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Jonathan’s Bar and Grille Brings Friendly, Hometown Vibe to Newton

Owner and "hometown boy" Jonathan Glick wants customers at Jonathan's Bar and Grille to come in and stay a while to enjoy the food, the atmosphere - and running into their friends.

Jonathan Glick, owner of the newly opened , has returned to his roots.

Though Glick moved here at age six, he considers himself a Newton native. He went through Newton public schools, graduating from in 1985.

From there he went to UMass Amherst where he earned a degree in Hospitality Management. Glick even spent two months in the César Ritz College program in Switzerland, learning first-hand all aspects of running an upscale restaurant.

But for the next 21 years, that would be Glick’s last foray into the culinary world.

“I came back here and started working in my family’s real estate business,” Glick explains, matter-of-factly. “I finished the construction of these two buildings (the Needham Street building that now houses Jonathan’s and the former Filene’s Basement, and the adjacent building that contains Bank of America, and , among other businesses). Then I did some commercial leasing, some management of apartment buildings. Whatever was needed.”

When chose not to renew their lease in late 2010 and moved across Needham Street, Glick saw an opportunity. He could finally open his own restaurant, putting to good use not only his management background but also the “literal blood, sweat and tears” he’d put into the construction of the actual building that houses Jonathan’s.

“My good friend (and now business partner), Ross Finn, and I – everywhere we’d go in the area, it would be packed,” says Glick. “The two of us said ‘Why don’t we think about opening something in our demographic? Something between a or a Met Bar and a , a place you can afford to go four nights a week, if you want.’”

Glick and Finn, along with Executive Chef Matt Haney and sous chef Gregory Phillips have worked hard to create that sort of locale in Jonathan’s, which opened its doors on May 4 after 15 long months of preparation, consultation and construction.

Glick laughs when he recalls a consulting chef who expressed disbelief that he could serve the quality and variety of food he does at the current price points. But Glick remains committed to providing for his customers a sort of “chamber of commerce” experience, as people tend to run into others they know when they come to Jonathan’s.

The owners have tried to make the most of the restaurant's space, seating 90 at booths, low tables, high-tops and the bar. Glick has also applied for a permit to add another 30 seats on the patio and hopes to realize that idea before the cooler weather sets in.

Other changes that will be coming to the fledgling restaurant are the addition of specials to the menu and a live, jazz Sunday brunch that may become a weekly tradition as soon as next month.

In fact, Glick hopes to have live music at Jonathan’s a couple of nights a week, at least. He sees this as the perfect complement to the “comforting, quality food” that Jonathan’s serves at both lunch and dinner.

“This is the kind of place you hang out for a couple of hours,” Glick says warmly. “It’s not a place that you come in for a couple of beers and a burger and then you’re done in an hour. You can spend two or three hours, take your time and enjoy the food and the place.”

As they have been fully booked during prime meal times, Glick recommends that people make reservations. In the near future Jonathan’s will be on Open Table, but for now you can call the restaurant at 617-332-1600 or take your chances with first-come/first-served, full-service seating at the bar.

Mark Golden May 24, 2012 at 10:19 PM
I have not yet had a chance to enjoy Jonathan's. But I have cooked with one of the Chefs. "Apple" is a a great chef (I do not have a Culinary Degree, so I am a cook) and she really enjoys putting smiles on customer's faces and good food in their bellies!
Lynn June 04, 2012 at 02:44 AM
We were at Jonathan's last night. We got there at 730 and was seated right away. It took a while to get bread but that was ok. When the server came over to see if we needed more bread, we told her yes. She should have noticed all the crumbs all over the table and should have cleaned the table off before bringing the other basket of bread. We ordered lobster mac and cheese and there were 2 small pieces of lobster in the dish. Hmm. For dinner my husband ordered a rare burger and it came out well done. We told the server and she said "oh that happens a lot here". Not something you want to tell your customers... Servers need more training . They have developed bad skills at other restraints and they need to be trained by professionals. One last important detail... The kitchen door was opened when we left through the parking lot and we looked into the kitchen...what a disgrace! Food and dirty wrappers all over the floor. Totally unacceptable to see in an upscale restaurant that has just opened. BTW the hostess at the door never said thank you for coming, I hope you enjoyed your dinner or something like that. More training needed by the right professionals!
Eric Shon June 04, 2012 at 06:17 PM
Was there last night
Eric Shon June 04, 2012 at 06:19 PM
Oops. Second try. Was there last night. A terrible disappointment. How difficult is it to cook a burger? I agree with all of the comments above as well about poor service.
Melanie Graham June 04, 2012 at 06:20 PM
Hi everyone -- Please remember to leave your reviews and rate Jonathan's on the restaurant's Patch directory page! http://newton.patch.com/listings/jonathans-bar-grill

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