Jason Bond has picked his spot.
And that doesn’t just mean the Concord Center spot the chef chose as the suburban outpost for expanding the Bondir brand he built across nine tabletops in Cambridge. No, he’s more precise than that.
Venture inside his space on Walden Street and Bond will point out the very floor boards he plans to wear thin while running the kitchen at Bondir Concord, the 90-seat restaurant he could open within the next few weeks.
“Oh, I’ll be here for quite a while,” said Bond. “At least for the first year, I expect I’ll be here in the kitchen full time.”
It’s a hotly anticipated opening, as awareness of Bond’s suburban expansion began percolating late last year. Well, that and the fact that the chef’s vision goes beyond what his restaurant Bondir has done these past few years in Cambridge … and what Walden Grille did in the past few decades.
There will be different menus for his restaurants in Cambridge and Concord, Bond says, but both will be built around the same principles. Which is to say both Bondirs will be farm-house style restaurants striving to prepare and serve the freshest and best ingerdients in thoughtful ways with impeccable technique.
“A big part of the product we offer is trust,” said Bond. “People know the food we offer is healthful and that the producers we use are responsible.”
For Bond, shipping out to Concord is not just a way to reach new clientele.
It also means 90 seats on top of the original 9 tables in Cambridge. It means getting closer to vendors. It means a bigger and better equipped kitchen, which, in turn, means more possibilities for preparations. It means he’ll be able to grow the business and take better care of his employees.
“The nine tables in Cambridge, it’s great; it’s doing well but it’s nine tables,” Bond said, noting that providing fair salaries and benefits to employees is important to him as a business owner. “Concord is big enough to do a good business, but not so big that you can’t do a good job.”
According to his preliminary plans, Bond expects to have about 30 seats in the café and bar area in the front of the restaurant, with another 20 seats facing the open kitchen and seating for 40 more guests in a back dining room that could be closed off for private functions. An outdoor patio with seasonal seating and a woodfire grill are also part of the longer-range plans.
The varied dining areas should serve to create different moods, and accommodate guests who have different reasons for patronizing the restaurant – be it for a business meating, a family dinner, a special occasion or a quick bite before an evening event.
“It’s a fine dining restaurant, but I don’t want the guests to know that,” said Bond. “The goal is to have a place where we take care of people, and the food will be good but that’s not the most important thing. To me, it needs to be a place where they can feel comfortable, and can come and relax.”