One event I look forward to every year is Taste of Allston, a food fest hosted by Allston Village Main Streets. (Full disclosure: I recently joined the board of AVMS, but I’ve been eating myself silly at this event for years.) This year’s installment is being held at noon on Saturday, June 27, at Harvard’s Murr Center. I asked Marc Kadish, past president of AVMS and former owner of beer mecca Sunset Grill & Tap, about the event and other goings on in the neighborhood.
This is the 18th annual Taste of Allston. How has the event changed over the years?
Back before Allston was as big of a food destination as it is today, I had wanted to promote my business and help change the negative image some had of Allston. Taste of Allston was—and still is—our biggest fundraiser and signature event. The first thought was to have it at the intersection, but we opted for the local hotel instead, which made it more competitive and cost effective, and gave us a little flair that Allston had not seen. It also attracted foodies and the mayor’s attendance. We still have the same concept and reason to keep it going. We moved it to an outdoor venue, making it family friendly and a festive outing.
You are past president of Allston Village Main Streets, which I understand has a big announcement today. What’s going on?
Where to start? We have the outdoor market at Jackson Mann Plaza ready to kick off, and Taste of Allston coming up. Also, the mayor will be announcing the opening of a temporary indoor skate park and community business space sponsored by Converse. In the meantime, more permanent plans are being made to develop the former International Bicycle Centers building and adjacent property on Brighton Avenue.
I feel like Sunset Grill & Tap, with its hundreds of beers, is the original Boston beer bar. What do you make of the new generation of brewers coming out now?
I have been involved in the beer scene longer than most, and just when you think it’s at its peak, it keeps booming. It’s never been a better time to be a beer drinker. Quality, creativity and variety is at a high and will only continue. At some point, however, there is a tipping point, and there may be many brewers who don’t make it. But like any business, if you make a great product, manage details and pay attention to making your customers happy, you’ll succeed. These new brewers have grown up with great beer, so they get it.
What are you most looking forward to eating at Taste of Allston this year?
Well, I always look forward to the new guys on the block and what they bring to the table. Having a mini taste smorgasbord of everything is a tradition, but I need to pace myself and save room for a beer sample or two!
Four questions is a weekly interview column featuring interesting people connected with the Greater Boston Jewish community. Find past columns here. Have an idea of someone we should interview? Email Molly!