What does A&B stand for?
A&B was named for our owners sons, Alex (8) and Ben (11). You’ll see them around the restaurants often, usually dressed in their baseball gear after a game but you might also catch a glimpse of them in their chef coats in the kitchen doing prep with our chef getting ready for a big night! There are some subtle and some not so subtle nods to the boys throughout A&B Kitchen • Bar’s restaurant design you may notice while dining. Definitely say hi!
Founded in 2013 by Thomas Holland and Former Co-Owner Amy Constant, we are a restaurant group that has taken it upon ourselves since then to carry out a very important mission: “redefine guests’ expectations of a casual restaurant.”
That sounds simple enough, right? We learned over the past 7 years that everyone isn’t looking for the same casual restaurant experience that is so common these days. We are working daily to elevate our restaurant from a predictable neighborhood restaurant to one that offers a change from the norm and excites with each visit. A&B Burgers and A&B Kitchen • Bar are those restaurants, one that has transitioned into a dining scene based around hospitality, creative menus and a space driven by the energy of the bar. Not everyone feels like eating a burger and with that in mind, we built a menu that offers options for those times. We have guests who have been dining with us for 7 years and never eaten one of our award-winning burgers, instead, they enjoy sharing a few small plates to start and then order entrees with a bottle of wine. Just because we are so well known for our burgers doesn’t mean that’s all we do well. You’ll need to come in and experience this for yourselves and we promise you it will be worth it!
What is important to us at our A&B restaurants?
We have spent years building partnerships with the best small family farms who produce sustainably raised beef, local farms for produce, bakers for our bread and brewers for our beers. Partners like Niman Ranch who source our organically raised cattle from small family farms throughout the country, testing to make sure there are no hormones, antibiotics or additives in the beef.
Finding products that are made with only the best ingredients by skilled workers in our local communities is always our first priority because we know it takes small businesses to keep our economies growing. We care about sustainability and whenever possible purchase products that will leave less of a footprint behind us like our 100% compostable take-out containers. We care immensely about our local communities as strong supporters of those working hard to end homelessness, and those offering their time to give kids the opportunities to eat healthy meals, go to camps and get an education. It is important to us at A&B that we are an equal partner in our community.
We are aware that food allergies and dietary restrictions have become a part of our guests daily diets and that for a restaurant to succeed we must be prepared to offer options for everyone. We have in-house systems in place that go into effect as soon as we are made aware of an allergy so that there are a minimum of 3 employees involved in the delivery chain focused on the allergy in question.
We offer Gluten Free buns, lettuce wraps, and we have a 100% gluten free fryolator available for those concerned about cross contamination.
Thomas has enjoyed a successful career for over 25 years in the restaurant industry. In 1990 he began his career at the Roadhouse Café in Hyannis MA and since then has excelled in the industry. Traveling the country he was honing his craft having worked at Oritalia under Chef Bruce Hill in San Francisco, opening the Falling Water Grill in Omaha NE and then as General Manager of Sonsie on Newbury Street in Boston for the Lyons Group. In 2007 Thomas joined Michael Schlow as Director of Operations and then Managing Partner and while in these roles he oversaw the successful build-out of four restaurants: 606 Congress (consultant), Alta Strada at MGM Foxwoods, Tico and finally Barrio Cantina ensuring the critical, as well as the financial success of the latter three.
In 2013 Thomas made the leap and left Good Essen so that he could spend more time with his growing family. After months of research on where he wanted to relocate he decided to open a restaurant in Salem MA with his close friend, former co-owner Amy Constant. A&B has gone through many evolutions; starting as counter service, fast-casual burger joint in the Old Salem Jail in Salem, MA then in January 2016 A&B relocated to a larger, more prominent space right in the middle of Cabot St, the heart of Beverly MA arts district. Along with the move the concept evolved into an upscale full-service restaurant bringing it back to Thomas’ roots: a place that became a scene based around hospitality, creative menus and a dining room driven by the energy of the bar. In December of 2017, Thomas made the decision that A&B restaurant experiences should be shared with the world and is starting his multi-restaurant journey with the first step…A&B Kitchen • Bar located on Causeway in Boston! On February 21st, 2019 He opened his second restaurant, this one located in the West End of Boston at the corner of Beverly St (I know right?) and Causeway St across from the TD Garden.
To be continued…