rebecca kilbreath hshad the good fortune to spend a few days in Boston during this issue’s production cycle touring some of the restaurants of COJE Management, one of the city’s hottest and coolest multiconcept operators. Rarely does a restaurant group manage to hit the trifecta: beautiful spaces that are an experience in and of themselves, a highly engaged hospitality team that makes dining fun and effortless and, to top it off, the food is actually great!

I visited each of COJE’s Boston-area concepts over two days, sampling everything from Cuban-inspired dining at Mariel to sushi at RUKA. I got to dine at their first two iconic Boston locations: whimsical fine-dining stalwart Yvonne’s, where a secret passageway in the library bar takes guests to a private event space in the basement, and the Mexican-gothic Lolita restaurant in the Back Bay neighborhood where decorative skulls and bones cover the private dining room’s ceiling and one wall.

One of the things that struck me as I spoke with various COJE team members was their clear and inspiring passion for the business and their place within the organization. I saw key team members at various locations both day and night, moving from one venue to the next, reviewing the progress of Lolita’s newly sanctioned patio, discussing the upcoming changes to French restaurant Coquette and providing on-site support to other staffers.

Executive Pastry Chef Mai Nguyen took time to explain the three-day process that goes into making croissants sold at the Cocorico Boulangerie, co-located with Coquette at the Omni Boston Hotel at The Seaport. Beverage Director Raymond Trembley created a mezcal-focused bar at Lolita and curated a private tasting menu, giving background on each of the brands we sampled, including stories on how he came to find the given brand and how he visited sites producing agave. I saw Culinary Director Tom Berry at three separate locations over my two-day tour, checking in with his team and ensuring we were enjoying the incredible food at each restaurant.


Finally, I got to have an in-depth conversation with co-owner and Managing Partner Chris Jamison. A founder and visionary, he focuses on real estate, development and design. One unusual thing about COJE: The team only recently started working with outside design firms as part of a desire to grow and scale the business. It is Jamison’s vision that has driven the look and experiential aspects of dining at COJE properties. He admits that he’s evolving his approach as they seek to grow but is not interested in compromising on his vision.

Jamison is a fan of the burgeoning world of AI and of Midjourney in particular. He’s using the new technology with his team to help bring his dreams to visual life — not to replace anyone in the process but to aid him in fleshing out his own vision and passing it on to others. He thinks it’s going to be a game-changer for how entrepreneurial creatives can work with design teams going forward. He just may be at the forefront of yet another trend!

To get a look at the tour I took, check out my Instagram at @rddeditorbex.

Until next time, thank you for reading!