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7B's Bar & Grill

Beers, Burgers, and Chocolate Chip Cookies

It all began 10 years ago last November when Bill Boisseau decided to trade his corporate career for the restaurant business. Although Bill had no restaurant experience – he knew where to turn to create a successful business – his son Jeff. After Jeff Boisseau graduated from Johnson and Wales with a degree in restaurant management, he went on to own and operate 15 restaurants, including one in Rhode Island. It was there that his dad walked in the door one day and told him he was leaving his job to buy the old Purple Onion in Westfield.

Jeff had just closed one of his restaurants, leaving him time to help his dad transform what had been the Purple Onion into 7B’s – named for Bill Boisseau, his wife Jane and their five children - John, Jeff, Sara, Steve, and Kate. Jeff recalled gutting the entire inside of the building – his uncle Jack was the contractor and they hired local tradesmen. “It was all local people, and we created a buzz even before we opened,” Jeff said.

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7B’s was an instant hit. “Once the doors opened, it never stopped,” Jeff said, remembering that he and his dad worked “morning, noon, and night until we hired the crew we wanted. Now, we pride ourselves on having some of the best employees in the business. They’re all amazing employees.” Three of 7B’s employees have been with the restaurant since the beginning – John Smith the first dishwasher hired is now an integral part of the back of house crew, and 10 years later, Kate Warner is still managing the bar and mixing up a list of creative cocktails that change with the seasons, along with bartender/server Hannah Taylor. Jeff is quick to point out that 7B’s is, at its heart, a family business. His brother Steve manages maintenance. Bill supports front of the house and he and Jane come in every morning to clean. Jane whips up daily batches of chocolate chip cookies, known as “Jane’s Chippers.” Lucky are the customers who get one of the complimentary cookies before they are gone each day. Jeff’s twin brother John, also a Johnson and Wales, graduate, moved with his family from New York City to join the business and is part owner of 7B’s, focused on back of house operations and managing the always-changing beer and liquor inventories.

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From the beginning, the Boisseaus knew they wanted 7B’s to be a burger bar, but Jeff would not settle for just any burger. “We tried 20-plus burgers with different blends of meat until we found one we liked,” he recalled. The perfect burger? For 7B’s it’s a blend of chuck, sirloin, and brisket, according to Jeff. There are seven different specialty burgers on the menu, and there is always a “Burger of the Month.” Most burgers are served on a brioche roll. The Patty Melt is served on Texas Toast and the Irish Burger on rye bread. Then there’s the Bacon Jam Burger with house-made bacon jam. At 7B’s everything is fresh and homemade – the restaurant has no freezers or microwaves. The rolls and breads are made at a Massachusetts bakery, Jeff noted.

EVERYTHING IS HOMEMADE

THE 10YR CRANNIVERSARY BURGER
A burger topped with cheddar cheese, cranberry aioli, sauteed onions, served with lettuce and tomato all on Texas Toast in celebration of serving close to half a million burger and 10 years in business!

THE WINTER MENU
This menu changes three times a year and features Pulled Pork, Chicken, Crazy Grilled Cheese, and Reuben sandwiches, not to mention the Roast Beef Bomb.

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WHAT'S A BURGER WITHOUT A BEER?

7B’s has 14 drafts available on a rotating basis, and there’s the Mug Club – only 100 numbered mugs are sold and come with some perks. While burgers may take center stage, there are other stars of the show like the Crispy Chicken made with 7B’s own buttermilk put in their own flour dredge, for example. “We’re definitely a sandwich-style hand-held restaurant,” said Jeff, but the menu also features appetizers, soups, the popular Barbecue Chopped Salad, a menu for kids, and a Fish ‘n’ Chip lunch and dinner entrée served Thursday through the weekend. “It rivals any in the area,” Jeff said.


What’s next? “We’re always trying something new – it keeps everyone in the business going,” Jeff said. During the pandemic, the restaurant bought a smoker trailer and created a drive-through barbecue. It was so successful that Jeff purchased a second one. Now 7B’s caters weddings and other events. He said they will be putting a big emphasis on freshly made barbecue this spring and summer.

7B’s is really all about family – the Boisseaus and the families who dine there every day and are a true testimonial to 10 years of success.

7B’s
1152 Southampton Road
Westfield
(413) 579-5310

"It’s always about the local people who support us - some come in 5, 6, or 7 times a week." Jeff Boisseau