Davis Square’s got a new place to eat and get loaded. The Rosebud American Kitchen opened a week and a half and ago in the space formerly occupied by the Rosebud Diner and the Rosebud Bar & Grill, merging the dining car out front with the bigger room in the back. It’s owned and operated by the same crew responsible for the square’s two best establishments, Posto and the Painted Burro.
It’s a nice place. The food and drinks are perfectly fine and the beer list is moderately interesting. Entrees and cocktails are a little on the pricy side but not out of line for the neighborhood and the sandwiches are surprisingly affordable. The pisser’s nice and clean. There’s just one thing keeping me from giving the place the Scott Colby Seal of Alcoholic Approval: the location.
The problem here that I can’t quite get over is the fact that despite its interesting exterior, the Rosebud really isn’t any different from the other restaurants in Davis Square. It’s like someone shoved Orleans, Five Horses, Saloon, or the Foundry into an old diner. It makes no sense. With an exterior that cool, the inside really ought to be the most fun, kitschy place in the neighborhood. Instead, it’s just boring like everything else in the square.
This is a missed opportunity, doubly so given that Davis Square’s nightlife absolutely sucks. I know; I live there. When Sligo’s your neighborhood’s best option for an entertaining Saturday night adult beverage, your neighborhood has issues. Davis is supposed to be one of the most eclectic, fun parts of the greater Boston area – so why do Somerville residents have to go all the way into Cambridge to get to bars that fit that description? Why isn’t there a Charlie’s or a Friendly Toast or a State Park in Davis Square?
I’ll probably end up hanging out in the Rosebud regularly anyway, but I don’t have to like it. There’s a pie list. And it’s good. But that’s small consolation.