“It’s a sandwich shop, yo.”

That’s how Rich Wood, co-owner of Southie (who happens to also be my brother-in-law) describes the diminutive eatery. An instant favorite in the neighborhood, the sandwich shop maximizes every available opportunity for noshing – and people watching. We envisioned a purposely relaxed, yet sophisticated interior style where diners could chat with the cooks, or watch the world go by.

This little stretch of College Avenue is self supporting and self-sustaining. Southie and Wood Tavern both source their freshly baked artisanal bread a couple of doors down from La Farine. Quality meats from Ver Brugge, and an amazing selection of beers from Trappist. When the larders run low, a quick trot next door will get it sorted. Very local and very low-impact. And of course, everybody eats.

The “little brother” to Wood Tavern, we made up for size in height by capitalizing on the building’s tall ceilings. Bold color treatment on the main wall complements the adjoining Wood Tavern interior style, to create visual synergy between the two. Modern industrial and minimal furnishings gives the eatery a hip, design-forward feel and prevents the dining area from feeling cramped. Small table tops affixed directly to the wall easily accommodate a couple of sandwiches and brews from neighboring Trappist.

A marble counter top surrounded by stools lets appreciative diners chat with the cooks preparing their meals – and watch as the magic happen. Conversation is not only encouraged, it’s part of the experience.

Rich might call it a sandwich shop, but I call it a community.