JP man opens downtown eatery

(Courtesy Photo) (from left) Mayor Thomas Menino, Chef Paul Sussman, owner Brad Fredericks and Cake-ology store owner Victoria Donnelly cut a grill-shaped cake to celebrate the opening of the Back Deck on July 23.

Jamaica Plain resident Brad Fredericks is part of the revitalization of Downtown Crossing, recently opening a new charcoal grilling restaurant called the Back Deck.

“The premise is simple. I’ve always liked food cooked over a charcoal grill,” said Fredericks.

He picked up a taste for grilling while living in Texas and does his own grilling on the back deck of the family home in Jamaica Hills. He grills year-round, including in the winter.

“Sometimes I’m just pushing a little snow off” the grill, he said.

A former accountant for Exxon who decided to go into business for himself instead, Fredericks has lived in JP since 1991 and may be best known locally as a coach in the JP Regan Youth League.

Fredericks is already a successful restaurateur, having operated Fajitas & ’Ritas downtown for nearly 25 years. That’s why the City of Boston was eager to work with him in its attempt to revive the Downtown Crossing business district along Washington Street downtown.

A Boston Redevelopment Authority (BRA) marketing study pegged a Suffolk University-owned building at Washington and West streets as a good spot for a sit-down restaurant with windows that can open to provide a sense of street life, according to Randi Lathrop, the BRA’s deputy director for community planning.

Fredericks provided the Back Deck concept, which involves food cooked on large charcoal grills in an open kitchen. He invested $2 million, while the City provided loans and grants, and Suffolk paid for the windows, according to Lathrop.

The Back Deck opened in June and has “exceeded expectations so far,” Fredericks said.

The “upscale casual” restaurant’s menu ranges from hamburgers to steaks, fish, lamb meatball skewers and scallop tacos, among other items. For more information, see

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