This could be the year that BBQ comes to downtown New Bedford thanks to the proposed Union Street BBQ and Beer Garden.

The space at 250 Union Street in downtown New Bedford has been closed for quite some time now.

The old 1930s building with the red brick façade and wood trim has been vacant since 2012-ish with the closing of Union City Night Club. Before that, it was home to Legacy Night Club.

Google Maps
Google Maps

Between then and now, it's been for sale, for lease, foreclosed on, purchased, and then for sale again – but not much changed to the façade until recently when giant gorgeous windows were put in and the white trim was updated. Some of the old architectural details of the roofline came down and the brick got a bright refresh.

This very old, very pretty building has been hiding in plain sight but finally, someone is doing something about it (slowly, but still –yay, progress).

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We did more digging on the property and collected some official paperwork along with some rumor-mill intel to make sense of what was behind the papered windows.

During a New Bedford Licensing Board meeting in March of 2022, it was noted that someone was turning 250 Union Street into the 4,300-square foot Union Street BBQ and Beer Garden.

The license was approved, but the restaurant never opened for that year.

The license was also approved for 2023 and 2024. The business plans for the proposed BBQ-themed restaurant include eat-in or take-out offerings with "cafeteria-style" food service. There are plans to have occasional live music as well.

June 2023 Google Maps
Google Maps

The rumors are that this property will also have an outdoor patio space in the back, which sounds feasible given that the property has a small greenspace not accounted for on the floor plans. The other rumor is that it's slated to open this summer, which will bring some added life back to the top half of Union Street.

We haven't had any luck getting in touch with the manager on file for details, but will keep you updated if we get any more information.

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