BOSTON – The Cannonball Café, a new breakfast and lunch gathering spot named with the neighborhood’s historic industrial heritage in mind, designed and operated by chef Rachel Lazar, today celebrated its Grand Opening with more than 50 friends and neighbors – and baked goods and coffee overflowing.
“We’ve been thinking about this for a long time,” said Dave Pogorelc, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Core Investments, Inc., which owns 383 Dorchester Ave., the location of the Cannonball Café. “This area has traditionally been a desert for food and places for people to gather and meet.”
Introducing chef Lazar, “Pogorelc said, “She’s been an inspiration. I think she’s going to knock it out of the park — or shoot it out of cannon, as it were.” A smaller scale, working cannon rested nearby, symbolizing the area’s history, as guests mingled, munched and drank coffee.
“A little history,” Pogorelc said. “Cyrus Alger made cannons here for the North in the Civil War, and freedom was created. I’m proud to be a part of bringing that back.”
Presented with a small but weighty black cannonball, Lazar said, “There is no greater joy in life than creating an environment surrounded by food that makes other people happy. So it has been an absolute honor to work alongside Dave and Core.“
“It was a dream of Dave’s to bring more gathering space to this area, somewhere where people just want to be,” she said. “I’ve helped him create his vision in Cannonball Café. And I truly believe this is a place that people want to be. Let’s drink some coffee!”
The café opened to the public on Monday, Nov. 29. The Cannonball Cafe, whose name recalls the rich 19th Century history of the influential neighborhood settled by Alger, hailed not only for his cannons but also for metallurgy and forging skills that placed him at one time as the most prominent industrialist in the United States, will brighten the longtime industrial district as its first dining spot.
The opening marks an important early step in the transition of the area west of Dorchester Avenue to a vibrant new mixed-use neighborhood called On the Dot®, which is being developed by Core Investments, Inc. Core hired Lazar, who has more than 10 years of experience in the food industry and is a graduate of Johnson & Wales University, specializing in the culinary arts, as Manager of the Cannonball Café. To learn more about Lazar, please go to On the Dot® website .
The café, more than a year in planning, is in a repurposed building located near Grand Ten Distilling and between the popular workout studios CrossFit Southie and Peter Welch’s Gym.
The new café features coffees, teas, smoothies, items baked in house, sandwiches and salads, and a variety of other locally produced breakfast, lunch, and snack items, for dining in or to-go. Cannonball Café is open Monday through Friday, 7 a.m.-3 p.m., possibly expanding to weekends later, and has about 20 seats.
Lazar managed food production and catering in Marblehead for six years, has overseen menus at summer camps for children in New Hampshire, and spent a year doing food-related community service for large numbers in Israel. She attended art school in New Hampshire before turning to food as a career.
Core Investments, Inc. has been planning On the Dot for a decade, along with nearby Washington Village, a five-acre mixed-use development that began construction this month. Core Investments is planning the neighborhood as a vibrant mixed-use district, consistent with the BPDA and City of Boston’s “PLAN: South Boston Dorchester Avenue Planning Initiative” and other city guidelines.
The area has unparalleled location and transportation advantages to serve South Boston with new jobs, residences, and extensive open space.