By Cary Shuman
Corey O’Shea is seeing his hard work and years of experience in the hospitality industry paying off as the new executive chef and partner at Lynn’s hottest new restaurant, District 45, on Lewis Street.
The restaurant has been receiving outstanding reviews and it’s already a hot spot for parties, including the well-attended campaign kickoff for Ward 2 candidate Rick Starbard.
O’Shea, 36, is 2000 graduate of St. Mary’s High School. He started in the restaurant industry as a dishwasher at the old Weathervane Restaurant (formerly The Ship) in Lynnfield when he was 17 years old. For the last 14 years, O’Shea has been executive chef at various Boston restaurants. He has also worked at Molly’s in Lynn and at other North shore restaurants.
“I started off dishwashing and I moved my way up and made it the hard way, but I think the right way,” said O’Shea. “I learned a little bit about everything and then the Back Bay Restaurant Group really taught me the management skills. I listened to my chefs, did what they said, opened up my eyes, took in everything, and here I am.”
O’Shea has been greeting family and longtime Lynn friends at the restaurant. The reception in the city has been fantastic.
“It’s been crazy, actually – we’re getting crowds every night and great reviews on Facebook and online,” said O’Shea. “Everything – the brunch, the late night 10 to midnight menu, has just taken off. A lot of local people and their families have been coming in as well as people from surrounding communities – Nahant, Swampscott, Marblehead, Peabody, and Salem.”
What has been the most popular dish so far?
“It’s the blueberry braised beef short rib with basil mashed potatoes and braised greens,” said O’Shea. “It’s selling like crazy.”
O’Shea has fond memories of his days at St. Mary’s. “I loved all my teachers. Carl DiMaiti was the man and did a lot for me. I love the school and I still have a lot of friends from high school.”
Grace Cotter Regan, head of school at St. Mary’s, congratulated O’Shea on his new venture at the restaurant’s grand opening ceremony Monday.
“It’s exciting to see one of our graduates back in Lynn giving back to the community and espousing the values he learned at St. Mary’s,” said Regan. “I congratulate him. It’s awesome.”
O’Shea said District 45 is continuing the momentum started by Blue Ox and Rossetti’s.
“Those restaurants are doing so well because they started it and paved the way. And there wasn’t too much going on over here so we wanted to revitalize the Diamond District area and get it going and there’s been a great response.”