Reinventing Boston after dark: 'Night czar' Corean Reynolds shares what a vibrant and inclusive nightlife economy means to her

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A summer evening on Newbury Street in Boston's Back Bay. (Robin Lubbock/WBUR)
A summer evening on Newbury Street in Boston's Back Bay. (Robin Lubbock/WBUR)

Boston’s director of nightlife, Corean Reynolds, was once new to the city herself. “So many people move here for school… and I came not for [that],” said Reynolds.

At first, there was a learning curve. Finding community in a new place is hard, especially in Boston, a city filled with transplants and students who don’t always stay for extended periods of time. Reynolds spoke to Radio Boston about how she found her community here, when she finally felt like she belonged and why she wants to improve the nightlife in Boston. Here are some highlights from the interview:

On her personal motivation to do her job… 

“Making friends and being social as an adult is super difficult. And so when I came to Boston… I wanted to be a part of changing the experience that I had when I first came here…. Feeling [like I didn’t belong]. Lo and behold, 10 years later I have this opportunity to make the change that I wanna see.”

On her first experience in Boston that made her feel like she belonged…

“It was unexpected, really. [Boston] has so much to offer. I love that we're on the coast. So, I went to the ICA on one of its [first] Friday nights. That's when I really felt like, ‘This is my Boston.’ It's so culturally diverse. It's so musically diverse, and people are just having fun right on that waterfront.”

What reinventing Boston’s nightlife means to her…

“We mean making the city just as bright, just as vibrant as it is during the day, in the evening.

“You go to work, and you [go] home. What's that third place for you? It could be a bar; it could be a nightclub; but maybe it's meeting at a cafe to talk about anime. Maybe it's meeting in the park in [Jamaica Plain] and having a picnic dinner. That's what we're looking at. Nightlife is what you want it to be. We are trying to amplify those opportunities [by] utilizing our public spaces, utilizing the great stock and the anchor institutions that we have here in Boston.”

On bringing nightlife to Boston neighborhoods beyond Downtown… 

“Nightlife in neighborhoods should reflect that particular neighborhood. So, that means it's not gonna look the same in Allston-Brighton as it would look in Jamaica Plain or in Mattapan. Being able to embed ourselves in the conversations with community groups, with business groups, and learning what their nightlife looks like is a large part of this job.

“[Sometimes it means] supporting our main streets and ensuring that people are shopping at small businesses in the evening. Maybe it's paint Night in Hyde Park. It looks different everywhere.”

Reynolds’ current Boston favorites… 

  • Best late night snack: “I go to Estella’s and they have their kitchen open pretty late, and they have yucca fries that I'm a big fan of.”
  • Best late night drink: “My favorite drink is the Dante Picante at Mida.”
  • The best way to experience the city: “I want people to explore the city just as if they were tourists. Spending time outside and viewing the city at night with all of the lights… It's really special. Just looking at Faneuil Hall and the Old State House, it's really a pretty sight to see.”

This segment aired on July 19, 2023.


Amanda Beland Producer/Director
Amanda Beland is a producer and director for Radio Boston. She also reports for the WBUR newsroom.


Tiziana Dearing Host, Radio Boston
Tiziana Dearing is the host of Radio Boston.



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