Thursday, November 28, 2013

The Briar Rose Is Opening in Hyde Park

It looks like a new restaurant could be on its way to a Boston neighborhood, opening in the space where another dining spot had been until recently.

Universal Hub is reporting (via the City of Boston website) that The Briar Rose is looking to open in Hyde Park, taking over the former Annabelle's spot. (Annabelle's closed this summer after being in business for just under three years.) According to the page on the City of Boston site, the manager of the proposed spot is Kevin Twohig; a page on the Manta site mentions that a person named Kevin Twohig was one of the people behind the now-closed Maggie Mae's on the Roslindale/Hyde Park line, but there is no confirmation as of yet whether it is the same person.

UH says that a hearing looking into the sale of Annabelle's liquor license to The Briar Rose will be taking place next Wednesday.

[December 4 update: A new post from Universal Hub mentions that The Briar Rose would be much the same as the now-closed Annabelle's other than the new name and some minimal changes to the interior space. (Expect to see traditional American fare at the restaurant.) UH also confirms that this is the same Kevin Twohig who owned Maggie Mae's.]

[May 12, 2014 update: A poster on the Chowhound site mentions that The Briar Rose is now open, though it looks like the grand opening will take place sometime this week.]

The address for this proposed spot in Hyde Park is 1300 Hyde Park Avenue, Hyde Park, MA, 02136.


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Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Bagelville Is Opening in West Roxbury

A bagel shop in downtown Boston that is getting ready to expand into a northwest suburb is continuing its expansion plans, with another new outlet coming to a neighborhood of the city.

Universal Hub is reporting that the folks behind Bagelville in Faneuil Hall are going to be opening a new shop in West Roxbury, joining another new location in Arlington Heights. Based on the menu at the original store, the new location coming to the VFW Parkway (near the Dedham line) will likely have such items as bagels, egg dishes, soups, salads, sandwiches, and freshly-made juices. It is not yet known when the place might open.

[July 21, 2014 update: A new Twitter post from Universal Hub indicates that Bagelville is now open in West Roxbury. (This has been confirmed by the bagel shop's Facebook page.)]

The address for this new bagel shop in West Roxbury is: Bagelville, 1630 VFW Parkway, West Roxbury, MA, 02132. The website is at http://bagelvilleonline.com/

[Earlier Article]
Bagelville to Open in Arlington Heights


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Sepal Opens in the Back Bay of Boston

Earlier today we had mentioned that a cafe in Boston's Back Bay had closed. Now we have learned that a new restaurant has already moved into the space, and it is one with a familiar name.

According to one of our readers--and confirmed by Yelp--Sepal is now open in the former Orange Leaf Cafe spot on Mass. Ave., with the new eatery apparently being part of the group of Middle Eastern restaurants found at the Longwood Galleria in Boston as well as the MIT Student Center and CambridgeSide Galleria in Cambridge. Based on the menus at those locations, expect the new Sepal to offer such items as falafel, chicken shawarma, beef kababs, hummus, baba ghanouj, and more.

The address for this new Middle Eastern spot in the Back Bay is: Sepal, 374 Massachusetts Avenue, Boston, MA, 02115. The website for the existing Sepal restaurants can be found at http://sepalrestaurant.com/

[Earlier Article]
Orange Corner Cafe in Boston's Back Bay Has Closed


[New article from our sister site (Boston's Hidden Restaurants): Slideshow--Twelve Cheesy Items from Places in the Boston Area and Beyond]



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Orange Corner Cafe in Boston's Back Bay Has Closed

It looks like a cafe in the Back Bay of Boston has closed its doors, and a new eatery may be moving into the space.

According to a Twitter post from @gregmclark, the Orange Leaf Cafe on Mass. Ave. is shuttered, with a temporary sign for what looks to be a new restaurant posted out front (the exact name of the new spot has not yet been confirmed). Phone calls to the eatery have gone unanswered, and a page om Yelp indicates that it has indeed closed.

[November 26 update: A comment added here (and confirmed by Yelp) indicates that Sepal has taken over the former Orange Corner Cafe space.]

The Orange Corner Cafe first opened in February of 2012, featuring a variety of breakfast and lunch items, including bagels, croissants, soups, sandwiches, panini, and coffee.

The address for this now-closed spot in the Back Bay was: Orange Corner Cafe, 374 Massachusetts Avenue, Boston, MA, 02115.


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Monday, November 25, 2013

Highlights for the Week Ending November 22, 2013

Several more stories and articles focusing on the Boston-area restaurant scene came out over the past week, including an historic diner reopening, a Back Bay bar being replaced by a new spot, and a landmark restaurant south of the city closing down. In addition, our sister site (Boston's Hidden Restaurants) included a new review of an Irish pub in Brighton, a running list of restaurants open on Thanksgiving, and a photo of a fruit tart from a South End bakery-cafe.

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

Boston Restaurant Talk

Salem State University to Reopen the Salem Diner

Senator Robert Hedlund May Open a Second Restaurant

Cuffs in Boston's Back Bay to Close; New Bar to Take Its Place

Update: Christo's in Brockton Is Closing; Plans Underway for Takeout Spot, Smaller Restaurant

Holyoke Center in Cambridge's Harvard Square Becomes Smith Center; Status of Restaurants Unknown

Boston's Hidden Restaurants

New Review: Porter Belly's in Brighton, MA

Photo: Shawarma from Rami's in Brookline, MA

List of Boston-Area Restaurants Open on Thanksgiving

Updated Review: Kashish in Belmont, MA

Photo: Fruit Tart from Flour in Boston, MA


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Burtons Grill Group Is Opening the Red Heat Tavern in Wilmington

The folks behind a small local chain of upscale restaurants are going to be opening a brand new dining spot north of Boston.

According to a job post on the Craigslist site, the Burtons Grill restaurant group plans to open the Red Heat Tavern in Wilmington, with the new concept focusing on a "casual approach to modern American cuisine with an open kitchen in an innovative new building." An earlier article from the Wilmington Patch says that the Lowell Street eatery could be opening in March of 2014, while the Craigslist post says early spring.

[March 13, 2014 update: According to a picture posted on Twitter (and confirmed by the restaurant), the Red Heat Tavern opens on March 25.]

The Burtons Grill restaurants offer contemporary American fare in an upscale environment, with the menu including sandwiches, burgers, steak, seafood, and more. Locations of the eateries can be found in Burlington, Hingham, North Andover, Peabody, and Westford, with a few other branches being found in Connecticut, New Hampshire, South Carolina, and Virginia. Its website is at http://www.burtonsgrill.com/

The address for the new Red Heat Tavern will be: Red Heat Tavern, 300 Lowell Street (Route 129), Wilmington, MA, 01887.


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Tiki Hideaway in Boston's Fenway Neighborhood Is Closing

It looks like a bar that has been in the Fenway section of Boston for decades is going to be shutting its doors.

According to a post on its Facebook page, the Tiki Hideaway within the Howard Johnson Inn on Boylston Street is getting ready to close, as the note says that "Unfortunately, the Hotel will be changing owners and will be closing for renovations by year end." It is not yet known whether the Hong Kong Cafe, a Chinese restaurant that is also located within the hotel, will be closing as well.

[December 4 update: A new Facebook post from the spot indicates (via an events page link) that the hotel "as we know it is at the end. Dates not confirmed but probably around the 14th." Still no word on the Hong Kong Cafe, but it appears that it may be closing as well.]

[December 10 update: Based on a new note on its Facebook page, it appears that the Tiki Hideaway will be closing this Friday (November 13).]

[December 13 update: A phone call placed to the hotel confirms that the Tiki Hideaway has officially closed (it will not be open tonight).]

The Tiki Hideaway has been known as a place to go for old-school Polynesian drinks (including scorpion bowls), live music and comedy, with food being offered by the Hong Kong Cafe team. The bar and hotel have been around for a long time, with HoJo's first opening in 1959. (It appears that the bar may have opened around that time as well, based on the Facebook note from the Tiki Hideaway saying that "We will cherish all the great memories from the last 54 years.")

The address for this soon-to-close bar in the Fenway area is: Tiki Hideaway, 1271 Boylston Street, Boston, MA, 02215.


[New article from our sister site (Boston's Hidden Restaurants): Slideshow--Twelve Cheesy Items from Places in the Boston Area and Beyond]



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Friday, November 22, 2013

L'Aroma Cafe in Boston's Back Bay Is Being Replaced by Thinking Cup

[Ed note: This article was updated on December 13 to reflect confirmation that Thinking Cup will indeed be moving into the space.]

A bakery and cafe in the Back Bay of Boston has shut its doors, but another location of the spot west of the city remains open.

The Boston Hospitality and Tourism Industry Blog is reporting (via @mayahauer) that L'Aroma Cafe on Newbury Street is shuttered, with a Facebook post from the place indicating that it actually closed in early October. The blog also mentions that Thinking Cup--which has locations across from Boston Common and in the North End--may be going into the space, but this has not been confirmed as of yet.

[December 13 update: Eater Boston has confirmed that Thinking Cup is taking over the space vacated by L'Aroma. Expect to see a mid-January opening.]

[April 15, 2014 update: According to a Facebook post, the new Thinking Cup is now open on Newbury Street.]

The location of L'Aroma Cafe on Spencer Street in West Newton is still open for business.

The address for the now-closed L'Aroma Cafe (and new Thinking Cup) is 85 Newbury Street, Boston, MA, 02116. The website for the West Newton location of L'Aroma is at https://www.laromacafe.com/ while the website for Thinking Cup is at http://www.thinkingcup.com/


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Monkey King Tea Opens in Malden

A bubble tea shop that also offers a variety of other items--and shares its space with a Chinese restaurant--has opened north of Boston.

An email sent to us indicates that Monkey King Tea is now open in Malden, with its location being within Real Lucky Restaurant on Highland Avenue. (Real Lucky has been in business since the mid-1990s.) The shop offers an array of bubble teas, as well as smoothies, frozen yogurt, and dessert crepes.

Hours for Monkey King Tea are 11:00 AM to 9:45 PM on Mondays and Wednesday through Saturday, and 3:00 PM to 8:45 PM on Sundays.

The address for this new shop in Malden is: Monkey King Tea, 249 Highland Avenue, Malden, MA, 02148. Its Facebook page can be found at https://www.facebook.com/MonkeyKingTea


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Meng's Kitchen Food Truck Comes to Boston

A new food truck has hit the streets of Boston, and this one features traditional northern Chinese buns.

Eater Boston is reporting (via Sampan) that Meng's Kitchen is up and running, with the truck being set up on weekdays at Washington Street and Boylston Street on the western edge of Chinatown. The food truck offers baozi, or stuffed buns, as well as meat sandwiches, and it is open for breakfast and lunch.

According to EB and Sampan, Meng's Kitchen debuted in late October and does not appear to have a website as of yet. As soon as it does, we will post an update here.


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Paul (French Bakery-Cafe) Is Opening in Boston

It looks like a chain of French bakeries and cafes is going to be opening a location in downtown Boston.

The Boston Business Journal is reporting that Paul is planning to open in the spot at One Boston Place where the Irish pub Four Green Fields had been until closing in August of 2012. The article mentions that the bakery-cafe will have 6,000 square feet of space and it will also have an outdoor patio. It appears that the Boston location of Paul will offer bread, soups, sandwiches, crepes, pastries, coffee, and more, based on menus at other locations. Expect to see the place opening sometime in the summer of 2014.

More locations of Paul are coming to the area over the coming years, with the BBJ mentioning that shops in Burlington, Natick, Somerville, and another Boston location may be opening at some point. (The article says that up to seven stores could be open in and around Boston by 2016.)

[March 26, 2015 update: Nearly 1 1/2 years after first reporting on it, the Boston location of Paul has still not opened, but Eater Boston says it is finally planning to open early this spring. (Note: The Burlington, Natick, and Somerville locations of Paul have already opened.)]

[May 6, 2015 update: According to a press release, the new location of Paul in downtown Boston will have its grand opening on Monday, May 11, with the space including seating for 112 and a private terrace.]

[May 7, 2015 update: A Twitter post from @DTownBostonBID indicates that there will be a ribbon cutting tonight for the new location of Paul in downtown Boston, though as mentioned earlier, the grand opening will be May 11.]

Paul first started out in France in 1889 and now has almost 500 locations in a number of countries. Locations of the chain in the United States can currently be found in Washington, DC, Virginia, and Florida.

The address for this upcoming bakery-cafe in downtown Boston is: Paul, 201 Washington Street (One Boston Place), Boston, MA, 02108. The website for the chain is at http://www.paul-usa.com/

Thanks to the Boston Hospitality and Tourism Industry Blog for bringing this to our attention.


[New article from our sister site (Boston's Hidden Restaurants): Slideshow--Twelve Cheesy Items from Places in the Boston Area and Beyond]



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Seoul Soulongtang Opens in Allston

A new Korean restaurant has opened in Allston, moving into the space where at least a couple of other dining spots have been over the past few years.

According to a poster on the Chowhound site, Seoul Soulongtang is now open on Commonwealth Avenue, taking over the spot where Toro Sushi had been, and before that, Roppongi Sushi. The menu at the new restaurant offers such items as japchae (stir-fried noodles with beef and vegetables), ojinguh sookhae (steamed squid), soulongtang (white ox bone broth with brisket, marrow, and thin noodles), jokbal (boiled pig feet), kalbi tang (beef broth with short ribs), bulgogi, and bibimbap.

The address for this new Korean eatery in Allston is: Seoul Soulongtang, 1245 Commonwealth Avenue, Allston, MA, 02134. Its website can be found at http://www.seoulbeefsoup.com/


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Teresa's Prime and Teresa's Grille 19 Have Opened in North Reading

The owner of an Italian restaurant on the North Shore has opened a new steakhouse and a new bar and grill in a neighboring town.

According to one of our readers, both Teresa's Prime and Teresa's Grille 19 are now open in North Reading, joining the existing Teresa's Italian Eatery in Middleton (all of which are owned by Nick Yebba, Sr.). An article from the North Reading Patch mentions that both spots are located at the Thomson Country Club, and while the club itself is private, the restaurants are open to the public. Teresa's Prime is an upscale steakhouse with seafood dishes as well, while Teresa's Grille 19--which is located downstairs--is a bar and grill that offers a variety of comfort food dishes.

The address for both Teresa's Prime and Teresa's Grille 19 is 20 Elm Street (Route 62) North Reading, MA, 01864. The website for all of the Teresa's restaurants can be found at http://www.teresaseatery.com/


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Osushi in Boston's Back Bay Has Closed

A sushi bar in the Back Bay of Boston has closed, though it appears that its other location remains open.

According to a Twitter post from @StevenL57, Osushi in The Westin Copley Place on Huntington Avenue is shuttered, per a sign in the restaurant's window. The Boston Hospitality and Tourism Industry Blog mentions that the restaurant's location in Cambridge's Harvard Square is still in operation, with the article also saying that it is not yet known what might replace the Back Bay location of the eatery.

The address for this now-closed sushi bar in the Back Bay was: Osushi, 10 Huntington Avenue, Boston, MA, 02116. The website for the Cambridge location can be found at http://osushicambridge.com/


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Loco Tapas and Wine Bar in South Easton to "Re-Imagine" the Restaurant

A tapas restaurant south of Boston has closed its doors, and changes are apparently coming--though it is not yet known what these changes will be.

According to its website, Loco Tapas & Wine Bar in South Easton is shuttered until after the holiday season, as it looks to "re-imagine" the place in order to "enhance and improve both our guest and staff experience." The Foundry Street eatery, which had formerly been located in another part of Easton, has been featured on our sister site (Boston's Hidden Restaurants) as an under-the-radar spot to go to for Spanish tapas and meals. The review can be found below:

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

The address for this restaurant is: Loco Tapas & Wine Bar, 520 Foundry Street, South Easton, MA, 02375. Its website is at http://www.locotapas.com/


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Thursday, November 21, 2013

Nourish Your Soul Is Opening at The Club by George Foreman III in South Boston

A shop in Medford that features fresh-pressed juices and more is going to be expanding, with a new location on its way to South Boston.

An email sent to us today indicates that the person behind Nourish Your Soul on Playstead Street in West Medford is planning to open a second spot, with this one being at a boxing-themed gym at the Channel Center in Southie called The Club by George Foreman III. The shop will feature smoothies, raw juices, and cleanses using organic fruits and vegetables with no added sugar or fillers, as well as organic provisions and coffee.

Expect the new Nourish Your Soul to open sometime in January.

[January 7, 2014 update: A Facebook post from Nourish Your Soul says that the new location in South Boston opens on Monday (January 13).]

The address for this new juicing shop in South Boston is: Nourish Your Soul, 15 Channel Center Street, Boston, MA. The website can be found at http://www.nourishyoursoul.com/


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Sono Is Opening in Arlington

It looks like a new Asian restaurant and sushi bar is getting ready to open in a section of Arlington not known for its dining spots.

According to a poster on the Chowhound site, Sono appears to be very close to opening near the intersection of Summer Street and Forest Street, across from the Summer Street baseball field and the Ed Burns Arena skating rink. An earlier article from the Arlington Patch says that the eatery is taking over two vacant storefronts in a strip that has seen businesses come and go over the years, including a few takeout restaurants (the Arlington Cafe currently resides in the block). It appears that Sono will have seating for approximately 50 (including about 10 at its sushi bar) and that it will be open for lunch and dinner daily.

[January 16, 2014 update: Sono is opening its doors today.]

The address for this new restaurant in Arlington is: Sono, 469-471 Summer Street, Arlington, MA, 02474.


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Salem State University Is Reopening the Salem Diner

An historic diner on the North Shore that closed a few months ago is on its way back--and the university that bought the property is behind its reopening.

The Salem News is reporting that Salem State University is planning to reopen the Salem Diner, with Chartwells (which has the school's food service contract) running the place. The diner closed after the university purchased the diner property this summer, but now it looks like it could be up and running once again--possibly in early January of 2014.

[January 16, 2014 update: A new article in The Salem News states that the Salem Diner is now open once again.]

The article says that the diner, which was built in 1941 and is on the National Register of Historic Places, was a favorite of Johnny Pesky, a Boston Red Sox icon who passed away in August of 2012.

The address for the Salem Diner is 70 Loring Avenue, Salem, MA, 01970.

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


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02 Vegan Cafe Opens in Cambridge

A new vegan dining spot has opened in Cambridge, and it is actually part of a yoga studio.

A note sent to us indicates that the folks behind 02 Yoga in Cambridge and Somerville now have an eatery in front of the Cambridge location called 02 Vegan Cafe, with the Mass. Ave. place offering soups, salads, sandwiches, bagels, and smoothies. Hours for the cafe are 8:00 AM to 4:00 PM Saturday through Wednesday and 8:00 AM to 9:00 PM on Thursdays and Fridays.

The address for this new spot in Cambridge is: 02 Vegan Cafe, 1001 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, MA, 02138 (between Harvard Square and Central Square). Its website can be found at http://www.o2yoga.com/vo2-cafe/


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Good Bar in Downtown Boston Has Closed

It looks like a bar in the heart of downtown Boston has closed its doors.

A post from the Boston Hospitality and Tourism Industry Blog indicates that Good Bar on State Street is shuttered, with a picture sent to us showing a "For Lease" sign on the front door of the place. Good Bar was a pub that served some bar food along with drinks and had entertainment that included darts, foosball, a small dance floor downstairs, and open mic nights.

[December 5 update: It appears that Good Bar's liquor license could be heading to the North End, as a Licensing Board page on the City of Boston website indicates that a request has been made to transfer the license to Gennaro's 5 North Square, which currently is only able to serve beer and wine.]

A few weeks ago, another bar on State Street closed--Kitty O'Shea's--though it appears that a new spot called Bostonia Public House is opening in that space.

The address for this now-closed drinking spot in downtown Boston was: Good Bar, 183 State Street, Boston, MA, 02109.


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Senator Robert Hedlund Is Opening Trio in Weymouth Landing

A state senator who opened a restaurant three years ago is now planning to open a second dining spot--and this one would be in the same area as the first.

The Braintree Forum is reporting that Senator Robert Hedlund and his business partner Marko Piro Fani are looking at opening Trio Restaurant in the Weymouth Landing/East Braintree neighborhood, with the address indicating that it would be across the street from Four Square, a dining spot that Hedlund opened in February of 2011. The Braintree Planning Board has approved plans for 67 seats inside the space, though no plans for outdoor seating have been approved as of yet and the proposed restaurant still needs to go through the licensing process, including the acquisition of a possible liquor license for the place.

[January 16, 2014 update: The Weymouth News states that Robert Hedlund has received town approval for Trio, though concerns from the Braintree planning board have scaled back the plans for the new restaurant a bit (for now, the patio plans appear to be on the shelf). Hedlund does not know when the dining spot will open at this point; he does mention that the eatery will be open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner daily, however.]

[October 27, 2014 update: According to a Facebook post from the restaurant, Trio is now open, and based on its menu, it looks like the place is focusing on classic American fare and comfort food (soups, salads, sandwiches, macaroni and cheese, pizza, fish and chips, shepherd's pie, and more).]

The address for this planned dining spot in the Weymouth Landing/East Braintree area is 19A Commercial Street, Braintree, MA, 02184. (Four Square is at 16 Commercial Street.)


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Cuffs in Boston's Back Bay Is Closing; New Bar to Take Its Place

An Irish pub within a Back Bay hotel is going to be closing, with a new bar taking its place.

An email sent to us indicates that Cuffs, which is in the Loews Hotel on Stuart Street, will be shuttering on December 17, making way for a new dining and drinking establishment that plans to open in the spring of 2014. To thank customers for their loyalty over the years, Cuffs will be serving cocktails for $10 and 16-ounce beers for $5.00 from now until the place closes, along with nightly specials from the old menu that will be offered at original prices. [Note: Some of this info comes from a Twitter post.]

The changes that are coming are part of a renovation of the hotel, according to the note.

The address for Cuffs (and the Loews Hotel) is 350 Stuart Street, Boston, MA, 02116. The website for the hotel can be found at http://www.loewshotels.com/en/Boston-Hotel/


[New article from our sister site (Boston's Hidden Restaurants): Slideshow--Twelve Cheesy Items from Places in the Boston Area and Beyond]



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Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Christo's in Brockton Is Closing; Plans Underway for Takeout Spot, Smaller Restaurant

[Ed note: This article was updated on November 20 to reflect new information received.]

Yet another landmark restaurant in the Boston area is going to be closing its doors, with this one being a Greek spot south of the city.

The Enterprise is reporting that Christo's Restaurant in Brockton will be shuttering on December 31 after being in business for nearly 50 years. Rumors of its closure have been going around ever since the founder of the restaurant--Christos Tsaganis--passed away this winter, but nothing had been confirmed until now.

Christo's first opened in 1964 and has become an institution over the years, with the 450-seat eatery offering a mix of Greek fare, American classics, and comfort food.

The region has seen other well-known restaurants close (or prepare to close) over the past few months, including Anthony's Pier 4 on the Boston waterfront, the Hilltop Steak House in Saugus, and UpStairs on the Square in Cambridge, which will also close on December 31.

[November 20 update: A Facebook post from the restaurant indicates that the folks behind Christo's are planning to open a takeout spot in early 2014 and are also scouting out possible locations for a new restaurant that would be "a bit smaller" than the original Christo's.]

[December 23 update: A Facebook post from Christo's indicates that a new takeout spot called Christo's to Go! will be opening on Route 18 in Whitman, with the place possibly opening in February.]

The address for this soon-to-close dining spot in Brockton is: Christo's Restaurant, 782 Crescent Street, Brockton, MA, 02302.


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Sa Pa to Expand to Cleveland Circle in Brighton

The owner of a Vietnamese restaurant in Boston's Financial District is opening a second location, with this one moving into the space in Brighton where a Thai eatery had been before moving to another section of the neighborhood.

Eater Boston is reporting (via the Banker & Tradesman site) that a new location of Sa Pa will open in Cleveland Circle, taking over the former Bangkok Bistro space (Bangkok Bistro is now located on Washington Street on the western edge of Brighton Center). There is no set date for the new spot, but it looks like it may be opening in the spring of 2014.

[April 3, 2014 update: A new post from Eater Boston mentions that Sa Pa is planning to open its new location in Brighton next month.]

[May 19, 2014 update: An email sent this morning says that the new Sa Pa in Brighton opens today at 11:00 AM.]

Sa Pa first opened on Bedford Street in downtown Boston in February, taking over the space where a location of Hot Tomatoes had been. Owner Ky Nguyen is also behind Kingston Station, which opened on nearby Kingston Street in September of 2007.

The address for this new Vietnamese restaurant in Cleveland Circle is: Sa Pa, 1952 Beacon Street, Brighton, MA, 02135. The website for the original location can be found at http://www.sa-pa.com/


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Justine's Grill in Wellesley (Formerly Justine's Table) Has Closed

A restaurant west of Boston that opened about a year ago--and changed its name a couple of months ago--has closed its doors.

The Wellesley Townsman is reporting that Justine's Grill on Route 9 has shuttered after a difficult period that included parking issues, hearings for an alcohol license, questions about who actually owned the dining spot, and finally, a foreclosure auction of the building in which it resided. The restaurant first opened as Justine's Table in the fall of 2012, with the place recently changing its name and revamping its menu. [Note: It appears that The Swellesley Report was the first to write about this story.]

The address for this now-closed eatery in Wellesley was: Justine's Grill, 978 Worcester Street, Wellesley, MA, 02482.

[Earlier Article]
Justine's Table in Wellesley Is Now Justine's Grill


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Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Taam China II in Newton Has Closed

The Boston area has lost one of its only kosher Chinese restaurants.

An article in The Jewish Journal states that Taam China II in Newton has closed its doors, with the place apparently shuttering in late October due to the fact that its business was "unsustainable." The Adams Street Shul website mentions that a new restaurant called Jean & Lee Kitchen will move into the Oak Street space, and that it will not be a kosher spot.

The original Taam China, which is located on Harvard Street in Brookline, remains open.

The address for this now-closed kosher Chinese eatery in Newton was: Taam China II, 108 Oak Street, Newton, MA, 02464. The website for the Brookline location is at http://www.taamchina.us/

Thanks to one of our readers for bringing this to our attention.


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Farm and Fable Opens in Boston's South End

A vintage cookbook and kitchen shop has just opened in the South End of Boston.

According to a post on its Facebook page, Farm & Fable is now open on Shawmut Avenue, with Eater Boston stating (via The Daily Candy) that the new store offers classes, demos, and "cookbook book club potlucks" along with cookbooks and various kitchenwares. The articles mention that owner Abigail Ruettgers left her career in law more than a year ago, working at Flour Bakery while making plans to open a business that combines food and antiques.

The address for this new shop in the South End is: Farm & Fable, 251 Shawmut Avenue, Boston, MA, 02118. Its website will be at http://www.farmandfable.com/


[New article from our sister site (Boston's Hidden Restaurants): Slideshow--Twelve Cheesy Items from Places in the Boston Area and Beyond]



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Holyoke Center in Cambridge's Harvard Square Becomes Smith Center; Status of Restaurants Unknown

A building in Cambridge's Harvard Square has a new name, and renovations are on the way--and what this means for the restaurants within the space is anyone's guess at this point in time.

The Harvard Crimson is reporting that the Holyoke Center has officially changed its name to the Smith Center, with Harvard University (the owner of the building) saying that the first three floors will undergo construction starting in 2016. The fate of the two eateries on the first floor of the center--Al's Harvard Square Cafe and Oggi Gourmet--is unknown right now, as they have not been included in the planning process up to this point.

The Smith Center is bordered by Mass. Ave., Mt. Auburn Street, Dunster Street, and Holyoke Street on the eastern edge of the square.


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Tara Restaurant in Waltham Reopens After Being Seized by the State

Last week we reported that a Waltham restaurant had been seized by the Department of Revenue, and now we have learned that the eatery is open once again.

The Waltham News Tribune is reporting that Tara Restaurant on Moody Street is now back in business, as the owner worked with the state to create a payment plan for back taxes owed. The article says that the place was able to reopen last Thursday, the day after it had been seized.

Tara Restaurant offers a mix of sandwiches, pizza, pasta dishes, grill items, and Chilean fare. It is located at 288 Moody Street in Waltham's "restaurant row." The website for the spot can be found at http://www.tararestaurant.net/

[Earlier Article]
Tara Restaurant in Waltham Has Been Seized by the State


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Monday, November 18, 2013

Highlights for the Week Ending November 15, 2013

A few more stories and articles centering on the Boston-area restaurant scene came out over the past week, including a popular restaurant in Cambridge closing, a "restaurant row" coming to Quincy, and the celebrity brothers behind a burger spot making a reality show. In addition, our sister site (Boston's Hidden Restaurants) included an updated review of an Israeli restaurant in Brookline, a photo of a brownie from a bakery on the Brookline/Boston border, and a new discussion on cooking and fall foods.

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

Boston Restaurant Talk

Chez Henri in Cambridge Is Closing

A "Restaurant Row" Is Coming to Quincy

Wahlburgers Reality Show Coming to A&E

Tuscan Grill in Waltham Has Closed; New Concept Slated for Space

DePasquale's Homemade Pasta Shoppe in Boston's North End to Move, Become Bricco Salumeria and Pasta Shoppe

Boston's Hidden Restaurants

Updated Review: Rami's in Brookline, MA

Chat on Cooking and Fall Foods

Photo: Bouchon Brownie from Clear Flour Bread, Brookline, MA

Closings and Openings for November (So Far)

Pizza from Fiorella's in Newton for National Pizza with Everything (Except Anchovies) Day


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DooWee and Rice in Somerville Closes, Plans to Collaborate with Wonder Bar in Allston

An Asian restaurant in the Powderhouse Square section of Somerville has closed after being open for a bit more than a year, though it is apparently not gone for good.

Eater Boston is reporting that DooWee & Rice shuttered over the weekend, with chef/owner Duy Tran deciding to focus on an upcoming location of the restaurant in London as well as a proposed dining spot under the Wonder Bar in Allston. The article mentions that a new spot called Teriyaki House is slated for the DooWee & Rice space, with @TheDrewStarr saying (via the Boston's Hidden Restaurants Facebook page) that it is not related to the Teriyaki House restaurants in the Back Bay/Fenway area and South Boston.

[January 7, 2014 update: Plans for its collaboration with the Wonder Bar are moving ahead, as The Restaurant Hub blog of The Boston Globe mentions that DooWee & Rice will be hosting an NFL playoff party this Saturday night with a menu that includes pork, salmon, and chicken baos as well as other items. The restaurant's Facebook page also says that they are getting ready to do a trial run of food on a Thursday through Saturday stretch very soon (more details to come).]

DooWee & Rice first opened in September of 2012, offering Asian fusion cuisine that included such items as Vietnamese eggrolls, bao baos, braised pork and rice, and marinated noodles with beef.

The address for this now-closed restaurant in Somerville was: DooWee & Rice, 868 Broadway, Somerville, MA, 02144.


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Update: Central Wharf Co. Is Replacing Jose McIntyre's in Downtown Boston

[Ed note: This article was updated on November 27 to reflect confirmation of this happening.]

It looks like a new restaurant and bar is coming to downtown Boston, apparently replacing another dining and drinking spot that it owned by the same restaurant group.

The Boston Hospitality and Tourism Industry Blog is reporting (via The Improper Bostonian) that The Glynn Hospitality Group is planning to open a new spot called Central Wharf Co. on Milk Street, with the address indicating that it may be taking over the Jose McIntyre's space in Downtown Boston. There doesn't appear to be any other information on the new spot (menu, opening date, etc.); as soon as we get more information, we will post an update here.

[November 27 update: The Boston Hospitality and Tourism Industry Blog confirms that Central Wharf Co. will indeed be moving into the Jose McIntyre's space, as the post shows pictures of Central Wharf signs now being up at the site.]

[November 27 update #2: One of our readers says that Central Wharf Co. is now open.]

The Glynn Hospitality Group runs several other restaurants and bars in the area, including The Black Rose, Brownstone, Clerys, Coogan's, Dillon's, Granary Tavern, Hurricane O'Reilly's, and Sterling's. Its website can be found at http://www.glynnhospitalitygroup.com/

The address for Jose McIntyre's (and the upcoming Central Wharf Co.) is 160 Milk Street, Boston, MA, 02109.


[New article from our sister site (Boston's Hidden Restaurants): Slideshow--Twelve Cheesy Items from Places in the Boston Area and Beyond]



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Thursday, November 14, 2013

Update: A New Restaurant May Be Coming to South Boston

[Ed note: This article was updated on November 15 to reflect the fact that the name of the proposed spot is a working name only, and the cuisine is not written in stone yet.]

It looks like a new restaurant that could be featuring Italian food may be coming to South Boston, and its working name reflects a name that a New York newspaper gave the neighborhood earlier this year (though the restaurant will likely be called something else).

Universal Hub is reporting that a proposed dining spot that has the name "Sobo Bistro" is planning to open at the corner of E Broadway and L Street, with owner Michael Norton looking to convert the former electrician's shop into a 60-seat eatery. The term "SoBo" briefly made the rounds back in June when the New York Times used it to describe Southie in an article on the Whitey Bulger trial.

According to UH, the Boston Licensing Board will look into the possibility of awarding Norton a beer and wine license for the restaurant today, which, if all goes well, could open in the spring of 2014.

[November 15 update: The Boston Globe states that "Sobo Bistro" is a working name only and will not be the final name of the eatery, and it may or may not focus on Italian cuisine. The article also says that no decision was made on the beer and wine license at yesterday's meeting.]

[January 27, 2016 update: It has been more than two years since we first wrote about this planned restaurant, and while it has not opened yet, things may be moving along now, as a licensing board page within the city of Boston website mentions that a meeting will take place on February 3 that looks into its request for a liquor license.]

[February 3, 2016 update: Universal Hub reports that Michael Norton is planning to team up with restaurateurs Gordon Wilcox and Brian Poe (Poe's Kitchen at the Rattlesnake, Tip Tap Room, Bukowski) to open the as-of-yet unnamed spot in Southie, which would be more of a restaurant than a bar.]

The address for this proposed dining spot in South Boston is 749 E Broadway, South Boston, MA, 02127.

Thanks to @ConciergeBoston for initially bringing this to our attention.


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Cocobeet Is Opening at Boston's City Hall Plaza

A new dining spot is opening in the downtown Boston, and it looks like the place will focus on healthy fare.

The Boston Hospitality and Tourism Industry Blog is reporting (via an earlier Eater Boston article) that Cocobeet is planning to open at 100 City Hall Plaza, with the eatery moving into the space where 1-800-Flowers had been. The blog post mentions that the spot will offer such items as raw, vegan, and gluten-free takeout food items as well as power smoothies. There appears to be no specific opening date for Cocobeet at this time, but the sign out front says "Coming Soon."

[January 23 update: Eater Boston states that Cocobeet may be opening sometime next week.]

[January 31 update: Food writer MC Slim JB says (via the Chowhound site) that Cocobeet is now open.]

The address for this upcoming place in downtown Boston is: Cocobeet, 100 City Hall Plaza, Boston, MA, 02108.


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Chez Henri in Cambridge Is Closing

Earlier this year, we reported that a French-Cuban restaurant in Cambridge may have been sold, but a later report said that it hadn't. Now we have learned that the place is getting ready to close.

Cambridge Day is reporting that Chez Henri on Shepard Street is going to be shutting down this Sunday, with a note on the dining spot's Facebook page saying that "After 19 amazing years, it is with a heavy heart and bright eyes to the future that we announce Chez Henri will be closing its doors." There is no word on what might be replacing the restaurant.

Owner Paul O'Connell first opened Chez Henri in 1994, with the eatery becoming known in part for its Cuban sandwiches.

The address for this soon-to-close restaurant in Cambridge is: Chez Henri, 1 Shepard Street, Cambridge, MA, 02138.

Thanks to Chowhound poster (and food writer) BostonZest for bringing this to our attention.


[New article from our sister site (Boston's Hidden Restaurants): Slideshow--Twelve Cheesy Items from Places in the Boston Area and Beyond]



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Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Tara Restaurant in Waltham Has Been Seized by the State

A restaurant in Waltham has been shut down by the state, and it is not known whether the place will reopen at this point.

A Twitter post from @BrandNewWatch indicates that Tara Restaurant on Moody Street has been seized for nonpayment of taxes, and it is now in the possession of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. The Waltham Patch is looking for more information on its closing, so we may be able to give an update on the status of the dining spot relatively soon.

Tara Restaurant features pizza and sandwiches, as well as Chilean cuisine such as chacareros, lomitos, and empanadas. It also offers a variety of pasta dishes and grill items.

[November 19 update: The Waltham News Tribune says that Tara is now open once again, as the owner worked out a payment plan with the state on the payment of back taxes.]

The address for this dining spot in Waltham is: Tara Restaurant, 288 Moody Street, Waltham, MA, 02453. Its website is at http://www.tararestaurant.net/


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A "Restaurant Row" Is Coming to Quincy

The downtown redevelopment of Quincy continues to move ahead, and now we have learned that a "restaurant row" will be a part of it--though at the expense of three eating and drinking establishments.

The Patriot Ledge is reporting that the first phase of the project called Merchants Row will include restaurants along Cottage Avenue, with Alba Restaurant apparently being included--remaining in its current spot where Cottage Avenue meets Hancock Street. However, Granite Rail Tavern, Tully's Cafe, and Quincy Jade will all close, making room for new dining spots, according to the article. It is not known which restaurants might be going into the upcoming restaurant row, nor is it mentioned when the three existing spots might close; as soon as we receive more information, we will post an update here.

Cottage Street is located between Hancock Street and Chestnut Street on the eastern edge of the downtown area.


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Caffe Nero Is Opening in Boston

A chain of Italian-style coffee shops based in Europe is going to be opening its first location in the United States, and it will reside in the heart of Boston.

According to a post from the Boston Hospitality and Tourism Industry Blog (via Atlantic Associates), Caffe Nero is planning to open at the new Millennium Place building on Washington Street, with the shop featuring Italian coffee and possibly (based on other locations) food items such as soups, salads, panini, pasta dishes, muffins, and pastries. It looks like the cafe could be open sometime in the early part of 2014.

[February 26, 2014 update: A Licensing Board page on the City of Boston website mentions that Caffe Nero is looking to be open from 7:00 AM to 7:00 PM and it plans to have a seasonal outdoor patio that seats 24. In addition, the chain's website says that it expects to open its Boston location sometime this spring.]

[May 13, 2014 update: According to a Twitter post from @FortPointer, Caffe Nero will be opening its Boston location tomorrow (Wednesday, May 14) at 10:00 AM.]

Caffe Nero first started out in London in 1987, with the chain now up to more than 500 shops in Europe and Asia. Its website can be found at http://www.caffenero.com/


[New article from our sister site (Boston's Hidden Restaurants): Slideshow--Twelve Cheesy Items from Places in the Boston Area and Beyond]



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