New owner at former Ashmont Grill taps ‘Lobzter King’ for restaurant space

The former Ashmont Grill site at 555 Talbot Ave. has sold to a South Boston developer who has tapped The Lobzter King catering company as the new tenant to open a full-service restaurant – a Black-owned venture that will be known as ‘The Mix.’

Mark Little, of Abacus Builders – which has been very active developing in Dorchester recently, confirmed that an LLC controlled by him purchased Ashmont Grill last month from an LLC controlled by former owners Chris Douglass and Tara O’Riordan for $1.5 million. Now, he said he is excited to introduce his new tenants to the neighborhood in their first brick-and-mortar venture after getting rave reviews all over the region doing catering, events and pop-ups.

“I am delighted to let you know that Lobzter Kings will be our new tenant,” he said. “I’m excited to see life be brought back to this fantastic Dorchester location once again. I’m also happy to be on Lobzter Kings journey to test out their first brick and mortar store location. I can't wait to bring in my neighbors for a preview as soon as possible. The menu will be awesome.”

Lobzter Kings is a venture that has existed for almost two years under Jarvis Adams – known as the Lobzter King. For ‘The Mix,’ he will be joined by developer Levi Samedi and Rufus J. Faulk, the city’s former chief of public safety.

Adams said he and his partners had been working with the broker about different options. Soon enough, they decided to go for it all.

“I got the email from the broker about Ashmont Grill, and he brought it to my attention, and I called Levi,” he said. “We were talking, and he was giving us some ideas of what we can do in there – maybe my catering and some pop ups. But after we spoke, Levi, Rufus and I decided to come up with plan to do a restaurant – split it three ways and go from there. We’re all childhood friends.

“It all seemed to come together, and we can pull it off. Right now is the time,” he added.

Samedi said he has been involved in development and construction in the area several years and has been looking for a restaurant concept to get behind. Adams was a childhood friend, and a roommate for more than 10 years, so this move seemed right from the get-go.

“When this came up, it made perfect sense,” he said. “In Boston we don’t see a lot of Black entrepreneurs and restaurants getting love. However, for the last couple of years I have noticed a big change in the restaurant business for African Americans. Lobzter King has been everywhere and everywhere he goes, everyone loves the food. Now they won’t have to wait for a pop-up or event – they can come here anytime.”

Adams said he reluctantly got into the cooking scene. When he and Levi were roommates, they had parties frequently and he was always on the grill putting out lobster tails or chicken. Later, he started grilling lobster tails in his own special way for friends and family. Soon, he said a good friend “forced” him to make it a business.

“That led to me marketing the business and the pop-ups and kitchen takeovers and events all over Massachusetts,” said Adams.

His love of cooking started with his mother when they were growing up in Mobile, Alabama. His mother was a pastry chef for years and now lives in Atlanta, but Adams said she put the love of cooking into him, and he took that with him. He noted his mother is going to be in the kitchen with him at ‘The Mix’ and is part of their food team.

The partners said they aren’t ready to talk about everything they’ll do, but it won’t just be lobster.

“We are adding more to this than just the famous lobster,” said Samedi. “We are planning on doing breakfast with a twist. There isn’t much in Ashmont in the morning – maybe a Dunkin’ Donuts, but nothing like this. We’re trying to make a change here, especially for Dorchester.”

They also pointed to the outdoor patio as a key part of the upcoming business.

Samedi and Adams said they are pursuing a liquor license and would at least like to open the doors with a beer and wine license to compliment the food service – as was done with the former Ashmont Grill. If all goes well, they said they’d like to open the doors and be fully operational in mid-January.


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