Thursday, February 28, 2013

Crush Pizza Is Opening in Downtown Boston

It looks like a pizzeria in Nashua, NH, that features wood-fired pies is going to be expanding to Boston.

A Twitter post sent today indicates that Crush Pizza is going to be opening somewhere in the local area, with one of the restaurant's posts saying "#woodfiredpizza coming to #Boston real soon!" According to their website, Crush takes inspiration in part from the Neapolitan pizzas found in New York City and New Haven (although it is different from those types of pizza, based on the comment posted here), and their wood-burning oven is built in Italy and has the capability of being able to burn at a constant temperature of 1000 degrees. Their menu shows that they also feature "pizza fritte," which is deep-fried pizza stuffed with sausage.

As soon as we find out exactly where Crush Pizza will be opening in Boston, we will post an update here.

[March 1 update: It looks like we know which street Crush Pizza will be on, as a Facebook post shows a "mystery" photo of State Street in the Financial District and a note asking people the name of the road that the new location will be on. They haven't given an exact address yet, so stay tuned for another update soon.]

[March 14 update: Crush Pizza has told us that they will be moving into the former Upper Crust space, which is at 107 State Street.]

[November 13 update: A new Facebook post from Crush Pizza indicates that their Boston location is opening tomorrow (Thursday, November 14).]

The website for Crush can be found at http://www.crushpizza.com/


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Bread and Butter Is Opening in Boston's North End (with More Apparently on the Way)

A new bakery and cafe is planning to open in the North End of Boston, and it could eventually be joined by more locations in the region.

The Boston Phoenix is reporting that Bread & Butter is looking to open on Cross Street, moving into the space where Caffe Graffiti had been, with this being the "first" location of the eatery--though no other details were given on any of the others that might be opening. The NorthEndWaterfront.com site indicates that Bread & Butter will be closer in concept to Joanne Chang's Flour bakery-cafes in the Boston area than an Italian bakery or pastry shop, as the 25-seat spot will be "getting away from the Italian theme."

Brian Lesser (Storyville, Tavern Road, Vine Brook Tavern, and other spots) and Lee Napoli (Chocolee Chocolates) are behind the new cafe, which could be open on or around the time of the Boston Marathon in April.

[May 23 update: Patrick M. of the Server Not Servant blog mentioned earlier today that Bread and Butter will be opening at 7:00 AM tomorrow (Friday, May 24).]

The address for this new bakery-cafe in the North End is: Bread & Butter  64 Cross Street, Boston, MA, 02113.

Thanks to Eater Boston for bringing this to our attention.


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Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Former Trader Joe's President to Open Dorchester Market That Sells Expired Food

The former head of an eclectic grocery store chain is looking to open a market in a Boston neighborhood, and it would apparently be selling "expired" foods to low-income folks.

The Boston Globe is reporting that Doug Rauch, the ex-president of Trader Joe's, is planning to bring a 10,000-square-foot food store to Dorchester as part of his Urban Food Initiative. The article says that the market will be stocked with foods that are near or just past their sell-by dates that may otherwise go to waste, and would include healthy takeout items, packaged vegetables, and milk at low prices. A teaching kitchen may also be part of the store, which will be in a building that is owned by the Codman Square Health Center, according to the Globe.

The article mentions that Massachusetts state law allows for the selling of expired food in stores, though it must be "wholesome" and "aesthetically pleasing," and it has to be marked as expired and in a separate area from products that have not yet reached their sell-by date.

[January 23, 2014 update: Fox News mentions that the new market, which will be called The Daily Table, is planning to open in Dorchester in May. The article also says that in addition to expired food, the grocery store will also sell items that have damaged packaging as well as "repurposed" food.]


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Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Kung Fu Tea Opens in Allston

Last month we reported that a group of Asian tea shops with locations across New York City was planning to open a store in Boston's Chinatown neighborhood. Now we have learned that the Chinatown shop will not be the first to open in the city, as one has actually opened in Allston over the past weekend.

Boston.com is reporting that Kung Fu Tea is now open for business on Harvard Avenue, with a page on the Kung Fu site stating that the new Allston location will feature Kung Fu Bubble Milk Tea/Milk Green Tea, Red Wow Milk, Green Wow Milk, and Passionfruit Green Tea. There is no word on when their Kneeland Street location might open in Chinatown, so keep checking back for updates.

Kung Fu Tea has a number of branches in Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Queens, along with business ventures in Taiwan, Southeast Asia, and China.

The address for this new tea shop in Allston is: Kung Fu Tea, 131 Harvard Avenue, Boston, MA, 02134. Their website is at http://kfteausa.com/

[Earlier Article]
Kung Fu Tea to Open in Chinatown


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Wild Flour (Formerly Cakes Bakery and Cafe) in Milton Has Been Seized by the State

A bakery, cafe, and caterer just south of the Boston line has apparently been seized by the state.

A Twitter post shows that Wild Flour in Milton is now closed, with a "seized" sign on the door. The sign indicates that the place was shut down due to nonpayment of taxes and has been taken over by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. It is not known when (or if) Wild Flour might reopen, or if there is some kind of a payment plan being worked out for the Eliot Street spot; as soon as we find out more, we will post an update here.

[February 27 update: A post on their Facebook page indicates that Wild Flour is hoping "to be able to put together a payment plan" so that they can reopen, though a later note mentions that "so far things are not looking good with the DOR."]

[March 4 update: A new post on their Facebook page indicates that Wild Flour will probably not be able to reopen in their Milton location after being seized by the state, as they say that "at this point it appears that this location will not reopen." They do mention, however, that at some point they hope to look for a new location of their cafe in the Milton area, so stay tuned.]

Wild Flour had previously been called Cakes Bakery and Cafe, which had two other shops in Arlington and Watertown that are no longer in operation. Their website shows that two other Wild Flour locations can be found in Cumberland and Wickford, RI (it isn't yet known whether those have been seized as well).

The address for this now-closed bakery and cafe in Milton is 95 Eliot Street, Milton, MA, 02186. Their website is at http://www.wildflourgroup.com/

Thanks to Eat Boston for bringing this to our attention.


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Taste of the South Shore Returns to Randolph March 28, 2013

A culinary event that helps raise money for the South Shore YMCA is returning to Randolph once again this spring.

On Thursday, March 28, A Taste of the South Shore will be held at Lombardo's on Billings Street (by the intersection of Route 28 and 128/93/1), with the event going from 6:00 PM to 10:00 PM. Local restaurants and food purveyors will be taking part in the event, including such spots as Abby Park, Alma Nove, Fuji 1546 Restaurant & Bar, Greenside Grille by Raffael's at South Shore Country Club, Scarlet Oak Tavern, and Tosca. A wine and beer tasting called Toast of the South Shore will also take place, with Cisco Brewers, Clown Shoes, and Still River Winery being just a few of the names participating.

Tickets to this event cost $100 until March 14 ($125 from that point on), with proceeds helping to support the YMCA's "Send a Kid to Camp" campaign. For more information on the 2013 Taste of the South Shore, please go to the following link:

http://ssymca.org/donations/event/taste-of-the-south-shore/


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Historic East Walpole Clock Tower to Become Part of a Restaurant Once Again

An historic clock tower in East Walpole that was once part of a cafe will be the site of an eatery once again.

The Walpole Times is reporting that a cafe will be housed in a structure that will be rebuilt on the former Bird Hall land at Washington Street and Chestnut Street, with the clock tower being the entrance to the restaurant. The tower had been part of a building that was home to the Bird Park Cafe, but the entire structure--except for the clock tower--was destroyed in a fire back in the mid-1990s. Dianne Beatty, who was the owner of the Bird Park Cafe, is behind the rebuilding and opening of the upcoming restaurant, with ground possibly being broken on the project this spring and an opening of the dining spot expected sometime next year. It appears that the upcoming restaurant may keep the Bird Park Cafe name, but we will try to confirm this as soon as we find out for sure.

An earlier article in the Walpole Times indicates that the original Bird Hall structure was built in 1884.


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Monday, February 25, 2013

Highlights for the Week Ending February 22, 2013

A few more stories and articles centering on the Boston-area restaurant scene came out over the past week, including a travel magazine listing two Boston-area restaurants among its best picks for Chinese food, a food truck planning to open a brick-and-mortar spot near the Boston/Brookline border, and a combination Irish pub/sports bar in Cambridge morphing into a new Irish pub. In addition, our sister site (Boston's Hidden Restaurants) included an updated review of a Greek restaurant in Woburn, a photo of a pastry from a cafe in the South End, and an updated list of Irish pubs in the Boston area.

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

Boston Restaurant Talk

Travel and Leisure Magazine Includes Gourmet Dumpling House, Taipei Gourmet Among Its Top Chinese Restaurant Picks

Taste of the South End to Be Held March 5, 2013

Tenoch in Medford Planning to Open Restaurant in Boston's North End

Mei Mei Street Kitchen to Open Brick-and-Mortar Restaurant in Audubon Circle

Spirit Bar and Restaurant in Cambridge to Become The Dubliner Pub

Boston's Hidden Restaurants

Updated Review: The Restaurant in Woburn, MA

Photo: Dacquoise from Flour in Boston, MA

Question: Local Breakfast Places in the Boston Area?

Updated List of Irish Pubs in the Boston Area

Photo: Steak Tips and Sausage from Sonny Noto's in East Boston, MA


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Tisan Coffee Is Opening in Cambridge

It looks like a new coffee place is on its way to Cambridge.

A License Commission General Hearing page within the City of Cambridge website indicates that an application for a common victualer license will be looked at for Tisan Coffee, which has tentative plans to open on Cambridge Street (about midway between Inman Square and the Lechmere area). If approved, the spot would possibly serve both food and non-alcoholic beverages, with a seating capacity of 11 being proposed. It also appears that the coffee place would be open from 6:00 AM to 8:00 PM seven days per week, according to the hearing page.

[June 2, 2014 update: According to a post within a new License Commission General Hearing page on the Cambridge website, it now appears that Tisan Coffee is looking to open at 1722 Massachusetts Avenue, which is a few blocks south of Porter Square.]

[July 25, 2014 update: A note sent from Leah's Life indicates that Tisan Coffee is now open at 1722 Massachusetts Avenue.]


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More on the Expansion of Firehouse Subs in the Boston Area

A couple of years ago we reported that a chain of quick-casual sandwich shops was looking to expand in a big way into the Boston area, with nearly 70 locations possible in and around the city. Now we have learned where some of these shops will be--and we have also learned that the number of locations will be less than originally thought in the immediate area.

The Boston Business Journal is reporting that Firehouse Subs is looking to open 16 more locations in the Boston area over the next five years, including in Downtown Crossing, North Station, the Seaport District, Kenmore Square, the Fenway, and Cambridge's Kendall Square, joining existing locations in the Back Bay, Danvers, and a soon-to-open shop in Woburn. In 2011, it was announced that the Florida-based chain had been planning to open 69 franchises in and around Boston, and while that does not appear to be happening anytime soon, the BBJ does say that a total of 85 shops are planned for Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Maine.

The website for Firehouse Subs can be found at http://www.firehousesubs.com/

[Earlier Articles]
Firehouse Subs Looking to Open 69 Locations in the Boston Area
Firehouse Subs Opens Its First New England Location in Danvers
Firehouse Subs Opens in Boston's Back Bay
Firehouse Subs to Open in Woburn


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Friday, February 22, 2013

Travel and Leisure Magazine Includes Gourmet Dumpling House, Taipei Gourmet Among Its Top Chinese Restaurant Picks

A New York-based travel magazine has just come out with its top picks for Chinese food in the United States, and a couple of Boston-area restaurants have made the list.

A peek at Travel and Leisure's picks for the 25 best Chinese restaurants in the country shows that Gourmet Dumpling House in Boston's Chinatown and Taipei Gourmet in Lexington are included among the magazine's picks. The article says of Gourmet Dumpling House, "the soup dumplings filled with pork, crabmeat and a delicate broth and the scallion pancakes are not to be missed," while Taipei Gourmet "has garnered a devoted following of locals both for its classic dishes (think xiao long bao dumplings, bamboo sticky rice, and hot and sour soup) and bold offerings (pig intestine casserole and turnip cakes)."

Travel and Leisure also included A Single Pebble in Burlington, VT, among its picks.

For a complete listing of the Chinese restaurants picked in the article, please go to the link below:

Best Chinese Restaurants in the U.S.


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Doves and Figs Jam Is Going National

The person behind an Arlington-based business that focuses on jams is getting ready to go national with her products.

An article in this week's Arlington Advocate mentions that Robin Cohen is in the process of getting a license so she can sell her Doves and Figs jams outside of the state of Massachusetts. The article mentions that Cohen is looking to sell her products in New York, Florida, and Toronto, which would take her jams well beyond stores and farmers markets in the Boston area, where they are presently found. If the license is approved, the Advocate says that Cohen will likely hire a couple of people as her business increases.

[March 10 update: Robin Cohen has received her final permit so she is now ready to move ahead with her plans to sell her products in other parts of the country.]

A few of the jams sold under the Doves and Figs name include cranberry and brown mustard seed; blueberry, port wine, and cinnamon; fig, apple, and cranberry; and spicy apple and chipotle. The website for the business can be found at http://www.dovesandfigskitchen.com/


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Corner Bakery Cafe is Coming to the Boston Area

A growing chain of bakery-cafes that started out in Chicago (and is now based in Dallas) is looking to expand into the Boston area and elsewhere in New England.

Grub Street Boston is reporting that Corner Bakery Cafe is planning to open 18 shops in and around Boston, while an earlier press release from the chain's website indicates that 22 locations are on their way to Rhode Island and Connecticut. Currently, there are no locations of the cafe in New England, with the closest one being in Clifton, NJ.

[September 5 update: The Restaurant News Release site states that up to 21 locations of Corner Bakery Cafe are now planned for the Boston area, with the first shop opening sometime next year.]

Corner Bakery Cafe offers such items as breakfast sandwiches, soups, salads, panini, pastas, and a variety of baked goods and pastries, along with coffee and tea. Their website can be found at http://www.cornerbakerycafe.com/


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Thursday, February 21, 2013

Sa Pa Opens in Boston

A new Vietnamese restaurant has come to the Financial District of Boston, moving into the space where a pizza and sandwich spot had been.

According to posters on the Chowhound site and another poster on Yelp, Sa Pa is now open on Bedford Street in the former Hot Tomatoes space. It appears that the new restaurant is a lunch spot that offers such items as banh mi, pho, and bun (vermicelli), with the BostonChefs.com site stating that the owner and chef of the nearby Kingston Station are behind the place.

The Financial District location of Hot Tomatoes closed last June, with its North End shop on Hanover Street also shutting down a couple of months ago.

The address for this new Vietnamese dining spot in the Financial District is: Sa Pa, 92 Bedford Street, Boston, MA, 02111.



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Lazziz Fine Indian Cuisine in Watertown Has Closed

An Indian restaurant in Watertown has closed its doors after being in business for a bit more than three years.

According to posters on the Yelp site as well as a Twitter post sent to us, Lazziz Fine Indian Cuisine on Main Street in the center of town is now shuttered, with a phone call to the place seeming to confirm this (their phone is no longer in service). One poster on Yelp says that a Thai restaurant is moving into the space, though we are still trying to make sure that this is indeed the case.

Lazziz first opened in the fall of 2009, bringing to the area a dining spot that offered a mix of vegetarian and meat dishes, including a variety of curries and tandoori items. The restaurant had moved into the space where  La Casa De Pedro was before moving into the eastern part of town, where it currently resides.

The address for this now-closed Indian dining spot in Watertown was: Lazziz Fine Indian Cuisine, 51 Main Street, Watertown, MA, 02472.



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Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Taste of the South End to Be Held March 5, 2013

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

On Tuesday, March 5, the 18th annual Taste of the South End will be held at the Cyclorama at the Boston Center for the Arts on Tremont Street, with the event starting at 7:00 PM. A number of area restaurants will be participating, with small plate culinary creations being offered to guests along with live cooking demos, beer samplings, wine tastings, and a silent auction and raffle. Some of the eateries that will be at the event include The Beehive, Cinquecento, The Gallows, Gaslight Brasserie, Haley House Cafe, Hamersley's Bistro, Myers + Chang, Orinoco, Petit Robert Bistro, and Sibling Rivalry.

Tickets to the 2013 Taste of the South End cost $100 ($150 for VIP), with proceeds benefiting the AIDS Action Committee.

For more information, please go to the link below:

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



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USA Today, Zagat Include Mr. Bartley's in Cambridge Among Best Burger Picks in USA

A national daily newspaper and a popular restaurant guide have given their picks for the best hamburgers in the United States, and a Cambridge restaurant has been included in the list.

According to USA Today and Zagat, Mr. Bartley's in Harvard Square is among the best burger places in 25 cities across America. The article says of the restaurant, "If burgers are the foundation of civilization, Mr. Bartley is a founding father, proclaim patty-partisans of this cash-only, bathroom-less Harvard Square restaurant with tiny communal tables."

Other burger picks in the article include Burger Joint in New York and Sketch in Philadelphia.

For a complete list of the burger picks from USA Today and Zagat, please go to the following link:

Best hamburgers in the USA: Zagat's picks in 25 cities



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Tenoch in Medford Is Opening in Boston's North End

The person behind a Mexican restaurant in Medford is looking to open a second spot, with this one being in the North End of Boston.

The NorthEndWaterfront.com site is reporting that the owner of Tenoch on Riverside Avenue (Alvaro Sandoval) is planning on opening a restaurant at 1-3 Lewis Street in the space where several other businesses have been, including Flamepoeira and Nick's Tavern. The article says that the eatery would have seating for 22 and would apparently be open for lunch and dinner.

The North End / Waterfront Residents' Association (NEWRA) recently gave the proposed spot a supportive vote for a take-out service variance that would allow it to open, according to the article.

[March 18 update: Plans for Tenoch to come to the North End have apparently taken a hit, as a new NorthEndWaterfront.com article states that The North End / Waterfront Neighborhood Council (NEWNC) has voted against the opening of the restaurant on Lewis Street, with a neighborhood petition opposing the dining spot being presented at the March 11 meeting. (Thanks to Eater Boston for bringing this to our attention.)]

[April 10 update: Tenoch is back on track to open in the North End, as NorthEndWaterfront.com says that the Boston Zoning Board of Appeal (ZBA) has approved take-out service for the place, which will allow the restaurant to open in the Lewis Street space.]

[February 6, 2014 update: The Restaurant Hub blog of The Boston Globe mentions that the new location of Tenoch in the North End opens on Monday (February 10).]

Tenoch first opened in Medford in March of 2012, bringing to the city a place to get authentic and affordable Mexican fare. Their website can be found at http://www.tenochmexican.com/

Thanks to Eater Boston for bringing this to our attention.



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Mei Mei Street Kitchen Is Opening a Brick-and-Mortar Restaurant in Audubon Circle

Last month we reported that a food truck that features Chinese fare was thinking of opening a brick-and-mortar restaurant somewhere in the Boston area. Now we have learned that this will indeed be happening, with the dining spot opening near the Boston/Brookline border.

Based on information from a Twitter conversation last night, Mei Mei Street Kitchen has signed a lease for a restaurant in the Audubon Circle section of Boston. A map posted within a blog entry from Mei Mei indicates that the permanent dining spot may be located by the corner of Park Drive and Buswell Street (about two blocks north of Beacon Street), though we are still trying to confirm an exact location. Expect the new restaurant to open sometime in the late spring or early summer.

[February 21 update: A Twitter post from @TheDrewStarr indicates that Mei Mei is moving into the space where Giga's Pizza is, which jibes with the location mentioned above (at the corner of Park Drive and Buswell Street--exact address is 506 Park Drive).]

[October 31 update: UrbanDaddy reports that the brick-and-mortar restaurant from Mei Mei hopes to open next week, with lunch only for a couple of weeks, at which point dinner service will be added.]

[October 31 update #2: The above report from UD may have been premature, as a Twitter post from Mei Mei itself says that the place may be opening "hopefully within the next few weeks..."]

[November 6 update: According to a Twitter post from the restaurant, Mei Mei will open its brick-and-mortar spot on Monday, November 11. As mentioned earlier, it will only be open for lunch for the time being, with a limited menu offered, but it looks like dinner service could begin on November 25, according to the restaurant's blog.]

[November 25 update: Confirmed--Mei Mei will start serving dinner at its new brick-and-mortar spot this evening.]

The Mei Mei Street Kitchen food truck started out in Boston in April of 2012, offering Chinese-American dishes using locally-sourced ingredients. Their website can be found at http://meimeiboston.com/

[Earlier Article]
Area Four, Biryani Park Food Trucks Coming; Mei Mei Street Kitchen and Roxy's Grilled Cheese May Expand to Brick-and-Mortar



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Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Potbelly Sandwich Shop Is Opening in Braintree

A Chicago-based chain of sub shops continues its expansion into the Boston area, with a new location soon opening south of the city.

According to their website, Potbelly Sandwich Shop is planning to open in Braintree, moving into a space on Forbes Road that is across the street from the South Shore Plaza. Once it opens, the new sandwich shop in Braintree will join others in Boston's Downtown Crossing and at Logan Airport. More locations are planned as well, including a shop at One Federal Street in the Financial District of Boston and possibly outlets in Cambridge and Burlington.

[February 28 update: It appears that the Braintree location of Potbelly is getting ready to open, as their Facebook page says that they are having an "Oven Warming" party on Monday, March 4, teaming up with Kyleigh's Cure to help raise money for galactosemia research. (Website at http://www.kyleighscure.com/)]

Potbelly offers sandwiches labeled "originals," "bigs," and "skinnys," with turkey, ham, roast beef, and tuna being a few options.

The address for this new sub shop in Braintree is: Potbelly Sandwich Shop, 30 Forbes Road (Retail D/ Suite 4), Braintree, MA, 02184. The website for the chain is at http://www.potbelly.com/



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Firehouse Subs Is Opening in Woburn

A Florida-based chain of quick-casual sandwich shops is getting ready to open its third Boston-area location, with many more possibly on the way.

According to NECN videographer @scottwholley, Firehouse Subs is planning to open in Woburn, with a "Coming Soon" sign on a Commerce Way storefront by the Target store. (A check on the chain's website confirms this.) Once it opens, the new Firehouse will join locations in Boston's Back Bay and Danvers, with an earlier article by us mentioning that the chain could eventually be opening nearly 70 locations in and around Boston.

[April 12 update: An email sent to us indicates that Firehouse Subs opens in Woburn next Wednesday (April 17).]

Firehouse Subs was first established in Florida in the mid-1990s by two brothers from a long line of firefighters. The eateries are involved in community service, with their focus being on public safety.

The address for this new sandwich shop in Woburn is: Firehouse Subs, 103 Commerce Way (Suite C1), Woburn, MA, 01801. The website for the chain is at http://www.firehousesubs.com/

[Earlier Article]
Firehouse Subs Looking to Open 69 Locations in the Boston Area



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Spirit Bar and Restaurant in Cambridge to Become The Dubliner Pub

An Irish pub in North Cambridge is going to be morphing into an all-new Irish pub, with the ownership remaining the same.

A message sent to us from the dining and drinking spot indicates that Spirit Bar and Restaurant on Mass. Ave. is going to become The Dubliner Pub, with a "moderate" build-out planned along with all-new decor and a new menu (including a Saturday and Sunday brunch). Construction on the new spot will start in approximately a week, with an opening expected around March 8.

[February 28 update: Eater Boston reports that Spirit will close during the first week of March so that renovations can be made, and that The Dubliner Pub is now planning to open on March 9.]

[March 8 update: A new post from Eater Boston indicates that The Dubliner Pub opens tonight.]

Spirit Bar and Restaurant has been a place that our sister site (Boston's Hidden Restaurants) has featured as an under-the-radar Irish pub to check out. A review of the spot can be found here:

http://www.hiddenboston.com/Spirit.html

The address for Spirit (and the new Dubliner Pub) is 2046 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, MA, 02140. Their Facebook page can be found at https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Dubliner-Pub-Cambridge/112380438947224



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Monday, February 18, 2013

Highlights for the Week Ending February 15, 2013

Several more stories and articles focusing on the Boston-area restaurant scene came out over the past week, including a new member of the Il Panino family opening its doors, a well-known Boston eatery dispelling rumors that it is for sale, and an Irish pub deciding to focus on burgers and hot dogs. In addition, our sister site (Boston's Hidden Restaurants) included an updated review of a Mediterranean restaurant in Roslindale, a photo of a Greek dish from a dining spot south of the city, and an updated list of restaurant closings and openings for February (so far).

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

Boston Restaurant Talk

Il Panino Cafe and Grill Opens in Jamaica Plain

Radius in Boston's Financial District Is Not Up for Sale

Alta Strada May Be Coming to Braintree and Burlington

Coogan's in Boston Updates Menu, Focuses on Burgers and Hot Dogs

Owner of The Painted Burro and Posto in Somerville to Open New Restaurant in Boston's Downtown Crossing

Boston's Hidden Restaurants

Updated Review: Sophia's Grotto in Roslindale, MA

Transcript of a Chat on Romantic Restaurants in the Boston Area and Beyond

Photo: Moussaka from Christo's in Brockton, MA

Boston-Area Restaurant Closings and Openings in February (So Far)

Photo: Chocolate Cream Pie from Flour in Boston, MA



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Thursday, February 14, 2013

Copper House Tavern Is Opening in Waltham

A new restaurant is on its way to the western suburbs of Boston, and it looks like it will be an upscale but casual spot that will have a wide variety of beers, wines, and spirits.

A job post on the Craigslist site indicates that the Copper House Tavern is planning to open in Waltham, with the address on the restaurant's website indicating that it may be located within the Best Western Hotel on Winter Street (just east of Route 128). The job post mentions that the eatery will have seating for at least 260, while the website says that it will have an "innovative" food menu with craft beers on tap, an "eclectic" wine selection, and small-batch spirits.

[February 16 update: The Boston Globe has more information on the Copper House Tavern, including the fact that the person behind it--Greg Coughlin--is also behind Olde Magoun's Saloon in Somerville, and that it is moving into the old Piccadilly Pub space that was indeed on the ground floor of the aforementioned Best Western. The Globe says that the Copper House Tavern could be open by the middle of March.]

[April 2 update: An email sent to us indicates that the Copper House Tavern is planning to open on May 1, and it is going to be having a job fair next Monday and Tuesday (April 8 and 9) at the upcoming site of the restaurant within the Best Western Hotel. In addition, the dining spot will also be opening up a call for people who want invites to their soft opening, which looks to be sometime later this month. For more information, contact them at info@copperhousetavern.com or go to their site (see below).]

[May 8 update: A Twitter message from @brandnewwatch states (via a new article) that the Copper House Tavern is planning to open on Monday, May 13.]

[May 14 update: An email sent to us indicates that the Copper house Tavern is now open.]

The address for this new restaurant in Waltham is: Copper House Tavern, 380 Winter Street, Waltham, MA, 02451. Their website will be at http://copperhousetavern.com/



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Fairmount Grille Is Opening in Hyde Park

A new restaurant is coming to Hyde Park, moving into the space where an Irish dining spot used to be.

Universal Hub is reporting that the Fairmount Grille is opening on Fairmount Avenue, taking over the former Townsends spot. (Townsends closed last winter after being in business for approximately four years.)  If it receives approval from the city of Boston, the new eatery will likely be an upscale but reasonably priced American bistro with a possible 1:00 AM closing and an outdoor patio out back with a capacity of 25.

The Fairmount Grille is hoping for a transfer of a full liquor license from the now-closed Clarke's at South Station.

[June 4 update: According to one of our readers (and confirmed by the restaurant's Facebook page), Fairmount Grille opens its doors this evening.]

The address for this new restaurant in Hyde Park is 81 Fairmount Avenue, Hyde Park, MA, 02136.



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Cafe Hemshin Plans to Open in Downtown Boston

Another Turkish restaurant may be on its way to downtown Boston.

Universal Hub is reporting that Osman Kiramoglu, who started the Boston Kebab House on Kilby Street, is looking to open Cafe Hemshin on City Hall Avenue. The restaurant, which may be open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner on weekdays, would be the third Turkish eatery to be located in this section of the city, with Boston Kebab House and Sultan's Kitchen on State Street being in the same area. It appears that Cafe Hemshin would move into the space where Delicato Cafe had been until closing last summer.

The address for this proposed Turkish restaurant in downtown Boston is 8 City Hall Avenue, Boston, MA, 02108.

Thanks to Eater Boston for bringing this to our attention.



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Update: Il Panino Cafe and Grill Opens in Jamaica Plain

[Ed note: This article was updated on February 14 to reflect new information, including the fact that Il Panino Cafe and Grill is a new addition to the Il Panino family, and not a specific move for Il Panino Express.]

A restaurant in the Jackson Square section of Jamaica Plain has morphed into a new dining spot, and its name may be familiar to some.

A poster on the Chowhound site mentioned that Il Panino Cafe and Grill is now open on Centre Street, replacing Gail's Cafe & Grill in the Jackson Square section of JP. (Gail's had opened in the Centre Street space last spring.) Based on a menu that was emailed to us, expect soups, salads, wraps, subs, pizza, and pasta dishes at the new Il Panino Cafe and Grill, and it also looks like at least some of the dishes from Gail's will continue to be offered as well, including burgers, BBQ items, and seafood plates.

Earlier we had reported that Il Panino Cafe and Grill was a new location of Il Panino Express, a North End spot that is currently being being replaced by a new full-service restaurant under the same ownership that is called Ristorante Quattro. New information indicates that this is not a move for Il Panino Express, but instead is a new addition to the Il Panino family. (Another Il Panino--called Trattoria Il Panino--can be found on Parmenter Street in the North End.)

The address for this new dining spot in Jackson Square is: Il Panino Cafe and Grill, 268 Centre Street, Jamaica Plain, MA, 02130.

[Earlier Article]
Gail's Cafe and Grill Is Opening in Jamaica Plain



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Radius in Boston's Financial District Is Not Up for Sale (for Now)

One day after reporting that a well-known Boston restaurateur was looking to expand one of his dining spots, rumors were going around that his flagship restaurant in the heart of downtown Boston was up for sale, but it is apparently not true--at least for now.

The Boston Magazine Chowder blog is reported yesterday that Michael Schlow's Radius in the Financial District was possibly for sale, with the lease for the space expiring. An update to the article indicates that the High Street eatery, which focuses on French cuisine, is actually not on the market at this point in time, with Schlow saying that "The restaurant is not for sale and is off to a great start in 2013. Our current extension is up this year and we are exploring all options for the restaurant."

Michael Schlow is also behind such dining spots as Barrio Cantina, Tico, and Via Matta in Boston, along with Alta Strada in Wellesley, which may be expanding to Braintree and Burlington according to news we received this week.

The address for Radius is: Radius, 8 High Street, Boston, MA, 02110. Its website can be found at http://www.radiusrestaurant.com/



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Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Alta Strada May Be Coming to Braintree and Burlington

The person behind an upscale Italian restaurant in Wellesley is apparently looking to open two more locations of the place in the suburbs of Boston.

The Boston Globe is reporting that Michael Schlow is thinking of expanding Alta Strada into Braintree and Burlington, as he mentions that the Wellesley eatery "does better volume-wise on a per-square-foot basis" than his Boston restaurants, which include Barrio Cantina, Radius, Tico, and Via Matta. (Another location of Alta Strata can be found at Foxwoods Casino in Connecticut.)

Alta Strada, which first opened in Wellesley in 2006, features an antipasti table along with soups, salads, pizza, pasta, and various Italian entrees. Its website can be found at http://www.altastradarestaurant.com/

Thanks to Eater Boston for bringing this to our attention.


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Symphony Sushi in Boston to Become Fin's Japanese Sushi + Grill

It looks like there could soon be four locations of Fin's Japanese Sushi + Grill in Boston.

A post in the Boston Hospitality and Tourism Industry Blog mentions that the owners of the local group of eateries plan to switch another one of its restaurants--Symphony Sushi--over to a new location of Fin's, with the proposal being looked at by the Boston Licensing Board today. If approved, the Gainsborough Street spot would join other Fin's locations in Beacon Hill, Kenmore Square, and Brighton.

The Fin's Japanese Sushi + Grill restaurants offer soups, salads, appetizers, sushi, noodle and rice dishes, and an array of entrees.

The address for Symphony Sushi (and the proposed Fin's) is 45 Gainsborough Street, Boston, MA, 02115. The website for Fin's is at http://finsboston.com/



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Coogan's in Boston Updates Menu, Focuses on Burgers and Hot Dogs

An Irish pub in Boston's Financial District that has been around for a couple of decades appears to have undergone a slight name change--and it has made some big changes to its menu.

A check on their website indicates that Coogan's Bluff is now simply known as "Coogan's," while Thrillist reports that the Milk Street spot has updated its menu so that it now focuses on burgers and hot dogs. A peek at the menu on their website shows that Coogan's offers 14 specialty burgers, including a "Water Taxi" (tuna, Napa cabbage, red curry paste, soy tarter sauce) and a "Black Rose" (cheddar, Irish bacon, cabbage, Guinness ketchup), along with 4 hot dog options, including a "Pork n Pork" (bacon wrapped, pulled pork, slaw) and a "Long Wharf (fried clams, chili relish). Soups, salads, appetizers, and sides are also available.

The address for this restaurant and pub in the Financial District is: Coogan's, 171 Milk Street, Boston, MA, 02109. Their website can be found at http://www.coogansboston.com/



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Restoration Hardware in Boston's Back Bay Will Include a Restaurant After All

Last May we reported that Restoration Hardware had been planning to open a restaurant next to its upcoming Back Bay shop, but in October it looked like the California-based luxury home furnishings chain was putting the idea on the shelf. Now we have learned (via the Boston Business Journal) that plans are in place once again for a dining spot to open at the site. According to the BBJ, Restoration Hardware is seeking a beer and wine license for a 118-seat eatery that would be on three levels, with the Boston Licensing Board looking at the license request today. The article says that the store itself is expected to open next month.

[February 19 update: It looks like a Restoration Hardware restaurant is one step closer to reality. as Universal Hub reports that the Boston Licensing Board has given them permission to purchase a beer and wine license from the Channel Cafe in the city's Fort Point neighborhood. Universal Hub also mentions that the dining spot would be on the third floor of the store, which could be opening sometime next month.]

[February 25 update: The Realty Today site states that Restoration Hardware (and presumably, their restaurant) plans to open on March 7.]

The address for the upcoming Restoration Hardware shop in the Back Bay is 234 Berkeley Street, Boston, MA, 02116.

Thanks to Eater Boston for bringing this to our attention.

[Earlier Articles]
Restoration Hardware Decides Against Opening Restaurant Next to Back Bay Store
Restoration Hardware Plans to Open a Restaurant Adjacent to Its New Back Bay Store



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Tuesday, February 12, 2013

The Painted Burro to Open in Boston's Downtown Crossing

[Ed note: This article was updated on August 8 to reflect the fact that the new place in Downtown Crossing will be another location of The Painted Burro.]

It looks like the owner of a couple of Somerville restaurants is going to be opening a new spot in the heart of Boston.

According to Craig Caplan, who is President of the Downtown Crossing Vending Association, Joe Cassinelli of The Painted Burro and Pizzeria Posto in Davis Square is planning to open a restaurant on Temple Place in Downtown Crossing, moving into the space where Windsor Button currently resides. A Facebook post on The REAL Downtown Crossing Page indicates that Windsor Button is currently having a going out of business sale, though no specific information appears to be available on the upcoming dining spot, including a name or the type of cuisine it might be featuring (keep checking back for updates).

[August 8 update: Eater Boston reports that the new spot in Downtown Crossing will be another location of The Painted Burro, and that it will be much bigger than the original, though with a "lot of similarities." It could be awhile before the new Painted Burro opens, as the design for the place is being finished up, with construction to follow.]

[March 10, 2014 update: A post on the Craigslist site indicates that The Painted Burro plans to open its new location in Downtown Crossing sometime in May. (The post also mentions that the two-story restaurant is looking for a bar manager and a "tequila ambassador.")]

Cassinelli has also opened a new drinking place called the Burro Bar, which is adjacent to The Painted Burro.

The address for this planned restaurant in Downtown Crossing is 35 Temple Place, Boston, MA, 02111.



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Monday, February 11, 2013

Highlights for the Week Ending February 8, 2013

A few more stories and articles centering on the Boston-area restaurant scene came out over the past week, including the owner of a landmark Boston restaurant possibly being bought by another company, an eatery with locations in Washington, DC, and Somerville further expanding into the Boston area, and a pizza spot in Allston closing its doors. In addition, our sister site (Boston's Hidden Restaurants) included a new review of a restaurant in East Boston, a photo of a dessert item from a restaurant in Jamaica Plain, and a question on a Mexican item.

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

Boston Restaurant Talk

Landry’s Inc. Makes Offer for Ark Restaurants (Owner of Durgin-Park)

Bar Louie Plans to Open in Boston's Fenway Neighborhood

Amsterdam Falafelshop to Open Four More Locations in the Boston Area

Peace o' Pie in Allston Has Closed

Pastoral to Open in Boston's Fort Point Neighborhood

Boston's Hidden Restaurants

New Review: Sonny Noto's in East Boston, MA

Photo: Brownie Sundae from the Dogwood Cafe in Jamaica Plain, MA

Updated Review: City Girl Cafe in Cambridge, MA

Best Burrito in the Boston Area?

Photo: Baconattor Burger from O'Sullivan's in Somerville, MA



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Burro Bar Is Opening in Somerville's Davis Square This Week

A few months ago, we reported that The Painted Burro in Somerville's Davis Square was planning to open a bar in the Spike's Junkyard Dogs space next door. Now we have learned that the drinking spot is on the verge of opening.

Grub Street Boston is reporting that the Burro Bar plans to open tomorrow, with the Elm Street spot featuring tortas, 100 different tequilas, 100 beers, and an array of bourbon, rye, scotch, and whiskey options. GS also mentions that a jukebox will be set up within the space.

The address for this new bar in Davis Square is: Burro Bar, 217 Elm Street, Somerville, MA, 02144. The website for The Painted Burro can be found at http://thepaintedburro.com/

[Earlier Article]
Spike's Junkyard Dogs in Somerville's Davis Square Is Closing



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Friday, February 08, 2013

Upper Crust Pizzera in Wellesley Is Reopening

It looks like one of the locations of a local group of pizzerias that recently shut down and went to auction will be reopening soon.

The Wellesley Townsman is reporting that the Upper Crust Pizzeria on Central Street in the center of town is on the verge of opening once again, with UC Acquisition (a private equity firm connected with Upper Crust founder Jordan Tobins) behind the eatery. The article mentions that it was possible that Upper Crust would open yesterday or today, but based on the snowstorm, it seems likely that the opening may be pushed back a bit. Diners can expect the original menu and recipes to remain in place, according to the Townsman.

[February 11: The Swellesley Report states that the Upper Crust Pizzeria in Wellesley is now open once again.]

Most locations of the Upper Crust Pizzeria chain abruptly shut down in November of 2012, with a subsequent auction for the restaurants taking place the following month. In addition to the Wellesley restaurant, UC Acquisition also acquired branches in Boston's South End, Watertown, and Lexington.

The address for this pizza spot in Wellesley is: Upper Crust Pizzeria, 99 Central Street, Wellesley, MA, 02482.



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