Friday, July 30, 2010

June Bug Cafe in Jamaica Plain Has Closed

A neighborhood cafe in the Jamaica Plain section of Boston has closed its doors.

An email sent to us earlier this week indicated that June Bug Cafe on Centre Street shut down due to rent issues, and a check on the Yelp site came up with a post stating that the eatery was evicted from the spot. We are still trying to confirm exactly why June Bug Cafe closed, but it is definitely gone from the space.

June Bug Cafe featured pastries, salads, sandwiches, coffee, bubble tea, and more, with wireless Internet access and a quirky coffee house type of atmosphere. The block of businesses that June Bug was in has seen its share of closings lately, with the upscale comfort food spot Zon's and the combination Italian restaurant/bowling alley Bella Luna/Milky Way Lounge shutting down (Bella Luna and the Milky Way have since moved to the Brewery complex on Amory Street, though there is no more bowling).

The address for this now-closed cafe in Jamaica Plain was: June Bug Cafe, 403 Centre Street, Jamaica Plain, MA, 02130.

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Durgin Park, Summer Shack Make OpenTable's 2010 Diners' Choice Awards List for Most Kid-Friendly Restaurants

A national online restaurant reservations provider has come out with its 2010 Diners' Choice awards for most kid-friendly restaurants, and two Boston-area spots have made the list.

According to an article on the MarketWatch site, Durgin Park at Faneuil Hall Marketplace and Summer Shack's Boston, Cambridge, and Hingham locations were included among the country's 50 best family-friendly dining spots, based on reviews by OpenTable's diners. The list of the 50 winning kid-friendly restaurants comes from more than five million reviews for more than 12,000 restaurants throughout the United States, according to the article.

No other restaurants in New England made the list.

For a complete list of the kid-friendly restaurants chosen by OpenTable's diners, please go to the following MarketWatch link:

OpenTable Announces Winners of 2010 Diners' Choice Awards for Most Kid-Friendly Restaurants

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Lucy Ethiopian Cafe Opens Near Symphony Hall

Boston is now home to another Ethiopian restaurant, with this one being located near Symphony Hall along the western edge of the Back Bay and the South End.

Based on the restaurant's Facebook page, Lucy Ethiopian Cafe opened about two months ago on Mass. Avenue between between Huntington Avenue and St. Botolph Street. The eatery is open seven days a week for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and also features traditional coffee ceremonies in a back room.

Lucy Ethiopian Cafe joins a handful of other Ethiopian restaurants in the Boston area, including Addis Red Sea in the South End and Cambridge, Fasika in Somerville, Habesha in Malden, and Asmara in Cambridge (Asmara is actually an Eritrean restaurant, but Eritrean and Ethiopian cuisines are very similar).

Hours for Lucy Ethiopian Cafe are 8:00 AM to 9:00 PM Sunday through Wednesday, and 8:00 AM to 10:00 PM Thursday through Saturday. The traditional coffee ceremonies are held after 3:00 PM Thursday and Friday, after 12:00 noon on Saturdays, and after 10:00 AM on Sundays.

The address for this new Ethiopian restaurant in Boston is: Lucy Ethiopian Cafe, 334 Massachusetts Avenue, Boston, MA, 02115. The phone number is (617) 536-0415. And the restaurant's Facebook page can be found at: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Lucy-Ethiopian-Cafe/375251434602

Thanks to the founder of the I'm Your Server Not Your Servant blog for bringing this restaurant to our attention.

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Thursday, July 29, 2010

Dinner in the Fields coming to Wilson Farm in Lexington, August 12, 2010

A unique culinary event is coming to a well-known family-run farm in Lexington in August.

Wilson Farm, which is located on Routes 4 and 225 in East Lexington, will be hosting Farm to Fork: Dinner in the Fields on Thursday, August 12, from 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM. Included will be a tour and chat about the use of local produce, followed by a talk on preparing produce at home. A meal will then follow, with a variety of dishes offered, including wine and desserts.

Tickets for the Dinner in the Fields event cost $50 per person. [August 10 update: Dinner in the Fields is sold out.]

Wilson Farm can be found at 10 Pleasant Street (Routes 4/225) in East Lexington, just south of the Mass. Ave. intersection and a short distance north of Route 2. Their phone number is (781) 862-3900; their website can be found at: http://www.wilsonfarm.com/

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Comida Mexican Taqueria Opening in Salem

It looks like a Mexican restaurant will soon be coming to Salem.

According to the restaurant's Facebook and Twitter pages, Comida Mexican Taqueria is looking to open later this summer on Essex Street in the downtown area (between the Peabody Essex Museum and Salem Common). Their Facebook page mentions that Comida will feature such items as burritos, tacos, and tortas, and states that they will be focusing on healthy, locally sourced ingredients, with vegetarian options available on the menu.

[September 1 update: According to the Comida Mexican Taqueria Facebook page, the restaurant is hoping to open on Monday, September 6.]

[September 21 update: Comida is now open for business.]

The address for this new restaurant in Salem is: Comida Mexican Taqueria, 131 Essex Street, Salem, MA, 01970. Their website can be found at: http://www.comidasalem.com/

Thanks to North Shore Dish for initially bringing this to our attention.

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Olde Boston Cafe in the Financial District Closes

A breakfast and lunch spot that opened in Boston's Financial District over the winter has apparently closed its doors.

According to a poster on the Chowhound site, the Olde Boston Cafe has shut down, with the poster mentioning that a new Italian place may be going into the space (we are currently trying to confirm this). A call placed to the Olde Boston Cafe has indicated that their phone is now out of service, confirming what the poster said about its closing.

The Olde Boston Cafe, which opened in February of this year, mostly was a place for the business community around the Post Office Square area, featuring such dishes as French toast, pancakes, omelettes, soups, salads, and sandwiches (including steak and cheese, chicken kabob, roast beef, and a veggie wrap).

The address for this now-closed restaurant in the Financial District was: Olde Boston Cafe, 82 Water Street, Boston, MA, 02109. (This is where a location of Boloco used to be as well.)

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Spun Yogurt in Somerville Has Apparently Closed For Good

A frozen yogurt spot that opened last fall only to temporarily close a few months later has apparently closed for good this time, at least in its Broadway location.

According to posters on Chowhound and Yelp, Spun Yogurt in Powderhouse Square is shuttered and a "For Rent" sign is in the window. A call placed to the frozen yogurt shop at 12:30 today went unanswered, and a check on their Facebook page shows that the page no longer exists.

The address for Spun was: Spun, 860 Broadway Somerville, MA 02144. It is not known at the time if they will be looking to open in another location.

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Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Blue State Coffee Opening Near Boston University

A Providence-based coffee shop with four locations in Rhode Island and Connecticut is getting ready to open a fifth shop, with this one being in Boston.

According to the CityRetail blog and Grub Street Boston, Blue State Coffee is going to be opening its first location in the Boston area. CityRetail mentions that the shop will be located on Commonwealth Avenue, near Boston University and just east of Allston.

Blue State Coffee is a "green" company that features organic, fairly traded coffee, donates a portion of sales to various causes, and operates a zero-waste business, according to their website. Coffees available include several blends as well as hazelnut, French roast, and decaf.

[October 21 update: Blue State Coffee is now open on Comm. Ave. in Boston. Thanks to a poster on Chowhound for letting us know of its opening,]

The address for this new coffee shop in Boston is: Blue State Coffee, 957 Commonwealth Avenue, Boston, MA, 02215. The website for the company is at: http://catalog.bluestatecoffee.com/

For more information on the upcoming opening of Blue State Coffee in Boston, please go to the CityRetail and Grub Street Boston links below.

[CityRetail]
http://cityretail.wordpress.com/2010/07/27/news/

[Grub Street Boston]
http://boston.grubstreet.com/2010/07/blue_state_coffee_sets_up_in_b.html

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2010 Taste of Park Plaza to Be Held August 10

An event supporting the Greater Boston Food Bank is returning to Boston, with a number of local restaurants participating.

According to the event's web page, the second annual Taste of Park Plaza will be held on Tuesday, August 10 at the Boston Park Plaza Hotel and Towers from 5:30 PM to 8:00 PM (there will also be a VIP after-party from 8:00 PM to 9:00 PM). Restaurants and other spots that will be participating include Au Bon Pain, Ben & Jerry's, Davio's, Finale, Fleming's Prime Steakhouse, Maggiano's, McCormick & Schmicks, The Melting Pot, M.J. O'Connors Irish Pub, Pairings, and Smith and Wollensky. (Whiskey Park will be involved with the after-party.)

Tickets to the 2010 Taste of Park Plaza are $50 in advance and $65 at the door. VIP tickets are $75 in advance and $90 at the door.

For more information on the second annual Taste of Park Plaza, please go to the following link:

Taste of Park Plaza

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British Beer Company Opening in Westford

A small local chain of British pubs with eight locations in Massachusetts is about to open its ninth spot, with this one being northwest of Boston.

According to the restaurant's website, the British Beer Company is opening a new restaurant on Route 110 in Westford, in the space where Applebee's had been until closing this past winter. The British Beer Company website mentions that the new Westford location will be opening sometime in August, though a poster on the Boston's Hidden Restaurants Facebook page who lives in the local area states that it could be opening on August 1. [August 13 update: According to their Facebook page, the British Beer Company in Westford is now open.]

The British Beer Company features a mix of pub food and British specialties, with items on the menu including beer-battered onion rings, sliders, meatloaf, beef stew, macaroni and cheese, fish and chips, bangers and mash, shepherd's pie, and pasty pies. Beers such as Newcastle, Guinness, Samuel Smith, Fullers, and Smithwick's are available.

In addition to the upcoming Westford location, the British Beer Company can be found in Cedarville, Falmouth, Framingham, Hyannis, Pembroke, Plymouth, Sandwich, and Walpole.

The address for this new British restaurant and pub coming to Westford will be: British Beer Company, 149 Littleton Road (Route 110), Westford, MA, 01886. The website for the chain can be found at: http://www.britishbeer.com/

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Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Yard House Opening in Boston's Fenway Neighborhood

A casual, upscale restaurant and bar that opened its first New England location in Dedham earlier this year is planning on opening another spot, with this one being within sight of Fenway Park.

According to the Boston Business Journal, the Yard House is looking to move into the spot on Brookline Avenue where the Boston Billiard Club had been. The article mentions that the new restaurant may have a capacity of as many as 500, with both indoor and outdoor seating. And as is the case with the Dedham location, well over 100 beers will be available on tap. Food will be a mix of Asian and American cuisine, with possible dishes being grilled Korean BBQ beef, bernaise sliders, Thai chicken pizza, New Zealand lamb chops, and roasted turkey pot pie.

The Yard House, which opened at Legacy Place in Dedham in March of this year, has locations in 10 states, mostly in the southwestern part of the country. The Boston Business Journal article states that three other Yard House restaurants will be opening soon (a check on the restaurant's website indicates that they will be located in Hallandale Beach, FL, Denver, CO, and San Jose, CA).

The Boston Business Journal mentions that the new Yard House should be opening in the Fenway neighborhood later this year.

[October 22 update: According to The Sacramento Business Journal, the Yard House is planning on opening in the Fenway neighborhood of Boston in April of 2011.]

[January 20, 2012 update: The Yard House is one step closer to opening in the Fenway, as EveryBlock Boston mentions that the restaurant received a business license for the Brookline Avenue space this week.]

[February 29, 2012 update: According to the restaurant chain's website, the new Yard House is going to be opening in Boston's Fenway neighborhood on Sunday, March 11.]

The address for this new restaurant in Boston is: Yard House, 126 Brookline Avenue, Boston, MA, 02215. The website for the restaurant chain is at: http://www.yardhouse.com/

For more information on the opening of The Yard House in Boston, please go to the Boston Business Journal link below.

Yard House inks new lease near Fenway

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Cafe de Boston Is Opening in the Financial District

It looks like a new cafe is going to be opening in the heart of Boston's Financial District, replacing another cafe that closed awhile back.

According to the EveryBlock Boston site, a license has been issued for Cafe de Boston, which is looking to open at 75 Federal Street. This is where a location of Rebecca's Cafe used to be (Rebecca's has six other locations in Boston, one in Cambridge, and three in the suburbs that remain open).

There is no specific information available for Cafe de Boston at this point, though a poster on our Boston's Hidden Restaurants Facebook page mentions that the eatery may be opening in October.

The address for this new cafe in the Financial District is: Cafe de Boston, 75 Federal Street, Boston, MA, 02110. (This is at the corner of Franklin Street, one block west of Post Office Square.)

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Monday, July 26, 2010

Latest Review: East Side Bar and Grille in Cambridge

photo of East Side Bar and Grille, Cambridge, MAThe latest review on the Boston's Hidden Restaurants Web site is for an Italian and American restaurant and bar in East Cambridge called East Side Bar and Grille. Located on Cambridge Street between Inman Square and Lechmere Square, East Side Bar and Grille is one of several little-known local hangouts along this stretch of road in East Cambridge. The dining spot has a bar and dining area in the front, and a dining room up and to the back. The menu at East Side Bar and Grille is a mix of Italian dishes (including pizza and pasta) and American classics/pub grub (burgers, steak tips, turkey tips, and toasted ravioli). To read more about East Side Bar and Grille in East Cambridge, please click on the link above.

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Summer Shack Opens Snack Shack on Georges Island

A well-known chef who is behind several local seafood restaurants has opened another spot, with this one being a snack shack on an island in Boston Harbor.

According to the restaurant group's website, Jasper White's Summer Shack has a new member of the family, namely a snack bar on Georges Island. This is the second Summer Shack snack bar to open in Boston Harbor, as nearby Spectacle Island has been home to one for a couple of years now.

The menu at the Georges Island snack shack includes such items as clam chowder, fish sandwiches, lobster rolls, clam rolls, fried shrimp and scallop baskets, burgers, hot dogs, and chicken sandwiches. Desserts are available, including a strawberry shortcake ice cream bar.

The website says that the snack bar on Georges Island will be open year-around.

The original Summer Shack is located by the Alewife T station in Cambridge, with other locations being in the Back Bay, Hingham, and at the Mohegan Sun casino in Connecticut. The Summer Shack website is at: http://www.summershackrestaurant.com/

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East Side Wings and Grill Opens in Watertown

A dining spot featuring chicken wings and more has just opened in East Watertown. According to the restaurant's website, East Side Wings and Grill is now open on Mt. Auburn Street in the the Coolidge Square neighborhood. Their menu includes such items as wings, sweet potato fries, macaroni and cheese, burgers, steak tips, turkey tips, chicken tenders, and falafel wraps. Desserts include cheesecake bites and fried dough, and a children's menu is available.

A blog entry within the Wicked Local Watertown blog indicates that East Side Wings and Grill is open for lunch and dinner, with hours of operation being from 11:00 AM to 10:00 PM.

The address for this new dining spot in East Watertown is: East Side Wings and Grill, 613 Mt. Auburn Street, Watertown, MA, 02472. The phone number is (617) 393-0333. And the website can be found at: http://www.eastsidewings.com/

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Constantine's Opens in Cohasset

The owner of a trio of restaurants and pubs south of Boston has opened a new dining spot in Cohasset, with this one featuring Mediterranean cuisine.

According to the Cohasset Mariner and Wicked Local, Constantine's opened last month on Route 3A in Cohasset, bringing to this South Shore community a 140-seat restaurant that offers a mix of Greek and Italian dishes. The person behind Constantine's is also behind Jamie's Grille and Pub, which has locations in Braintree, Scituate, and Whitman.

The article mentions that the menu at Constantine's includes such dishes as gyros, moussaka, seared scallops, souvlaki, and grilled pizza.

The address for this new Mediterranean restaurant in Cohasset is: Constantine's, 156 King Street (Route 3A), Cohasset, MA, 02025.

For more information on the opening of Constantine's, please go to the Cohasset Mariner/Wicked Local link below.

Restaurant veteran offers Greek Italian cuisine in Cohasset

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Jo Jo's West in Maynard Becomes Johnny Ray's

A restaurant and bar in Maynard that a former Boston Celtics player opened about a year ago has morphed into a new spot.

According to the restaurant's website, Johnny Ray's has replaced Jo Jo's West, and it looks like the new place is a restaurant, sports bar, and entertainment center. Former Boston Celtics guard Jo Jo White had opened Jo Jo's West early last summer, moving into the space on Route 62 where Christopher's Restaurant and Wine Bar had been. The new spot is owned by Johhny Ray, a native Bostonian and Las Vegas entertainer.

The menu at Johnny Ray's includes such classic American dishes and pub food as chicken wings, clam chowder, Alaskan king crab legs, grilled ribeye steak, blackened chicken breast, hamburgers, hot dogs, and pizza. Entertainment and events include DJ dance parties, Sinatra Sundays, wing night, singles night, and poker night.

The address for this new restaurant and bar in Maynard is: Johnny Ray's Ultimate, 86 Powder Mill Road (Route 62), Maynard, MA, 01754. The phone number is (978) 461-2110. And the website can be found at: http://johnnyraysmaynard.com/

Thanks to moviequill, a follower of our hiddenboston Twitter page, for bringing this to our attention.

[November 17 update: According to My Fox Boston, Johnny Ray's closed earlier this month. A check on the restaurant's website indicates that it may be looking to open in a new location. If/when it does, we will post another update here.]

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Friday, July 23, 2010

Foumami Opens in Boston's Financial District

A quick-casual Asian sandwich bar has opened in the Financial District of Boston, bringing to the area a place to get gourmet sandwiches with Chinese, Japanese, Korean, and other Asian influences.

According to the restaurant's website, Foumami is now open on Franklin Street (by High and Oliver Streets) in the heart of downtown Boston. The eatery serves breakfast and lunch, and customers have the option to dine in or take their orders to go (Foumami also has an outdoor seating area). Catering will be offered at some point in the future, according to their website.

Items on the menu at Foumami include salads such as sesame noodle, five-spice brisket, and wasabi Caesar. Sandwiches include braised pork loin, grilled ribeye steak, curry chicken, and flash-fried tofu. Soups such as wonton, hot and sour, and tomato are available as well. Drinks include cinnamon, ginger, and green teas.

Hours for Foumami are 6:30 AM to 5:30 PM Monday through Friday. (The restaurant is closed on weekends.)

The address for this new Asian sandwich bar is: Foumami, 225 Franklin Street, Boston, MA, 02110. the phone number is (617) 426-8858. And their website can be found at: http://www.foumami.com/

Thanks to the Thrillist site for bringing this to our attention.

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Max Brenner Is Opening in Boston's Back Bay

A small chain of upscale chocolate shops and cafes with locations in the United States, Asia, Australia, and Israel is coming to the Back Bay of Boston.

According to their website, Max Brenner will be opening on Boylston Street, making this the fourth location to open in this country (two are currently open in New York and Philadelphia, with a third opening recently in Las Vegas). Max Brenner is a combination chocolate shop and restaurant that features such items as chocolate pizza, fondue, cookies, waffles, ice cream, shakes, smoothies, and hot chocolate, as well as a variety of breakfast, brunch, lunch, and dinner dishes.

[September 14 update: According to Grub Street Boston, Max Brenner's opening date has been pushed back due to issues with construction. Expect an early 2011 opening.]

[March 31, 2011 update: According to their Twitter page, Max Brenner opens today.]

The address for this chocolate shop and restaurant in the Back Bay of Boston is: Max Brenner, 745 Boylston Street, Boston, MA, 02116. The website for Max Brenner can be found at: http://www.maxbrenner.com/

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Thursday, July 22, 2010

The Chubby Chickpea Opens in Canton

A new quick-food Mediterranean and Middle Eastern dining spot has opened in Canton. According to their Facebook page, The Chubby Chickpea had their grand opening at the end of last month on Washington Street in the center of town, bringing to the area a place to get inexpensive lunches and dinners to go.

The menu at The Chubby Chickpea includes such items as Greek salad, falafel, shawarma, schnitzel, hummus, and eggplant. Prices are cheap, with dishes being well under $10.

Hours at The Chubby Chickpea are 11:00 AM to 9:00 PM seven days a week.

The address for this new restaurant in Canton Center is: The Chubby Chickpea, 588 Washington Street, Canton, MA, 02021. The phone number is (781) 828-6868. And their Facebook page can be found at: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Canton-MA/The-Chubby-Chickpea/133149920036540

Thanks to posters on Chowhound for bringing this to our attention.

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Waxy O'Connor's Opening in Lexington

It looks like an Irish pub is going to be opening in the space in Lexington where an Italian restaurant recently closed.

According to a poster on the Chowhound site, Waxy O'Connor's plans to open on Hartwell Avenue where Palio's Italian Grill was until closing last month (Max Stein's has been in the space before Palio's, and before that, The Hartwell House). This will be the second location of Waxy O'Connor's in the Boston area, as another one can be found at 121 Main Street (Route 140) in Foxboro. Four other locations can be found in Florida and Texas, including ones in Fort Lauderdale, Miami, South Beach, and San Antonio.

Based on the menu at the Foxboro location, the new Waxy O'Connor's in Lexington will likely feature such items as brown bread, chili, fish fingers, sliders, pizza, shepherds pie, corned beef and cabbage, beef stew, bangers and mash, and chicken pot pie.

[December 13 update: According to a poster on Chowhound, Waxy O'Connor's is now open in Lexington.]

The address for this new Irish pub in Lexington is: Waxy O'Connor's, 94 Hartwell Avenue, Lexington, MA, 02421. The website for all of the Waxy O'Connor's restaurants is: http://www.waxys.com/

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Legal Raw Opens at Fan Pier on the Waterfront

The latest addition to the Legal Sea Foods family of restaurants is a new outdoor cafe that just opened at Fan Pier on the Boston waterfront.

According to the Fan Pier, Boston Facebook page, Legal Raw is now open on the waterfront by the Fan Pier Cove Marina and the Boston Harborwalk (on the north side of Northern Avenue and just east of the Joseph Moakley Courthouse). The new eatery features such seafood items as littlenecks, lobster rolls, oysters, and shrimp, and beer and wine (as well as cocktails) are available. For those who would rather not dine on seafood, the Fan Pier page mentions that burgers and fries are also offered at Legal Raw.

Legal Raw is one of a number of dining spots in Boston that are part of the Legal family. Legal Sea Foods can be found at Long Wharf, Park Square, Copley Place, the Prudential Center, and Logan Airport, while Legal Test Kitchen can be found in the Seaport District. Several other Legal Sea Foods are located in the Boston area (including two in Cambridge), and a couple of Legal C Bar restaurants can be found at Logan Airport and in Dedham.

The address for this new outdoor cafe on the Boston waterfront is: Legal Raw, 28 Northern Avenue, Boston, MA, 02210.

[August 19, 26 updates: According to the Legal Sea Foods website, Legal Raw closed on August 22. A Twitter message to us from the restaurant indicates that they are keeping mum on any future plans for this unique "pop-up" style restaurant; if/when we hear about Legal Raw returning, we will post another update.]

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Harrow's Chicken Pies Opening a New Location in Saugus

A restaurant and store in Reading and Medford that features chicken pies is getting ready to open a third location.

According to a video posted on Facebook by the Phantom Gourmet, Harrow's Chicken Pies is going to be opening on Route 1 in Saugus. An article within the Chain Store Age web site has confirmed this as well, mentioning that the new Harrow's will be located in the shopping center where La-Z-Boy, PetSmart, Trader Joe's, and a few other shops are (by the Walnut Street intersection). Based on the Chain Store Age article, it looks like the new Harrow's could be open sometime in August or September.

[October 3 update: According to The Daily Item of Lynn, the new Harrow's Chicken Pies in Saugus is now open. The address is: Harrow's Chicken Pies, 352 Broadway (Route 1), Saugus, MA, 01906.]

Harrow's Chicken Pies first opened on Route 28 in Reading in the 1930s, selling scratch-made chicken pies with slow-cooked white meat chicken (and with or without carrots and potatoes). A second Harrow's opened last fall on Mystic Avenue in Medford.

Thanks to the Phantom Gourmet for initially bringing this to our attention.

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Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Tealuxe in the Back Bay Has Closed

A trio of tea shops with locations in Boston, Cambridge, and Providence, RI, has dwindled down to two (at least temporarily), as the Back Bay location has shut its doors.

According to posters on Chowhound and Yelp, Tealuxe on Newbury Street has closed down. The Chowhound poster states that the Back Bay Sun mentioned a loss of lease, while the Yelp poster indicates the same. (The Yelp poster also says that a sign on the door door mentions they will open in another Newbury Street location next year, but we are still trying to confirm this.)

Tealuxe first started out on Brattle Street in Harvard Square in 1996, opening the now-closed Newbury Street shop three years later. A third Tealuxe eventually opened on Thayer Street near Brown University in Providence.

In addition to offering a variety of teas to customers who visit their stores, Tealuxe also has a wholesale division and sells teas online. Some of the teas sold by Tealuxe include black, green, white, oolong, rooibos, mate, and a number of herbal and flavored teas. Teapots, accessories, and gift sets can also be purchased through Tealuxe.

The address for the now-closed Tealuxe in Boston's Back Bay was: Tealuxe, 108 Newbury Street, Boston, MA, 02116. The website for Tealuxe can be found at: http://www.tealuxe.com/

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On the Lighter Side: Le Whif Allows People to Inhale Chocolate and Coffee

Believe it or not, there is now a way to inhale chocolate and coffee, thanks to company with offices in Boston and Paris.

According to the Le Whif website, ArtScience Labs has created a breathable chocolate that comes out of a small tube. Le Whif, which was created by a Harvard Professor, sprays chocolate in particle sizes that are so small that they become
airborne, though they are too large to go into the lungs (which is a good thing). A press release on the site mentions that Le Whif's chocolate inhaler contains less than one calorie and comes in three flavors (chocolate, mint chocolate, and raspberry chocolate).

A new "whiff" has also been introduced by ArtScience Labs, and it will allow folks to inhale coffee. It appears that this product may be available now, though a search on the Web has indicated that they are more difficult to find right now.

For more information on Le Whif, please go to the Le Whif site at: http://www.lewhif.com/

Thanks to Mo Rocca and his Cooking Channel show Food(ography) for bringing this product to our attention. Information on this show can be found at: http://www.cookingchanneltv.com/foodography/

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Island Creek Oyster Festival Coming to Duxbury, September 11, 2010

An event featuring food, drink, and music is returning to the South Shore town of Duxbury in early September.

According to Island Creek Oyster Foundation website, the Island Creek Oyster Festival will be held on Saturday, September 11, 2010, from 3:00 PM to 11:00 PM on Duxbury Beach. The festival, which is in its fifth year, will have 20 chefs from the Boston area as well as music from two bands and a DJ. In addition to oysters and other food, beer and wine will also be available. There will be a Kids' Zone open from 3:00 to 6:00, which will feature, among other things, an interactive tide pool created by the New England Aquarium in Boston.

Tickets to the Island Creek Oyster Festival are $50 (children under 12 are free), with all of the proceeds going to the Island Creek Oyster Foundation, which helps feed people in malnourished areas via hands-on education. The tickets allow participants admission into the festival, access to live music, and small food items created by the chefs. Drink/oyster tickets are $5, with each ticket being good for six Island Creek Oysters or one beer or wine. V.I.P. tickets are also available for $150, and include unlimited oysters in the V.I.P tent and access to a liquor bar (drink tickets are required).

For more information on the 2010 Island Creek Oyster Festival on Duxbury Beach, please go to the Island Creek Oyster Foundation link below.

http://www.islandcreekfoundation.org/

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Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Spicepepper Garden Opens in Acton

A new Chinese restaurant has opened in Acton, replacing another Chinese dining spot that had closed last year.

Spicepepper Garden is now open on Route 119, a short distance west of the Concord line, moving into the space where Ginger Court used to be. Based on the restaurant's website, Spicepepper Garden focuses on Sichuan cuisine, but also offers dishes found in other regions of China. The menu includes such familiar items as crab rangoon, General Tso's chicken, beef with broccoli, lo mein, and fried rice, but also has lesser-known dishes such as fish with hot chili sauce, double-cooked pork belly, and dry-fried hupi hot green pepper. A sushi menu with a number of options is also available.

Spicepepper Garden is open for lunch and dinner seven days a week.

The address for this new Chinese restaurant in Acton is: Spicepepper Garden, 36 Great Road (Route 119), Acton, MA, 01720. The phone number is (978) 369-8808. And the website can be found at: http://www.spicepeppergarden.com/

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The Ocean Club in Hull Closes; Beachfire Restaurant and Bar Takes Its Place

A restaurant and bar at the southern edge of Nantasket Beach in Hull has closed its doors, with another dining spot and watering hole moving into its space.

According to an article in the Hull Sun/Wicked Local blog, the Beachfire Restaurant & Bar is now open on State Park Road, taking over the spot where The Ocean Club used to be. The Ocean Club had been a seafood restaurant and bar that featured live music, and according to the article, the Beachfire Restaurant & Bar will also have music, though it appears that the bands will be smaller and there won't be any dancing.

The menu at the Beachfire Restaurant & Bar features a mix of seafood and pub grub, including fried calamari, pulled pork nachos, Duxbury oysters, clam chowder, burgers, steak tips, macaroni and cheese, fish and chips, and grilled swordfish.

The address for this new restaurant and bar at Nantasket Beach in Hull is: Beachfire Restaurant & Bar, 42 State Park Road, Hull, MA 02045. The phone number is (781) 925-6488. And the website can be found at: http://www.beachfirehull.com/

For more information on the Beachfire Restaurant & Bar, please go to the Hull Sun/Wicked Local blog link below.

Hull selectmen allow 2 separate all-alcoholic licenses for same location… for now

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Monday, July 19, 2010

Results of Twitter Ice Cream Poll

Another one of our Twitter polls has just wrapped up, with this one centering around the best ice cream in the Boston area. Our previous polls have included a roast beef poll (Nick's Famous Roast Beef in Beverly won), a chicken wing poll (Buff's Pub in Newton), a macaroni and cheese poll (Fat Cat in Quincy), a fried clam poll (JT Farnham's in Essex), an onion ring poll (Mr. Bartley's Burger Cottage in Cambridge), a hot dog poll (Spike's Junkyard Dogs), a pizza poll (Santarpio's in East Boston), a burger poll (Mr. Bartley's Burger Cottage), and a lobster roll poll (Neptune Oysters in the North End). Here are the results of our Twitter ice cream poll:

1) Richardson's, Middleton (16%)
2) Christina's, Cambridge (12%)
3) Bedford Farms, Bedford (8%)
3) J.P. Licks, various locations (8%)
3) Kimball Farm, various locations (8%)
3) Lizzy's, Waltham (8%)

Some other ice cream stands and shops that were picked in the Twitter ice cream poll include Baskin-Robbins (various locations), The Boathouse (South Boston), Cabot's (Newton), CB Scoops (West Medford), Dairy Freeze (Quincy), Hodgie's (Amesbury), MooBella Ice Cream Machine (Boston), Peaceful Meadows (various locations), Pizzi Farm (Waltham), Rancatore's (Lexington), Rota Spring (Sterling), Sundae School (various Cape Cod locations), Toscanini's (Cambridge), Treadwell's (Peabody), Trombetta's Farm (Marlborough), and Truly Yogurt (Wellesley).

Thanks once again to everyone who has voted in our Twitter polls. We will start another poll within the next few days, so keep checking back on our Twitter page at http://twitter.com/hiddenboston.

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Pinkberry Coming to the Derby Street Shoppes in Hingham

A national chain of frozen yogurt shops is getting ready to open on the South Shore, making this its first location to open in New England.

According to a press release sent to us by the company, Pinkberry is planning on opening at the Derby Street Shoppes in Hingham in late August. The release mentions that the new spot will have a sophisticated decor and both indoor and outdoor seating. A variety of frozen yogurts will be offered, including seasonal flavors such as watermelon, chocolate, pomegranate, and mango. Customers will have the options of a cup or a cone (the cone being called the One Handed Pinkberry), and all kind of toppings will be available (fruit, candy, nuts, granola, etc.). Smoothies and fruit parfaits will also be sold at Pinkberry.

[July 21 update: According to Maryanne Keeney Public Relations, Pinkberry will be opening their new shop in Hingham on Friday, August 20.]

The address for this upcoming yogurt store in Hingham will be: Pinkberry, 94 Derby Street, Hingham, MA, 02043. The website for the chain is at: www.pinkberry.com

Pinkberry, which is based in Los Angeles, first started out in 2005 and currently has about 85 stores. At the present time, the closest Pinkberry locations to Boston are in New York City, though the chain's website indicates that several other Pinkberry locations may be coming to New England soon, including one on Newbury Street in the Back Bay as well as three in Connecticut (Fairfield, Greenwich, and New Haven).

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Roast Beast of Boston Opening Between Allston and BU Campus

It looks like a sandwich shop featuring roast beef may be opening near Allston and the Boston University campus. According to a post on the EveryBlock Boston site, Roast Beast of Boston is planning to open on Commonwealth Avenue, just east of where Brighton Avenue splits from it. The post indicates that a license for a restaurant has been issued for Roast Beast of Boston, whose apparent address is the same one that a smoke shop called The Joint currently has.

As soon as we find more information on Roast Beast of Boston (a planned opening date, menu, hours, etc.), we will post an update here.

[March 6, 2011 update: According to several of our posters (and confirmed on Yelp), Roast Beast of Boston is now open for business.]

[April 7, 2011 update: According to Universal Hub, Roast Beef of Boston has been shut down by the Boston Licensing Board because the place does not have a license to serve food. Universal Hub mentions that the board is going to be voting today on the restaurant's request for a common victualer's license, though the people behind Roast Beast of Boston need to meet with the local civic association as well, which they apparently have not yet done. If/when Roast Beast of Boston reopens, we will post another update here.]

[April 8, 2011 update: Universal Hub posted a comment within their article indicating that Roast Beast of Boston has received a common victualer's license, but the eatery will only be able to stay open until 7:00 PM daily. It is possible that the place may be open as early as today, but call ahead to make sure--their phone number is (617) 877-8690.]

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Dalia's Bistro and Wine Bar in Brookline Has Closed; Abbey to Replace It

An upscale restaurant and wine bar in the Washington Square section of Brookline has apparently closed its doors, and it looks like a new dining spot will be opening in its place.

According to posters on both Yelp and Chowhound, Dalia's Bistro & Wine Bar is now closed, and both posters state that a new spot called Abbey will be moving into the Beacon Street space. The Yelp poster indicated that the owner of Dalia's is also involved with the upcoming Abbey, but we are still trying to confirm this.

[August 6 update: According to a Brookline Patch article, the owner of the now-closed Dalia's will indeed be a partner in Abbey. The article mentions that the former manager and chef of the nearby Washington Square Tavern are also behind the opening of the new restaurant. Abbey looks to be an American-style bistro, with a variety of beer, wine, and spirits available, and the Brookline Patch states that the restaurant will have a capacity of 25, with some outdoor seating.]

[September 15 update: According to UrbanDaddy, Abbey will be having a soft opening tomorrow (Thursday, September 16), though BostonTweet states that it may be Friday.]

Dalia's Bistro & Wine Bar first opened its doors about eight years ago, serving a mix of Mediterranean and New American dishes to diners. A few items on their menu included sauteed mussels, duck confit, goat cheese salad with field greens, braised lamb shank, butternut squash risotto, and pan-seared beef tenderloin.

The address for the now-closed Dalia's Bistro & Wine Bar (and upcoming Abbey) is 1657 Beacon Street, Brookline, MA, 02445. (This is about two blocks west of the Washington Street intersection, heading toward Cleveland Circle.)

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Willy's Phillys in Maynard Has Closed

A sub shop in Maynard that has featured Philadelphia-style cheesesteaks since opening about two years ago has closed its doors. According to moviequill, a follower of our hiddenboston Twitter page, Willy's Phillys on Main Street is no longer in business, and a picture that he sent us shows that there is a "For Sale" sign in the window of the space.

Willy's Philly's first opened in the summer of 2008, offering cheesesteaks with shaved steak and cheese whiz to customers, along with a variety of appetizers, salads, subs, and sandwiches. They were open for lunch and dinner seven days a week.

The address for this now-closed cheesesteak place in Maynard was: Willy's Phillys, 45 Main Street, Maynard, MA, 01754.

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Friday, July 16, 2010

Update: Annabelle's Restaurant Opening in the Never-Opened C.F. Donovan's Space in Hyde Park

[Ed. note: This article was updated September 28-29 and December 2.]

A shuttered space in Hyde Park that was supposed to be a second location of a now-closed Dorchester restaurant looks like it will finally be home to a new restaurant and bar after all.

According to The Bulletin newspapers and Universal Hub, a businessperson from Dorchester is eyeing the spot at Hyde Park Avenue in Cleary Square where C.F. Donovan's was supposed to be, with the plan being to open a restaurant and bar. As mentioned in articles here, work began on C.F. Donovan's more than three years ago, but became stalled, with the restaurant never opening. The original location of C.F. Donovan's in the Savin Hill section of Dorchester ended up closing in the fall of 2009 (that space remains empty to this day).

C.F. Donovan's in Dorchester was a popular neighborhood dining spot and watering hole that featured classic American dishes and pub grub such as steak tips, burgers, pizza, baked haddock, and pumpkin ravioli.

For more information on the planned opening of a restaurant and bar where the Hyde Park C.F. Donovan's was supposed to be, please go to the Universal Hub link below.

Hyde Park pub that never opened could finally open under new owner and name

Thanks to The Bulletin newspapers for this story.

[September 28 update: According to a post on the EveryBlock Boston site, the name of the dining spot moving into the space where C.F. Donovan's was supposed to be is Annabelle's Restaurant.]

[September 29 update: According to the dining spot's website (http://www.annabellesrestaurant.com/), Annabelle's will have an atrium, a tavern, and a takeout section, as well as a function room on the second floor. A poster on Chowhound mentions that it may be opening in early November.]

[December 2 update: According to a Chowhound poster (and confirmed by the restaurant's website), Annabelle's Restaurant is now open. The menu looks to be mostly a mix of Italian and traditional American fare, including sandwiches, pumpkin ravioli, chicken and waffles, macaroni and cheese, fish and chips, sausage rigatoni, steak tips, seafood risotto, and pizza. The address for this new restaurant in Hyde Park is: Annabelle's Restaurant, 1300 Hyde Park Avenue, Hyde Park, MA, 02136. The phone number is (617) 910-9254. And the website can be found at: http://www.annabellesrestaurant.com/]

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Food Truck Festival Coming to the South End August 8

Another culinary event is coming to Boston, with this one focusing on food trucks. According to an event page on Facebook, Boston's 1st Annual Food Truck Festival will be held August 8 on Harrison Avenue in the SoWa district of the South End. The event, which is the brainchild of Citysearch Boston and SoWa Sundays, will feature a number of food trucks from the local area.

A list of participants has apparently not been finalized as of yet, but as soon as the list is posted, we will add an update here. [August 1 update: According to the Facebook event page (see link below), the Food Truck Festival will have at least 16 participants, including Boston Frosty, Equal Exchange Coffee Trike, Grillo's Pickles, Roxy's Grilled Cheese, The Sausage Guy, and Speed's Hot dogs. For a complete list of participants, please go to the Facebook link below.]

The Food Truck Festival will go from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM, with its location being where the SoWa Food and Produce Market is held on Sundays (500 Harrison Avenue).

For more information on the Boston's 1st Annual Food Truck Festival, please go to the link below.

http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=131601816851267

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Thursday, July 15, 2010

Boston Restaurant Week (Summer 2010) to Be Held in August

The summer 2010 version of Boston Restaurant Week is coming in August, with the event spanning a two-week period as usual. This summer's restaurant week will start on Sunday, August 15 and last until Friday, August 20, then it will start up again on Sunday, August 22 and end on Friday, August 27.

A number of eateries within the Boston city limits will be participating in this summer's Boston Restaurant Week, and there will also be dining spots from such nearby communities as Arlington, Bedford, Brookline, Cambridge, Dedham, Framingham, Newton, Rockport, Somerville, Swampscott, and Westwood.

Participating restaurants will offer two-course lunches for $15.10 and three-course dinners for $33.10.

A full list of the dining spots participating in the summer 2010 Boston Restaurant week can be found at the link below:

http://www.restaurantweekboston.com/

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O'Fado in Peabody Closes; Top Steak House Opens in Its Space

A Portuguese restaurant in Peabody that closed several years ago, only to reopen a couple of years later, has closed once again and a Brazilian steakhouse has moved into its spot.

O'Fado, a restaurant on Walnut Street that had been replaced by a Greek spot called Akropolis in 2006 (and subsequently took over the space again in 2008), has been replaced by Top Steak House, a casual Brazilian eatery and watering hole that is open for lunch and dinner daily. In addition to an elegant-looking dining area, the restaurant also has a bar section that features live music.

Top Steak House is open from 11:00 AM to 12:30 AM seven days a week.

The address for this new Brazilian steakhouse in Peabody is: Top Steak House, 72 Walnut Street, Peabody, MA, 01960. The phone number is (978) 532-1530. And the website can be found at: http://topsteakbar.com/

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Bloomy Rind Opens in Hingham

A specialty cheese shop has opened in Hingham, and the person behind it is a chef with quite a background.

According to Boston.com, Bloomy Rind is now open on Main Street in the center of this South Shore town, bringing to the area a store that features a variety of cheeses and breads, as well as salads, vegetable plates, sandwiches, pastries, coffee, and more. The article mentions that the owner of Bloomy Rind graduated from the Culinary Institute of America and has worked at the high-end Back Bay restaurant L'Espalier as well as a number of Todd English restaurants.

The boston.com article also states that cooking classes may be offered at Bloomy Rind at some point in the future.

Bloomy Rind is open from 11:00 AM to 6:00 PM Monday through Saturday (it is closed on Sundays).

The address for this new gourmet cheese shop in Hingham is: Bloomy Rind,
21 Main Street, Hingham, MA, 02043. The phone number is (781) 740-1001. And their website can be found at: http://www.bloomyrind.com/

For more information on the opening of Bloomy Rind, please go to the boston.com link below.

No restaurant required for Hingham's newest great chef

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Wednesday, July 14, 2010

MooBella Brings Ice Cream Vending Machines to the Boston Area

A local company has introduced a unique concept to the Boston area; interactive vending machines that allow folks to customize their own ice cream. Taunton-based MooBella now has a number of Ice Creamery machines at various hospitals, colleges, and universities around the region, as well as machines at Logan Airport and the New England Aquarium.

According to the company's website, the three-step process of ordering ice cream through the MooBella vending machines includes picking from 12 different flavors (including mocha, black raspberry, and pistachio), choosing from three mix-in options, and picking either premium or light ice cream. The machine then blends, aerates, and freezes the ingredients (which includes 100% all-natural dairy products).

MooBella was first established in 2001, with the commercial introduction of the Ice Creamery machine coming to New England last year.

On a side note, the MooBella Twitter page mentions that WGBH's Greater Boston show will be featuring the MooBella machine at the New England Aquarium. The show airs at 7:00 PM.

For more information on MooBella's ice cream vending machines coming to the Boston area, please go to their website at: http://www.moobella.com/

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Guacaholics Anonymous Coming to Fenway Cantina July 28, 2010

An event for lovers of a particular type of Mexican food is coming to the Fenway neighborhood of Boston later this month. Guacaholics Anonymous will be held at the Fenway Cantina on Boylston Street on Wednesday, July 28, 2010, from 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM, and it will feature guacamole from several area restaurants, including Anna's Taqueria, Dorado Tacos and Cemitas, El Pelon Taqueria, Fenway Cantina, Ole, Poe's Kitchen, and Zocalo.

The event will be raising money for a few local organizations (Community Servings, Lovin' Spoonful, Share our Strength).

Ticket prices for Guacaholics Anonymous are $10.00 (plus a $1.54 fee), with guests receiving a complimentary Patron Citronge Margarita and a sampling of several different types of guacamole. Tickets can be purchased at http://guacanon.eventbrite.com/

For those on Facebook, more information on the event can be found here: http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=133348646699492

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Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Treat Cupcake Bar Opens in Needham

A new cupcake shop that allows customers to design their own cupcakes has opened in the western suburbs of Boston.

According to both their Facebook page and website, Treat Cupcake Bar is now open in Needham, bringing to the town a unique, "interactive" shop that also offers a standard list of cupcakes (as well as a rotating list and a seasonal list). The new Highland Avenue shop features a three-step process that allows customers to make their own cupcakes: 1) Pick from several types of cupcakes (including vegan and gluten-free); 2) Choose a frosting; 3) Add some treats, such as sprinkles, gummy worms, shredded coconut, Pop Rocks, and white chocolate chips.

Treat Cupcake Bar has a small room that can be used for children's parties and activities, and they also do catering for special events.

The address for this new cupcake shop in Needham, which is open daily from 10:00 AM to 9:00 PM, is: Treat Cupcake Bar, 1450 Highland Avenue, Needham MA, 02494. The phone number is (781) 444-4995. And the website can be found at: http://www.treatcupcakebar.com/

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Liberty Bell Restaurant Opens in Billerica

A group of roast beef and seafood restaurants with several locations around the Boston area has opened a new spot north of the city.

According to the Billerica Minuteman and Wicked Local, the Liberty Bell restaurant is now open on Boston Road in Billerica, making this their fifth location in the region. Liberty Bell, which first started out in South Boston about 35 years ago, features a variety of sandwiches and subs (including roast beef) as well as seafood, pizza, pasta, steak tips, wings, and chicken kabobs. The Billerica location also serves breakfast all day, and has the biggest menu of all the Liberty Bell restaurants, according to the article.

In addition to its original South Boston location and the new restaurant in Billerica, Liberty Bell can also be found in Melrose, Stoneham, and Woburn.

The address for this new dining spot in Billerica is: Liberty Bell, 420 Boston Road, Billerica, MA, 01821.

For more information on the opening of the Liberty Bell restaurant in Billerica, please go to the Billerica Minuteman/Wicked Local link below.

Family-owned restaurant opens to flood of customers

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Monday, July 12, 2010

Latest Review: Milestone in Wellesley, MA

photo of Milestone in Wellesley, MAThe latest review on the Boston's Hidden Restaurants Web site is for Milestone, a Greek, Italian, and Mediterranean restaurant in Wellesley. Located in the heart of Wellesley Square, Milestone resides in the two-room space where Vidalia's Truck Stop used to be. The interior of the restaurant is intimate and slightly exotic, with soft colors and dim lighting. The menu at Milestone leans a bit more toward Greek fare, but also has a number of Italian dishes as well as some Spanish entrees. To read more about Milestone in Wellesley, please click on the link above.

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Rod Dee Is Opening in the Porter Square Section of Cambridge

As a Thai restaurant gets ready to close its doors in the Coolidge Corner section in Brookline word has gotten out that the eatery will apparently be opening in a new location across the river in Cambridge.

According to notes from a Cambridge License Commission General Hearing, Rod Dee is looking to open on Mass. Ave. in Porter Square where the Cambridge Music Center used to be. The general hearing notes mention that the new Rod Dee will have a capacity of 40 and will be open seven days a week from 10:00 AM to 1:00 AM. It also appears that the restaurant might not be serving alcohol, as the license would allow only food and non-alcoholic beverages to be sold. (If this changes, we will post another update here.)

[December 30 update: According to a poster on Chowhound, the new Rod Dee in Porter Square is now open. A call placed to Rod Dee in Brookline has indicated that today is the first day of business for the new Cambridge location.]

The address for this new Thai restaurant in Porter Square is: Rod Dee, 1906 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, MA, 02140.

Thanks to a poster on the Chowhound site for bringing this to our attention.

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News Elsewhere: Wine Vending Machines Come to Pennsylvania

Don't expect them to come to Massachusetts anytime soon, but wine vending machines have become reality a couple of states away from us.

According to the Associated Press, Pennsylvania has become the first state in the country to allow wine kiosks, thanks in part to the state's rather complicated liquor laws. The first two vending machines were introduced within grocery stores, with the possibility of their being placed in approximately 100 other stores depending on how well the machines do.

The process itself is relatively simple; according to the AP, a person picks a bottle of wine via a touch-screen display, swipes his or her driver's license, looks into a surveillance camera, and blows into a breathalyzer. If all goes well, the person is then able to purchase a bottle of wine from the machine.

The AP article mentions that the president of Simple Brands (the company that provides the kiosks) sees the possibility of the wine vending machines coming to other states at some point in the future.

For more information on wine vending machines coming to Pennsylvania, please go to the Associated Press link below (via MSNBC).

Swipe, smile, blow: Pa. has wine vending machines

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