Eat New England

Inside a rustic pub hidden in a waterfront mill that used to produce rope and twine

The Black Raspberry Pub is tucked away at the very edge of a historic mill building in North Plymouth, Massachusetts, a true hidden gem that’s also quite close to Route 3, the main highway between Boston and Cape Cod

From left: the entrance, interior and a drink at The Black Raspberry in Plymouth, Massachusetts.
NECN

One of the hottest communities in eastern Massachusetts for dining is also one of the biggest tourist spots in the state, and as the summer approaches, visitors to Plymouth will find a number of new restaurants there along with some old standbys.

And while much of the action revolves around the area from the waterfront up to Main Street in the center of this sprawling South Shore town, there are several other villages and neighborhoods in Plymouth’s borders that are home to varied dining spots, including some that are off the beaten path and known mainly to locals.

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The Black Raspberry Pub is one such place, tucked away at the very edge of a historic mill building in North Plymouth and which you’ll never see from the road, making it a true hidden gem that’s also quite close to Route 3, the main highway that leads from Boston to Cape Cod.

Cordage Park has quite an interesting history. It was once home to a ropemaking company that made rope and twine for seafaring vessels in the 1800s. The factory building on the site was massive, and part of it remains today, along with some newer development – the entire complex is now known as the Cordage Commerce Center.

The section of the old mill that’s still standing is home to office space and a number of businesses, including the Black Raspberry Pub, situated along the far-right side of the building and toward the back, making it completely hidden from Route 3A, the road that winds past the development.

Its location, facing a large parking lot may not look like much at first, but the Black Raspberry Pub is quite an appealing place. Its closed-in patio out front is a nice spot to catch an ocean breeze on a warm summer night, while the interior has all the charm you might expect from an old mill building.

The space has lots of nooks and crannies and a warm, welcoming feel with a hardwood floor, wooden ceiling with exposed pipes and beams, hanging lights and windows letting in just enough light to keep the space from feeling too cavernous.

A very long bar sits by the entrance and runs through the middle of the room, a good option for both eating and drinking, and the dining sections include a mix of high-top and low-top tables.

Being that it’s housed in an old building with wooden floors and a low ceiling, you might expect the noise level to be high, and it can indeed get a bit loud when the place is full, which may be one reason to sit outside if it’s busy and the weather is decent.

PHOTOS: Plymouth's Black Raspberry Pub

Even though it has the word “pub” in its name, The Black Raspberry Pub feels more like a restaurant than a watering hole, and its food menu has a lot of options, including classic American fare, bar food and some items that could be considered New American.

Perhaps the most popular choices here are the meaty and satisfying jumbo wings, which can be ordered with any number of sauces, including buffalo, teriyaki, mango habanero, Jamaican jerk, gochujang, garlic parmesan and more, along with dry rubs such as bay, ranch, Cajun and chipotle garlic.

Chicken tenders are also a favorite here, and they can be ordered either “old school” or “crisper style” and have the option to be plain or tossed in a sauce.

The Black Raspberry Pub also offers South Shore-style bar pizza, and this is an overlooked spot for this style of pizza as it is outstanding — especially when done with burnt or laced edges that give the outer crust extra flavor from caramelization.

One of the best toppings is one that you sometimes find in areas with a high Portuguese population — a ground linguica pizza whose topping tastes just a bit like pepperoni if it were ground up, adding a nice bit of saltiness and spiciness to the pizza. Other good picks are a potato skin pizza, a Big Mac pizza and a banana pepper pizza, the last of which you also tend to find in Portuguese areas south of Boston.

The list of apps at the Black Raspberry Pub includes such familiar items as (depending on specials of the day and menu changes) nachos, pretzels, potato skins, tots, fried ravioli and Brussels sprouts, and for those who might want more of a full meal instead of wings, tenders or pizza, the place offers such items as a hearty three-cheese macaroni and cheese which can be ordered with buffalo chicken mixed in; a classic New England fish and chips plate with tartar sauce and coleslaw; spicy shrimp tacos with mango salsa and sweet potato fries on the side; and chicken enchiladas with rice and beans.

Sandwich options include burgers, chicken sandwiches and a steak bomb.

Drinks at the Black Raspberry tend to lean a bit more toward cocktails and local beers, with the latter including brews from such nearby beermakers as Widowmaker, Cape Cod and Cisco.

Plymouth may appear to be a long way from Boston, but when traffic is moving, it really doesn’t take long to get there, and North Plymouth is actually about as easy to get to from the southern suburbs of Boston as it is from the southern reaches of Plymouth itself (which is by far the largest Massachusetts community in the area). And the town is becoming more and more of a destination spot for restaurants with its many options. And if you want to head to a spot that few folks outside of the area seem to know about, the Black Raspberry Pub is one to consider for both its food and its atmosphere.

Black Raspberry Pub, 36 Cordage Park Circle, Plymouth, MA, 02360. instagram.com/theblackraspberrypub

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