Boombox Buns, an Over-the-Rhine carry-out eatery offering homemade Chinese-style steamed buns, also known as baozi or bao, is opening its much-anticipated brick-and-mortar under "temporary conditions" on March 19.
Nathan Friday is the man behind Boombox Buns, and while the steamed bun-centric eatery is the first brand within Friday’s company, Together We Eat, and it likely won’t be the last.
He made his debut as a restaurateur when he opened Boombox Buns for weekend-only, walk-up-window business on Woodward Street in an empty space behind The Takeaway Deli and Grocery in the fall of 2018. And on March 19, Boombox will reopen in a new, bigger space at 1400 Republic St. as a full-fledged, four-walled eatery. (They ceased window operations at the end of January to prep for the relocation.)
Like the walk-up on Woodward, the Republic location — formerly home to Injoy Street Food — will also be carry-out only. Expect the same in-and-out service you got on Woodward. As Friday puts it, “No (table)service, not my problem; no silverware, not my problem;” only this time, you don’t have to wait outside for your order.
Friday explained in an Instagram post the difficulty of opening his restaurant in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, the work that has gone into opening his brick-and-mortar, and his appreciation for his supporters.
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To be honest, this is an incredibly hard situation for everyone. I never thought that I would be opening my first restaurant in the middle of a worldwide pandemic. I think of all the work and sacrifice that Katie and I put in to bringing this idea to life, for not only ourselves, but for the people around us. This is supposed to be an exciting time and absolutely the most important week of my life, yet I find it hard to be excited. I think of our neighborhood and the people that make it great and what they have went through to bring there ideas to life; and now seemingly have had to put those dreams on hold with no foreseeable answers to when they can continue. We are all struggling with making the right choices for ourselves, community, and staff. Most people don't realize that we received the keys to our new location in August and have been building this restaurant piece by piece over the last 6 months, while working the window and doing most of the project ourselves. We have no partners, no investors, no project managers, nothing! It has just been us and the community of people that have supported what we do that have allowed us to grow from a tiny take out window in someone else's kitchens to an actual restaurant that can stand on its own. You did this for us through rain, snow, and sunshine and for that we deeply thank you!! Though things feel very uncertain, my staff and I must push on!! This restaurant is, and has been, a takeout restaurant that aims to serve people at the highest standards out of respect for the craft of cooking. On Thursday we will be opening our doors under our temporary conditions from 12:00pm to 8pm. Things are changing day by day and we will do our best to update our policy and hours accordingly. So wash your hands, be kind, keep your distance and grab some buns, love @boomboxbuns 😗
Boombox Buns will be open 12-8 p.m. Tues.-Sat. The eatery is card only but contactless is preferred. Due to coronavirus restrictions, Boombox will limit the amount of customers to five at a time.
"Times are crazy and things are changing quickly, but we are excited to show you our new space," another post from the eatery reads.
Boombox Buns, 1400 Republic St., Over-the-Rhine.