Tom Looney and Ed Scherer, who owned Helen's Garden in Canton for 15 years, have opened a cocktail bar on Fort Avenue named BarLiquorice. Their partner in the project is Jeff Cahill.
Although guests can order salads, pressed sandwiches and cheese boards, BarLiquorice, which opened last Friday, is not a restaurant, Looney said.
"It's definitely a bar," Looney said. "It's a comfy place where you can come in and have a drink. Cooking is limited by the space we have."
Looney said he wants BarLiquorice to be for the Riverside neighborhood what Helen's Garden was for Canton.
"It will remind people of Helen's a little bit," said Looney. "It's a neighborhood space, where people can gather."
The bar's name, which incorporates the British spelling of licorice, was not inspired by the anise-like taste of licorice root but by the jet-black color of licorice confections.
"I was thinking of a dark, moody bar," Looney said. "The shelves are painted black."
Looney and Scherer are also owners, with Annemarie Langton, of the Gypsy Queen and Little Gypsy food trucks. Langton, who was the executive chef at Helen's Garden, is not involved with BarLiquorice.