Custom House On Montague Opens Saturday 6/9: First Look Inside

The spanking new Custom House Irish pub and restaurant at 139 Montague Street, in the former La Traviata Italian restaurant space between Henry and Clinton, is opening its doors Saturday June 9. The locale invited friends & family for a pre-opening Friday evening, allowing BHB to take a first glance at the shiny new space. (See photos below.)

We were pleased to discover among Custom House’s staffers is Jimmy, arguably the most pleasant guy on Montague Street, who previously worked at Grand Canyon diner next door. (Jimmy’s the one who resembles [the first] Darrin Stevens from “Bewitched.”)

Italian eatery La Traviata shuttered in November 2011 after 30 years in the space.

(Photos: Chuck Taylor)

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  • Heightsman

    Looks great. Welcome.

  • mark

    Can’t think of a better time for a pub to open than the opening weekend of Euro 2012. I’ll have to do lunch there tomorrow.

  • Jorale-man

    Indeed, looks nice. Love the couch. Welcome to the neighborhood!

  • jvb

    : (

  • Scrambler

    Im just waiting for all the complaining to begin.

  • Mr Crusty

    Oh it will come scrambler no doubt. The nattering nabobs of negativism will find something to complain about no doubt.

  • princess

    I know a lot of actors who are already planning to make this place a permanent hang out “if” the brew is reasonably priced. :)

  • travy

    ok i’ll bite. the sign suxxx!

  • shamrock

    Welcome to the neighborhood, Custom House!

  • sign here

    Yes, the sign suxxx big time. We could’ve used a new nail salon or sushi place.

  • C.

    Thrilled to finally get a real bar on Montague. Anybody know if they’ll have the Pacquiao fight tonight?

  • Mr Crusty

    Well, I think my wife and I were thievery first customers to order a meal here today. I had a chicken Caesar salad and my wife had the roasted corn chowder soup and crab cakes. We were very pleasantly surprised. The food was great, well prepared and flavorful. Adding to the ambience was a ver attentive server with an authentic Irish brogue.

    The bar area looks very nice. I can see myself stopping to have a drik on the way home from work. The dining area seemed a bit austere and I think it could use a bit more accessorizing but all and all very nicely done.

  • She’s Crafty

    We went! And had a very nice meai. Prices reasonable, and the burger satisfied my red meat expert husband. They did a nice little birthday thing for my son too. We’ll go back, and perhaps it will be our Sunday eve place.

  • billy

    So this place is good, eh?

  • knitwit

    Did our ususal Saturday brunch thing to check it out. So far ok, he had a great chicken sandwich and I did the sliders. The waiteress explained the limited menu and that it will expand as they go on. Everything so neat and clean. The nicest thing happened both bus boys are former employees of Trivata and Emanons. Both brothers and it was nice to have them stop by and chat with us as they remembered us as regulars. I was so glad they could reconnect and keep their jobs.

    As for the food. Well, it is pub. Looking forward to going again and glad loyal employees were able to connect with new place. By the way, they are both guys.

  • Ray

    Thank you for all the great comments and the warm welcome to the neighborhood we are very excited to be here. Look forward to seeing you all again soon.

    The Custom House.

  • nabeguy

    Crusty, is that a typo or a comment on the prices? I always wished that these posts included an edit feature.

  • Mr Crusty

    Typo. Editing feature would be rather nice.


    Had food and drinks on Saturday night. Excellent food, great beer, and very friendly waitstaff. Will definitely be back!

  • Knight

    @nabeguy: to me it looks like Crusty was a victim of his device’s auto-correct.

  • AG

    I had dinner at the Custom House Friday night, June 15th, at 6:15 PM. Screaming babies in the bar area; babies and toddlers at several tables throughout. Whatever happened to baby sitters? Are there no boundaries anymore? Babies in a bar? “Evolved” fathers carrying their babies around in the bar area? Not everyone has or likes children, but aside from that, adults should be able to go out and enjoy a meal in a space with other adults.

  • Meesta Fuhr

    If you don’t have kids, what are you doing eating dinner at 6:15? Go back at eight like a normal adult and all is fine. I will say that I hope this place doesn’t turn into a Heights Café scene — I would go with music more regularly to encourage the “young ” to turn out. Was there last night and they were banging Radiohead and the Chili Peppers with the Heat game on the flat screens. Good sliders good scene all in all a solid addition to the block.

  • A math major

    I’m not sure why everyone calls it a bar. It’s a restaurant that HAS a bar. How else do you explain the full menu with crab cakes, mussels, desserts, salads, and side dishes?

  • Tired of kids without boundaries

    Agree with AG — just because you have a child, you shouldn’t feel entitled to do whatever you want as if you were child-free.

    Dined at Custom House last week — service & meal were good, so we’ll be back. But meal interrupted & punctuated by screams of a young child. Parents there but no discipline, leaving the kid to walk around and whine at his leisure.

    As for Meesta Fuhr’s comment about dinner time, “normal” adults do eat “early”… Some right after work, others who start the day early are ready for dinner earlier than 8 p.m.

  • cici

    Great space. Decent drinks. Loose the older hostess who is cold and acts like she would prefer to be anywhere else. Irish lady who should let it to the wait staff!

  • Jennifer Rivera

    Ray from custom house you did a superb job with this kitchen bar. The food, drink & atmosphere is magnificent and Jimmy your server was at the top of his game last weekend when me and my brother Vic came all the way from sunset park to chill here last Sat night. Custom house puts Eamon’s, heights cafe and Downtown ale house to shame making these three establishments feel like a dull opera house this place is more lively and has it all going will be back that is a promise. We both loved your burgers nobody in the area cooks burgers like that Congratulations.

  • Joel Vinson

    Custom house is the epitome of cool classic example of what a res bar should be like. It has amazing backyard seating and outdoor seating in the front. Jim does a great job taking care of me and the boys with a good beer and some chicken. The food is much better in this joint compared to some of the dumps I have been to on Montague st within the past year. I hope Custom house will stick around. Everyone should come here to have a good time this makes Downtown ale house look like a silly TV sitcom this bar is where its at.
    The full bar really turns me on such style and class.