Monday, June 30, 2014

Highlights for the Week Ending June 27, 2014

A few more stories and articles centering on the Boston-area restaurant scene came out over the past week, including a restaurant, nightclub, and entertainment complex possibly coming to downtown Boston, another location of Strega quietly opening in the city, and the first "pop-up cafe" to come to Cambridge. In addition, our sister site (Boston's Hidden Restaurants) included a new review of an old-school restaurant and bar in Chelsea, a photo of a buffalo chicken pizza from a bar just off the Southeast Expressway, and a question on soft serve ice cream.

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

Boston Restaurant Talk

Latitude 360 Could Be Coming to Boston's Downtown Crossing

The Old Spot in Salem Is Closing

Caffe Strega Opens in Boston's Back Bay

Tasty Burger in Cambridge Debuts First Pop-Up Cafe in Parking Space

Ginger Betty's in Quincy Brings Off Boardwalk Betty's to Marina Bay

Boston's Hidden Restaurants

New Review: Tommy Floramo's in Chelsea, MA

Photo: Buffalo Chicken Pizza from Darcy's in Quincy, MA

Question: Good Soft Serve Ice Cream in the Boston Area?

Updated Review: Village Sushi in Roslindale, MA

Photo: Buffalo Chicken Tenders from R.F. O'Sullivan's in Somerville, MA


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Watch City Brewing Co. in Waltham Has Closed

A brewpub and brewery in Waltham has closed, and it is not known if or when it might reopen.

According to several sources (including @TenSpeedMike), Watch City Brewing Co. on Moody Street has "closed for repairs," with a few across social media saying that the closure could be permanent, though nothing has been confirmed either way as of yet. As soon as we find out the exact status of the place, we will post an update here.

[July 3 update: It appears that the closing of Watch City Brewing Co. might not be permanent after all, though it is facing some struggles; according to an article in the Waltham News Tribune, Watch City owner Jocelyn Hughes says that she is trying to get finances to repair an air conditioning unit and compensate workers who have not received their paychecks. The post also says that a tax lien filed against the brewpub in the fall of 2013 for unpaid meal taxes "hasn't been satisfied," according to a person with the Department of Revenue. Hughes mentions that she does not want to sell Watch City, though it does appear to be an option--and the article states that the place may actually be up for sale, based on an ad within the Craigslist site.]

[July 25 update: It looks like it is the end of the line for Watch City Brewing Co., as a Twitter post says that an auction will be taking place on Wednesday, July 30. (A link to an AvenueAuctions Flickr page shows photos of the brewpub and brewery.)]

[July 31 update: The Waltham News Tribune mentions that just about everything was sold off yesterday at the Watch City Brewing Co. auction, "including the kitchen sink," with the actual brewing equipment being auctioned off to a group from Barre, MA for $41,000. An interesting side note from the News Tribune (via a newsletter from The Downtown Waltham Partnership) is that another brewery may be looking at taking over the space.]

Watch City Brewing Co. is a brewpub that also offers traditional and modern American fare; it offers a number of beers made on the premises, and it also does brewery tours. The place opened approximately 20 years ago.

The address for this brewpub and brewery in Waltham is: Watch City Brewing Co., 256 Moody Street, Waltham, MA, 02453. Its website can be found at http://watchcitybrew.com/


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Friday, June 27, 2014

Taste of Allston to Be Held June 28, 2014

A food event is returning to a Boston neighborhood this weekend, and as always, a number of local eateries will be participating.

According to an article in the Allston-Brighton TAB, the 17th annual Taste of Allston will take place tomorrow (Saturday, June 28) at Harvard's Murr Center on North Harvard Street, with the event going from 12:00 to 3:00. The article says that more than 20 restaurants will be taking part in this year's Taste of Allston, with some new dining spots being at the event (the article mentions Roxy's Grilled Cheese and Lulu's being there).

Tickets to the 2014 Taste of Allston cost $25 in advance and $30 at the event, with unlimited food samples and one free alcoholic drink--with a valid ID--included (each addition drink is $5).

For more information on this event, please go to the Allston Village Main Streets website at the following link:

http://www.allstonvillage.com/


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Latitude 360 Eyeing Boston's Downtown Crossing, Kingston

A restaurant, nightclub, and entertainment complex that is based in Florida may be on its way to the heart of Boston as well as a South Shore community.

The Boston Business Journal is reporting that Latitude 360 is looking to open at the Lafayette City Center in Boston’s Downtown Crossing, with the proposed 63,000-square-foot venue including a dining area, bar, game room, dance floor with live music, bowling alley, movie theater, and sports theater. The article says that the group behind the planned spot has signed a letter of intent with the owner of the Lafayette City Center, though the place still needs to go through the approval and permitting process before it becomes reality. Another location is also being planned for the Kingston Collection in Kingston.

Currently, there are three locations of Latitude 360, with complexes being found in Jacksonville, Pittsburgh, and Indianapolis, with another on the way to Albany, NY. The website for Latitude 360 can be found at http://latitude360.com/

[August 31, 2015 update: The Patriot Ledger states that plans for Latitude 360 to come to Kingston have fallen through, and it also looks like the plans to come to Downtown Crossing may not be happening, either, based on a Facebook post from The REAL Downtown Crossing Page and the fact that no information for a DTX location on Latitude's website is being shown anywhere. (We have sent a note to them inquiring about that location and are waiting to hear back.) In addition, the Ledger article says that plans for Latitude to come to Albany have been cancelled, too.]


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Sabroso Taqueria Returning to Boston

A Mexican food stand in Boston's Downtown Crossing that closed down several years ago is on its way back to the city.

Eater Boston is reporting (via a Licensing Board page within the City of Boston website) that Sabroso Taqueria is looking to open on Oliver Street in the Financial District. The eatery had been located on Washington Street until 2008, when the Filene's building was taken down. If all goes as planned, the dining spot could be offering such items as burritos, tacos, guacamole, and quesadillas (based on the menu at their old location).

[September 2 update: According to a picture included in a Twitter post, it looks like the folks behind Zo (a pair of Greek restaurants in downtown Boston) will also be behind Sabroso Taqueria.]

[October 28 update: A new article from Eater Boston indicates that Sabroso Taqueria has opened.]

The address for this new Mexican restaurant in the Financial District is 2 Oliver Street, Boston, MA, 02109.


[A related post from our sister site (Boston's Hidden Restaurants): List of Restaurant Closings and Openings in the Boston Area]



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Thursday, June 26, 2014

Sierra's in Sudbury Given More Time to Pay Off Debt

A restaurant west of Boston that is having some financial difficulties has been given some time to try to get back on its feet.

The Sudbury Town Crier is reporting that Sierra's on North Road (Route 117) was spared the loss of its liquor license this week, with the Sudbury Board of Selectmen deciding to give the owner until November to get closer to paying the total amount of taxes that it owes (the article says that the restaurant owes $26,000). If the owner is unable to chip away at this amount sufficiently enough by then, its license could be taken away at that point, according to the article.

Sierra's had actually closed once before--in April of 2013 along with its sister restaurant Serafina in Concord, with the owner citing a difficult economy as a reason for their closures. Both reopened soon after (with Sierra's becoming more of a sports pub than a Mexican restaurant), but Serafina closed again--this time for good--a bit earlier this year.

The address for Sierra's is 470 North Road, Sudbury, MA, 01776.


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Wednesday, June 25, 2014

The Old Spot in Salem Is Closing

One of the relatively few English pubs in the Greater Boston area is going to be closing.

According to a Facebook post from the place, The Old Spot in Salem will be shutting its doors on July 31, with the note indicating that a lease issue apparently led to the decision. The post also mentions that the folks behind the pub are looking to sell their liquor license and that those who may be interested can send them a private message.

The Old Spot first opened approximately eight years ago, offering a mix of classic American dishes and traditional English pub food, including clam chowder, cheese and gravy fries, burgers, slow-roasted pork sandwiches, meat pies, fish and chips, and steak tips. The drinks list included a variety of beers, bourbons, whiskeys, and port.

The address for this soon-to-close English pub in Salem is: The Old Spot, 121 Essex Street, Salem, MA, 01970. Its website can be found at http://www.theoldspot.com/

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


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Tastings Wine Bar and Bistro in Foxborough Has Closed

A casual upscale restaurant southwest of Boston has decided to call it a day.

According to a post on its Facebook page, Tastings Wine Bar & Bistro at Patriot Place in Foxborough is now closed, with the note saying that "The combination of a weak economy, high and persistent unemployment, and high staff turnover has led us to this difficult decision." It is not known what the owners' plans are now that the dining spot is shuttered, nor is it known what might move into the space.

[July 2 update: The Boston Business Journal mentions that Tastings Wine Bar & Bistro filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy yesterday, which indicates a likely liquidation of the business.]

Tastings first opened approximately six years ago, featuring New American and regional items such as herb-marinated olives, calamari, flatbread, a watermelon salad, cheese and charcuterie boards, steak frites, herb-crusted chicken, sauteed mussels, and macaroni and cheese, along with an extensive wine list.

The address for this now-closed restaurant at Patriot Place was: Tastings Wine Bar & Bistro, 201 Patriot Place, Foxborough, MA, 02035.


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Caffe Strega Opens in Boston's Back Bay

Another dining spot from a well-known local restaurateur has very quietly opened in the Back Bay of Boston.

According to a source, Caffe Strega is now open on Huntington Avenue, with a release on the Cassidy Turley site saying that the eatery includes breakfast and lunch items such as muffins, bagels, salads, sandwiches, and coffee. The cafe is one of several spots from Nick Varano and The Varano Group, which includes Strega Waterfront at Fan Pier, Strega North End, Nico in the North End, Strega Prime in Woburn, and an upcoming steakhouse called Strip by Strega at the Boston Park Plaza Hotel.

The website for The Varano Group labels Caffe Strega as "an Italian coffee bar."

The address for this new cafe in the Back Bay is: Caffe Strega, 177 Huntington Avenue, Boston, MA, 02115. The website for The Varano Group can be found at http://www.thevaranogroup.com/


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Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Fairouz Opens in West Roxbury

Another Lebanese restaurant has opened in a neighborhood of Boston.

Universal Hub mentions that Fairouz is now open in West Roxbury, with the eatery moving into the space on Washington Street where Cristelle's had been. This is the second Lebanese spot to open in West Roxbury, with Al Wadi opening on VFW Parkway back in the summer of 2010. It appears that Fairouz is quite a bit different from that restaurant, with a smaller menu and a more casual feel (UH says that "you can still see its sub-shop origins") though the dining spot does have table service.

Based on the article, Fairouz offers such items as fried kibbe, chicken shawarma, and beef kabobs, as well as beer and wine.

The address for this new Lebanese restaurant in West Roxbury is: Fairouz, 5268 Washington Street, West Roxbury, MA, 02132.


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Pavement Coffeehouse to Open New Location on Boylston Street in Boston's Fenway Neighborhood

Last week we reported that a local group of coffeehouses was going to expand its brand, replacing a bagel place in Allston that is under the same ownership. Now we have learned that yet another shop is in the works, with this one in the Fenway section of Boston.

Eater Boston is reporting that Pavement Coffeehouse is planning to open on Boylston Street, joining another Boylston Street shop by the Back Bay/Fenway border as well as others on Newbury Street in the Back Bay, Gainsborough Street near Northeastern University, Commonwealth Avenue by Boston University, and a new one on Commonwealth Avenue in Allston (Bagel Rising is morphing into a location of the coffeehouse). It is not yet known when the new Pavement Coffeehouse might open in the Fenway, so keep checking back for updates.

[March 26, 2015 update: A post from Eater Boston mentions that the new Fenway location of Pavement Coffeehouse plans to open sometime next month.]

The address for this upcoming coffeehouse in Boston's Fenway neighborhood is: Pavement Coffeehouse, 1330 Boylston Street, Boston, MA, 02215. The website for all locations of Pavement can be found at http://www.pavementcoffeehouse.com/


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Tasty Burger in Cambridge Debuts First Pop-Up Cafe in Parking Space

The city of Cambridge is now allowing restaurants to lease parking spaces to open pop-up cafes, and a small group of local burger restaurants is the first to take advantage of this.

The Cambridge Chronicle and TAB is reporting that Tasty Burger at the corner of JFK Street and Mt. Auburn Street in Harvard Square is leasing a space on the latter street, with the space being the site of a temporary wooden deck that will act has an outdoor dining space for the eatery. The article says that the pilot program is designed to give restaurants with no room for outdoor patios or decks another way to have outdoor dining--though unlike many patios or decks, food has to be ordered inside. In the case of Tasty Burger, the restaurant could not have an outdoor patio because the sidewalk isn't large enough out front, so they applied for a pop-up cafe permit, which the city approved.

The acting deputy director for the Community Development Department states that pop-up cafes are only allowed where there is an abundance of parking and they have to be adjacent to the restaurants, according to the article. (Currently, Tasty Burger is the only dining spot in Cambridge to apply for a pop-up cafe permit.)


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Monday, June 23, 2014

Highlights for the Week Ending June 20, 2014

Several more stories and articles focusing on the Boston-area restaurant scene came out over the past week, including a hot dog place opening once again, an Illinois-based chain of gourmet sandwich shops coming to Boston, and a small group of upscale bowling alleys coming to Patriot Place. In addition, our sister site (Boston's Hidden Restaurants) included a new chat on restaurants in the Boston area and beyond, a photo of a burger from a dining spot in Jamaica Plain, and a list of restaurant closings and openings for June (so far).

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

Boston Restaurant Talk

Boston Hot Dog Company in Salem Is Open Once Again

Jimmy John's Gourmet Sandwiches to Open in South Boston

Sami's Has Reopened in Boston's Longwood Medical Area

Fred's Franks in Wakefield Kicked Off Property; Options Include a Move, Seeking of Legal Council

Splitsville and Howl at the Moon to Open in Foxborough

Boston's Hidden Restaurants

Photo: Musakka from Family Restaurant in Brookline, MA

Restaurant and Food Chat for June, 2014

Photo: Brewery Burger from Bella Luna in Jamaica Plain, MA

List of Restaurant Closings and Openings for June, 2014 (So Far)

Photo: Pepperoni Pizza from When Pigs Fly Pizzeria in Kittery, ME


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Caffe Bene to Open in Boston

It looks like the second largest coffee franchise in the world is coming to New England, and its first location will be in one of the busiest sections of Boston.

Boston Magazine is reporting that South Korea-based Caffe Bene is planning to open at an undisclosed location near Symphony Hall, with a July opening possible. The article also says that two more locations of the coffeehouse will come to Boston by the end of the year, though it is not known where these will be. Once Caffe Bene opens in the city, expect to see such items as coffee, bubble tea, waffles, sandwiches, gelato, and more.

Caffe Bene first started out in Seoul in 2008 and now has 86 locations in the United States, as well as a huge number of spots in other countries. (Boston Magazine says that more than 4,000 locations of the franchise could be opening in America by 2020.) The website for the chain can be found at http://www.caffebeneusa.com/


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New Restaurant May Come to Allston; Could Get Liquor License from The Joshua Tree

It appears that a new restaurant is on its way to an upcoming mixed-use residential and retail project in Allston, and it is hoping to acquire its liquor license from a now-closed eating and drinking place in the heart of this neighborhood of Boston.

According to a Licensing Board page within the City of Boston website, an as-of-yet unnamed dining spot that would be located in the Barry's Corner development on Western Avenue is seeking a liquor license from The Joshua Tree on Commonwealth Avenue. (The Allston location of The Joshua Tree closed at the beginning of the year; its location in Somerville's Davis Square remains open.) It looks like this might not be the only eatery to come to Barry's Corner, as an article within the Bisnow site mentions that it will include "apartments, retail, and restaurants."

It is not known when this dining spot might open, nor is it known who is opening it; as soon as we get more information, we will post an update here.

[June 26 update: Universal Hub reports that the company involved with the building of the Barry's Corner development (Samuels and Associates) is looking to purchase the liquor license and then sell it to a restaurant that moves into the space, so it appears that no specific dining spot is slated to open there at this point in time. UH also says that the Boston Licensing Board deferred any action on the transfer because a partner for Samuels and Associates did not show up for a required interview with the board.]

The address for this proposed restaurant (and the upcoming Barry's Corner development) is 219 Western Avenue, Allston, MA 02134.


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East Boston Kitchen Has Opened in Eastie

A new dining spot has come to East Boston, opening in the Jeffries Point neighborhood of Eastie.

According to a poster on the Chowhound site, East Boston Kitchen is now open on Sumner Street, with the website and Facebook page for the eatery mentioning that it offers soups, salads, sandwiches, baked goods, and prepared items, and it has a menu that varies weekly (and even daily). The restaurant's site says that it is open Tuesday through Friday from 7:00 AM to 7:00 PM.

It appears that the dining spot may have opened within the past couple of weeks, according to the Chowhound poster.

The address for this new eatery in Jeffries Point is: East Boston Kitchen, 331 Sumner Street, East Boston, MA, 02128. Its website can be found at http://www.eastbostonkitchen.com/


[A related post from our sister site (Boston's Hidden Restaurants): List of Restaurant Closings and Openings in the Boston Area]



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Boston Indian Kitchen Is Opening in the Former India Samraat Space in Boston's Back Bay

It looks like a new Indian restaurant is opening in the Back Bay of Boston, taking over the space where another Indian dining spot had been.

According to a Licensing Board page within the City of Boston website, Boston Indian Kitchen is planning to open on Mass. Ave., moving into the old India Samraat space. (Indian Samraat closed in January after being in business for nearly 25 years.) The post mentions that the manager of the upcoming restaurant is Paramjit Singh; it is possible that this could be the same person who owns Rang Indian Bistro in Stoneham, as the Bizapedia site mentions that he is based in Somerville, which is where an earlier boston.com article says he is from. As soon as we confirm this, we will post an update here.

[June 24 update: Eater Boston has indeed confirmed that Paramjit Singh of Rang Indian Bistro in Stoneham is behind Boston Indian Kitchen, as are three other people, including a co-owner of Rang, the owner of Passage to India in Cambridge's Porter Square, and the owner of Monsoon Indian Bistro in Acton.]

[January 7, 2015 update: According to a post from Eater Boston, the new Boston Indian Kitchen opens today.]

The address for this upcoming Indian restaurant in the Back Bay is: Boston Indian Kitchen, 51 Massachusetts Avenue, Boston, MA, 02115.


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Ginger Betty's in Quincy Brings Off Boardwalk Betty's to Marina Bay

A bakery in Quincy that focuses on gingerbread products is now selling its treats at a market and deli on the other side of the city.

According to a source, Ginger Betty's on Samoset Avenue (between the downtown area and Hough's Neck/Germantown) has debuted "Off Boardwalk Betty's," with its items being sold within the Marina Bay Marketplace on Victory Road in the Marina Bay section of Quincy. A Constant Contact post from the bakery says that it is open from 7:00 AM to 9:00 PM daily and is now serving "Off Boardwalk Betty's Pizza" (a breakfast pizza) in addition to its gingerbread products.

The Marina Bay Marketplace is a place to get groceries, grab-and-go meals, beer, and wine, as well as breakfast, lunch, and dinner items. (It also offers catering and delivery services.)

The address for Off Boardwalk Betty's (and Marina Bay Marketplace) is 333 Victory Road, Quincy, MA, 02171. The website for Ginger Betty's can be found at http://www.gingerbettys.com/ while the Facebook page for the Marina Bay Marketplace is at https://www.facebook.com/MarinaBayMarketplace


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Friday, June 20, 2014

Good Game Cafe May Come to the Boston Area

It looks like a "virtual reality" gaming cafe could be on its way to the Boston area later this year if things go as planned.

The Boston Business Journal is reporting that East Boston resident Nick Lee is planning to open a place called Good Game Cafe, with an Indiegogo fundraising page saying that the spot would feature virtual reality games as well as food, drink, and events. A location has not been set for the proposed cafe, though the fundraising page mentions possible spots being Kenmore Square, Allston, the Back Bay, and Cambridge. Lee is hoping to raise $50,000 through Indiegogo and Kickstarter campaigns, with the money being used to purchase equipment and get a space that is preferably near a university.

Good Game Cafe could be opening around Halloween, though it may be as late as New Year's, according to the BBJ.


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Jimmy John's Is Opening in Allston-Brighton

Yesterday we reported that an Illinois-based chain of gourmet sandwich shops had plans to open its first New England location in Boston. Now we have learned that a second location (or perhaps the first, depending on the timing of both openings) is also on its way to the city.

According to an article in the Allston-Brighton TAB, Jimmy John's is looking to open at the Charlesview property on Western Avenue, joining another upcoming location at the Flats on D apartment complex on D Street in South Boston. The Allston-Brighton location of the chain plans to open in early September, though there does not appear to be an estimated opening date for the shop in Southie at this point in time.

[March 3, 2015 update: Eater Boston states that the new Jimmy John's on Western Avenue in Allston-Brighton is now open.]

Jimmy John's started out in Charleston, IL, in 1983 and now has more than 1,900 locations in the United States. A variety of freshly-made gourmet sandwiches are offered at the shops, including the "J.J. Gargantuan," which has ham, turkey, salami, capicola, roast beef, cheese, vegetables, and dressing within an 8-inch roll.

The address for this new sandwich shop in Allston-Brighton is: Jimmy John's, 380 Western Avenue, Allston, MA, 02134. The website for the chain can be found at https://www.jimmyjohns.com/

Thanks to Eater Boston for initially bringing this to our attention.

[Earlier Article]
Jimmy John's Gourmet Sandwiches to Open in South Boston


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Thursday, June 19, 2014

Pret a Manger Is Opening Another Location in Boston's Financial District

A London-based chain of sandwich shops is going to be opening another location in downtown Boston, with this one being close to South Station.

A check on the place this week indicates that Pret a Manger is opening on Federal Street, with Eater Boston confirming this in an article on another new shop opening this week on Arch Street in Downtown Crossing. Once it opens, the new eatery will also join another shop in the Financial District (on Franklin Street) as well as two others on Boylston Street in the Back Bay.

[July 14 update: According to a Twitter post from @ConciergeBoston, the new Pret a Manger on Federal Street is now open.]

Pret a Manger, which first started out in England in 1986, has a number of locations in New York, Chicago, and Washington, DC, in addition to its Boston shops.

The address for this new sandwich shop in the Financial District is: Pret a Manger, 176 Federal St Boston, MA 02110. The chain's website can be found at http://www.pret.com/us/


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Boston Hot Dog Company in Salem Is Open Once Again

A hot dog place on the North Shore that closed a few months ago after being in business for 10 years has reopened.

According to one of our readers, Boston Hot Dog Company in Salem is open once again, with a check on its Facebook page and website confirming this (it appears that the Washington Street eatery reopened on Tuesday). The dining spot had shuttered in March with no reason given, though there was speculation that the closing of the nearby District Court may have affected its business.

Boston Hot Dog Company offers franks with a variety of toppings as well as veggie dogs, gluten-free dogs, sausages, chicken salad and tuna salad rolls, and baked beans.

The address for this reopened hot dog spot in Salem is: Boston Hot Dog Company, 60 Washington Street, Salem, MA, 01970. Its website can be found at http://www.bostonhotdog.co/

[Earlier Article]
Boston Hot Dog Company in Salem Has Closed


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Jimmy John's Gourmet Sandwiches Is Opening in South Boston

It looks like an Illinois-based chain of gourmet sandwich shops is coming to Boston.

According to a post on the Flats on D website, Jimmy John's plans to open within the new apartment complex on D Street in Southie, just south of the heart of the Seaport District. The post says that the sandwich shop will move into one of five retail spaces at the complex, with this being the first business to open there--and the first Jimmy John's to open in all of New England. There doesn't appear to be an opening date for the shop as of yet, so keep checking back for updates.

[September 5 update: According to a tweet from @FlatsOnD, the new Jimmy John's in South Boston is now open.]

Jimmy John's first started out in Charleston, IL, in 1983, with the chain of eateries having more than 1,900 locations across the country today. The shops feature gourmet sandwiches with bread baked in-house each day and meats and veggies sliced fresh in-house every day as well (no additives or vegetable-based fillers are used, according to the chain's site). Sandwich options at Jimmy John's include "plain slims," 8-inch subs, giant club sandwiches, and the "J.J. Gargantuan," which has salami, capicola, ham, turkey, roast beef, cheese, veggies, and dressing, all stuffed into an 8-inch roll.

The address for this new sandwich shop in South Boston is: Jimmy John's, 411 D Street, Boston, MA, 02210. The website for the chain can be found at https://www.jimmyjohns.com/

Thanks to @ClaireInBos for bringing this to our attention.


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Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Bagel Rising in Allston Is Becoming Pavement Coffeehouse

It looks like a bagel place in Allston is going to morph into another location of a group of coffeehouses that is under the same ownership.

According to a Licensing Board page within the City of Boston website, Bagel Rising on Commonwealth Avenue is changing over to Pavement Coffeehouse, making this the fifth location of the coffee place to open in Boston. The other Pavement shops, which can be found on Newbury Street in the Back Bay, Gainsborough Street near Northeastern University, Boylston Street by the Back Bay/Fenway border, and Commonwealth Avenue by Boston University, all replaced locations a now-defunct group of coffee shops called Espresso Royale.

[June 23 update: Based on a couple of comments below (and confirmed by the editor for Eater Boston), the new Pavement Coffeehouse will continue to offer bagels, though one of the comments mentions that the bagels will apparently be under the Pavement name rather than Bagel Rising.]

[July 28 update: Eater Boston states that Bagel Rising in Allston is now closed, with Pavement Coffeehouse planning to move in (after renovations are done) at the end of August.]

[September 10 update: A new article from Eater Boston mentions that Pavement Coffeehouse is now open in the former Bagel Rising space.]

The address for Bagel Rising (and the soon-to-be Pavement Coffeehouse) in Allston is 1243 Commonwealth Avenue, Allston, MA, 02134. The website for Pavement is at http://www.pavementcoffeehouse.com/


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Pho House Opening in Cambridge

[Ed note: This article was updated on August 18 to reflect what appears to be another name change for the upcoming eatery.]

A new Thai and Vietnamese restaurant is on its way to Cambridge, and it looks like it will be taking over the space where another Thai dining spot had been.

According to a Twitter post from @TheDrewStarr (via an Instagram picture from peopleskaraoke), a restaurant that will tentatively be named Pho Kup is planning to open on Mass. Ave. between Porter Square and Harvard Square, with a note sent from Rich O's Ravings indicating that the eatery will be moving into the space close to Porter Square where Tamarind House was until closing a few months ago. An earlier article posted here mentioned that the tentative name for this spot had originally been DD Restaurant, and it appears that the upcoming restaurant may have a connection to Pho & Rice in Somerville.

[August 18 update: A new note sent from Rich O's Ravings indicates that the restaurant moving into the Tamarind House will now apparently be called Pho House, not Pho Kup--or DD Restaurant--as had been mentioned earlier. (An earlier article from Eater Boston had stated that a sign for Pho House had actually been up for awhile before a new sign went up saying it would be called Pho Kup.)]

[October 6 update: Another note sent from Rich O's Ravings indicates that Pho House is now open. (This has been confirmed by Eater Boston.)]

It looks like the new spot could be opening sometime in August, according to the Instagram photo.

The address for this new Thai and Vietnamese restaurant in Cambridge is 1790 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, MA, 02140.

[Earlier Article]
Tamarind House in Cambridge Has Closed; Will Be Replaced by New Restaurant


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Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Sami's Has Reopened in Boston's Longwood Medical Area

A Middle Eastern food trailer in Boston's Longwood Medical Area that closed a couple of years ago has returned.

According to a couple of posters on the Chowhound site, Sami's is open once again on Avenue Louis Pasteur, with one of the posters saying that the place is "as good as before" though "they are a bit understaffed right now." In 2012, the food cart had to close and was facing the possibility of losing its home because it apparently needed to abide by the same codes as brick-and-mortar structures since it did not have wheels. Because of this, Sami's had to look at installing plumbing or else it would no longer be able to operate. (There is no word on the outcome of this.)

Sami's first opened in the Longwood area approximately 35 years ago, featuring such items as Greek salads, hummus, falafel, lamb gyros, kebab wraps, and chicken shawarma.

[Earlier Article]
Sami's May Lose Its Home in Boston's Longwood Medical Area


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Fred's Franks in Wakefield Kicked Off Property; Owner Seeks New Location

Last week we reported that a hot dog stand north of Boston had to reduce its hours, apparently because of a new law that only allowed it to conduct business for two hours at a time before having to move to a new spot. Now we have learned that the situation for the stand has taken a turn for the worse.

According to a post on its Facebook page, Fred's Franks has been booted from the northern edge of Lake Quannapowitt, with the note saying that on Sunday, "a Wakefield police officer...informed me that I was not to conduct business there any longer that I was trespassing and if I do I would be arrested." Because of this, the hot dog stand is now closed while the owner decides what to do. One option appears to be a move that would likely take it out of Wakefield, though a new note on the Facebook page mentions that the owner is "Seeking legal council today...Especially being on state property with proper documentation!"

More updates on the status of Fred's Franks will likely be on the way, so keep checking back for updates.

[June 23 update: A new post on the Fred's Franks Facebook page says that a private hearing will take place tonight after the town Selectmen's meeting, looking into the situation concerning the removal of the hot dog stand from the property on the northern edge of Lake Quannapowitt. (Stay tuned for more updates as early as tomorrow.)]

[August 22 update: A reply to a Facebook post this week indicates that Fred's Franks is still looking for a permanent location, though the thread also mentions that Fred's is still around and can be found at various spots, including the Medford Farmers Market and the Feast Italia in Wakefield.]

[September 17 update: Based on new information within the Fred's Franks Facebook page, it looks like there could be not one, but two locations of the hot dog stand on the way; starting Monday September 22, Fred's will be at The Hyatt Place parking lot in Medford Square (more details to come on exact hours and days), and they are also hoping to open a permanent location in Wakefield that would be open year around.]

Thanks to a source for initially bringing this to our attention.

[Earlier Article]
Fred's Franks in Wakefield Cuts Hours After New Law Apparently Takes Effect


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Monday, June 16, 2014

Highlights for the Week Ending June 13, 2014

A few more stories and articles centering on the Boston-area restaurant scene came out over the past week, including a Mexican street food spot in Allston opening another location in Cambridge, a Somerville bar opening a second location in Lynn, and an Asian supermarket in Boston being "sealed off" by a shopping center. In addition, our sister site (Boston's Hidden Restaurants) included a new review of a pizza spot in Braintree, a photo of a chicken dish from a Japanese eatery in Cambridge, and a question on restaurants and bars with the best beer selection.

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

Boston Restaurant Talk

Lone Star Taco Bar May Open in Cambridge

R.F. O'Sullivan's in Somerville Plans to Expand to Lynn

Mu Ramen to Open in Cambridge's Harvard Square

Fred's Franks in Wakefield Cuts Hours After New Law Apparently Takes Effect

Update: Kam Man Market "Sealed Off" from South Bay Center

Boston's Hidden Restaurants

New Review: Easy Pie in Braintree, MA

Photo: Wafu Cutlet Set from Cafe Mami, in Cambridge, MA

Updated Review: Leggos in Holbrook, MA

Question: Restaurant or Bar With Best Beer Selection in the Boston Area?

Updated Review: Conley's in Watertown, MA


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Splitsville and Howl at the Moon Are Opening in Foxborough

A small chain of upscale bowling alleys and restaurants is going to be teaming up with another small chain of dueling piano bars to open a dining and entertainment complex southwest of Boston.

According to a post within the BostonChefs.com jobs section, Splitsville and Howl at the Moon are opening at Patriot Place in Foxborough, with the Patriot Place site saying that Splitsville will include 12 luxury lanes and food items such as sushi, steak chimichurri, burgers, and pizza. Based on the location of Howl at the Moon in downtown Boston, expect the complex to also feature entertainment that may include two players on baby grand pianos along with folks playing other instruments and plenty of audience participation (it is not yet known whether Howl at the Moon will offer its 86-ounce buckets of booze at this location).

[September 12 update: According to its Facebook page, Splitsville and Howl at the Moon are now open at Patriot Place (it looks like they opened in August).]

Splitsville has 5 locations in Florida, Virginia, and Texas, while Howl at the Moon has 15 locations spread out across the country. The website for Splitsville can be found at http://www.splitsvillelanes.com/ while the website for Howl at the Moon is at http://www.howlatthemoon.com/

Patriot Place is a shopping, dining, and entertainment complex just off Route 1 that is adjacent to Gillette Stadium, home of the New England Patriots and New England Revolution.


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Friday, June 13, 2014

Priceline to Purchase OpenTable

An online restaurant reservations provider is being purchased by a company that helps people with their travel plans, including the booking of hotels, flights, and rental cars.

The New York Times is reporting that Priceline is buying OpenTable for $2.6 billion, with the travel booking company paying $103 a share for shares of the restaurant reservations site. The article says that once the deal is officially closed (likely around the end of September), OpenTable will continue to operate out of their San Francisco headquarters.

OpenTable currently books seats for more than 15 million customers per month at a total of 31,000 dining spots, according to the newspaper.


[New article from our sister site (Boston's Hidden Restaurants): Slideshow--Twelve of the Best Food Dishes of 2014 (So Far)]



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Serafina Is Opening in the Former Radius Space in Boston

The person behind a new restaurant in Boston's Fort Point neighborhood is also looking to open a dining spot in the space where a high-end eatery had been in the Financial District.

The Boston Globe is reporting that Seth Greenberg is planning on opening a restaurant on High Street, taking over the former Radius space. (Michael Schlow closed that place in June of 2013 after approximately 15 years in business.) The article indicates that very little information on the dining spot has been given as of yet, so keep checking back for updates.

Greenberg is currently getting ready to open Bastille Kitchen on Melcher Street in Fort Point, and he has been involved with such restaurants as Mistral in the South End, the now-closed Woodward at Ames in downtown Boston, and Capitale in New York.

The address for the restaurant that Seth Greenberg is opening in the Financial District is 8 High Street, Boston, MA, 02110.

[June 16 update: Eater Boston mentions (via @FoodserviceEast) that Seth Greenberg and his restaurant group are bringing a location of Serafina--a small chain of Northern Italian restaurants--to the former Radius space. Currently, Serafina has seven locations in New York City as well as in White Plains, East Hampton, and Philadelphia; other locations can also be found in the Middle East and Brazil.]

[March 30, 2015 update: According to an article in Zagat, Serafina opens in Boston on Wednesday (April 1).]


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Lone Star Taco Bar Plans to Take Over Lizzy's Bar and Grill Space in Cambridge

It looks like a Mexican spot in Allston could be opening a second location across the river, taking over the space of another restaurant.

According to a License Commission General Hearing page within the City of Cambridge website, Lone Star Taco Bar on Cambridge Street is seeking a liquor license transfer from Lizzy's bar and grill in East Cambridge. The post indicates that the new Lone Star would apparently be at the same address as Lizzy's (Cambridge Street--and not the same one as the street in Allston), with proposed hours being 11:00 AM to 1:00 AM Monday through Friday and 10:00 AM to 1:00 AM on Saturdays and Sundays. The manager listed in the post is Christopher Robichaud, who is involved with both the original Lone Star Taco Bar and Deep Ellum, a beer bar/gastropub that is next door.

[August 13 update: Eater Boston is reporting that Lizzy's bar and grill has officially closed, and that Lone Star Taco Bar is indeed planning to open in its space.]

[August 22 update: Boston Magazine mentions that the new location of Lone Star Taco Bar is hoping to open by the end of the year, with the place more or less combining the food offered at the original Lone Star with the drink program offered at Deep Ellum (along with the tequila and mezcal options that Lone Star has).]

[June 29, 2015 update: UrbanDaddy states that the new Lone Star Taco Bar in Cambridge is opening on July 5.]

Lone Star Taco Bar first opened in Allston in early 2012, featuring tacos, tequila, and more.

The address for the proposed Lone Star Taco Bar would be 635 Cambridge Street, Cambridge, MA, 02141. The website for the original location in Allston is at http://www.lonestar-boston.com/


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R.F. O'Sullivan's in Somerville Is Expanding to Lynn

A restaurant and pub in Somerville that some consider to have the best burgers in the Boston area is looking to expand, with a new location planned for the North Shore.

According to an article in the Lynn Journal, R.F.O'Sullivan & Son has made a bid on the old Kevin's Corner pub space on Central Avenue in Lynn. The newspaper says that owner Richard "Frank" Sullivan was the only bidder on the property, with the Swampscott resident saying that he wants to do "the exact same thing" that he has done with the original pub on Beacon Street by the Cambridge/Somerville line. Lynn City Councilor Richard Collucci indicates that it looks good for the new O'Sullivan's to open, saying that "It's probably 99-percent that he'll get the property." If all goes as planned, the new pub could be open by the end of August, according to the Journal.

[September 23 update: The Daily Item mentions that the new O'Sullivan's in Lynn is now looking at a December opening; the article also says that the eating and drinking spot will have mahogany exterior walls, stone interior walls, and a fireplace.]

[March 13, 2015 update: According to a Twitter post from The Phantom Gourmet (and confirmed by the restaurant's Facebook page), the new location of O'Sullivan's in Lynn opens tomorrow.]

O'Sullivan's is a spot that our sister site (Boston's Hidden Restaurants) has featured as a place to go for its burgers. The review can be found at the following link:

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

The address for the original R.F.O'Sullivan & Son is 282 Beacon Street, Somerville, MA, 02143. Its website can be found at http://www.rf-osullivan.com/


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Thursday, June 12, 2014

Za'atar Is Opening in Former Loukoumaki Bakery Space in Arlington

A Middle Eastern and Armenian bakery is coming to Arlington, moving into the space where a Greek bakery had been.

The Arlington Patch is reporting that Za'atar plans to open on Mass. Ave. at the Highland Avenue intersection, taking over the former Loukoumaki Bakery site. The article says that the bakery is looking to be open Monday through Saturday from 7:00 AM to 6:00 PM, with items such as lahmajun, tahini bread, baklava, rice pudding, ghadayef, croissants, cookies, iced coffee, lemonade, and more offered. It is not yet known when Za'atar might open.

[August 8 update: An article in the Arlington Advocate indicates that Za'atar plans to open in sometime during the middle of this month.]

[September 8 update: A check on the place over the weekend indicates that Za'atar is now open.]

The address for this new Middle Eastern and Armenian bakery in Arlington is: Za'atar, 916 Massachusetts Avenue, Arlington, MA, 02474.

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


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Sheherazad (Middle Eastern Food Truck) Debuts in Boston

Another new food truck has come to Boston, and this one features Middle Eastern fare.

Eater Boston is reporting that Sheherazad is up and running, with the truck offering "ancient eats on the city streets," according to its logo. The food truck offers such items as a roasted cauliflower salad, grilled yogurt chicken, slow-roasted leg of lamb with rice, mulberry lemonade, and more, plus appetizers and specials that will change "often." Sheherazad can be found at several spots, including the Fenway, East Boston, the South End, and the Back Bay, and it will be open for business Monday through Saturday.

The Facebook page for Sheherazad is at https://www.facebook.com/sheherazadinc


[A related post from our sister site (Boston's Hidden Restaurants): List of Restaurant Closings and Openings in the Boston Area]



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Mu Ramen to Open in Cambridge's Harvard Square

It looks like a new ramen shop will be opening in one of the busiest sections of Cambridge, and the person behind it comes from a top restaurant in New York City.

Eater Boston is reporting that Mu Ramen, a pop-up spot in the Long Island City section of Queens, plans to open somewhere in Harvard Square, with a Twitter post from the restaurant saying that it is looking to open sometime next year. Joshua Smookler and his wife Heidy are the couple behind the eatery, with EB saying that they are going to be turning their pop-up restaurant in Long Island City into a brick-and-mortar spot in the next month or so. Once the Harvard Square shop opens, expect to see various ramen options as well as steamed buns and snacks.

Joshua Smookler comes from the award-winning Manhattan restaurant Per Se, according to Eater Boston.


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