Friday, June 29, 2012

Smashburger Is Coming to the Boston Area

A Denver-based chain of quick-casual burger restaurants is going to be coming to the Boston area.

The Boston Herald is reporting that Smashburger is starting partnerships with six franchise owners across the country, including Robert Savin of Savin Burgers, who is going to be opening a total of 12 new restaurants during the next several years. Other places that will be seeing the opening of Smashburger outlets include Staten Island, NY, Southern New Jersey, Philadelphia, and a number of other areas, including in Canada.

[April 4, 2013 update: According to a poster on the Chowhound site (via a Boston Globe article), one of the  Boston-area locations of Smashburger will be in Natick.]

[November 29, 2013 update: According to an article in The Boston Globe, the new Smashburger in Natick will open on December 11.]

[December 11, 2013 update: A Facebook post from the restaurant indicates that opening day for the Natick location has been moved back one day, to tomorrow (Thursday, December 12).]

Smashburger first started out in 2007, featuring meatball-shaped hamburger patties that are "smashed" on the grill, which helps caramelize the beef and lock in the juices.

The website for Smashburger can be found at http://smashburger.com/



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Thursday, June 28, 2012

Wasabi Restaurant Is Opening in Braintree

Last year, a Japanese restaurant based in the Washington, DC area that features sushi on a conveyor belt opened a location in the MetroWest area of Boston. And now, another outlet will be coming to the area, with this one being south of the city.

According to a post on the Craigslist site, Wasabi is going to be opening at the South Shore Plaza in Braintree, joining another location at the Natick Mall in Natick. Once it opens, the new eatery will be set up with a conveyor belt that allows diners to pick and choose what types of sushi, sashimi, and nigiri they want to eat.

It looks like Wasabi could be open by late July or early August.

[October 1 update: Wasabi is now open in Braintree.]

Wasabi first started out on 17th Street NW in the Farragut Square section of Washington, DC in 2006. Currently, they have two locations open, with one being in Natick and the other being in Tyons Corner in Virginia.

The address for this soon-to-open Japanese restaurant at Braintree's South Shore Plaza is: Wasabi, 250 Granite Street, Braintree, MA, 02184. The website for the Wasabi restaurants can be found at http://www.wasabisushi.com/



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Christina's Fireside Grille in Foxboro Is Closing

A popular function hall southwest of Boston that changed its concept (and name) a couple of years ago is being shut down, though it could reopen once again in the future.

My Fox Boston is reporting that Christina's Fireside Grille in Foxboro is closing on Saturday, June 30, as the owners--radio talk show host Marjorie Clapprood and her husband--are apparently being evicted. The article mentions that the place could reopen under new management, though it is not known if the name would remain the same.

Christina's Fireside Grille first opened in July of 2010, replacing Stoneforge, a restaurant that was under the same ownership. Known in part as a wedding venue, Christina's is reportedly leaving more than a dozen couples without a place to get married due to its abrupt closure.

[August 13 update: The Boston Globe mentions that town selectmen voted in favor of having the all-alcohol restaurant license transferred from the company behind the now-closed Christina's Fireside Grille to the landlord of the building (Nicholas Panagopoulos), who will "pay all outstanding bills for police details plus attorneys fees, and honor deposits for functions and events." The Globe also mentions that Panagopoulos is going to renovate the structure and reopen the place as a steakhouse and function hall.]

The address for this function hall in Foxboro was: Christina's Fireside Grille, 2 Washington Street (Route 1), Foxboro, MA, 02035.



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Lotus Xpress Is Opening in East Somerville

It looks like a new Asian restaurant is on its way to East Somerville.

A post on the East Somerville Main Streets Facebook page indicates that Lotus Xpress will be opening on Broadway, moving into the space where KFC used to be. The website for Lotus Xpress is now up, with their menu showing mostly Taiwanese and Chinese fare, but there are also Thai, Tibetan, Mongolian, and Japanese dishes as well.

It appears that Lotus Xpress could be open by September, according to East Somerville Main Streets.

[December 3 update: An email from one of the owners of Lotus Xpress mentions that the new restaurant should be opening within the next month. In addition, the menu is still being worked on, and it will be a bit different from the menu that we had seen earlier (see above note). Finally, Lotus Xpress will be a quick-casual spot with no table service.]

[February 20, 2013 update: Eater Boston reports that Lotus Xpress is now open.]

The address for this new restaurant in East Somerville is: Lotus Xpress, 167 Broadway, Somerville, MA, 02145.



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Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Island Creek Oyster Bar Included Among TripAdvisor's Top 10 Restaurants in America

A popular travel website that features user reviews of hotels and restaurants around the world has included a Boston dining spot among its top 10 places to eat in America.

According to TripAdvisor's "Travelers' Choice 2012 Restaurants" page, Island Creek Oyster Bar in Kenmore Square is ranked #8 among travelers' favorite restaurants in the United States. A couple of quotes shown with the listing of the Comm. Ave. spot state that diners "Can't say enough about our friendly, knowledgeable waitress. She knew her oysters and she knew her wines." and "Whether just meeting a friend for drinks or going for your anniversary, this is my first choice." No other New England restaurants made the list, and in fact only one other East Coast eatery was included--Le Bernardin in New York, which came in at #1.

Island Creek Oyster Bar is located at 500 Commonwealth Avenue within the Hotel Commonwealth. Its website can be found at http://islandcreekoysterbar.com/

For a complete list of the 10 restaurants that made Trip Advisor's list, please go to the link below:

http://www.tripadvisor.com/TravelersChoice-Restaurants-cRestaurants-g191

Thanks to the Boston Globe for bringing this to our attention.




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Bobby's Burger Palace Is Opening in Burlington

It looks like a small group of burger restaurants from a celebrity chef and Food Network personality will be coming to the Boston area, making this the chain's first location in Massachusetts.

The Boston Herald reports that Bobby's Burger Palace is planning to open this fall at the Burlington Mall in Burlington, with the 72-seat eatery featuring burgers that can be "crunchified" with potato chips as well as red hot sauce, blue cheese, queso sauce, avocado relish, and more. The 3,300-square-foot restaurant will also offer such items as salads, grilled cheese sandwiches, fries, onion rings, milkshakes, and malteds. The new dining spot will move into the first-level space where Eddie Bauer used to be.

[January 11, 2013 update: Eater Boston states that the new Bobby's Burger Palace plans to open in Burlington on Sunday, January 27.]

[January 27, 2013 update: The Facebook page for Bobby's Burger Palace indicates that their Burlington location opens at 5:00 PM today.]

[January 18, 2013 update: A bit more information has been given on the opening of Bobby's Burger Palace in Burlington courtesy of Bullfrog and Baum. To celebrate its first Boston-area opening, the burger restaurant will donate $1 for every burger (including ground turkey burgers and chicken breast sandwiches) that are sold between January 27 and February 3 to People Helping People's Burlington Community Food Pantry, which provides food and other services to folks in the community.]

Bobby's Burger Palace currently has locations at Mohegan Sun in Uncasville, CT, Garden City, NY and Lake Grove, NY, along with a few other spots in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland and Washington, DC. Their website can be found at http://www.bobbysburgerpalace.com/

Thanks to the Boston Business Journal for bringing this to our attention.



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Tuesday, June 26, 2012

47 Pizza + Pasta (Formerly Cafe 47) in Boston's Back Bay Has Closed

A Back Bay restaurant that focused mainly on Italian fare has closed its doors.

According to their Facebook page, 47 Pizza + Pasta (which had previously been called Cafe 47) shut down for good at the end of business hours on June 22. The note mentions that the folks behind the Mass. Ave. eatery have "sold the restaurant to a young couple and they will reopen in the fall under a new name."

47 Pizza + Pasta first opened as Cafe 47 in March of 2009, taking over the space at the corner of Mass. Ave. and Marlborough Street where Despina's Pizza had been.

As soon as we find out more information on what will be moving into the spot vacated by 47 Pizza + Pasta, we will post an update here. (We have been hearing rumors about the upcoming place, but nothing public as of yet.)

The address for this now-closed restaurant in the Back Bay was: 47 Pizza + Pasta, 47 Massachusetts Avenue, Boston, MA 02115.



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Prince Pizzeria to Open New Takeout Location in Saugus

photo of pepperoni pizza from Prince Pizzeria, Saugus, MA[Ed note: This article was updated on September 7 to reflect confirmation of Prince opening a takeout spot.] It looks like a popular pizza restaurant on the southbound side of Route 1 in Saugus is planning on opening a second spot, with this one being more of a quick-service pizza place. A post on their Facebook page indicates that Prince Pizzeria is hoping to open a takeout spot somewhere in the area, with the post beginning with the question, "What do you think of a PRINCE TAKEOUT location on Route 1 NORTHBOUND?" Posts later in the thread show that plans are in their early stages (and that Route 1 North is only a possibility), as Prince is "in the process of looking for a location...nothing for sure yet." If/when the restaurant does find a space for a second location, we will post an update here.

[September 7 update: Prince Pizzeria has confirmed that they will indeed be opening a takeout place, moving into the space on Route 1 northbound where Karl's Sausage Kitchen had been (Karl's has since moved to a new location in Peabody). A note on their Facebook page indicates that the new Prince takeout spot could be open in mid-October.]

[October 19 update: A more recent note on their Facebook page shows that the new Prince takeout spot is planning to open this afternoon. The address for the new spot is 142 Broadway (Route 1 Northbound), which is just north of the Walnut Street intersection.]

Prince Pizzeria has been in business since the early 1960s, featuring a variety of pizzas and pasta dishes as well as soups, salads, sandwiches, and more. A comedy club called "Giggles" is also located on the premises.

The address for the original Prince Pizzeria is 517 Broadway (Route 1) in Saugus. The phone number is (781) 233-9950. And their website can be found at http://www.princepizzeria.com/



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Monday, June 25, 2012

Highlights for the Week Ending June 22, 2012

Several more stories and articles centering on the Boston-area restaurant scene came out over the past week, including an outdoor bar opening along the Boston waterfront, a well-known cupcake bakery expanding, and a BBQ joint looking to move from Chelsea to Boston's Seaport District. In addition, our sister site (Boston's Hidden Restaurants) included a new review of a restaurant in Cambridge, a photo of ravioli from a dining and drinking establishment in Malden, and a closure notification for a waterfront restaurant in Gloucester.

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

Boston Restaurant Talk

The Alley Bar at Rowes Wharf Is Opening on the Boston Waterfront

Kickass Cupcakes in Somerville to Expand into Former Chocolate Tarte Space

Boston Business Journal Comes Up with an Interactive Map of Outdoor Patio Bars in Boston

Gyu-Kaku to Replace Ginza in Brookline

Update: Larry J's House of Q in Chelsea Has Closed; May Move to Boston's Seaport District

Boston's Hidden Restaurants

New Review: City Girl Cafe in Cambridge, MA

Photo: Eggplant Parmigiana from the Salem Wood Cafe in Malden, MA

Closure Notification: The Studio in Gloucester, MA

New Blog Post: Reviews of Manhattan Restaurants

Photo: Ravioli from the Salem Wood Cafe in Malden, MA



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Lovin' Spoonfuls to Raise Funds via Tweet2Beat Hunger Program, June 25-30 2012

A Boston-based non-profit organization that is trying to end hunger in Massachusetts by way of food delivery to crisis centers, soup kitchens, and other similar entities is looking to raise money via Twitter this week.

Starting today (Monday, June 25) and going through Saturday, June 30, Lovin' Spoonfuls is going to be raising funds by having folks use the Twitter hashtag "Tweet2Beat" to donate to the non-profit group. People who are on Twitter can simply post "Tweet2Beat $10 TweetDonate to @LovinFoodRescue" and they will receive a link to donate. Whole Foods Market is also involved, as their location on River Street in Cambridge will match select donations by including their Twitter handle on June 30 (post "Tweet2Beat $10 TweetDonate to @LovinFoodRescue @WholeFoodsRVR").

For more information on Lovin' Spoonfuls, please go to the link below:

http://www.lovinspoonfulsinc.org/

Thanks to Image Unlimited Communications for bringing this to our attention.



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Super Fusion Express in Jamaica Plain to Become a New Wrap Spot

A Jamaica Plain restaurant that is one of a group of four Japanese dining spots in the Boston area is in the process of changing into a new eatery that will apparently feature wraps.

According to a poster on the Chowhound site, Super Fusion Express on Centre Street is going to be reopening as a "healthy wrap place," while a Yelp poster mentions that the upcoming spot will be called "something like 'wrap mi.'" A note on the restaurant's website states that "This location is temporarily closed during renovations. We are creating an exciting New Concept and a New Menu."

Super Fusion Express first opened in JP in April of 2012, being a quick-food version of its restaurants in Brookline, Watertown, and Cambridge. It featured soups, salads, and sushi, as well as some Japanese entrees and specials.

The address for Super Fusion Express (and the upcoming wrap spot) is 779 Centre Street, Jamaica Plain, MA, 02130. The website for all of the Super Fusion restaurants can be found at: http://www.superfusionsushi.com/



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Friday, June 22, 2012

The Alley Bar at Rowes Wharf Is Opening on the Boston Waterfront

A new outdoor bar is opening along the Boston Waterfront.

An email sent by O'Neill and Associates indicates that The Alley Bar at Rowes Wharf officially opens at the Boston Harbor Hotel on Monday (June 25). The new spot, which resides in an alley between Boston Harbor and Atlantic Avenue, includes high-top tables, black wicker bar stools, flat-screen outdoor TVs, and patio heaters, and has a capacity of 60. An array of cocktails are available at The Alley Bar, including drinks named the Alley Cat (Double Cross Vodka, Mint Serrano Simple Syrup, Fresh Lime garnished with Cilantro), Don't Miss the Boat (Gosling's Rum, Earl Grey Tea, Ginger Mint Simple Syrup, Cranberry Shrub, topped with Gosling's Ginger Beer), Chills (Reyka, Solerno, Muddled Cucumber, Lime, Soda, and a dash of bitters), and Scary Thoughts (Corzo Silver, Bacardi 8, Orgeat Almond, Lime Juice, Blueberry Syrup Float). Food is also available, including tortillas, smoked salmon bruschetta, and a grilled ham and boursin cheese sandwich.

The Alley Bar at Rowes Wharf is open Monday through Friday from 4:00 PM to 10:00 PM during the summer months.

The Boston Harbor Hotel (including The Alley Bar) is located on the waterfront near the intersection of Atlantic Avenue and High Street. The hotel's website is at http://www.bhh.com/



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H Mart to Open in Cambridge's Central Square

An Asian supermarket chain that has one location in the Boston area is going to be opening a second store in the region.

The centralsquare.com blog reports that H Mart plans to open a location on Mass. Ave. in Cambridge's Central Square, taking over the space where the Harvest Co-op and Clear Conscience Cafe currently reside. The article mentions that renovations will begin on the 18,000-square-foot space this September, with construction taking about a half year. Once it opens, the new H Mart will join another Boston-area location that is on Old Concord Road in Burlington, a short distance south of Route 128 and the Burlington Mall.

[May 22, 2013 update: Cambridge Day states that H Mart will probably not open in Central Square until the winter because the store and landlord apparently did not let Nstar know it was going to be opening, and the power supplied by the existing infrastructure is not enough for what is needed by H Mart. (Thanks to Eater Boston for bringing this to our attention.)]

[July 9, 2013 update: A page showing the details of tonight's License Commission General Hearing in Cambridge indicates that three eateries are applying for common victualer licenses to operate at the upcoming H Mart in Central Square, including Sapporo Ramen Central, Go Go Curry, and Paris Baguette. (H Mart itself appears to be applying for a common victualer license as well.)]

[November 18 update: Eater Boston mentions that the new H Mart that is coming to Central Square won't be opening until January 2014 at the very earliest, with the Japanese-American in Boston site indicating that the spring of 2014 may be a reasonable estimate, based on construction and the permitting process.]

[April 7, 2014 update: A new article in Eater Boston states (via Chowhound) that the new H Mart in Cambridge is planning to open on April 23.]

The Harvest Co-op grocery store moves across the street to a smaller space, while it appears that Clear Conscience Cafe is closing for good.

The address for the upcoming H Mart in Central Square is 579-581 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge,. MA, 02139. The website for the chain can be found at http://www.hmart.com/

Thanks to Universal Hub for bringing this to our attention.



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Pairings at the Park Plaza Hotel in Boston Has Closed

A hotel restaurant in downtown Boston has closed its doors, though several other dining options remain within the hotel.

Adam's Hospitality & Tourism Industry Blog reports that Pairings at the Park Plaza Hotel is no longer in business, apparently shutting down a bit earlier this month. Pairings first opened in 2009, replacing Bonfire, which was a high-end steakhouse run by celebrity chef and restaurateur Todd English. The eatery featured sharable "snacks" as well as soups, salads, and a few main dishes.

The post mentions that the hotel is serving food in its lobby cafe, while diners can also eat at The Melting Pot, McCormick & Schmicks, MJ O'Connors, Au Bon Pain, Finale, and Ben & Jerry's, all of which are on the premises.

The address for this now-closed restaurant is 50 Park Plaza, Boston, MA, 02116.



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Whim Restaurant Is Returning to Smolak Farms in North Andover

A seasonal "pop-up" restaurant is returning to a farm in North Andover, serving food once a week from some of the best known chefs in New England.

An email from Image Unlimited Communications indicates that Smolak Farms will be the site of Whim, an outdoor restaurant that will be hosting three-course prix fixe dinners every Wednesday evening from July 11 through August 29. Chefs who are coming to Whim include Will Gilson (of the upcoming Bridgestreet in Cambridge's Inman Square), Andy Husbands (Tremont 647 in Boston's South End), Vittorio Ettore (Bistro 5 in West Medford), Suzi Maitland (Trina's Starlight Lounge in Somerville), Richard Morin (Lineage in Brookline), Mary Dumont (Harvest in Cambridge's Harvard Square), Joe Faro (Tuscan Kitchen in Salem, NH), and Chris Coombs (Deuxave and dbar in Boston's Back Bay and Dorchester).

Dinners at Whim, which start at 7:30 PM every Wednesday, cost $65 per person (plus drinks and gratuity). For more information, please go to the link below:

http://www.smolakfarms.com/whim



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Kickass Cupcakes in Somerville to Expand into Former Chocolate Tarte Space

A cupcake bakery that resides on the eastern edge of Somerville's Davis Square is going to be expanding into a second spot just up the road.

Eater Boston is reporting that Kickass Cupcakes on Highland Avenue is going to be moving into the former Chocolate Tarte space, which is also on Highland, about a half mile east of the original shop. The article mentions that the the bakery part of Kickass Cupcakes will move into the new spot, with the retail store remaining where it is (and also incorporating their currently adjacent Dairy Bar into the original space).

It appears that the second location of Kickass Cupcakes could be open by next week.

The address for the new location is 199 Highland Avenue, Somerville, MA, 02143. Their original location is at 378 Highland Avenue.

[Earlier Article]
The Chocolate Tarte in Somerville Closes Their Retail Space



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New Landing in Waltham Has Closed

A restaurant and bar located in the heart of Waltham's "restaurant row" has closed its doors.

According to their Facebook page, the New Landing on Moody Street shut down this week, with a note posted on Wednesday saying "Thank you for all the love." (It appears that their closing date may have been Wednesday.) The dining and drinking spot featured mostly pub grub and American fare, with their menu including such items as wings, quesadillas, pizzettes, sandwiches, burgers steak tips, BBQ ribs, fish and chips, chicken pot pie, macaroni and cheese, and American chop suey.

The address for this now-closed restaurant in Waltham was: New Landing, 313 Moody Street, Waltham, MA, 02453.

[August 3 update: The Boston Globe is reporting that The Waltham Islamic Society has bought the former New Landing space and plans to open a mosque at the site.]



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Thursday, June 21, 2012

Food Truck for Dogs to Launch at SoWa Open Market in Boston, July 1, 2012

A different kind of food truck is on the way to Boston, with this one being of interest to our four-legged friends.

On Sunday, July 1, Chef Michael’s will be debuting a food truck for dogs at the SoWa Open Market on Harrison Avenue in the South End. The truck, which will be set up from 11:00 AM to 1:00 PM, will offer "lunch" to people's pets, and food will be available for dog owners as well. Pet-inspired activities will also take place at the food truck, and samples of new Chef Michael's "Carvery Creations" will be offered. Information about the "Chef Michael’s Sweepstakes" from Food Network Magazine will be available as well.

More information on Chef Michael's can be found on their Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/foodfordogs

The SoWa Open Market website is at http://www.sowaopenmarket.com/



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Wednesday, June 20, 2012

b.good Family BBQ for Sidewalk Sam to Be Held June 24, 2012

A local chain of restaurants is bringing back a charity BBQ this weekend in the SoWa section of Boston's South End, with proceeds once again helping a foundation that is involved with the arts.

On Sunday, June 24, b.good will be hosting their 9th annual family BBQ at 500 Harrison Avenue from 1:00 PM to 6:00 PM, with food, beer, music, and art included in the festivities. New this year is an Iron-Chef style burger battle that will have b.good workers competing against each other.

Tickets for this year's event are $18 for adults (children get in for free), with tickets including burgers, chicken, veggie burgers, corn, salads, shakes, ice cream, one beer, live music, and live sidewalk art. All money raised will help Sidewalk Sam and his Newton-based foundation, ArtStreet, which helps make the arts a part of daily life in Boston and beyond.

For more information on the 9th annual family BBQ from b.good, please go to http://bgoodfamilybbq.eventbrite.com/

The website for ArtStreet can be found at http://www.sidewalksam.com/



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Namaste to Open in Cambridge

A new restaurant is coming to a section of Cambridge that has relatively few dining spots, and it looks like it may be focusing on Indian fare.

Notes from a License Commission General Hearing that took place this week indicate that Namaste is planning to open on River Street near the western edge of Cambridgeport (between Central Square and the Charles River), with the name coming from a word that is used as a greeting or salute in India. Based on the restaurant group/company mentioned in the meeting notes, it appears that Namaste may be connected with a hospitality group based in India, though we are still trying to confirm this.

Namaste is hoping to have a capacity of 74 inside the restaurant, with seating for 15 more in a seasonal outdoor patio. The dining spot plans to be open for lunch and dinner Tuesday through Sunday.

The address for this upcoming restaurant in Cambridge is: Namaste, 277 Western Avenue, Cambridge, MA, 02139.



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Forever Yogurt Is Coming to Boston, Cambridge, and Brookline

A Chicago-based group of frozen yogurt shops is going to be expanding into the Boston area, opening at least six locations in Boston, Brookline, and Cambridge.

Eater Boston is reporting that Forever Yogurt is planning to open shops in the North End, South End, Back Bay (two), Brookline's Coolidge Corner, and Cambridge's Harvard Square. The yogurt shop's website also indicates that they will also be looking to expand into a number of others areas around the country, including Connecticut and New York. (Currently Forever Yogurt can only be found in Chicago itself.)

Forever Yogurt features a rotating list of frozen yogurt flavors, with low-fat, nonfat, sugar-free, and dairy-free options available.

The website for Forever Yogurt can be found at http://www.foreveryogurt.com/



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Boston Business Journal Comes Up with an Interactive Map of Outdoor Patio Bars in Boston

The Boston Business Journal has just come out with an article that should interest folks who love to drink (and/or dine) in the great outdoors.

The BBJ post (which was published yesterday) includes an interactive map that shows bars in or near Boston with patios, decks, etc., based on research done that came up with "every record of a license to serve drinks on an outdoor patio." The map shows red pins for all such bars in Boston, Brookline, Cambridge, Quincy and Somerville, with the map including streets as well as T stations.

The writer of the article mentions that he may come up with similar maps for Cape Cod and the Berkshires in time for July 4, so stay tuned....

To see the map (and the article), please go to the BBJ link below:

Every outdoor patio bar in Boston (interactive map)



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Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Gyu-Kaku Is Opening in Former Ginza Space in Brookline

A Japan-based chain of "yakiniku" (grilled meat/BBQ) restaurants that has been expanding into the United States is going to be opening its first New England location in Brookline, with the eatery moving into the space where another Japanese dining spot currently resides.

A job post within the Craigslist site indicates that Gyu-Kaku is planning to open in Brookline, with the Town of Brookline site indicating (via a planning board meeting minutes page) that the new restaurant will apparently take over the Ginza space on Beacon Street near the Boston border. At this point in time, no specific opening date has been given for Gyu-Kaku (and we are trying to find out when Ginza is closing); as soon as we get more information, we will post an update here.

[July 19 update: The Brookline Tab is reporting that Ginza has officially closed.]

[July 26 update: Another article from the Brookline Tab gives some insight as to why Ginza closed. The Tab mentions in the article that the closure was based on a "perfect storm of factors" that included construction in the immediate area, a couple of founders of the restaurant leaving a few years back, and a poor economy.]

[January 17, 2013 update: Gyu-Kaku is one step closer to opening, as the Brookline TAB mentions that it received an entertainment and alcohol license at the town selectmen meeting earlier this week. The article also says that the restaurant will have mini-grills at the tables, with seating for 151 inside and another 40 outside, and it will be open for lunch and dinner daily.]

[February 21, 2013 update: A Twitter thread from yesterday indicates that Gyu-Kaku could be opening in Brookline sometime in the middle of March.]

[April 29, 2013 update: Eater Boston states that Gyu-Kaku has soft-opened in Brookline.]

Gyu-Kaku features an array of items--with the focus being on barbecued beef dishes--including large courses (depending on the restaurant locations) available for 2, 4, 6, and/or 10 people. A few options include seaweed soup, kimchee, maki, gyoza, ramen, bibimbap, short rib, prime rib, lamb, duck, and spicy pork.

Currently, Gyu-Kaku has locations in California, Hawaii, Illinois, and New York, as well as in Canada, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Taiwan, and Singapore.

The address for this new Japanese BBQ restaurant in Brookline is: Gyu-Kaku, 1002 Beacon Street, Brookline, MA, 02446. The website for the chain can be found at http://www.gyu-kaku.com/



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Monday, June 18, 2012

Highlights for the Week Ending June 15, 2012

A few more stories and articles focusing on the Boston-area restaurant scene came out over the past week, including an online restaurant reservations provider including two Boston-area spots among its top kid-friendly picks in the United States, plans in place for new eateries to come to one of Boston's busiest areas, and a new diner moving into the space where another diner had been. In addition, our sister site (Boston's Hidden Restaurants) included an updated review of a Chinese restaurant in Cambridge, a photo of steak tips from a dining and drinking establishment in Quincy, and a blog review of an eatery in Kendall Square that focuses on breakfast.

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

Boston Restaurant Talk

OpenTable's Picks for Best Kid-Friendly Restaurants Include Two Boston-Area Dining Spots

Q's Nuts to Open a Store in Somerville's Davis Square

New Restaurants may Be Coming to Boston's Faneuil Hall

CnDs Barbeque Grille in Wakefield Becomes Pitstop BBQ

Sweet Peach Diner Is Moving into Former Andros Diner Space in Belmont

Boston's Hidden Restaurants

Updated Review: Qingdao Garden in Cambridge, MA

Photo: Pepperoni Pizza from The Ledge in Dorchester, MA

Dive Bar Photo: Touchie's Shamrock Pub in South Boston, MA

New Blog Review: The Friendly Toast in Cambridge, MA

Photo: Steak Tips from Cronin's Publick House in Quincy, MA



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Update: Larry J's House of Q in Chelsea Has Closed; Moving to Boston's Seaport District

[Ed note: This article was edited on June 18 to reflect the fact that Larry J's has closed its Chelsea location. Thanks to Eater Boston for bringing this to our attention.]

It looks like a BBQ joint in Chelsea is planning to move to a new location in a section of Boston that has relatively few "cheap eats" options.

According to their Facebook page, Larry J's House of Q on Broadway has closed down, with a post within the EveryBlock Boston site indicating that the barbecue restaurant now has a business license to operate at 600 D Street, which is just south of Northern Avenue and the Boston Fish Pier in the heart of the Seaport District. Last week the restaurant's Facebook page mentioned that it was "working hard to get a new place [in] Seaport South Boston," and now, with the news of the business license being received, it appears that the barbecue restaurant may now be on track to open there.

[July 10 update: According to their Facebook page, Larry J's House of Q appears to be going through a soft opening right now, as a message yesterday says that "We still have not open[ed] up fully but we are working on it very hard everyday." And "Open tomorrow [today] for lunch and dinner. Stop by and pick up dinner to go."]

Larry J's House of Q first opened in Chelsea in the fall of 2010, offering such items as catfish nuggets, rib tips, chili, macaroni and cheese, pulled pork, brisket, jerk chicken, smoked sausage, ribs, burgers, and turkey legs.

The address for this barbecue restaurant in the Seaport District is: Larry J's House of Q, 600 D Street, Boston, MA, 02210. Their website can be found at http://www.larryjshouseofq.com/



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Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Third Annual Taste of Provincetown to Be Held Saturday, August 25, 2012

A food event is going to be returning to the outer tip of the Cape this summer, and as was the case last year, a well-known Boston chef will be involved with it.

An email sent to us indicates that the Third Annual Taste of Provincetown will be held on Saturday, August 25 at Provincetown Town Hall on Commercial Street, with the event starting at 6:00 PM. A number of local restaurants will be participating this year, and Tiffani Faison, who is behind Sweet Cheeks in the Fenway neighborhood of Boston, will once again be hosting a competition called the QuickFire Challenge at the event

Tickets to Taste of Provincetown are $125.00, with all proceeds going to MassEquality, a grassroots organization that works to achieve full equality for the LGBT community.

For more information on the 2012 Taste of Provincetown, please go to the following link:

http://www.massequality.org/events/taste-provincetown



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Tuesday, June 12, 2012

More Information on Empire, a New Restaurant Opening on the Boston Waterfront

Over the past several months, we have been telling you about a new restaurant and bar coming to the Boston waterfront. More news has recently come out about the place, including the fact that it is going to going to be a rather spacious spot.

Grub Street Boston is reporting that Empire, which plans to open this summer, will consist of nine dining rooms, three rooms with a private bar, a capacity of 350, and 14,000 square feet of space. The article mentions that the restaurant's menu will focus on a variety of Asian dishes, including such items as lobster scallion pancakes, a fish and chips roll, and broiled barley miso chicken.

The group behind Empire (Big Night Entertainment) also runs the Red Lantern in Boston's Back Bay, Gem and The Estate in downtown Boston, Tosca in Hingham, and three spots at Foxwoods Casino in Connecticut.

[June 19 update: UrbanDaddy is reporting that Empire plans to soft-open this weekend.]

[June 29: An article in the Boston Magazine Chowder blog indicates that the official opening for Empire was yesterday.]

The address for this new restaurant and bar on the Boston waterfront is: Empire, One Marina Park Drive, Boston, MA, 02210.

[Earlier Articles]
Shrine on the Boston Waterfront Will Be Called Empire Instead
Shrine (a New Asian Restaurant) to Open Along the Boston Waterfront



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Toro to Open in New York City

A trendy tapas restaurant in the South End of Boston is going to be expanding, though its second location won't be anywhere near Beantown.

Zagat is reporting that the folks behind Toro (Ken Oringer and Jamie Bissonnette) on Washington Street plan to open a new branch of the eatery in the Chelsea section of Manhattan, with a possible fall opening in the works. The post mentions that the new location of the tapas spot will be on 10th Avenue in the same space where the high-end restaurants Del Posto and Colicchio and Sons reside, making this section of Chelsea a mini "restaurant row" of sorts.

Toro is a Barcelona-style tapas place that features both traditional and modern Spanish-style small plates using locally sourced ingredients. Oringer and Bissonnette also run Coppa, a South End enoteca, while Oringer runs Clio, KO Prime, La Verdad, Uni, and Earth (which is in Kennebunkport, ME).

The address for this upcoming tapas restaurant in New York City will be: Toro, 85 10th Avenue, New York, NY, 10011. The website for the Boston location can be found at http://toro-restaurant.com/



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OpenTable's Picks for Best Kid-Friendly Restaurants Include Two Boston-Area Dining Spots

An online restaurant reservations provider has come out with its Diners' Choice awards for best kid-friendly restaurants in the United States, and two Boston-area dining spots (with several locations) are included on the list.

According to MarketWatch, OpenTable's Diners' Choice Awards for the 75 best child- and family-friendly restaurants includes Not Your Average Joe's and Jasper White's Summer Shack, with locations in Acton, Arlington, Beverly, Boston, Needham, and Norwell mentioned for the former, and locations in Boston, Cambridge, and Dedham mentioned for the latter. The only other New England restaurant to be included within the list is Rizzuto's Restaurant and Bar in Westport, CT.

The OpenTable list for best kid-friendly restaurants in America comes from nearly 5 million reviews for more than 15,000 restaurants total.

For a complete list of the kid-friendly places chosen by OpenTable's diners, please go to the MarketWatch link below.

OpenTable Diner Reviews Reveal Top 75 Kid-Friendly Restaurants



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Monday, June 11, 2012

Highlights for the Week Ending June 8, 2012

Several more stories and articles centering on the Boston-area restaurant scene came out over the past week, including a Korean fried chicken place opening in Harvard Square, a landmark butcher shop adding deli counters to its two locations, and a sausage place on Route 1 in Saugus moving to a bigger space. In addition, our sister site (Boston's Hidden Restaurants) included a featured review of an upscale comfort food spot in the Dorchester, a photo of a dessert from a Mediterranean eatery in Marlborough, and an updated photo gallery of Boston-area dive bars.

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

Boston Restaurant Talk

Bon Chon Opens in Cambridge's Harvard Square

Flying Saucer Pizza Company to Open in Salem

Savenor's Introduces Deli Counter to Cambridge Location; Deli Coming to Beacon Hill Soon

Update: The People Behind Ten Tables Plan to Open a New Restaurant in Newton Centre

Karl's Sausage Kitchen in Saugus Is Moving to Peabody

Boston's Hidden Restaurants

New Review: Ashmont Grill in Dorchester, MA

Photo: Tiramisu from Allora Ristorante in Marlborough, MA

Question: Favorite Restaurants in Cambridge, MA

Updated: Boston-Area Dive Bars Photo Gallery

Photo: Fiddleheads from Ashmont Grill in Dorchester, MA



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Q's Nuts Is Opening a Store in Somerville's Davis Square

A Somerville-based company that sells a variety of roasted nuts is going to be opening a store in one of the busiest parts of the city.

The Somerville Patch reports that Q's Nuts will open a storefront at the corner of Willow Avenue and Highland Avenue on the eastern edge of Somerville's Davis Square, moving into the space where Pick and Go Convenience used to be. The article mentions that the store could be open by as early as July, depending on how quickly the husband-and-wife team behind the nut company can get the space ready. Once Q's Nuts does open, expect such items as key lime ginger almonds, Mexican chocolate cashews, cayenne mango pecans, flaming cashews, rosemary sea salted almonds, banana foster pecans, chocolate raspberry almonds, and more.

[August 31 update: Eater Boston is reporting that Q's Nuts will open a week from today (Friday, September 7).]

[September 10 update: A poster on the Chowhound site has confirmed that the retail store for Q's Nuts is now open.]

The Q's Nuts company first started out in 2000.

The address for this nut shop in Davis Square is: Q's Nuts, 349 Highland Avenue, Somerville, MA, 02144. The company's website can be found at http://www.qsnuts.com/

Thanks to Eater Boston for bringing this to our attention.


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New Restaurants may Be Coming to Boston's Faneuil Hall

A struggling marketplace in downtown Boston whose lease was bought by a New York-based real estate firm late last year may have some new restaurants on the way, as part of an improvement plan.

The Boston Globe is reporting that Ashkenazy Acquisition Corp. is looking to bring some dining spots to the second floor of the Quincy Market section of Faneuil Hall, along with small food stores that would open on the first floor where the food court is. The group is also thinking about opening a hotel within the marketplace as well, according to the article.

Faneuil Hall has come upon hard times of late, with much of the second floor of Quincy Market being empty and vacant spaces found on the first floor as well (including where Todd English's Kingfish Hall restaurant used to be). The former lease holders--General Growth Properties Inc.--faced a possible bankruptcy threat for the marketplace back in 2008. (The City of Boston actually owns the property.)



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CnDs Barbeque Grille in Wakefield Becomes Pitstop BBQ

A BBQ spot in Wakefield that was in business for a little more than two years now has a new name (and a brand new menu).

According to their Facebook page, CnDs Barbeque Grille on Vernon Street has been replaced by Pitstop BBQ. A check on their menu indicates that many items from CnDs are still available, including pulled pork, chicken wings, and ribs, with the menu including a variety of BBQ (and non-BBQ items) such as grilled pork tips, fried chicken, stuffed burgers, chicken kebabs, grilled sweet sausage, hot dogs, BBQ chicken, a steak tip salad, macaroni and cheese, baked beans, roasted potatoes, and cornbread. Pitstop BBQ is open for lunch and dinner Tuesday through Sunday.

The now-closed CnDs Barbeque Grille first opened its doors in Wakefield back in January of 2010.

The address for Pitstop BBQ is: Pitstop BBQ, 10 Vernon Street, Wakefield, MA, 01880. Their Facebook page can be found at http://www.facebook.com/pages/Pitstop-BBQ-Wakefield/288339514591673

Thanks to PigTrip BBQ Reviews for bringing this to our attention.



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Sweet Peach Diner Is Moving into Former Andros Diner Space in Belmont

Photo of Sweet Peach Diner, Belmont, MA.A new diner is coming to the western suburbs of Boston, and it will be moving into the spot where another diner had been for more than 30 years. A sign posted on the storefront of the old Andros Diner space indicates that the Sweet Peach Diner is going to be taking over the Trapelo Road spot that is near the Waltham border. A check on their website and Facebook page shows that the new eatery will be open for breakfast and lunch Tuesday through Sunday, with classic diner items such as burgers, hot dogs, and seafood offered, along with Southern-style fare and barbeque. The Sweet Peach Diner had been hoping to open this Wednesday (June 13), but a permit delay is pushing back their opening for a few days.

[June 26 update: According to their Facebook page, the Sweet Peach Diner has had more delays with their opening, as the place has "hit some snags with the permits but are doing what we can to get it all sorted out." More information will be coming from the restaurant next week; as soon as we hear anything, we will post another update here.]

[July 18 update: According to their Facebook page,  the Sweet Peach Diner is now open.]

The Andros Diner closed last spring due to financial issues (including owing taxes and utility costs to the town of Belmont). It had been seized by the state in the summer of 2010 as well, but quickly reopened.

The address for the Sweet Peach Diner is: Sweet Peach Diner, 628 Trapelo Road (Route 60), Belmont, MA, 02478. Their website can be found at http://www.thesweetpeachdiner.com/



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Friday, June 08, 2012

Buona Vita in Arlington to Become Scugnizzi

An Italian restaurant in Arlington will soon have a new name, menu, and concept.

The Arlington Advocate reported this week that Buona Vita on Mass. Ave. in the center of town will be closing at the end of June, with the restaurant reopening on July 5 as Scugnizzi. The post mentions that the new spot will feature Neapolitan-style pizza along with subs and pasta dishes, so prices for meals will generally be lower than that of Buona Vita, whose dishes range from approximately $15 to $30.

[July 5 update: A check on the place confirms that Scugnizzi will indeed be opening today, as a note on the door states that it will be opening at 4:00 PM.]

Buona Vita had formerly been called "La Buona Vita" until closing in 2009 for awhile before reopening with a new chef-owner at the helm.

The address for the soon-to-close Buona Vita (and upcoming Scugnizzi) is 450 Massachusetts Avenue, Arlington, MA, 02474.



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Potbelly Sandwich Shop Is Opening in Downtown Boston

A Chicago-based chain of sub shops that opened its first New England location at Logan Airport this spring is going to be opening another location in Boston, with this one being in the heart of the downtown area.

According to their website, Potbelly Sandwich Shop is planning to open on Washington Street at the northern edge of Downtown Crossing, though no specific opening date has been given as of yet. Once it opens, the downtown outlet of Potbelly will feature "originals," "bigs," and "skinnys," with some of the sandwich options being turkey, ham, roast beef, meatball, chicken, tuna, and mushrooms.

[August 27 update: Grub Street Boston is reporting that the downtown location of Potbelly Sandwich Shop is having a job fair this week, with its opening expected over "the coming weeks."]

[September 5 update: According to a poster on Twitter--and confirmed by the restaurant's Facebook page--the new Potbelly Sandwich Shop in downtown Boston is going to be opening tomorrow (Thursday, September 6).]

There has been talk of other Potbelly locations coming to the Boston area as well, including one opening at Wayside Commons in Burlington at some point.

The address for this new sub shop in downtown Boston is: Potbelly Sandwich Shop, 275 Washington Street, Boston, MA, 02108. The website for the chain can be found at http://www.potbelly.com/

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

[Earlier Article]
Potbelly Sandwich Shop is Coming to Boston



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