Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Alere to Open in Brookline Village

[Ed note: This article was updated on June 27 to reflect a correction to the name of the place. Thanks to Eater Boston for bringing this to our attention.]

It looks like a new restaurant is on its way to Brookline Village, and it will apparently be one of the largest eateries in the neighborhood.

Last night a license was issued for Alere (update--name was formerly thought to have been Green Bistro--see above)  to open on Washington Street in the heart of the village, about a block north of the Route 9 intersection and just south of the Harvard Street fork. The new dining spot plans to have seating for 189 and will be a multi-story space, with seating on three floors plus a function room on the second floor, a takeout counter on the first floor, and a market area in the basement. It is not yet known what type of cuisine Alere will offer; as soon as we find out more about the place, we will post an update here.

[February 29 update: The Brookline TAB reports that Alere is going to be a farm-to-table spot that will offer American-style dishes using ingredients from local farms. The article also mentions that the restaurant is looking to serve breakfast, lunch, and dinner, with a price range of $7.00 to $22.75.]

Alere plans to open its doors sometime in the fall.

The address for this upcoming restaurant in Brookline Village will be: Alere, 202 Washington Street, Brookline, MA, 02445.

Some of the above information comes from a Selectmen's Meeting page within the Town of Brookline website, with the link being at http://www.brooklinema.gov/thyme/event_view.php?eid=3439&instance=2012-2-28

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Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Barrio (A Cuban Pop-Up Restaurant) Is Coming to Boston

The person behind an ice cream and dessert cafe in Brighton--and a soul food pop-up restaurant this month--is getting ready to set up a new pop-up dining spot, with this one focusing on Cuban cuisine.

According to Eater Boston, Wheeler del Torro of 3 Scoops is going to bring Barrio to an unspecified location on Thursday, March 8 starting at 8:30 PM, with the pop-up being "a celebration of Afro Cuban street food" that "draws on inspiration from the hues, spices, and flavors of the barrios of Cuba." Unlike his previous ventures (including Dining in the Dark), Barrio will be open to the public rather than being limited to folks on Wheeler's mailing list.

Wheeler del Torro is also the person behind Fillet of Soul, a pop-up restaurant for February that focused on healthy takes on soul food.

For more information on Barrio, please go to the Eater Boston link below.

Announcing Barrio, Wheeler del Toro's New Pop-up

[Earlier Article]
Fillet of Soul Pop-Up Restaurant Coming to Brighton

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A Massive Walgreens (Complete with Sushi Stations and Juice Bars) Is Opening in Boston's Downtown Crossing

A new branch of the Walgreens pharmacy is on its way to Boston's Downtown Crossing, but this won't be just any Walgreens, as this one will have options for the type of food and drink that you would probably not expect to find in a drug store.

According to The Boston Globe, the Illinois-based drugstore chain is looking to open a massive 24,000-square-foot store at the corner of School Street and Washington Street (in the former Borders books space) that will include sushi stations with chefs and juice bars that offer smoothies, along with sections where customers can purchase fruits, vegetables, and freshly-made sandwiches and salads. The article states that the Downtown Crossing store will be modeled after new shops in New York City and Chicago, and it will, according to the Globe, "highlight the architectural details of the historic Downtown Crossing space." Hours have not yet been set for the new Walgreens, which plans to open this fall, but the Chicago store is open from 6:30 AM to midnight during the week, according to the article.

[May 1 update: The Boston Hospitality and Tourism Industry Blog is reporting (via The Boston Herald) that the new Walgreens in Downtown Crossing opens today.]

The address for this new Walgreens in Downtown Crossing is 24 School Street, Boston, MA, 02108.

For more on this story, please go to the Boston Globe link below.

Walgreens plans large Downtown Crossing store

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Spoke Wine Bar Is Opening in Somerville's Davis Square

A new wine bar is going to be opening in the Davis Square section of Somerville, and one of the people behind it also happens to own a well-known specialty food shop next door.

According to the Boston Business Journal, a wine bar is being planned for the space on Holland Street where the clothing store Black and Blues had been. The article mentions that the folks looking to open the new spot are the owner of Dave's Fresh Pasta, which is adjacent to the space, and the shop's wine buyer. Small plates such as tapas, cheese, and salads will be offered at the wine bar along with wine, beer, and cocktails, according to the article.

It looks like construction on the place could start within the next month, with a possible opening during the summer.

[August 2 update: It looks like the new place from Dave's Fresh Pasta will be called "Spoke Wine Bar," based on an email address within a job post on the BostonChefs.com site for a "new Davis Square small plates restaurant/wine bar." We'll try to confirm this over the coming days. (Thanks to a poster on the Chowhound site for bringing this to our attention.)]

[March 7, 2013 update: Grub Street Boston says that Spoke wine bar appears to be "very close to opening," as the place is currently waiting for inspections to go through.]

[March 29, 2013 update: UrbanDaddy mentions that Spoke Wine Bar opens tonight.]

The address for this new wine bar in Davis Square is: Spoke Wine Bar, 89 Holland Street, Somerville, MA, 02144.

For more information on this story, please go to the Boston Business Journal link below.

Wine bar coming to Davis Square, after long wait

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Bova's Corner Sandwich Shop in Randolph Is Reopening

If a sign on one of its windows is any indication, it appears that a now-closed sandwich shop in Randolph that is affiliated with a bakery in Boston's North End is getting ready to open once again.

A photo sent to us by CheckMark2015 via the Hiddenboston Twitter page shows that Bova's Corner Sandwich Shop on Center Street is apparently planning a "grand reopening" on Monday, March 5, more than two years after the place shuttered. The sandwich shop had been a branch of Bova's Bakery on Salem Street in the North End, a landmark spot that has been around since the early 1930s. It is not yet known whether the latest configuration of the Randolph location of Bova's will be similar to the original place, but if so, expect such items as subs, pizzas, and calzones.

[March 5 update: A photo sent to us by CheckMark2015 indicates that Bova's Corner Sandwich Shop is now open once again in Randolph.]

The address for this eatery in Randolph is: Bova's Corner Sandwich Shop, 334 Center Street, Randolph, MA, 02368.

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Monday, February 27, 2012

The Chocolate Tarte in Somerville Closes Their Retail Space

A bakery and chocolate shop has closed its doors in Somerville, but folks will still be able to purchase their goods via the wholesale route.

According to Eater Boston, The Chocolate Tarte has decided to shut down the retail end of their operation on Highland Avenue, instead running the business out of a private commercial kitchen where it will produce such goods as cupcakes, truffles, wedding cakes, and more to be sold in area shops. The Facebook page of The Chocolate Tarte states that people will still be able to order goods by phone for delivery and/or pickup.

The address for the now-closed retail operation of The Chocolate Tarte was 199 Highland Avenue, Somerville, MA, 02143. Their Facebook page, which remains up, can be found at http://www.facebook.com/pages/the-chocolate-tarte/72918829176

For more on the this story, please go to the Eater Boston link below.

The Chocolate Tarte in Somerville Has Closed

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Lincoln May Get Three Liquor Licenses

A mostly rural northwest suburb of Boston that is basically dry might be a little less dry soon, depending on what voters have to say about the matter.

According to the Lincoln Journal and Wicked Local, the town of Lincoln is considering having three liquor licenses issued, which, if approved by voters, would go to a restaurant (AKA Bistro), a market (Donelan's), and a residential community (The Groves). AKA Bistro is currently able to serve beer and wine, but this license would allow them to sell liquor, while the license for Donelan's would allow the market to carry beer and wine. As for The Groves, the license would let the residential complex serve alcohol at various events that are held there.

The article mentions that if voters ok the issuance of liquor licenses on March 26 (and the Massachusetts Alcoholic Beverage Control Commission subsequently approves it), it would be the first time in approximately 250 years that folks could buy a bottle of beer or wine in a store in Lincoln.

For more information on this story, please go to the Lincoln Journal/Wicked Local link below.

Lincoln voters to consider three liquor licenses

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Highlights for the Week Ending February 24, 2012

Several stories and articles centering on the Boston-area restaurant scene came out over the past week, including a pop-up bar coming to a Jamaica Plain restaurant, a local group of ice cream cafes introducing a new line of ice cream with an interesting ingredient, and a burger restaurant in Somerville opening a new location in Boston's Back Bay. In addition, our sister site (Boston's Hidden Restaurants) hosted chats with Dave Andelman of The Phantom Gourmet and Jasper White of Summer Shack, posted a blog entry on Pinterest, and put up a photo of a chocolate treat from a shop in Quincy.

Below are links to these and other items from the past week:

Boston Restaurant Talk

Moon Shine (A Pop-Up Bar) Is Coming to Bella Luna in Jamaica Plain

J.P. Licks to Start Selling Hemp-Based Ice Cream

Chefs Cooking for Hope Returns to Boston on March 8, 2012

Floating Rock Restaurant in Cambridge Has Closed

Boston Burger Company to Open New Location in Boston's Back Bay

Boston's Hidden Restaurants

Chat with Dave Andelman on Favorite Restaurants

New Blog Entry: A Pinterest Page for Boston's Hidden Restaurants

Question: Best Corned Beef Hash in the Boston Area?

Chat with Jasper White on Favorite Restaurants

New Photo: Lager Tartaruga (Chocolate Turtle) from Pure Chocolate, Quincy, MA

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Boston's Hidden Restaurants Now Has A Pinterest Page

Our sister site (Boston's Hidden Restaurants) focuses mostly on little-known restaurants in the Boston area, and along with its reviews, there are also hundreds of food and restaurant photos within the site. Because of this, the website now has a page on Pinterest, a social media site that dedicates itself to pictures of all kinds, including food.

The two main sections of the Boston's Hidden Restaurants Pinterest page can be found at the links below:

[Food Photos]
https://pinterest.com/hiddenbostonmh/food-photos/

[Restaurant Photos]
https://pinterest.com/hiddenbostonmh/restaurant-photos/

Because the Boston Restaurant Talk blog is more of a news-based site, relatively few photos are posted to it so we don't expect this blog to join up on Pinterest. But the Boston's Hidden Restaurants site will be putting up a large number of pictures onto Pinterest over the coming weeks and months, so keep checking back on the links above to see some of the new photos that are added.

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Orchard Park Grill in Watertown May Be Closing (Or Sold)

A neighborhood restaurant and bar in Watertown that has been in business for more than 60 years may not be around much longer, as it is temporarily closing for health code violations--and the owner is looking to sell the business.

According to the Watertown TAB and Wicked Local, the Orchard Park Grill on Waverley Avenue is being closed by the Board of Health starting Tuesday, February 28, and it will stay closed through Thursday, March 1. The article also mentions that the person behind the eating and drinking establishment has "had enough," not being able to pay the electricity bill and being brought before the Licensing Board due to failure to show proof of workers compensation insurance. The owner is now looking to sell the business, which he purchased in 2005 (a Watertown Patch page states that the spot has been in existence since 1950).

The Orchard Park Grill has had several health code violations over the past few years, with the first hearing taking place in early 2006.

The address for this restaurant and bar in Watertown is: Orchard Park Grill, 208 Waverley Avenue, Watertown, MA, 02472.

For more information on this story, please go to the Watertown TAB/Wicked Local link below.

Last call for Watertown's Orchard Park Grill?

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The Cannoli Cart May Be Coming to SoWa Open Market This Year

A new mobile food spot may be on its way to the SoWa Open Market in Boston's South End this year, and it looks to feature a popular Italian treat.

This past weekend, the EveryBlock Boston site reported that The Cannoli Cart received a business license to operate at 460 Harrison Avenue, which is the site of the market which features a wide variety of vendors, including food trucks, artists, photographers, florists, and more. The Cannoli Cart would join a number of food vendors, with a few of last year's options including Clover Food Truck, Bon Me, Grillo's Pickles, Staff Meal, Silk Road BBQ, C-Cup Cupcakes, and South End Pita.

At this point in time, very little is known about the planned Cannoli Cart; as soon as we find out more information, we will post an update here.

The address for the SoWa Open Market is 460 Harrison Avenue, Boston, MA, 02118. The website for the market can be found at http://www.sowaopenmarket.com/

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Friday, February 24, 2012

Eddie's Restaurant and Mexican Grill Opens in Wakefield

The explosion of new Mexican restaurants coming to the Boston area continues, with a northern suburb of Boston seeing the opening of a Mexican breakfast and lunch spot a few days ago.

According to the Wakefield Patch, Eddie's Restaurant and Mexican Grill is now open in Wakefield. The article mentions that the new Broadway Street spot features a mix of Mexican and American dishes, including everything from tacos, nachos, burritos, and fajitas to scrambled eggs, French toast, pancakes, and burgers. A children's menu is also offered at Eddie's Restaurant and Mexican Grill, which may eventually get into catering as well, and it might also start opening for dinner at some point.

The address for this just-opened Mexican restaurant in Wakefield is: Eddie's Restaurant and Mexican Grill, 25 Broadway Street, Wakefield, MA, 01880.

For more information on Eddie's Restaurant and Mexican Grill, please go to the Wakefield Patch link below.

New Mexican-American Restaurant Opens in Wakefield

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The Purple Shamrock in Boston Faces an Uncertain Future

A popular Irish pub near Boston's Faneuil Hall that has been around for many years might not be around much longer, if their landlord's planned rent increase is any indication.

According to The Boston Globe, The Purple Shamrock on Union Street faces a potential 60 percent rent increase (their lease expires in September), which the article states "it can't afford." This comes on the heels of the news that TD Bank will be replacing the McDonald's branch which is in the same building (McDonald's will be closing in March, with the bank opening in 2013). The opening of the bank will not affect The Purple Shamrock, but the aforementioned rent increase apparently might.

The Purple Shamrock is one of a number of local places owned by the Glynn Hospitality Group, including The Black Rose in downtown Boston, Clery's in the Back Bay/South End, and Dillon's in the Back Bay.

The address for The Purple Shamrock is: The Purple Shamrock, 1 Union Street, Boston, MA, 02108. Their website can be found at http://www.purpleshamrockboston.com/

For more information on this story, please go to the Boston Globe link below.

For now, bank won't seek to oust Beacon Hill store

Thanks to Eater Boston for bringing this to our attention.

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Moon Shine (A Pop-Up Bar) Is Coming to Bella Luna in Jamaica Plain

Pop-up restaurants have become popular in the Boston area over the past couple of years, but now a pop-up bar is on the way to the area, setting up shop in a Jamaica Plain restaurant for one night only.

According to Grub Street Boston, Moon Shine will be set up on March 13 within Bella Luna on Amory Street (in The Brewery Complex where Sam Adams is), offering whiskey from different regions along with a variety of food, including grilled oysters, an Irish cheeseboard, and short ribs. The pop-up, which will be held from 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM, costs $30 per person with tickets being available at https://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/230490

The address for Bella Luna is 284 Amory Street, Jamaica Plain, MA 02130. Their website can be found at http://www.milkywayjp.com/

For more information on the upcoming Moon Shine pop-up bar, please go to the Grub Street Boston link below.

Bella Luna Does a Pop-Up Whiskey Bar

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The Daily Meal Includes O Ya Among Its 101 Best Restaurants of 2012

A popular food/drink website has just come out with its picks for best restaurants of 2012, with one Boston dining spot making the list.

A list released by The Daily Meal this week shows their picks for the 101 best restaurants in the United States, and the list includes o ya, a high-end Japanese eatery on East Street in Boston's Leather District (just south of South Station), which came in at number 88. Two other New England dining spots made the list--Al Forno in Providence was number 68 and Frank Pepe Pizzeria Napoletana in New Haven was number 49--along with a number of restaurants in New York City. (The Daily Meal's top pick was Le Bernardin in Manhattan.)

For a complete list of restaurants picked by The Daily Meal, please go to the link below.

101 Best Restaurants in America for 2012

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MidEast Kitchen Opens in Quincy

A new Middle Eastern and Mediterranean takeout restaurant has just opened in the downtown section of Quincy.

According to one of our readers--and confirmed by the restaurant's Facebook page--MidEast Kitchen is now open on Hancock Street (near the Quincy Center T station), moving into the space where Over Easy used to be. An earlier Patriot Ledger article mentioned that the person behind the new spot used to run the Cedar Cafe, a Middle Eastern restaurant in Hanover. Based on photos posted on their Facebook page, MidEast Kitchen offers such items as falafel, stuffed grape leaves, shish kebab, tabouleh, hummos, and baba ghannouj.

Hours for MidEast Kitchen are 11:00 AM to 6:00 PM Monday through Saturday (the restaurant is closed on Sundays).

The address for this new takeout spot in Quincy Center is: MidEast Kitchen, 1259 Hancock Street, Quincy, MA, 02169. Their Facebook page can be found at http://www.facebook.com/pages/MidEast-Kitchen/281398015253726

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Thursday, February 23, 2012

A Taste of the South Shore to Be Held in Randolph March 22, 2012

A culinary event that benefits the South Shore YMCA returns to Randolph next month.

An email sent to us by Teak Media Communications indicates that the 16th annual Taste of the South Shore will be held at Lombardo's on Billings Street (just south of the intersection of Route 28 and 128/93/1) on Thursday, March 22 from 6:00 PM to 10:00 PM. As always, a number of local restaurants and food purveyors will be participating, including Abby Park, Alma Nove, Caffe Tosca, Fuji 1546, Jake's Seafood Restaurant, Malai Thai, Restaurant Oro, Scarlet Oak Tavern, Tosca, and many others.

Tickets to this event cost $100, with proceeds being used to help children and families in need on the South Shore.

For more information on the 2012 Taste of the South Shore (including how to purchase tickets), please go to the link below.

http://ssymca.org/give-back/a-taste-of-the-south-shore/

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Orange Corner Cafe Opens in Boston's Back Bay

A new cafe has just opened where the Back Bay of Boston and the South End meet.

According to Adam's Hospitality & Tourism Industry Blog, the Orange Corner Cafe is now open on Mass. Ave. by the Southwest Corridor Park and the Mass. Ave. subway stop (between Huntington Avenue and Columbus Avenue). The article mentions that the new eatery sells an array of breakfast and lunch items, including croissants, bagels, breakfast sandwiches, soups, panini, club sandwiches, and ice cream, along with hot drinks (coffee, hot chocolate). The website of the Orange Corner Cafe indicates that it is open during breakfast, lunch, and dinner hours, with closing time being at 10:00 PM each night.

The address for this new cafe on the edge of Boston's Back Bay is: Orange Corner Cafe, 374 Massachusetts Avenue, Boston, MA, 02115. Their website can be found at http://orangecornercafe.com/

For more information on the opening of the Orange Corner Cafe, please go to the link below.

Orange Corner Cafe now open

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J.P. Licks to Start Selling Hemp-Based Ice Cream

A local group of ice cream cafes is getting ready to introduce a new line of flavors that will include an ingredient that may raise some eyebrows.

According to the Somerville blog of Wicked Local, J.P. Licks is going to be rolling out a line of hemp-based ice cream that will be dairy-free, with the ice cream being introduced in April. Hemp, which is part of the cannabis family (the same family that includes plants used for marijuana), has seeds that are edible and can be used in a variety of ways, including for baking, tea, and (apparently) ice cream.

The Wicked Local article also mentions that a coconut cream-based line of dairy-free ice cream is being introduced by J.P. Licks shortly, as will a soy-based dairy-free line in June. All of the dairy-free ice creams will be vegan, Kosher, gluten-free, vegan, and sweetened with agave and brown rice syrups, according to the blog entry.

J.P. Licks first started out in Jamaica Plain in 1981 and now can be found in JP, the Back Bay, Mission Hill, Harvard Square, Coolidge Corner, Davis Square, West Roxbury, Newton Centre, Wellesley, Dedham, and soon, Beacon Hill. Their website is at http://www.jplicks.com/

For more information on this story, please go to the Somerville Wicked Local blog link below.

JP Licks to introduce hemp-based ice cream in April

Thanks to Universal Hub and Adam's Hospitality and Tourism Industry Blog for bringing this to our attention.

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Chefs Cooking for Hope Returns to Boston on March 8, 2012

A culinary event that helps raise money for cancer research and care returns once again to Boston early next month.

An email sent to us by Dana-Farber indicates that the 2012 Chefs Cooking for Hope is going to be held on Thursday, March 8 from 6:30 PM to 9:00 PM at 125 High Street in Boston's Financial District. The event, which is being hosted by the Friends of Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, will include food from more than 50 restaurants along with beverages from local businesses, and this year, the honorary chef will be Jeremy Sewall of Lineage, Eastern Standard, and Island Creek Oyster Bar.

A few of the dining spots that are participating include Alta Strata, Citizen Public House & Oyster Bar, Harvest, La Morra, Market by Jean-Georges, Ole, Pinkberry, Strega Waterfront, Sushi Teq, Sweet Basil, Zephyr's on the Charles, and more. Wine, beer, and beverages will be offered by Constantine Wine Company, J. Lohr Vineyards and Wines, Mayflower Brewing, Peak Organic Brewing Company, and ZYR Vodka.

Tickets to the 2012 Chefs Cooking for Hope cost $100 each and can be purchased by calling (617) 632-3909, going online at http://www.dana-farber.org/friends-chefs, or purchasing them at the door.

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A Spoonful of Ginger Coming to the Museum of Fine Arts, March 26, 2012

A culinary event that focuses on a popular spice--and raises money for a good cause--returns once again to the Museum of Fine Arts in March.

An email sent to us by Regan Communications indicates that the Eighth Annual Spoonful of Ginger is going to be held at the new Art of the Americas wing at the MFA on Monday, March 26 starting at 6:30 PM. This year, guests will be able to taste ginger-based dishes from such chefs as Jasper White of Summer Shack, Joanne Chang of Flour Bakery and Myers + Chang, Jose Duarte of Taranta, Jacky Robert of Petit Robert Bistro, and Gordon Hamersley of Hamersley's Bistro. The event helps raise money for the Joslin Diabetes Center's Asian American Diabetes Initiative (AADI), whose goal is to enhance the quality of life and health outcomes for Asian Americans who are living with diabetes, as well as working with Joslin to find a cure.

Tickets to the 2012 Spoonful of Ginger cost $250 each and can be ordered by phone at (617) 732-2512 or by email at Kevin.Hudson@joslin.havard.edu.

For more information on this event, please go to the following link:

http://www.joslin.org/giving/joslin-diabetes-center-signature-events.html#ginger

The Museum of Fine Arts is located at 465 Huntington Avenue in Boston.

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Todd English's Kingfish Hall to Remain Open

A Boston seafood restaurant that is owned by a celebrity chef has been the subject of much speculation concerning its status as of late, but now it appears that the rumors about its possible demise can be put to rest, at least for now.

According to Grub Street Boston, Todd English's Kingfish Hall in the Faneuil Hall Marketplace will remain open, with reps of the dining spot stating that "It's off season for Faneuil Hall so we've adjusted our hours accordingly based on the slow season." Over the past few weeks, rumors have been floating around that Kingfish Hall may have closed for good (or was readying to shut down), and we reported last summer that there was talk of the restaurant possibly becoming a Belgian beer bar. In addition, last winter it was mentioned that Kingfish Hall had fallen behind in rent payments, resulting in the possible start of eviction procedures.

More updates may be on the way, so keep checking back for updates, but at this point in time, it appears that Kingfish Hall will not be closing down.

The address for Kingfish Hall is: Kingfish Hall, 188 South Market Building, Faneuil Hall Marketplace, Boston, MA, 02109. The website for the restaurant can be found at: http://www.toddenglish.com/

[Earlier Articles]
Is Todd English's Kingfish Hall Becoming a Belgian Beer Bar?
Todd English May Be Making Changes to Kingfish Hall
Todd English's Kingfish Hall Restaurant in Faneuil Hall Faces Eviction

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Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Upper Crust Pizzeria Closing Its Salem and Beverly Locations

A local chain of pizzerias that has expanded quite a bit over the past few years is getting a bit smaller, as two of its North Shore locations are closing.

According to their Facebook page, Upper Crust Pizzeria is closing in Salem and Beverly, with the Beverly location lasting only about a year (it first opened in January of 2011). A specific reason was not given for their closures on the Facebook page, with the message simply stating that their "Beverly and Salem franchisee has decided to close" and that "If you're looking for a taste of Upper Crust north of Boston, visit us in Lexington and Newburyport, Mass., and Portsmouth, N.H."

Other locations of the Upper Crust chain can be found in Boston, Brookline, Cambridge, Hingham, Plymouth, Waltham, Watertown, Wellesley, and West Roxbury.

The web site for the Upper Crust chain can be found at: http://www.theuppercrustpizzeria.com/

Thanks to one of our emailers for initially bringing this to our attention.

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Changes Coming to 88 Wharf in Milton

It looks like changes are on the way to a Milton restaurant that is one of only a few riverside dining spots in the Boston area.

Grub Street Boston reports that 88 Wharf on Wharf Street in Milton Landing is going to have both their menu and drinks list overhauled, with the folks behind La Morra in Brookline working on the former and the mixologist at Silvertone in downtown Boston working on the latter. 88 Wharf first opened in the summer of 2009, offering mostly New American fare and upscale comfort food and featuring an outdoor patio that overlooks the Neponset River. The restaurant, which is located on the ground floor of a condominium development behind Milton Village, has been featured on our sister site (Boston's Hidden Restaurants), with a link to the review being here:

http://www.hiddenboston.com/88Wharf.html

Grub Street mentions that the changes to 88 Wharf should be in place sometime this spring, and that the changes to the menu will apparently have the restaurant lean at least a bit more toward Italian cuisine.

[March 1 update: A bit more information on changes coming to 88 Wharf--the people who run La Morra are going to change the menu at 88 Wharf so that it will lean more toward inventive American comfort food with Italian and Irish leanings, and the wine list will include an array of options from Italy. The La Morra folks have already begun to partner with 88 Wharf, so changes could be on their way very soon.]

Josh and Jennifer Ziskin, opened La Morra in late 2003. Located at 48 Boylston Street at the foot of Brookline Village, La Morra features traditional northern Italian cuisine, cicchetti (tapas-like small plate portions) and a nightly prezzo fisso (set meal) menu. La Morra is also the name of the town in the Piedmont region where Josh began his training making fresh pasta, pressing wine and hunting for truffles. Celebrating 8 years of exceptional service and cuisine, La Morra has been fortunate to receive rave reviews from the food critics of Boston.

The address for this restaurant in Milton Landing is: 88 Wharf, 88 Wharf Street, Milton, MA, 02186.

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Floating Rock Restaurant in Cambridge Has Closed

It looks like a Cambodian restaurant that recently moved from Revere to Cambridge has decided to close for good.

According to its Facebook page, the Floating Rock Restaurant on Mass. Ave. in Central Square shut its doors last night after being in business for about 10 months in its present location. The Floating Rock, which had previously been located on Shirley Avenue near Revere Beach, featured an array of Cambodian and Southeast Asian dishes, including satay, tiger tear salad, chicken coconut soup, beef stew, curry pork in pickled fish sauce, fried fish with mango, and spicy chili beef.

It is not yet known what might be going into the Floating Rock space.

The address for this now-closed Cambodian restaurant in Central Square was: Floating Rock Restaurant, 485 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, MA, 02139.

Thanks to a poster on the Chowhound site for alerting us of this.

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Tuesday, February 21, 2012

A Liquor License Issued for...a Danvers Toy Store? Not Exactly...

The folks behind a toy store in Danvers are now the proud owners of a liquor license...more or less.

According to the Danvers Herald and Wicked Local, the owners of the Green Elephant Toy Store on Elm Street recently started receiving calls from people wondering why they had been given a liquor license. It turns out that restaurant businessperson John "Jack" Mammola was looking to reopen a now-closed eatery called Natalie's, with the original plan apparently being to move into the space where the toy store currently resides (the Green Elephant Toy Store opened last September). The article mentions that, according to a state representative, a final hearing came up on the restaurant shortly after the toy store opened and the owner "came to the hearing and testified on September 20 that he was going to open Natalie's...at 13 Elm Street. Mr. Mammola never communicated to me that 13 Elm Street was by then a toy store." The rep went on to say that "The liquor license is good for that location and only for Natalie's Incorporated...so the license cannot be transferred to another location or to another person." Mammola subsequently told the Salem Evening News that the planned new home for Natalie's is at 2 High Street.

So what does it all mean? Well, since beer and Elmo dolls don't exactly go hand in hand, the only thing for sure is that the license will not be used at 13 Elm Street for the foreseeable future.

For more information on this story, please go to the Danvers Herald/Wicked Local link below.

License for confusion: Plans for Natalie's Restaurant to return to Danvers on hold

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Boston Burger Company Opening New Location in Boston's Back Bay

A burger restaurant that opened in the Davis Square section of Somerville three years ago is getting ready to expand into the Back Bay of Boston.

According to the Adam's Hospitality & Tourism Industry blog (via Craigslist), the Boston Burger Company is planning to open on Boylston Street, moving into a space just west of the Mass. Ave. intersection near The Fens. The article mentions that the new spot is going to be hiring people for all positions this week, though there does not appear to be a set opening date as of yet.

[February 29 update: The Chowder blog of Boston Magazine reports that the Back Bay location of the Boston Burger Company is looking to open by April (possibly in time for opening day for the Red Sox at nearby Fenway Park), and that it will be mostly identical to the Somerville location, with the addition of frappes being offered.]

[April 11 update: A picture sent to us via Twitter indicates that the new Boston Burger Company on Boylston Street is now open.]

The Boston Burger Company first opened in April of 2009 at 37 Davis Square, taking over the former Antonio's site. The dining spot features 24 different types of burgers as well as chicken wings, chicken sandwiches, and a variety of options for fries.

The address for this new burger spot in Boston's Back Bay is: Boston Burger Company, 1100 Boylston Street, Boston, MA, 02215. The website for the original Boston Burger Company can be found at http://bostonburgerco.com/

For more information on this story, please go to the Adam's Hospitality & Tourism Industry link below.

Boston Burger Company coming to Boston

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Highlights for the Week Ending February 17, 2012

A number of stories and articles focusing on the Boston-area restaurant scene came out over the past week, including a schedule of food truck festivals for 2012, a Portland, Maine-based pizza spot coming to Brookline, and an Australian eatery expanding into East Boston. In addition, our sister site (Boston's Hidden Restaurants) posted a review of a Japanese restaurant in Lexington, a photo of a dessert from a hotel restaurant just north of Boston, and an updated review of a North End eatery.

Below are links to these and other items from the past week:

Boston Restaurant Talk

Just Out: A Schedule of Food Truck Festivals in Massachusetts for 2012

Otto Pizza to Open in Brookline's Coolidge Corner

KO Catering and Pies to Open Restaurant in Former Scup's Space in East Boston

Grub Street's 101 Craziest New Desserts in America Includes a Few Boston-Area Picks

Hops and Scotch to Open in Brookline

Boston's Hidden Restaurants

New Review: Daikanyama in Lexington, MA

New Photo: Lemon Meringue Pie from Winthrop Arms in Winthrop, MA

Question: Who Makes the Best Pizza in New England?

New Blog Review: Gaslight in the South End of Boston, MA

Updated Review: La Summa in the North End of Boston, MA

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Friday, February 17, 2012

A Schedule of Food Truck Festivals in Massachusetts for 2012

The Food Truck Festivals of New England website has just come out with a schedule of festivals in Massachusetts for 2012, and several will be held in the Boston area.

According to the site's schedule page for this year, food truck festivals will be coming to Boston (June 10 at UMass Boston), Charlestown (June 16 at Pier 4), Brighton (July 28 at Artesani Park), Lowell (September 8 at the Tsongas Center), East Boston (September 22 at Suffolk Downs), Hingham (September 29 at the Shipyard), and Framingham (October 6 at Shoppers World). In addition, there will also be festivals at Elm Park in Worcester (July 14) and the Barnstable Fairgrounds in Falmouth (August 25).

Tickets for some of these food truck festivals are on sale now; they can be ordered at the link below.

http://foodtruckfestivalsofne.com/buy-tickets

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Thursday, February 16, 2012

Otto Pizza Is Opening in Brookline's Coolidge Corner

One year after a Portland, Maine-based pizza spot opened a branch in Cambridge's Harvard Square, it now looks like another location will be coming to the area, with this one being in Brookline.

According to The Brookline TAB and Wicked Local, Otto Pizza is planning to open a new outlet on Harvard Street in Coolidge Corner, taking over the space where Friendly's Express used to be until closing last fall. The article mentions that the new eatery will be much like the Portland location, with seating for 60 and a menu that includes pizza with some rather eclectic options for toppings (butternut squash, pulled pork, mango, zucchini, white bean, etc.), salads, and desserts, and possibly beer and wine pending the acquisition of a liquor license.

A May opening is planned for the new Otto Pizza, according to the TAB.

[February 28 update: Otto Pizza has gotten their beer and wine license wine approved tonight, and the restaurant is now looking to open in either late April or early May.]

[May 21 update: According to their Facebook page, Otto Pizza has had to push back their opening just a bit. They will be opening on Wednesday, May 23 at 5:00 PM.]

[May 23 update: A note from Otto Pizza indicates that their planned opening for today has been delayed. As soon as we find out any other information, we will post another update here.]

[May 24 update: Otto Pizza states on their Twitter page that they will be opening tomorrow (Friday, May 25) at 11:00 AM.]

The address for this new pizza restaurant in Coolidge Corner is: Otto Pizza, 289 Harvard Street, Brookline, MA, 02446. The website for Otto can be found at http://www.ottoportland.com/

For more information on the opening of Otto Pizza in Brookline, please go to the link below.

Otto's Pizza coming to Coolidge Corner in Brookline

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Emerald Lounge Is Opening within the New Revere Hotel in Boston's Back Bay

A new bar is coming to the Back Bay of Boston, opening within a soon-to open independent hotel.

According to The Boston Globe and Eater Boston, the Emerald Lounge is going to be opening within the Revere, a new hotel on Stuart Street near Park Plaza and a short distance south of the Boston Common. The Revere will be taking over the former Radisson hotel, while the bar will move into the space where the Theatre Cafe used to be. It appears that the Emerald Lounge will be quite a bit different from the Theatre Cafe, as the Globe article mentions that the Theatre Cafe's "red leather booths and chicken club sandwiches" will be replaced by "industrial light sculptures, DJs, and artisanal cheese plates"

Expect an April opening for both the Emerald Lounge and the Revere hotel.

[April 17 update and CORRECTION: Eater Boston is reporting that the Revere Hotel is opening to the public tomorrow, but the Emerald Lounge may not be opening for another week or two.]

[June 4 update: Thrillist Boston is reporting that the Emerald Lounge will open this Thursday (June 7).]

The address for this new hotel and lounge is 200 Stuart Street, Boston, MA, 02116.

For more information on this story, please go to the Boston Globe and Eater Boston links below.

[Boston Globe]
A major shift for old Radisson

[Eater Boston]
Radisson's Theater Cafe Will Be Revere's Emerald Lounge

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A New Outdoor Cafe May Be Coming to the Fairmont Copley in Boston's Back Bay

It looks like a new outdoor cafe could be on its way to Copley Square in the Back Bay of Boston.

According to the Boston Business Journal, the Fairmont Copley Plaza hotel on St. James Avenue is looking to get approval for a seasonal cafe that would have a capacity of just under 30. The article mentions that plans for the 480-square-foot cafe will be presented to Boston's Public Improvement Commission on Thursday, February 23.

Currently, the Fairmont Copley is going through extensive renovations, including an overhaul of the Oak Room, which is a high-end steakhouse within the hotel.

The address for the proposed cafe (and the hotel) is 138 Saint James Avenue, Boston, MA, 02116. The website for the hotel can be found at http://www.fairmont.com/copleyplaza

For more information on this story, please go to the Boston Business Journal link below.

Copley Plaza proposes outdoor cafe

Thanks to Adam's Hospitality & Tourism Industry Blog for bringing this to our attention.

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Taste of the Nation Coming to Boston April 19, 2012

A tasting event that raises money for the fight against hunger among children returns to Boston this spring.

Share our Strength will be bringing Taste of the Nation Boston to The Hynes Convention Center on Boylston Street in Boston's Back Bay on Thursday, April 19 starting at 7:00 PM (6:00 VIP), and as always, a number of local restaurants will be taking part in the event. More than 70 dining spots, along with 30 wineries, will be at Taste of the Nation this year, and there will also be specialty cocktails, a silent auction and live entertainment. For those who wish to purchase a VIP ticket, guests will be allowed early access to the event, a raw bar, specialty cocktails, a VIP raffle and a separate seating section.

Tickets to the 2012 Taste of the Nation Boston cost $90 in advance ($105 at the door) for general admission and $150 in advance ($165 at the door) for VIP admission. All proceeds go to Share Our Strength, a national nonprofit organization whose goal is to end childhood hunger in the United States.

For more information this event, please go to the following link:

http://strength.org/boston/

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Patron's Mexican Kitchen and Watering Hole Is Replacing Big City in Allston

The folks behind two popular restaurants and a place to play pool in Allston are going to be changing their pool hall into a brand new eatery.

According to the Chowder blog of Boston Magazine, Big City on Brighton Avenue will become Patron's Mexican Kitchen & Watering Hole, a restaurant that will be the "most focused Mexican spot" out of the three restaurants, which includes the Sunset Grill & Tap (which is downstairs from Big City) and the Sunset Cantina. The article states that the new dining spot will offer the same Mexican-American fare that the other two restaurants offer, but it will also feature "Mexican rustic cooking," with such items as stewed ribs with beans, plantains, and chipotle tomato sauce. The menu will also include Latin American fare along with Cajun and Southern-style dishes, according to Chowder.

The article mentions that four of the pool tables from Big City will remain once Patron's Mexican Kitchen & Watering Hole opens, with the bar being redone and two brick fireplaces being added to the space.

Expect Patron's Mexican Kitchen & Watering Hole to be open by April at the latest.

[June 29 update: Eater Boston reports that Patron's Mexican Kitchen & Watering Hole is hoping to open by Labor Day, though it could be open as early as late August.]

[October 25 update: The Boston Globe mentions that Patron's is now open.]

The address for this new restaurant and bar will be: Patron's Mexican Kitchen & Watering Hole, 138 Brighton Avenue, Allston, MA, 02134. The website for all three spot can be found at http://www.allstonsfinest.com/

For more information on this story, please go to the Chowder link below.

Big City to Become 'Patron's Mexican Kitchen and Watering Hole'

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News Elsewhere: Are "Babyccinos" Going to Be the Next Big Trend?

It looks like cafes and coffee spots in a borough of New York are now marketing their coffee drinks to a younger crowd these days--a much younger crowd.

According to The Brooklyn Paper and Zagat, Brooklyn is now in the middle of a "babyccinos" craze, with places serving up drinks for children that have a shot of decaf espresso mixed with frothy steamed milk and foam (and sometimes, a bit of cinnamon). The trend, which apparently started in Australia and caught on in England, seems to be particularly big in the hip and trendy coffee bars and cafes that can be found in such neighborhoods as Fort Greene, Park Slope, and Prospect Heights, including Sit and Wonder, Bittersweet, Cafe Regular, The Tea Lounge, and other spots.

The babyccino craze does not seem to have caught on in the Boston area as of yet.

For more information on the increase in popularity of babyccinos in Brooklyn, please go to the Brooklyn Paper and Zagat links below.

[Brooklyn Paper]
Coffee … for kids! 'Babyccinos' are espresso shots for tots

[Zagat]
Bizarre New Food Trend of the Week: "Babyccinos"

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Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Update: KO Catering and Pies Is Opening KO Pies at the Shipyard in Former Scup's Space in East Boston

[Ed note: This article was edited on June 13 to reflect a name change for the restaurant. Thanks to Eater Boston for this information.]

A rumor that we heard awhile back has come true, as a South Boston takeout spot that features Australian fare is going to opening a second place in East Boston, with this one being a full-service restaurant that takes over the space where an eclectic eatery used to be.

According to Eater Boston, KO Catering and Pies is planning to open a new dining spot--tentatively called KO Pies at the Shipyard --in the former Scup's in the Harbour space within the Boston Harbor Shipyard (the people behind Scup's closed the place last year because of health-related issues). The article mentions that the new restaurant will have a capacity of 30 inside, with room for another 40 on an outdoor patio during the warmer months, and it will feature meat pies as well as sandwiches and local seafood, along with beer and wine.

Expect the new eatery from the KO people to open sometime between mid-April and May.

[June 6 update: KO Pies at the Shipyard is one step closer to opening in East Boston, as EveryBlock Boston has posted that the upcoming spot received a business license earlier this month.]

[June 6 update, part 2: Eater Boston is reporting that KO Pies at the Shipyard is going to soft-open on Tuesday, June 19.]

[July 13 update: A new article from Eater Boston states that KO Pies at the Shipyard is now fully open.]

The address for this new restaurant is 256 Marginal Street (Building 16), East Boston, MA, 02128, in the Jeffries Point section of East Boston (near Piers Park). The original KO Catering and Pies can be found at 87 A Street, South Boston, MA, 02127. Their website is at http://www.kocateringandpies.com/

For more information on this story, please go to the Eater Boston link below.

KO Catering and Pies Announces East Boston Expansion

[Earlier Article]
Owners of Scup's in East Boston No Longer Able to Run the Restaurant

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Fogo de Chao Is Opening at Westin Copley Place in Boston's Back Bay

Two months after first reporting on the possibility of its opening, it has now been confirmed that a Brazilian steakhouse chain is indeed coming to the Back Bay of Boston.

According to Adam's Hospitality & Tourism Industry Blog, Fogo de Chao will be opening at the Westin Copley Place, moving into the space where The Palm had been until closing at the beginning of the year. (The Palm is planning to open at One International Place in the Financial District possibly as early as this fall.) Once Fogo de Chao opens, the churrascaria will feature a salad and sides bar, along with tableside service where diners can choose from such fire-roasted meats as filet mignon, rib eye, sirloin, beef and pork ribs, pork loin, lamb, chicken, and sausage. Drinks (most likely including beer, wine, and spirits) and dessert options will be available as well.

Adam's article mentions that the Brazil-based Fogo de Chao, which currently has 18 branches in the United States, is expected to open either in late August or early September.

[September 18 update: A more recent article from Adam's Hospitality & Tourism Industry Blog indicates (via Westin Copley Place) that Fogo de Chao is now planning to open in early November.]

[October 10 update: The Boston Herald is reporting that Fogo de Chao is going to be opening for dinner on November 2, with lunch starting up on November 5.]

The address for this new Brazilian steakhouse in the Back Bay is: Fogo de Chao, 200 Dartmouth Street, Boston, MA, 02116. The website for the chain can be found at http://www.fogodechao.com/

For more information on this story, please go to Adam's Hospitality & Tourism Industry link below.

Fogo de Chao coming to Westin Copley

[Earlier Articles]
The Palm to Move from Boston's Back Bay to the Financial District
The Palm at the Westin Copley Place in Boston May Be Moving

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Taste of the South End Returns to Boston March 6, 2012

A culinary event that helps raise money for the largest AIDS service organization in New England returns once again to Boston next month.

The Eater Boston site mentions that the AIDS Action Committee (AAC) will be holding the 2012 Taste of the South End on Tuesday, March 6 from 7:00 PM to 9:30 PM at the Cyclorama at the Boston Center for the Arts on Tremont Street. As always, the event will feature food from a number of area restaurants (Artisan Bistro, Coppa, Darryl's Corner Bar & Kitchen, The Gallows, Gaslight, Haley House Cafe, Myers + Chang, Orinoco, Stella, Union Bar and Grill, and many others), along with live cooking demos, a silent auction and raffle, and beer and wine.

Tickets to the 2012 Taste of the South End cost $95 ($150 for VIP admission), with proceeds going to the AAC.

[March 6 update: Taste of the South End (which is tonight) has sold out.]

The Cyclorama at the Boston Center for the Arts is located at 539 Tremont Street in thye South End (between Berkeley Street and Clarendon Street).

For more information on Taste of the South End, please go to the link below.

http://action.aac.org/site/PageServer?pagename=Events_Taste

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Blue Pointe Bistro in Weymouth Has Closed

It looks like a South Shore restaurant that was known for its upscale atmosphere and combination New American/classic American fare has closed its doors.

Several checks of the Blue Pointe Bistro in Weymouth Landing over the past few weeks have indicated that the place is dark and locked up, and now a reader of ours has told us that it is indeed shuttered. A check on their website shows that the site is gone (taken down in late January), and a call placed to the eatery resulted in a fax-like noise after a number of rings.

The Blue Pointe Bistro first opened in early 2007, bringing to this neighborhood on the Braintree/Weymouth line a place to get mostly modern American cuisine in a sleek and trendy setting. The menu featured such items as pork spring rolls, calamari, fried macaroni and cheese, pumpkin ravioli, flank steak, crab cakes, risotto and shrimp pesto.

[February 16 update: According to the Homestead Landing Civic Association website, the Blue Pointe Bistro has indeed closed, with the owners selling the space to "Weymouth people who also own 2 other restaurants." The post states that the space is bring renovated, with the original plan having been for the new dining spot to open earlier this month. As soon as we find out what restaurant will be going into the space and when it might open, we will post another update here. (Thanks to a poster on Chowhound for bringing this to our attention.)]

The address for this now-closed restaurant was: Blue Pointe Bistro, 61 Washington Street (Route 53), Weymouth, MA, 02188.

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Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Higher Ground (a Commercial Rooftop Farm) Is Coming to Boston

The trend toward urban agriculture seems to be accelerating in the Boston area, as it now appears that a commercial rooftop farm is coming to the city.

According to The Boston Herald, Courtney Bissonnette (Toro, Coppa) and John Stoddard are currently looking to set up the city's first farm of its type in Boston, with rooftops being looked at in the Newmarket Square section of the city and in Charlestown. The article mentions that Higher Ground Farm would cover at least one acre of space (with roofs between 40,000 and 80,000 square feet being looked at), and that the farm would be used to grow herbs and vegetables, with the raising of bees, rabbits, and laying hens being possible options as well.

The plan would be for Higher Ground Farm to ultimately sell products from the rooftop to area stores and through subsidized community-supported agricultural programs.

[November 14 update: A post on their Facebook page indicates that Higher Ground Farm will be opening at the Boston Design Center in the Seaport District of South Boston. The rooftop farm, which should be open by next spring, will be 55,000 square feet, making it the second largest roof farm in the world.]

[February 5, 2013 update: Higher Ground has set up a Kickstarter campaign to acquire funding for their "green" roof, with a $20,000 goal set (the deadline is March 3). More information--including a rendering of their rooftop farm--can be found at http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/highergroundfarm/lets-raise-the-roof-farm. Thanks to Susan Holaday of Foodservice East for bringing this to our attention.]

[February 27 update: A check on their Kickstarter page indicates that Higher Ground has reached their funding goal of $20,000.]

[May 2 update: The Boston Globe states that the Higher Ground rooftop farm is hoping to be up and running around the middle of this month.]

For more information on this story, please go to the Boston Herald link below.

Planting seeds for rooftop farming in Hub

Thanks to Eater Boston for bringing this to our attention.

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