New downtown restaurant takes trip into Quincy's history

Chris Griffin, left, and Kala Breder stand in the Red Light Bar and Grill, 428 Maine. The two recently opened the restaurant inspired by Quincy during the late 1800s and early 1900s. | H-W Photo/Matt Hopf
By Herald-Whig
Posted: Oct. 22, 2018 10:40 am

QUINCY -- An article on the history of Quincy's Red Light District of the late 1800s and early 1900s served as inspiration for the new Red Light Bar and Grill in downtown Quincy.

Kala Breder, who opened the restaurant at 428 Maine this month with her mother, Chris Griffin, said they were interested in that period because it played a role in Quincy's foundation.

"We were just trying to find different articles and things that go into it, and we found that big one there that really goes into what Quincy was during that time," Breder said. "We found that there were a couple names that this area of town would have been called, and we stuck on the ‘Red Light.' "

The Red Light District was near the waterfront at Oak Street, where it flourished for decades, according to a Nov. 20, 2011, story in The Herald-Whig, before the construction of a railroad depot at Second and Oak in 1899. The district later moved south, and city officials set its limits to the river, Third Street, Vermont and Broadway before officials called for its end in 1918.

Breder and her mother pulled stories -- many of which are seen on the restaurant's tables -- about the area from a digital newspaper archive.

"It's fun to watch people sit down and read the articles or just kind of walk around and look at everything," Breder said. "We're ?wanting them to sit down, enjoy themselves and enjoy the food but also read and learn a little bit about Quincy's past."

The restaurant embraces its look at Quincy's past, but they want it to remain family friendly.

The Red Light Bar and Grill is in the Granite Bank building, something Breder said many people haven't been inside in recent years.

"It's such a beautiful place, so we really liked the idea that we could open it up to the community just to come in to see it or just to come in and eat and drink," she said. "We really liked feeling like we were bringing life back to this building."

The menu features a build-your-own burger with chicken, hamburger or steak. It also features stuffed burgers, which weigh about one pound.

"We wanted to be different," Breder said. "We wanted our appetizers to be different and not stuff you can find at all places. We definitely have a different appetizer menu, and our curly fries are homemade."

The Red Light Bar and Grill is open from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 5 to 10 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday and 11 a.m. to 1 a.m. Friday and Saturday, with the kitchen closing at 10 p.m. On Sundays, it is open 9 a.m. to 10 p.m., with breakfast served from 9 a.m. to noon.