Friday, January 31, 2014

Nino's Steak & Chop House in Hingham Is Closing

It looks like an Italian restaurant and steakhouse on the South Shore is closing its doors.

According to a veteran poster on the Chowhound site, Nino's Steak & Chop House is planning to close in about six weeks, with the poster saying that it will be "replaced by a white tablecloth, creative American restaurant" and that the new owner has a dining spot "in Town." Nino's first opened nearly 20 years ago on Route 53 near the Weymouth border, featuring Italian dishes such as chicken francese, veal marsala, eggplant parm, and scrod milanese, along with steak dishes such as ribeye, sirloin, and Tuscan flank steak.

The address for this soon-to-close restaurant in Hingham is: Nino's Steak & Chop House, 415 Whiting Street, Hingham, MA, 02043. Its website can be found at http://www.ninossteakandchophouse.com/

[April 6 update: Nino's is now closed.]


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The Tap Near Boston's Faneuil Hall Is Becoming the Tap Trailhouse

A bar located just north of Boston's Faneuil Hall is getting ready to close temporarily, and when it reopens it will have new food and drink options, an updated interior, and a slightly different name.

An email sent today indicates that The Tap on Union Street will shut down this Sunday (February 2) and will go through extensive renovations and updates. When it reopens in early March, the place will be called the Tap Trailhouse, which will be a new dining and drinking spot that has "a Colonial feel inspired by the nearby Freedom Trail." The note says that the new restaurant and bar will feature "elevated bar food" along with craft beer options from 25 taps, and wine and cocktails will also be offered.

[May 22 update: The Tap Trailhouse has not yet opened, though Zagat is saying that the eating and drinking spot does expect to open sometime this summer.]

[September 9 update: According to a post from UrbanDaddy, The Tap Trailhouse opens for dinner on Thursday (September 11).]

Both The Tap and the upcoming Tap Trailhouse are part of Boston Nightlife Ventures, which also runs Forum in the Back Bay, Griddler's Burgers and Dogs in Beacon Hill (as well as an upcoming location across from Boston Common), and the soon-to-open Wink & Nod in the South End.

The address for The Tap (and the Tap Trailhouse) is 19 Union Street, Boston, MA, 02108. The website for Boston Nightlife Ventures can be found at http://boston-nightlife-ventures.com/


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Navy Yard Bistro Is Opening a New Restaurant in Newburyport

A restaurant and wine bar in Charlestown is planning to expand northward.

According to a job post on the Craigslist site, the owner of Navy Yard Bistro is going to be opening a "similar concept," featuring New American fare for lunch and dinner in a space with seating for 100 as well as a 16-seat outdoor patio. The post does not give a name for the dining spot, nor an address, so more updates will be coming on the place at some point.

[June 3 update: According to @FoodserviceEast, the new restaurant from the owner of Navy Yard Bistro is now open, and it is called 50 Water (the address is 50 Water Street, Newburyport, MA, 01950).]

Navy Yard Bistro, which first opened by 1st Avenue and 6th Street approximately 10 years ago, features such items as baked brie, escargot, lobster dumplings, steamed mussels, roasted chicken breast, steak frites, marinated swordfish, and wild mushroom ravioli. Its website can be found at http://www.navyyardbistro.com/


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Shawarma Place Opens in Somerville's Davis Square

A new Middle Eastern restaurant has just opened in one of the busiest sections of Somerville.

According to a poster on Chowhound (as well as another poster on the Davis Square LiveJournal site), Shawarma Place is now open on Elm Street in Davis Square, having taken over the former Wing Works space next to Domino's. A complete menu has not yet been seen for the new dining spot, though another poster on Chowhound says that it offers falafel as well as shawarma.

The address for this new Middle Eastern restaurant in Davis Square is: Shawarma Place, 201 Elm Street, Somerville, MA, 02144.


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Thursday, January 30, 2014

New Restaurant Planning to Open in Former Davide Space in Boston's North End

Earlier this month we had reported that an Italian restaurant in Boston's North End had closed. Now we have learned that a new dining spot is looking to move into the space, and the person behind another North End restaurant appears to be involved with it.

A Licensing Board hearing post on the City of Boston site indicates that a new eatery tentatively called Donato & Gianni is planning to open in the former Davide spot on Commercial Street. A Bizapedia page shows that Donato Frattarolli of Lucia Ristorante on Hanover Street (and another location in Winchester Center) is the manager of Donato & Gianni, with the address being 328 Commercial Street (Davide's address was 326 Commercial Street). Little other information on the proposed restaurant is given other than the fact that it is looking to be open until 11:30 PM.

[August 4 update: The Boston Globe is reporting that the new restaurant moving into the former Davide space will be an Italian steakhouse, though the name "Donato & Gianni" is not mentioned in the post (that may have been a working name only).]

Davide closed earlier this month after being in business for approximately 15 years. It was known in part for being featured on Gordon Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares.

[Earlier Article]
Davide in Boston's North End Has Been Sold


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Patch Hit by Massive Layoffs; Many Boston-Area Community Sites Now Running without Editors

A national network of news sites that has been struggling of late--and was a frequent source of restaurant news for this blog--was hit by a huge round of layoffs that has left many community sites (including a number in the Boston area) running rudderless without their editors.

According to a number of sources, including an article in MassLive, Patch Media Corp. told "hundreds" of its employees yesterday that they were being let go. As a result, community outlets of the Patch across the country are now more or less on autopilot, showing local and regional articles on their pages, but with their editors laid off. Below is a running list of local Patch outlets that are now apparently running without editors (please post comments below if you know of any others that need to be added):

Back Bay (Boston)
Beacon Hill (Boston)
Bedford
Belmont
Beverly
Braintree
Brookline
Burlington
Canton
Charlestown (Boston)
Concord
Danvers
Fenway-Kenmore (Boston)
Hingham
Jamaica Plain (Boston)
Lexington
Lynnfield
Malden
Melrose
Milton
Needham
Newton
North End (Boston)
Norwood
Peabody
Roslindale (Boston)
Somerville
South End (Boston)
Stoughton
Sudbury
Swampscott
Wakefield
Waltham
Watertown
Wellesley
Weston
Westwood
Weymouth
Wilmington
Winchester

An article in the New York Times from earlier this month mentioned that Hale Global, a company that specializes in turnarounds of troubled businesses, took over majority ownership in Patch from AOL a couple of weeks ago (AOL bought Patch in 2009, about a year and a half after the company was initially formed).


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Sepal Is Opening in Quincy

A Middle Eastern restaurant that has opened (and closed) various locations in the Boston area over the past several years is getting back into expansion mode again.

The Boston Globe mentions that Sepal, which opened a new shop in the Back Bay in November, is looking to open a location in Quincy as well. The restaurant had closed their original Watertown location several years ago, then opened branches at MIT and the CambridgeSide Galleria in Cambridge, though both of these have shuttered as well. It appears that their shop at the Longwood Galleria in Boston remains open.

At this point in time, it is not known where in Quincy Sepal may open, nor is it known when it might be coming; as soon as we get more information, we will post an update here.

[May 5 update: According to a poster on the Chowhound site, Sepal is now open in Quincy, with the restaurants's website saying that its address is 527 Washington Street (Route 3A).]

The website for Sepal can be found at http://sepalrestaurant.com/


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Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Chez Henri in Cambridge Returns in the Form of a Pop-Up Restaurant

A well-know Cambridge restaurant that closed this past fall is back--this time as a pop-up spot.

According to a Facebook post from the dining spot, Chez Henri is going to be having their "first" pop-up dinner on Friday, February 28 at Mariposa Bakery on Mass. Ave. in Central Square. The post shows that the dinner will include their signature Cuban sandwiches as well as French onion soup, empanadas, conch fritters, chocolate bread pudding, and more. It is not known when or where the next pop-up from Chez Henri will be, so stay tuned for updates.

[March 13 update: Eater Boston states (via the restaurant's Facebook page) that Chez Henri will continue doing monthly pop-ups, with the next one being this Sunday (March 16) at Mariposa Bakery from 5:00 PM to 9:00 PM.]

Chez Henri was a French-Cuban restaurant that was located on Shepard Street (between Porter Square and Harvard Square) for nearly 20 years until closing in November.

[Earlier Article]
Chez Henri in Cambridge Is Closing


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John Dewar & Co. Butcher Shop in Wellesley Has Closed

A butcher shop in the western suburbs of Boston has closed its doors after approximately 10 years in business.

The Swellesley Report states that John Dewar & Co. in Wellesley has shuttered, with a note from the place saying that "It has truly been an honor and our privilege to have had 'a seat at your table' over all of these years." The store's website says that customers who have any questions about the redemption of gift card can call them at (508) 638-7700.

Another location of John Dewar & Co. closed in Newton Centre in early 2012, with Sycamore restaurant taking over the Beacon Street space.

The address for this now-closed butcher shop in Wellesley was: John Dewar & Co., 277 Linden Street, Wellesley, MA, 02482.

Thanks to Dan Andelman of The Phantom Gourmet for bringing this to our attention.


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Shannon Bard of Zapoteca in Portland, ME, Looks to Open a Restaurant in Boston

The chef and co-owner of a high-end Mexican restaurant in Portland, ME, is apparently looking to expand into Boston and possibly beyond.

Eater Boston is reporting (via an earlier article in The Portland Press Herald) that Shannon Bard and her husband Tom are eyeing Boston as the potential site of a new dining spot. In the original Press Herald article, Bard says that "We've got two restaurants now...We're wanting a third in Portland, and as we start to expand and talk about Boston and further south, it's great exposure."

In addition to Zapoteca, which opened in June of 2011 on Fore Street in Portland, Shannon and Tom Bard also own Mixteca in Durham, NH.


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Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Strip by Strega Is Opening at the Boston Park Plaza Hotel

It looks like a growing group of restaurants in the Boston area is going to be expanding once again.

The Boston Business Journal is reporting that Nick Varano of The Varano Group is planning to open Strip by Strega at the Boston Park Plaza Hotel, moving into the 6,900-square-foot space where Whiskey Park had once been. The article mentions that the new restaurant would be a steakhouse with steaks similar to those found on the menu at Strega Prime, which opened last August. The Bay Village Neighborhood Association will hear about Varano's plans this evening.

[April 1, 2015 update: According to an article in The Boston Herald, Strip by Strega is opening on April 18.]

Other restaurants that are run by The Varano Group include Strega Waterfront at Fan Pier, Strega North End, and Nico, which is also in the North End.


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India Samraat in Boston's Back Bay Is Closing

An Indian restaurant in the Back Bay of Boston is closing after being in business for nearly a quarter century.

According to BostonZest (via the Chowhound site), India Samraat on Mass. Ave. will be shutting down on January 31, with a note on the restaurant's Facebook page saying that their business will continue at their Brookline location (Curry House at 1335 Beacon Street). The Facebook post also says that their catering and delivery service will remain in place.

India Samraat first opened in 1990.

The address for this soon-to-close Indian restaurant in the Back Bay is: India Samraat, 51 Massachusetts Avenue, Boston, MA, 02115. The website for Curry House can be found at http://curryhousema.com/


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B Street Restaurant and Bar in Newton Centre Has Closed

A restaurant in Newton Centre has closed its doors after being in business for approximately three years.

The Boston Hospitality and Tourism Industry Blog is reporting (via the Facebook page of the dining spot) that B Street Restaurant & Bar on Beacon Street is no longer in operation, with the place apparently closing over the past day or two. The eatery focused mainly on New American fare and upscale comfort food, as well as wine and a variety of cocktails.

The owners of B Street Restaurant & Bar had formerly operated Pie Bakery and Cafe within the space, with it morphing into B Street in February of 2011.

The address for this now-closed dining spot in Newton Centre was: B Street Restaurant & Bar, 796 Beacon Street, Newton Centre, MA, 02459.


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Homage Bistro Is Coming to Cambridge

A new restaurant is on its way to Cambridge, and it is going to be opening in a "landmark" space.

According to a post within the restaurant jobs section of the BostonChefs.com site, Homage Bistro is planning to open somewhere in the city, with the 50-seat dining spot being a farm-to-table eatery that has influences coming from Spain, Southern France, North Africa, and the Near East. The job listing mentions that the location of Homage Bistro is a "Cambridge culinary landmark and has been home to award-winning restaurants for the last 40 years," though it doesn't give an address or a neighborhood. In addition, the post says that the group behind the place has been involved in the Cambridge restaurant scene for more than 10 years, though it doesn't mention who the team is. (As soon as we find out more about the upcoming dining spot, we will post an update here.)

Expect a spring opening for Homage Bistro.

[January 29 update: Eater Boston mentions that a Twitter page for Homage Bistro follows Ten Tables among its handful of followers, and that its Facebook page has the address 5 Craigie Circle in Cambridge, which is the same address as that of Ten Tables (and before that, Craigie Street Bistrot). Nothing has been confirmed as of yet, but these bits of information--as well as the fact that Ten Tables has a capacity of 50 (the same capacity given for Homage Bistro)--indicates that there is a strong possibility Ten Tables could indeed become Homage Bistro.]

[March 16 update: An email sent over the weekend confirms that Homage Bistro will indeed be moving into the space where Ten Tables currently resides. The owner of the restaurant is Ian Rose, who has been General Manager at Ten Tables, while the Executive Chef is Benjamin Lacy, who comes from Tastings Wine Bar and Bistro in Foxborough. As indicated earlier, the new spot will focus on Mediterranean fare, with a commitment to sustainable farming practices and local organic cuisine. There is no set closing date for Ten Tables as of yet and no set opening date for Homage Bistro, so stay tuned for another update soon.]


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Monday, January 27, 2014

Highlights for the Week Ending January 24, 2014

A few more stories and articles centering on the Boston-area restaurant scene came out over the past week, including a person behind a couple of Irish pubs purchasing a neighborhood restaurant and bar, an Asian spot with a bit of a Mexican influence opening in downtown Boston, and a tavern in New York City looking to open in Fort Point. In addition, our sister site (Boston's Hidden Restaurants) included a new review of a Chinese restaurant west of Boston, a post about three new Pinterest boards, and a photo of a special kind of donut from a shop in Somerville.

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

Boston Restaurant Talk

West Roxbury Pub Sold to Owner of The Squealing Pig; Will Become Eat with Jack O'Neill

InBoston Opens in Boston's Financial District

Limoo Tea House to Open in Brookline

The Ginger Man May Be Coming to Boston's Fort Point Neighborhood

Home Ice Sports Bar Replaces Mari's Place in Quincy

Boston's Hidden Restaurants

New Review: The Wok in Wellesley, MA

Photo: Bacon Feta Pizza from Spencer's in Abington, MA

New Pinterest Boards: Mac and Cheese, Burgers, Pizza

Photo: Sea Salt Bourbon Caramel Donut from Union Square Donuts in Somerville, MA

Photo: Fried Bananas from The Wok in Wellesley, MA


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Ki Bistro Opens Near Boston University

A new Asian restaurant has opened in a rather hidden spot near Boston University, and ramen lovers may want to take note of this one.

Eater Boston is reporting that Ki Bistro is now open on Babcock Street off Commonwealth Avenue, with the address indicating that the eatery has apparently taken over the former Boston Pizza and Grill space at the Babcock Tower apartment building. The menu for the dining spot shows several burgers offered, including kim chi burges, banh mi burgers, cheeseburgers, and tofu burgers, with customers being given the option of buns made of ramen noodles or rice, with brioche buns also available. Summer rolls are also served at Ki Bistro, as well as rice bowls, stir-fried noodles, grilled salmon, braised pork, and more.

The restaurant is open for lunch and dinner seven days a week, with hours being 11:00 AM to 10:00 PM Sunday through Thursday and 11:00 AM to 11:00 PM on Fridays and Saturdays.

The address for this new Asian restaurant near BU is: Ki Bistro, 270 Babcock Street, Boston, MA, 02215. Its website can be found at http://kibistro.com/


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



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Saturday, January 25, 2014

Delux Cafe in Boston's South End Has Closed; Will Reopen in February

[Ed note: This article was updated on January 26 to reflect the fact that the restaurant has been sold and will be reopening.]

An eclectic restaurant and bar in the South End of Boston has closed its doors, though it now looks like the place will reopen.

A note from Patrick M. of the Server Not Servant site indicates that Delux Cafe on Chandler Street has shuttered, with a Twitter post from @DigBoston (via Anna Norton on Facebook) confirming this--a sign out front saying "Delux Cafe -- RIP" is shown on Dig's page. [Update: A response to DigBoston by the restaurant says that it is "Gone, but not for long. Sold to a long time employee and will reopen in February." (Thanks to The Boston Globe for bringing this to our attention.)]

Delux Cafe, which first opened in 1993, featured mostly classic American fare, pub grub, and comfort food, with such dishes as Cubanos, BBQ ribs, grilled cheese sandwiches, tacos, quesadillas, ravioli, and roasted half chicken offered.

The address for the Delux Cafe is 100 Chandler Street, Boston, MA, 02116.


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Friday, January 24, 2014

Owner of The Squealing Pig Is Opening Eat with Jack O'Neill in West Roxbury Pub Space

[Ed note: Eat with Jack O'Neill is now open as of June 5, 2015.]

A local watering hole in a Boston neighborhood has been sold to the person behind a couple of Irish pubs (including one in the city).

Universal Hub is reporting (via The West Roxbury Bulletin) that Diarmuid O'Neill of The Squealing Pig has purchased the West Roxbury Pub & Restaurant, with the plan being for a new spot called Eat with Jack O'Neill to open in the Centre Street space. UH says that the Boston Licensing Board will look into the sale next Wednesday.

[January 29 update: A new article from Universal Hub confirms that the proposed eating and drinking spot will indeed be called Eat with Jack O'Neill, and that the plans include a small bakery in the space as well as a Sunday brunch. UH also says that the sale has received approval from city officials and neighborhood/business groups, but still needs approval from the Boston Licensing Board tomorrow. Finally, the article mentions that the murals of James Michael Curley inside the place will be removed and sold at a charity auction, though the outside mural will remain in place.]

[June 5, 2015 update: Eater Boston mentions (via West Roxbury Main St) that Eat with Jack O'Neill is now open in West Roxbury.]

The Squealing Pig has locations on Smith Street near Brigham Circle/Mission Hill and in Provincetown.

The address for the West Roxbury Pub/Eat with Jack O'Neill is 1885 Centre Street, West Roxbury, MA, 02132.


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Thursday, January 23, 2014

Bonapita Is Opening in Downtown Boston

A new restaurant is coming to the heart of downtown Boston, and it looks like it could be a fast-food eatery and/or a takeout spot.

According to a post within the jobs section of the BostonChefs.com site, Bonapita will be opening on Franklin Street in the Downtown Crossing/Financial District area of the city, with the "vibrant, quick service restaurant" planning to open its doors sometime in March. This confirms what an earlier article from the Boston Hospitality and Tourism Industry Blog said, with that post mentioning that the place had been looking to acquire a Common Victualler's License last month. Little is known about Bonapita at this point in time; as soon as we find out more about the restaurant, we will post an update here.

[May 21 update: According to a new post within the BostonChefs.com restaurant jobs section, Bonapita is "about to open." The website for the restaurant gives little information on the place, other than the fact that it will be a Mediterranean bakery and grill.]

[June 5 update: A Twitter post from @DTownBostonBID indicates that Bonapita is now open, with a sign out front saying "Come in and try our fresh baked pitas."]

The address for this new eatery in downtown Boston is: Bonapita, 51 Franklin Street, Boston, MA, 02110. Its website will be at http://bonapita.com/


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Wednesday, January 22, 2014

InBoston Opens in Boston's Financial District

A new restaurant has opened near the southern edge of Boston's Financial District, and it appears to be a Korean spot with just a bit of a Mexican influence.

Notes from both a reader and Cappy in Boston indicate that InBoston is now open on Bedford Street, moving into the space where Regal Express Sandwiches had been. A look at the menu (which was also sent by Cappy) indicates that the new eatery features crispy Korean fried chicken (wings, drums, and strips available), rice bowls with bulgogi or spicy chicken, and something call K-tacos, which have bulgogi or spicy chicken placed in corn tortillas. Sides include steamed rice, corn salsa, radish, and more.

The address for this new Korean restaurant in the Financial District is: InBoston, 85 Bedford Street, Boston, MA, 02111.


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Limoo Tea Bar to Open on the Allston/Brookline Border

It looks like a new dining and drinking place is on its way to the Allston/Brookline border, moving into the space where a Japanese eatery had been.

A Twitter post from @BostonGourmand indicates that Limoo Tea Bar is going to be opening on Commonwealth Avenue near BU, taking over the former Cafe Japonaise spot (locations of Japonaise Bakery and Cafe remain open on Beacon Street in Brookline and on Mass. Ave. in the Porter Square section of Cambridge). The post mentions that the upcoming place will feature Middle Eastern cuisine as well as "[bubble tea] inspired cocktails," while a Board of Selectmen page on the Brookline website confirms that the eatery is indeed looking to open in this space--and also hoping to serve alcohol.

Earlier it was mentioned that the space Limoo is moving into is in Brookline, but it actually has an Allston address. (It is literally on the line.)

[August 8 update: UrbanDaddy mentions that Limoo Tea Bar will be opening on Tuesday (August 12), with the place featuring tea with alcohol as well as food items such as hummus, salads, meat on a stick, pita pockets, and steamed buns.]

The address for this new dining and drinking place on the Allston/Brookline border is: Limoo Tea Bar, 1032 Commonwealth Avenue, Allston, MA, 02215. Its website can be found at http://limooteabar.com/


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Tuesday, January 21, 2014

The Ginger Man May Be Coming to Boston's Fort Point Neighborhood

A tavern with locations in New York City and Texas is looking to open a new spot in one of Boston's hottest neighborhoods for dining out.

The Boston Hospitality and Tourism Industry Blog is reporting (via The Boston Herald) that The Ginger Man is planning on opening in the Fort Point area, with the proposed eating and drinking establishment looking at a location on Congress Street. The Herald says that this will be the second time that the bar has tried to come to the neighborhood, as it had attempted to open on Farnsworth Street a couple of years back, only to have it fall through due to concerns from residents in the area. The folks behind The Ginger Man do have a signed lease for the 6,000-square-foot spot on Congress Street, but have not yet received a liquor license (the Boston Licensing Board will meet on a possible license transfer and planned 2:00 AM closing time for the place next week). If the restaurant and bar is able to open in Fort Point, expect farm-to-table fare as well as an extensive array of beers on tap and in bottles.

[February 5 update: A Licensing Board page on the City of Boston website indicates that the group behind the now-closed Purple Shamrock in Boston are seeking to transfer the pub's liquor license to The Ginger Man. (The hearing will take place on Wednesday, February 12.)]

[January 23, 2015 update: A new Licensing Board page on the City of Boston site says that The Ginger Man is now looking to open on State Street where the Stadium Sports Bar & Grill had been until recently closing. This may mean that the Congress Street space fell through, though this has not been confirmed as of yet.]

Currently, The Ginger Man has a location on E 36th Street in Manhattan, as well as in Austin, Dallas, Ft. Worth, Houston, Plano, and Southlake (all in Texas).

The address for this proposed tavern in Fort Point is 374 Congress Street, Boston, MA, 02210.


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Home Ice Sports Bar Replaces Mari's Place in Quincy

A new sports bar and music spot has replaced another watering hole in Quincy, and this one has a hockey theme to it.

According to one of our readers, Home Ice Sports Bar has opened on Washington Street in the downtown area, moving into the space where Mari's Place had been. The website for the place calls itself a "Hockey Bar with a rock & roll twist," with its Facebook page mentioning such food items as pizza, roast beef sandwiches, and meatloaf (the latter of which is a special) being a few items that are offered.

It appears that Home Ice Sports Bar opened its doors last week.

The address for this new sports bar in Quincy is: Home Ice Sports Bar, 35 Washington Street, Quincy, MA, 02169. Its website will be at http://www.homeicequincy.com/


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Monday, January 20, 2014

Highlights for the Week Ending January 20, 2014

Several more stories and articles focusing on the Boston-area restaurant scene came out over the past week, including a well-known Mexican restaurant across from Fenway Park closing, a Todd English dining spot losing its liquor license (for now), and a North End eatery being sold. In addition, our sister site (Boston's Hidden Restaurants) included an updated review of a cafe in Pomfret, CT, an update on restaurant closings and openings for January (so far), and a photo of a dessert pizza from a bar in Whitman.

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

Boston Restaurant Talk

Volle Nolle in Boston's North End Is Open Once Again

La Verdad in Boston's Fenway Neighborhood Has Closed; New Concept May Be Coming to the Space

Update: Figs in Charlestown Remains Open; Liquor License Seized

Barrio Cantina in Boston's Fenway Neighborhood Has Closed

Update: Davide in Boston's North End Has Been Sold

Boston's Hidden Restaurants

Updated Review: Vanilla Bean Cafe in Pomfret, CT

Photo: Wagyu Burger from Harvard Gardens in Boston, MA

Restaurant Closings and Openings for January, 2014 (So Far)

Photo: Apple Cinnamon Pizza from Venus Cafe in Whitman, MA

Photo: Pork Dumplings from Harvard Gardens in Boston, MA


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Friday, January 17, 2014

Shawarma Falafel Opens in Downtown Boston

A new Middle Eastern restaurant has come to downtown Boston, opening in the spot where three other eateries have been over the past few years.

According to a poster on the Chowhound site, Shawarma Falafel is now open on Province Street, moving into the space where Cafe Province had been, and before that, Bella Drew's Cafe and Chacarero (locations of Chacarero can still be found on nearby Arch Street as well as at the Prudential Center). Based on information from the Yelp page for the dining spot, it appears that Shawarma Falafel offers such items as shawarma and falafel (of course) as well as grape leaves, hummus, and couscous.

It appears that Shawarma Falafel first opened in late December.

The address for this new Middle Eastern restaurant in downtown Boston is: Shawarma Falafel, 26 Province Street, Boston, MA, 02108.


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Volle Nolle in Boston's North End Is Open Once Again

A sandwich place in the North End of Boston that closed in September--and was replaced by a temporary restaurant--is open once again, and with a new concept.

Eater Boston is reporting that Volle Nolle has moved back into its old home on Hanover Street, taking over the space that the pop-up spot Whisk had been in for the past few months. (Whisk closed at the end of December and will eventually have a new home.) The article says that the revamped eatery is now open for dinner and features small plates and wine, with the restaurant's Facebook page showing such items as crispy cauliflower with raisins and pine nuts, squid ink pasta with scallops and clams, duck meatballs with Brussels sprouts, and a hanger steak.

It appears that Volle Nolle officially reopened on January 9.

The address for this reopened restaurant in the North End is: Volle Nolle, 351 Hanover Street, Boston, MA, 02113. Its website will be at http://www.vollenolle.com/


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Ferry Street Food and Drink Is Opening in Malden

A new gastropub is coming to the Boston area, with this one being a few miles north of the city.

According to a post within the restaurant jobs section of the BostonChefs.com site, Ferry Street Food & Drink is planning to open in Malden, with the address indicating that it could be taking over the No. 9 Ale House space on Ferry Street (between Eastern Avenue and Route 60). The restaurant's website--which is currently under construction--mentions that the 80-seat dining and drinking spot will be "Malden's first and only gastropub" that will serve "contemporary American cuisine and craft cocktails." It looks like the new place could be opening sometime in the early spring.

[April 14 update: Eater Boston mentions that Ferry Street Food & Drink, which plans to open soon, may be haunted. A link from the restaurant's website to StrangeUSA.com indicates that a customer at the former Jimmy O`Keefe`s Restaurant in the space "died in a slip down the basement stairs" and "is rumored to be seen sitting in his regular stool." The page goes on to say that the now-deceased patron was called "Uncle Buck for his resemblance to John Candy's character in said movie."]

[May 15 update: A Facebook post from the restaurant indicates that Ferry Street Food & Drink plans to open on May 21.]

The address for this new restaurant and bar in Malden is: Ferry Street Food & Drink, 118 Ferry Street, Malden, MA, 02148. Its website will be at http://www.ferrystreetmalden.com/


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



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Thursday, January 16, 2014

Chef Chang's Is Opening in Former Wine Cellar Spot in Boston's Back Bay

Last week we reported that a fondue restaurant in Boston's Back Bay of Boston had shut its doors. Now we have learned that a new dining spot may be moving into the space, and the place has a familiar name.

The Boston Hospitality and Tourism Industry Blog is reporting (via a Licensing Board page on the City of Boston website) that Chef Chang's is looking to open on Mass. Ave., taking over the space where The Wine Cellar had been until recently. According to Boston Hospitality, the full name could be "Chef Chang's House on Back Bay," which has a similar name to a Brookline spot called Chef Chang's House that closed in January of 2010 (Sichuan Gourmet is in that space now).

A hearing on a liquor license transfer from The Wine Cellar to Chef Chang's will take place on Wednesday, January 22.

[August 7 update: Eater Boston states that Chef Chang's on Back Bay is now open, with the restaurant featuring Szechuan and Northern Chinese fare. (It is still not known if there is a connection to the now-closed Chef Chang's House in Brookline.)]

The address for the now-closed Wine Cellar (and new Chef Chang's) is 30 Massachusetts Avenue, Boston, MA, 02115.

[Earlier Article]
The Wine Cellar in Boston's Back Bay Has Closed


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La Verdad in Boston's Fenway Neighborhood Has Closed; New Concept May Be Coming to the Space

A Mexican taqueria in the Fenway section of Boston has closed its doors, and it looks like a new concept could be coming to the space.

According to one of our readers, La Verdad on Lansdowne Street shut down last night, with the plan apparently being for a dining spot with a different theme possibly opening there in time for opening day for the Red Sox (the space is located across from Fenway Park). A check on the place by Drew Starr this afternoon seems to confirm that the restaurant is indeed gone, with the spot "locked up" and "equipment stacked on bar."

Ken Oringer (Toro, Uni, Clio, Coppa, Earth) first opened La Verdad in 2006, offering such items as guacamole, tortas, enchiladas, tacos, braised beef tongue, chipotle-stewed chicken, ancho-braised short rib, pork belly confit, and carne asada. [Ed note: As further confirmation of its closure, Oringer's website no longer shows a link to La Verdad.]

[January 16 update: Boston Magazine has given more information on the closing of La Verdad, with an attached press release saying "The ownership group of Fenway taqueria La Verdad today announced that the restaurant has closed" and Ken Oringer adding "Pretty simple: nice run, time to concentrate [on] other projects. Sold to a friend to do another project." It is not yet known who is involved with the new concept or what the concept will be, so stay tuned for updates.]

The address for the now-closed La Verdad (and the new concept apparently on the way) is 1 Lansdowne Street, Boston, MA, 02215.


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Aurum (Middle Eastern Restaurant) Is Opening in Jamaica Plain

A new restaurant that features Middle Eastern cuisine is getting ready to open in Jamaica Plain.

Boston.com is reporting that Aurum is planning to have a grand opening this Saturday in the space on Centre Street in Hyde Square where Kennedy's Fried Chicken used to be. The article says that owner Matthew Virzi and manager Andrea Belanger are offering dishes inspired by foods they ate when they were growing up in Worcester and Fall River, respectively, with Lebanese meat pies and Syrian dough pockets apparently featured, along with beet chips, deep-fried cauliflower, a dish called "The Della" (a meal with portobello mushrooms, carrots, onions, and zucchini, on a bed of quinoa), and more.

The address for this new restaurant in Jamaica Plain is: Aurum, 377A Centre Street, Jamaica Plain, MA, 02130.


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Isabelle's Curly Cakes in Boston's Beacon Hill Has Closed

A cupcake place with a celebrity chef and restaurateur behind it has closed, at least temporarily.

According to a Twitter post from @lmennies of Boston Magazine, Isabelle's Curly Cakes on Charles Street has a sign out front saying that it is "closed for renovations," with the sign also saying "Please join us next month!" (Phone calls to the place went directly to voicemail.) The cupcake shop, which first opened in December of 2010, is run by Todd English and his daughter Isabelle, and features a variety of cupcakes as well as coffee, tea, and hot chocolate.

[January 17 update: Isabelle's Curly Cakes has put out a statement regarding its status. The note says "Isabelle‚Äôs Curlycakes is closed for a complete makeover. For the next three weeks, we will be hard at work creating a new neighborhood hangout for all our local friends. Can we tell you more? Not just yet, but be sure it will involve delicious brews and scrumptious treats. Stay tuned for our grand re-opening!" As soon as we find out what is going on with the shop, we will post another update here.]

[March 17 update: It appears that Isabelle's Curly Cakes is not being renovated after all, as Eater Boston states (via a Twitter post from @BOSFoodTours) that the space is now for lease.]

[March 30 update: A new article in The Boston Globe confirms that Isabelle's Curly Cakes has indeed closed for good, and according to property manager Jim Fay of Street & Company, Todd English has not paid the rent on the shop for months, adding that "We hope that they will pay it."]

The address for Isabelle's Curly Cakes is 81 Charles Street, Boston, MA, 02114. The website can be found at: http://www.izzyscurlycakes.com/


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



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Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Update: Figs in Charlestown Remains Open; Liquor License Issue Being Resolved

[Ed note: This article was updated on January 16 and 17, then again on March 6 to reflect new information given, including info on the restaurant's liquor license.]

Rumors have been flying about a Charlestown restaurant owned by a celebrity chef and restaurateur, and now we have a bit of information about the status of the place.

Eater Boston initially reported that Figs on Main Street had stopped serving beer and wine yesterday, with a poster on the Chowhound site saying today that the popular Todd English eatery may have closed. This afternoon, we received an Eater Boston update via a note from food writer MC Slim JB that Figs is actually still open, and also learned through a Twitter post from @FoodserviceEast that the Boston Licensing Board says the liquor license for the dining spot is still active. As to whether Figs is currently serving alcohol, this has not been confirmed, and if it isn't serving alcohol, the reason why it isn't is unknown.

[January 16 update: A post from Figs today sheds a bit more light on the situation at the Charlestown restaurant. The note says that "We remain 100% open and are continuing to serve patrons our world famous flatbreads and Mediterranean specialties. We are temporarily not serving beer or wine, but service should return within the next few weeks." There is still no word on why they are unable to serve beer or wine, so keep checking back for more updates.]

[January 17 update: Universal Hub sheds some light on why alcohol is no longer being served at Figs; an article from UH today states that the Suffolk County Sheriff's department seized the restaurant's liquor license on January 8, with the seizure reportedly taking place by request of the Rouse Co., which manages Faneuil Hall. (Rouse is attempting to recoup over $800,000 in back rent and interest stemming from Todd English's now-closed Kingfish Hall restaurant.)]

[January 31 update: It appears that Figs in Charlestown may soon be able to serve alcohol once again. In an interview with Zagat, Todd English says that "Everything is fine with Figs. We did have an issue with the license, but that will be resolved within the week."]

[March 6 update: A note sent by Figs indicates that their location in Charlestown is serving alcohol once again.]

The address for Figs is 67 Main Street, Charlestown, MA, 02129. (Another location of the restaurant can be found on Charles Street in Boston's Beacon Hill neighborhood.) Its website is at http://toddenglishfigs.com/


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Cameo Macaron to Launch a Food Truck in the Boston Area

A new food truck is on its way to the Boston area, and this one will be focusing on a particular type of French confection.

Eater Boston is reporting that Cameo Macaron is getting ready to debut a food truck, with the article mentioning (via an Instagram post from Cameo) that it is "nearing the finish line." The business may be known to some already, as it has been offering its treats at special events, with its products including a variety of flavors such as rose petal and salted caramel crunch.

A recent Facebook post shows a couple of pictures of the Cameo Macaron food truck (including the one shown on Instagram).

[February 11 update: A new article from Eater Boston states that the Cameo Macaron truck has not officially launched as of yet, but it will pop up at the Boston Center for Adult Education on Arlington Street tomorrow (Wednesday, February 12) from 4:30 PM to 8:00 PM.]


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Capital One 360 Cafe Is Opening in Boston's Back Bay (and Other Locations Are Coming)

A combination cafe/bank is on its way to the Back Bay of Boston, and this is just the first of its kind to come to the area.

Eater Boston is reporting that Capital One bank is planning to open something called Capital One 360 Cafe on Boylston Street, with the spot being a hybrid cafe and bank. The article mentions that the place will actually be home to a Peet's Coffee, so it appears that the Peet's Coffee shop and the bank area will have the blanket name Capital One 360 Cafe (we will try to confirm this over the coming days). EB says that this concept can be found in other cities, with Peet's Coffee indeed being integrated into the hybrid outlets, while the cafe page mentions that free Wi-Fi is offered at the branches.

[January 30 update: Based on information from a Licensing Board page on the City of Boston website, it seems that Peet's will indeed be setting up within the upcoming Capital One bank/cafe hybrid in the Back Bay.]

[February 25 update: Eater Boston mentions that Capital One 360 Cafe is now open in the Back Bay.]

Other locations of Capital One 360 Cafe are also planned for Downtown Crossing, Harvard Square in Cambridge, and Coolidge Corner in Brookline.

The address for this new cafe/bank in the Back Bay is: Capital One 360 Cafe, 799 Boylston Street, Boston, MA, 02116. The website for the cafes can be found at http://cafes.capitalone360.com/


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



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Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Greater Boston Food Bank's Super Hunger Brunch to Take Place January 25-26, 2014

A culinary event that raises money for the largest hunger relief organization in New England is coming back to the area again, and a growing list of nearly 20 restaurants are involved this year.

On January 25 and 26, The Greater Boston Food Bank's Super Hunger Brunch will take place, with participating restaurants setting up special menus with prices set at $25, $35, and $50 per person (depending on the dining spot), and for every dollar spent, folks in need will receive three nutritious meals. Restaurants that will be taking part in this event include 10 Center, 80 Thoreau, Blue Ginger, Craigie on Main, The Fireplace, Grill 23 & Bar, Hamersley's Bistro, Harvest Restaurant, La Morra, L'Espalier, Michael's Harborside, North 26 Restaurant and Bar, Post 390 Restaurant, Rialto, Stella Restaurant, and Tosca.

If you would like more information on the 2014 Super Hunger Brunch, please go to the following link:

http://www.gbfb.org/superhungerbrunch/


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Tantric in Boston Closed For Renovations

An Indian restaurant in the Theatre District of Boston is closed, and at this point its exact status isn't really known.

According to its website as well as its Facebook and Twitter pages, Tantric in the Transportation Building on Stuart Street is "closed temporarily for renovation," with its Facebook and Twitter notes being posted on January 5. The post on its website also says "Thanks for your past visits and dining at Tantric, and we look forward to serving you again. We will update and inform as soon as we re-open." Several phone calls placed to the restaurant over the past few days have gone to voicemail and there are no other messages as to its status on Facebook or Twitter.

Tantric, which first opened approximately ten years ago, has featured a mix of traditional Indian cuisine and "fusion gourmet" fare.

The address for Tantric is 123 Stuart Street, Boston, MA, 02116. Its website can be found at http://www.tantricbistro.com/

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


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Update: Castle Island Brewing Co. Is Coming to Norwood

[Ed note: This article was updated on December 9, 2015 to reflect a location given for the place, along with an opening date.]

It looks like a new brewery is on its way to the Boston area, and it gets its name from a section of the city that gets a lot of crowds during the warmer months.

The Boston Business Journal is reporting that South Boston resident Adam Romanow is looking for a space to open Castle Island Brewing Co., which is named after the recreation area at the tip of Southie. The article says that Romanow is concentrating his search near the Andrew Square area of South Boston, where there are some industrial properties that could potentially be used for his brewery, though he also may be considering spaces in Chelsea, Everett, Malden, and Quincy, as he wants to get Castle Island Brewing Co. up and running by the latter part of the summer.

The website for Castle Island Brewing Co. can be found at http://castleislandbeer.com/

[December 9, 2015 update: According to a Facebook post, Castle Island Brewing Co. will be located at 31 Astor Avenue (just off Route 1) in Norwood, and it will open its doors on Friday, December 11. (Thanks to a poster on the Friends of Boston's Hidden Restaurants Facebook group page for bringing this to our attention.)]


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