Weymouth’s Precinct 10 serves up American cuisine with a Prohibition-era twistBy Lannan M. O’Brien
Since the start of the New Year, lettering above the door of the former Hilltop Butcher Shop in Weymouth has advertised the name of a new business, Precinct 10. There’s something secretive about its unassuming location in a Main Street shopping plaza beside Itzaparty and its lack of windows, which were removed prior to opening. Based on appearance, you might not even know that top-notch American cuisine and cocktails are served inside.
But, then again, that’s exactly the point.
Family-owned by the Hynes Restaurant Group—the owners of Stockholders Steakhouse, also in Weymouth, and a list of other South Shore dining destinations—Precinct 10 was designed as a modern take on a Prohibition-era speakeasy. Even its location, which would be less than desirable to most restaurant owners, was chosen intentionally to fit the theme.
“We wanted it to be understated on the outside… to have a speakeasy, Prohibition kind of feel and be tucked away and hidden,” says Erik Hynes, who co-owns the business with his father, ex-Weymouth police officer Kevin Hynes. Lindsay Hynes, Erik’s sister, works as a manager. The meaning behind the name of the restaurant is threefold: first and foremost, Precinct 10 is the voting precinct of its location; and the number 10 represents both the years that Kevin Hynes served as a Weymouth cop and the number of restaurants opened under the family name.
Inside, dark red and black décor, velvet-and-leather furniture and crystal chandeliers create an upscale atmosphere that Hynes describes as “cocktail loungey.” Flat-screen TVs play a combination of sports games and pop music videos throughout the restaurant. With an upbeat vibe and spacious design, Precinct 10 is almost reminiscent of a nightclub, the focal point of the space being a large faux oak tree that scrapes the ceiling.
There’s a story behind that, too: the tree is a nod to Hynes’ great-grandfather, a bootlegger in Roxbury during the Prohibition era who had a clever way of hiding his liquor.
“He had a sort of cellar in the backyard that he’d dug out,” he says. The hiding spot was directly under an oak tree, a way for his great-grandfather to remember its location.
Not surprisingly, the cocktail list comprises drinks cleverly named for Prohibition advocates and speakeasy-related terms—i.e. Billy Sunday’s Sworn Enemy, after a pro baseball player-turned-evangelist who supported the movement, and Blind Pig, a nickname for a speakeasy.
The food menu, designed by chef Jason Walker, consists of American favorites with a touch of Southern influence. Meat lovers will fall for The Smokehouse Platter, a choice of four types of meat, including brisket, chicken, pastrami, pulled pork, baby back ribs and sausage, each of which is house-smoked for hours to achieve a sweet barbeque flavor. A sweet seafood option is the salmon dinner, which comes grilled or seared, topped with lemon-herb vinaigrette and served over mushroom-saffron rice pilaf. For a spicy kick, customers can try the paella with mussels, littleneck clams, shrimp, scallops, calamari, chorizo, peas, peppers and onions. Served over Spanish rice with a spicy tomato sauce, the generous size of this dish makes it perfect for sharing.
A hint: keep your eyes peeled before ordering. You might spot servers carrying a dish not listed on the menu. Just like a well-kept “speakeasy” secret, this dish is promoted only by word of mouth—but you didn’t hear it from us.
110 Main St., Weymouth