Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Highlights for the Week Ending June 26, 2015

Several more stories and articles focusing on the Boston-area restaurant scene came out over the past week, including an opening date for Boston Public Market, an Irish pub opening a new location in Brookline, and a Back Bay pizzeria shutting down. In addition, our sister site (Boston's Hidden Restaurants) included a new review of a pizza spot in Malden, a photo of a shrimp dish from a tiny Cambridge eatery, and a question on calamari in New England.

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

Boston Restaurant Talk

The Friendly Toast May Take Over Zocalo Space in Boston's Back Bay

Boston Public Market to Debut July 30

Waxy O'Connor's Is Opening in Brookline

Scissors and Pie in Boston's Back Bay Has Apparently Closed

Dave's Fresh Pasta to Open Second Location by Tufts University in Medford

Boston's Hidden Restaurants

New Review: Pisa Pizza in Malden, MA

New Photo: Shrimp Tempura from Ittyo in Cambridge, MA

Question: Best Calamari in the Boston Area or Elsewhere in New England?

Updated Review: Greek Corner in Cambridge, MA

Blog Post: Five Highly-Anticipated Summer Restaurant Openings

Follow us on Twitter at @hiddenboston


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Matt O'Neil of The Blue Ox in Lynn to Be on Food Network's "Beat Bobby Flay" July 2

The chef and owner of an upscale North Shore restaurant is going to be making his debut on the Food Network later this week.

According to a press release, Matt O'Neil of The Blue Ox in Lynn will be participating in a special grilling-themed Independence Day episode of "Beat Bobby Flay" on Thursday, July 2 at 10:00 PM (EST) along with Brian Cartenuto of Tucker Duke's Lunchbox in Valparasio and Deerfield Beach. The Food Network page for the upcoming episode gives away little, only saying that "Fireworks erupt when super competitive chefs, Brian Cartenuto and Matthew O'Neil, flex their culinary know-how. Only victory will satisfy in this Independence Day battle, as Rachael Ray and cookbook author Jessica Seinfeld set their sights on beating Bobby."

The Blue Ox is a dining spot that our sister site (Boston's Hidden Restaurants) has featured as an under-the-radar place to go to for New American fare in an upscale but casual environment. The review can be seen at the link below:

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

The address for The Blue Ox is 191 Oxford Street, Lynn, MA, 01901.

Follow us on Twitter at @hiddenboston


[Note: Please join the Friends of Boston's Hidden Restaurants Facebook Group Page to get more info on dining spots and also chat with others about Boston-area restaurants.]



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Chef's Playground, Renovated Food Court Open at Boston Children's Hospital

The food court at a local hospital has been revamped in a big way, with new restaurants and more coming to the space.

The Boston Globe is reporting that the new food court--which includes a feature called Chef's Playground--is now open within Boston Children's Hospital on Longwood Avenue, with the $11 million renovation of the old cafeteria including dining spots such as Regina's Pizza and Starbucks and a play area for children with coloring stations and interactive screens on the walls, The article mentions that celebrity and local chefs such as Tiffani Faison of Sweet Cheeks and Rachel Klein of Liquid Art House will be brought in to cook meals for patrons, and there will also be a "Parent's Night Out" with families of children who are patients having private five-course meals created by guest chefs.

More on the revamped food court and Chef's Playground can be found at the link below:

http://www.isgenuity.com/cafeteria-boston-childrens-hospital/

Follow us on Twitter at @hiddenboston


[Note: Please join the Friends of Boston's Hidden Restaurants Facebook Group Page to get more info on dining spots and also chat with others about Boston-area restaurants.]



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Monday, June 29, 2015

Wonder Bar in Allston Temporarily Closed, with "Big Things" Happening to the Space

A bar and nightclub in one of the busiest sections of Boston has closed for now, and when it reopens, it may have a very different look to it.

According to a Facebook post from the place, Wonder Bar in Allston is currently shuttered, with the note saying that "'big things are happening at Wonder,' so we will have to close our door for a week to do some cool things." Based on the photos posted, it appears that the Harvard Avenue drinking spot has been mostly gutted, with major work being done to the space, and it is not yet known exactly what it will look like when it reopens. The renovations may have something to do with DooWee and Rice's earlier plans to collaborate with Wonder Bar; chef/owner Duy Tran of the Asian restaurant, which had been in Somerville until the fall of 2013, has been talking about plans to have it become a part of the Wonder Bar space ever since the Broadway eatery closed.

As soon as we find out exactly when Wonder Bar will reopen--and what changes might be coming to both the space and the concept--we will post an update here.

[June 30 update: Eater Boston indicates (via a Twitter post from @DooWeeTran) that the renovations to Wonder Bar indeed appear to have something to do with DooWee and Rice moving in, as the post from Duy Tran says "The very moment I told my parents that the new kitchen for dooweesatwonderbar is complete."]

The address for Wonder Bar is 186 Harvard Avenue, Allston, MA, 02134. Its website can be found at http://wonderbarboston.com/

[Earlier Article]
DooWee and Rice in Somerville Closes, Plans to Collaborate with Wonder Bar in Allston

Follow us on Twitter at @hiddenboston


[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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A First Look at Short Path Distillery in Everett [Photos]

A brand new distillery has just opened in Everett, and we had the chance to look at the place over the weekend.

As reported earlier, Short Path Distillery opened its doors in Everett on Saturday, June 27, with the Kelvin Street spot featuring gin and rum that are made by "combining old-world distilling techniques with a new-world, chemistry-based approach to spirit development." The distillery is located in an old rubber factory just west of Main Street and just north of the Revere Beach Parkway, with one room including a bar area for tasting along with a few tables, and the other room being the manufacturing area where the spirits are made. We took a tour over the weekend and participated in some tastings, and also got to see the equipment used and how the gin and rum are made. A few pictures of the place can be seen below. (For those interesting in visiting Short Path, it is located at 71 Kelvin Street, with its website being at http://shortpathdistillery.com/).









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Manow Thai Kitchen Opens in Newton

A new Thai restaurant has opened in Newton, moving into the space where a couple of other Asian dining spots had once been.

Eater Boston is reporting that Manow Thai Kitchen is now open on Beacon Street, taking over the spot where Sichuan Gourmet House had been, and before that, Tom Yum Koong III. The article mentions that the new eatery is owned by a couple of people who moved to the local area from Thailand back in 2001, with the restaurant featuring Thai street food items based on recipes from where they grew up.

Manow Thai Kitchen offers takeout as well as seating for those looking to dine in; the restaurant is open daily for both lunch and dinner.

The address for this new dining spot in Newton is: Manow Thai Kitchen, 1138 Beacon Street, Newton, MA, 02461. Its website can be found at http://www.manowthaikitchen.com/

Follow us on Twitter at @hiddenboston


[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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Friday, June 26, 2015

Man Arraigned for Assault with a Sandwich Board at Quincy Bar

A patron at a Quincy bar is being charged with assault after throwing a sandwich board at another customer early this morning.

The Patriot Ledger is reporting that a New Bedford man "went crazy" after being refused service at Paddy Barry's after last call, yelling at the bartender then assaulting two customers and a person passing by who were trying to help the bartender at the Hancock Street watering hole. The article says that he then threw a sandwich board at one of the people trying to intervene. (The patrons and the passerby said no to any medical attention once the police arrived.)

The 32-year-old man is facing various assault and battery charges, including assault and battery with a dangerous weapon and assault and battery on a person over 60. The arraignment may take place today.

Paddy Barry's is located at 1574 Hancock Street in the downtown section of Quincy.

Follow us on Twitter at @hiddenboston


[Note: Please join the Friends of Boston's Hidden Restaurants Facebook Group Page to get more info on dining spots and also chat with others about Boston-area restaurants.]



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Life Alive May Be Coming to Jamaica Plain

It looks like a local group of cafes that feature healthy, organic food could be opening its first location within the Boston city limits.

Eater Boston is reporting (via the Jamaica Plain News) that Life Alive is hoping to open a new shop in Jamaica Plain, though it does not have a specific space nailed down as of yet; it had been looking at the old Harvest Coop location on South Street, but said that "unfortunately, it was not a good fit for us." Live Alive is actually looking for suggestions from the public as to a space in JP that might work best for them and are asking people to get in touch.

Currently, locations of Life Alive can be found in Lowell, Cambridge, and Salem, with a second Cambridge shop in the works as well. Its website can be found at http://www.lifealive.com/

Follow us on Twitter at @hiddenboston


[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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Biltmore and Main Is Opening in Reading

Over the past couple of years, we reported that the people behind a couple of Boston-area restaurants were making plans to open two more spots, with one of them soon coming to Brighton. Now we have learned a bit more about the second place.

According to an article from Eater Boston, the Neighborhood Restaurant Group (Local 149, Biltmore) is looking to open Biltmore & Main in Reading, with the dining spot taking over the space on Main Street where Grumpy Doyle's had been. The post says that the restaurant will include communal tables, a large private dining area, a lounge with a two-sided fireplace, and an outdoor beer garden. If all goes as planned, Biltmore & Main could be opening in early August.

[September 25 update: Biltmore & Main tells us that they are having a soft opening (friends and family) today and tomorrow, with an official opening taking place on Sunday.]

As reported earlier, the Neighborhood Restaurant Group is also going to be opening Article 24 on Western Avenue in Brighton, which will take over the space where The Boyne had once been. (It looks like that spot might open sometime in the fall.)

The address for this new restaurant in Reading is: Biltmore & Main, 530 Main Street, Reading, MA, 01867.

[Earlier Articles]
Neighborhood Restaurant Group (Local 149, Biltmore) Plans to Open Two More Dining Spots
Article 24 to Replace The Boyne in Brighton

Follow us on Twitter at @hiddenboston


[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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Bambolina Is Opening in Salem

A brand new pizzeria on the North Shore is opening, and this one has a wood-fired oven that runs at extremely high temperatures.

According to several sources, including a Facebook post from Salem Food Digest, Bambolina is opening on Derby Street in Salem, taking over the former gift shop space at the Salem Wax Museum and Haunted Neighborhood. The post says that the custom-made oven can cook pizzas in approximately 90 seconds at a temperature of 1,000 degrees F, with the website for the eatery saying that the oven was built in Italy. In addition to pizza, the restaurant also offers appetizers, shared items/small plates, and dinner entrees.

It appears that Bambolina may have already opened over the past day or two (it was having a soft opening earlier this week); as soon as we find out for sure, we will post an update here.

[June 28 update: According to its Facebook page, Bambolina is now open.]

The address for this new pizzeria in Salem is: Bambolina, 288 Derby Street, Salem, MA, 01970. Its website can be found at http://www.bambolinarestaurant.com/

Follow us on Twitter at @hiddenboston


[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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World of Beer Planning to Come to the Boston Area

Two years ago, we reported that a Florida-based chain of beer bars was eyeing a location in the Boston area, only to have the plans fall through a short time later. Now we have learned that the chain is making plans once again to come to the local area.

According to a press release from EIN Presswire, a lease agreement is currently in the works for World of Beer to open at an undisclosed location in the Greater Metropolitan Boston area, with Attitude Beer Holding Co, signing a commitment to build the place with joint venture partner New England World of Beer, LLC. The release says that more information on the drinking spot will be given once the definitive documentation and lease agreement are signed, with a location presumably given at that time. If all goes as planned, the new construction on the new World of Beer location could start in January of 2016, with the place possibly opening in the second quarter of that year.

In the summer of 2013, it looked like World of Beer was considering opening in the old social security building in Somerville's Davis Square, but those plans didn't work out and it appeared that Beer Works might move into the space instead, with those plans ultimately seeming to fall through as well. (The Elm Street structure was in the news earlier this week, as worries about the integrity of the building resulted in nearby roads temporarily being shut down.)

World of Beer, which is headquartered in Tampa, offer beers from around the world, with hundreds of bottled beers often available along with many beers on tap. Its website is at http://wobusa.com/

[Earlier Articles]
World of Beer May Be Out, Beer Works May Be In (or Maybe Not) for Somerville's Davis Square
World of Beer Is Looking to Come to Somerville's Davis Square

Follow us on Twitter at @hiddenboston


[Related article from our sister site (Boston's Hidden Restaurants): Slideshow--Ten Good Places to Get Beer in the Boston Area]



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Thursday, June 25, 2015

Wabora Asian Fusion Bistro Opens in Boston's Back Bay

A new sushi spot has opened in the Back Bay of Boston, and it replaces another sushi place that had been in business for approximately a year and a half.

According to a Weekender page from UrbanDaddy, Wabora Asian Fusion Bistro is now open on Newbury Street, taking over the former Ikura Sushi spot. A check on the restaurant's website indicates that Wabora is based in Ontario, Canada, with two locations in Muskoka and Toronto, and that the Boston shop is its third location.

The now-closed Ikura first opened its doors in October of 2013.

The address for this new sushi place in the Back Bay is: Wabora Asian Fusion Bistro, 254 Newbury Street, Boston, MA, 02116. Its website can be found at http://waborausa.wix.com/wabora

Follow us on Twitter at @hiddenboston


[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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Future of Thurston Spa in Somerville Up in the Air After Owner's Death

A sandwich shop in Somerville that has been in business for approximately 60 years is now facing an uncertain future after the death of its owner.

The Somerville Journal is reporting that Jerry LaFee of Thurston Spa on Medford Street passed away last week, leaving behind two surviving daughters and two grandchildren. The article says that the daughters aren't sure at this point in time what they will do with the shop, with one possibility being to sell it to someone who might want to keep it open; one of LaFee's friends says that he would consider purchasing the store and having someone else run it. LaFee bought Thurston Spa about 27 years ago from its original proprietor, according to the Journal.

Thurston Spa is located at the corner of Medford Street and Thurston Street on the outer edge of Magoun Square.

Follow us on Twitter at @hiddenboston


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Parent Companies of Stop & Shop, Hannaford to Merge

The corporate parents of two supermarket chains with a major presence in Eastern Massachusetts are going to be joining forces.

The Patriot Ledger is reporting that Royal Ahold NV--which owns the Quincy-based Stop & Shop--and Delhaize Group--which owns the Scarborough, ME-based Hannaford--will be merging into a new company called Ahold Delhaize. The article says that the deal, which is slated to be finalized in the middle of 2016 (pending approval by regulators and shareholders), could be worth approximately $29 billion and that Ahold CEO Dick Boer would be CEO of the new company, with Delhaize CEO Frans Muller being his deputy.

Both Stop & Shop and Hannaford have a number of locations in the Boston area and elsewhere in the region, though Food Lion--which is another supermarket owned by Delhaize Group and would also be part of the merger--has no presence in the area, with their stores being located in the Middle Atlantic states and the Southeast.

Follow us on Twitter at @hiddenboston


[Note: Please join the Friends of Boston's Hidden Restaurants Facebook Group Page to get more info on dining spots and also chat with others about Boston-area restaurants.]



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Applebee's at Cleveland Circle in Brighton to Close June 30

A location of a casual restaurant chain that is particularly popular with college students is getting ready to close forever.

Universal Hub is reporting (via a Facebook events page) that Applebee's at Cleveland Circle near the Boston College campus in Brighton is shutting down at the end of business hours on June 30, with the reason being that the dining spot has been unable to renew its lease. The events page post mentions that the dining spot will be selling burgers for $5.99 until they close and drink specials will also be offered as well, and that "All of our artifacts on the walls are also for sale and going fast."

Once it closes, the Applebee's building will remain empty until it is demolished as part of a project to build a new complex with senior-citizen housing and a hotel, according to UH.

The address for the soon-to-close Applebee's at Cleveland Circle is 381 Chestnut Hill Avenue, Brighton, MA, 02135.

Follow us on Twitter at @hiddenboston


[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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The Friendly Toast Is Taking Over the Zocalo Space in Boston's Back Bay

A pair of eclectic eateries with one location in Cambridge may be joined by a third, with this one slated for a space in Boston where another restaurant currently resides.

Eater Boston is reporting (via a Licensing Board page) that The Friendly Toast is looking to open in the Back Bay, taking over the space on Stanhope Street where Zocalo Cocina Mexicana is. If the license transfer is approved, the new location of the restaurant would join others in Cambridge's Kendall Square and Portsmouth, NH, while the apparent closing of Zocalo would mean there would be no more locations of that dining spot, unless a move or new opening takes place somewhere (the other location of Zocalo closed in Arlington over the winter).

[July 1 update: Universal Hub states that The Friendly Toast has hit a "snag" in its plans to open in the Back Bay, as the Boston Licensing Board won't allow its stated manager to run the shop because the manager is a resident of New Hampshire. (By law, managers of restaurants in Massachusetts that have liquor licenses are required to live in this state.) The Friendly Toast does say that it will replace that manager (who runs the Portsmouth location) with one who lives in the Bay State, though it is not known who that will be and it is also not known when the city of Boston will take up the proposal again.]

[August 26 update: Seacoast Online mentions that Friendly Toast co-owner Eric Goodwin is still planning to open a new location of The Friendly Toast on Stanhope Street, though no other details have been given.]

[September 29 update: According to a source, Zocalo has closed, with a sign out front saying that Friendly Toast will be moving in.]

[January 13, 2016 update: A message from the restaurant indicates that the new Friendly Toast will open in the Back Bay tomorrow (January 14).]

The Friendly Toast is known in part for its all-day breakfasts, with lunch and dinner items also offered.

The address for Zocalo (and the new location of The Friendly Toast) is 35 Stanhope Street, Boston, MA, 02116. The website for both locations can be found at http://www.thefriendlytoast.net/

Follow us on Twitter at @hiddenboston


[Note: Please join the Friends of Boston's Hidden Restaurants Facebook Group Page to get more info on dining spots and also chat with others about Boston-area restaurants.]



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Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Santouka May Be Coming to Boston's Financial District

A chain of Japan-based ramen shops that opened its first Boston-area location earlier this year is planning to open a second one, and this outlet may be coming to the heart of the city.

Eater Boston mentions that Santouka is looking at opening somewhere in Boston's Financial District, though it is only a "potential spot" at this point in time and no specific address has been given as of yet. If it does open, the downtown location of the eatery would join an existing one in Cambridge's Harvard Square, which opened on Bow Street in February. The article also says that the new location of Santouka may offer beer and sake, along with an expanded menu.

In addition to its Cambridge shop, Santouka also has locations in California, Hawaii, Illinois, New Jersey, and in Canada, along with a number of shops in Japan and other Asian countries. The website for the chain can be found at http://santouka.co.jp/en/

Follow us on Twitter at @hiddenboston


[Related article from our sister site (Boston's Hidden Restaurants): Slideshow--Twelve Food Items from Asian Restaurants in the Boston Area]



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Boston Public Market to Debut July 30

A highly-anticipated year-round market that will be set up in the heart of Boston has announced an opening date.

According to a new post, the Boston Public Market is slated to debut on July 30 above the Haymarket T Station by the Rose Kennedy Greenway, with the 28,000-square-foot space including a number of vendors from the region, selling everything from eggs to produce to baked goods to specialty foods and much more. Some of the market's vendors are listed at the two blog entries below from our sister site (Boston's Hidden Restaurants):

Vendors Announced for Boston Public Market
More Vendors Announced for Boston Public Market

Hours for the Boston Public Market (whose address is 100 Hanover Street) will be 8:00 AM to 8:00 PM Wednesday through Sunday.

Follow us on Twitter at @hiddenboston


[Note: Please join the Friends of Boston's Hidden Restaurants Facebook Group Page to get more info on dining spots and also chat with others about Boston-area restaurants.]



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Cuchi Cuchi in Cambridge to Be Featured on Food Network's "Craziest Restaurants in America" Tonight

An eclectic dining and drinking spot in Cambridge is going to be in the spotlight this evening.

According to an article in The Boston Globe, Cuchi Cuchi will be featured on the Food Network's "Craziest Restaurants in America," with the Main Street spot being part of an episode that is titled "Weird, Weirder, Weirdest." The web page for tonight's show does not give specific information on the episode, but it could be looking at the restaurant's old Hollywood vibe as well as the burlesque-type outfits worn by the waitstaff, along with the international small plates and unique cocktails. The show will air at 10:00 PM (EST), and as the Globe says, there won't be a viewing party at Cuchi Cuchi because it does not have a TV.

Cuchi Cuchi is located at 795 Main Street between Central Square and Kendall Square. Its website is at http://www.cuchicuchi.cc/

The website for "Craziest Restaurants in America" can be found at http://www.foodnetwork.com/shows/craziest-restaurants-in-america.html

Follow us on Twitter at @hiddenboston


[Related article from our sister site (Boston's Hidden Restaurants): Slideshow--Twelve Interesting Restaurant Interiors]



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Future of Trio in Question; Plans for New Development at Weymouth Landing Site

A South Shore restaurant that is co-owned by a state senator could be losing its home, and it is not known at this point in time what might happen to the place.

The Braintree Forum is reporting that a new mixed-use development is being looked at for Weymouth Landing, with the proposed project going up at the Commercial Street site where buildings that house Trio restaurant and Chair Fair currently sit. The article indicates that the development--which would include apartments, retail space, and a parking garage--is generally supported by both town officials and residents, though concerns remain, including the displacement of tenants such as Trio, which is owned by Senator Robert Hedlund and his business partner Marko Piro Fani. The attorney who represents the dining spot mentions that Trio has eight more years on its lease, and while the chair of the planning board says that the board does not have the authority to make sure leases are enforced, he wants the developer to try to relocate the affected businesses.

The planning board will continue discussing the project on August 18, at which point an official decision could be made on the development, according to the Forum.

In addition to Trio (which opened in October of 2014), Hedlund and Fani also own Four Square, another restaurant that is located across the street.

Follow us on Twitter at @hiddenboston


[Note: Please join the Friends of Boston's Hidden Restaurants Facebook Group Page to get more info on dining spots and also chat with others about Boston-area restaurants.]



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Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Highlights for the Week Ending June 19, 2015

A few more stories and articles centering on the Boston-area restaurant scene came out over the past week, including a local group of burrito spots closing one of its stores, a seafood restaurant in downtown Boston shutting down, and a longtime donut place in East Boston saying farewell . In addition, our sister site (Boston's Hidden Restaurants) included an updated review of a restaurant in Waltham that is soon moving to a new home, a photo of a pizza from a Quincy bar, and a question on best burritos in the Boston area.

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

Boston Restaurant Talk

Boloco to Close Its Newbury Street Location

Cardullo's in Cambridge's Harvard Square Is Being Sold

McCormick & Schmick's at the Park Plaza Hotel in Boston Has Closed

Merrill & Co. in Boston's South End Is Closing

Betty Ann Food Shop in East Boston Has Closed for Good

Boston's Hidden Restaurants

Updated Review: City Streets in Waltham, MA

New Photo: Pepperoni Pizza from Darcy's in Quincy, MA

Question: Best Burrito in the Boston Area?

Updated Review: Olympian Diner and Restaurant in South Braintree, MA

New Photo: Black Raspberry Ice Cream from Rota Spring Farm in Sterling, MA

Follow us on Twitter at @hiddenboston


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Lady Siam in Arlington Closes, Being Replaced by Thana Thai Kitchen

[Ed note: This article was updated on July 23 to reflect the fact that a new restaurant is moving into the space.]

An Arlington restaurant that featured both Thai and Vietnamese food has closed its doors.

According to a Twitter post sent today, the interior of Lady Siam on Mass. Ave. has been "gutted" for a few weeks now, though the signs are still up. A call placed to the dining spot indicates that their phone is out of service, while Google is posting in its search results that it is "permanently closed" and a poster on Yelp says it is shuttered as well.

Lady Siam first opened approximately seven years ago across from Arlington High School, offering such items as chicken satay, curry puffs, fisherman's soup, beef macadamia, BBQ fish, grilled meat vermicelli, mango fried rice, and drunken noodles.

The address for this now-closed Thai and Vietnamese dining spot in Arlington was: Lady Siam, 882 Massachusetts Avenue, Arlington, MA, 02476.

[July 23 update: According to several sources, including a poster on the Chowhound site, Lady Siam will be replaced by Thana Thai Kitchen.]

[August 17 update: A check on the place over the weekend indicates that Thana Thai Kitchen is now open.]

Follow us on Twitter at @hiddenboston


[Related article from our sister site (Boston's Hidden Restaurants): Slideshow--Twelve Food Items from Asian Restaurants in the Boston Area]



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Anthony's Coal Fired Pizza Is Opening in Reading

A Florida-based chain of pizza spots that recently opened its first Boston-area location southwest of the city is going to be opening another one, with this one in the northern suburbs.

According to an article in the MetroWest Daily News, Anthony's Coal Fired Pizza is planning to open in Reading, which will either be the second or third location to come to Massachusetts, depending on whether another location in Northborough opens before or after it. (As of now, the sole location in the region is a shop that recently opened at University Station in Westwood.) Based on its other restaurants, expect the Reading location of Anthony's to feature traditional coal oven pizza that is cooked in an 800-degree oven, with salads, sandwiches, and Italian meals available as well.

[July 1 update: An email from a reader gives an exact address for the upcoming location of Anthony's Coal Fired Pizza in Reading, with a blueprint showing that it will be located at The Crossing at Walker's Brook on Walker's Brook Drive, just north of Route 128. (It also appears that the restaurant will open later this year.)]

[December 22 update: The Passionate Foodie mentions that Anthony's is taking over the former Macaroni Grill space at 48 Walkers Brook Drive.]

[January 22, 2016 update: The Boston Business Journal states that the Reading location of Anthony's Coal Fired Pizza opens on Monday (January 25).]

Anthony's Coal Fired Pizza was established in Fort Lauderdale in 2002 and now has locations in several states, mostly along the East Coast. The website for the chain can be found at https://acfp.com/

Follow us on Twitter at @hiddenboston


[Note: Please join the Friends of Boston's Hidden Restaurants Facebook Group Page to get more info on dining spots and also chat with others about Boston-area restaurants.]



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Waxy O'Connor's Is Opening in Brookline

It appears that a growing group of Irish pubs with three locations in Eastern Massachusetts is going to be expanding more into the region, with its closest location yet to the city of Boston on the way.

According to a poster on Chowhound, Waxy O'Connor's is opening in Brookline, with the note saying that it will be moving into the former Mission Cantina space on Beacon Street (just west of the Boston line). A check on Waxy's website confirms that a new location will indeed be opening in Brookline sometime this year, though it does not mention the exact address. (Work on the space has been taking place over recent weeks, and it does look like a new dining spot is moving in.)

Once it opens, the new outlet of Waxy O'Connor's will either be the fourth or fifth to come to Eastern Massachusetts, as another new branch is on its way to Kingston as well; currently, existing locations of Waxy's can be found in Foxboro, Lexington, and Woburn, along with Ft. Lauderdale, FL, (its first location, which opened in 1997), Keene, NH, Plainville, CT, and San Antonio, TX.

The address for the space in Brookline where Waxy's is moving into is 1032 Beacon Street, Brookline, MA, 02446. The website for all of the Waxy O'Connor's locations is at http://www.waxys.com/

[June 23 update: Eater Boston confirms that Waxy O'Connor's will indeed be moving into the Mission Cantina space on Beacon Street.]

[January 13, 2016 update: According to a note from Patrick Maguire of Maguire Promotions & Hospitality Consulting, the new Waxy O'Connor's in Brookline hopes to open around Patriots' Day.]

[April 20, 2016 update: A new article from Eater Boston mentions that Waxy O'Connor's opens in Brookline tomorrow (Thursday, April 21).]

Follow us on Twitter at @hiddenboston


[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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Monday, June 22, 2015

Rita's Italian Ice to Expand into Massachusetts

A Pennsylvania-based chain of Italian ice shops is making big plans to expand into the Boston area and elsewhere in Massachusetts.

The Boston Business Journal is reporting that Rita's Franchise Co. is working with a Boston entrepreneur to open franchises of Rita's Italian Ice in the local area, with 30 stores on their way to the state over the course of the next eight years. The chain, which calls itself the "largest Italian Ice concept in the world," is looking at communities such as Allston, Bedford, Brighton, Roxbury, Hingham, Jamaica Plain, and Roslindale, with the first one opening in the spring of 2016--though no specific locations have been finalized as of yet. (The company is also looking to open mobile outlets in downtown Boston.)

Currently, more than 600 locations of Rita's Italian Ice can be found in the United States, including one in Rhode Island and approximately 15 in Connecticut. The website for Rita's is at http://www.ritasice.com/

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[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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Scissors and Pie in Boston's Back Bay Has Apparently Closed

A pizzeria in the Back Bay of Boston that had a unique way of pricing their pizza appears to be closed.

According to a poster on the Chowhound site, Scissors & Pie on Newbury Street is shuttered, with what looks to be a "For Rent" sign out front. A phone call placed to the shop goes to a voicemail that says the eatery will be closed for Memorial Day weekend (which was last month) and Eater Boston notes that a Yelp poster also believes it is no longer in operation. (In addition, its Twitter page--which had regular posts, often once a day or more--has not been updated since May 23.) It is not known for sure whether this is a permanent or temporary closure for Scissors & Pie, though as Eater points out, the dining spot had been looking to expand as recently as last month.

Scissors & Pie, which first opened in the winter of 2014, charged by weight rather than by the slice or the pie, and its pizza squares were cut using scissors.

The address for this now-closed pizza shop in the Back Bay was: Scissors & Pie, 225 Newbury Street, Boston, MA, 02116.

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[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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Tasty Gourmet in Medford Is Closing

It looks like a deli that is frequented by college students is closing its doors.

According to one of our readers, Tasty Gourmet in Medford is closing within the week, with a Yelp poster also saying last week that the Boston Avenue shop was on the verge of shutting down. A phone call placed to the store confirms the closure, with its last day of business possibly being this Thursday. Both the emailer and the Yelp poster say that Tasty Gourmet is being sold, though it is not yet known who is purchasing it and what might go into the space.

Tasty Gourmet, which first opened approximately 15 years ago, has been a popular spot among Tufts University students who have relatively few options for sandwiches and other quick meals in the immediate area.

The address for Tasty Gourmet is 321 Boston Avenue # B, Medford, MA, 02155.

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[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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Dave's Fresh Pasta to Open Second Location by Tufts University in Medford

A popular food store in Somerville that features pasta is going to be opening a second spot, and this one should be a big hit with college students.

The Medford Transcript is reporting that Dave's Fresh Pasta in Davis Square is planning to open a new location by Tufts University in Medford, with the Boston Avenue shop actually being connected to Tufts University's new Collaborative Learning and Innovation Complex. The article says that the upcoming store will include a restaurant with a tentative capacity of 60 along with a small market, and it will also have "a significant takeout aspect," much as the original shop has (it may serve beer and wine as well). If all goes as planned, the new location of Dave's Fresh Pasta could be opening in eight to twelve months.

The original Dave's Fresh Pasta first opened on Holland Street approximately 15 years ago.

The address for this upcoming food shop and restaurant in Medford is 572 Boston Avenue, Medford, MA, 02155. The website for Dave's Fresh Pasta can be found at http://www.davesfreshpasta.com/

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



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Thursday, June 18, 2015

Boloco Is Closing Its Newbury Street Location

A local chain of restaurants that features burritos has decided to close one of its shops in Boston's Back Bay.

According to a post from @TheDrewStarr, the Newbury Street location of Boloco is shutting down, with a note from the chain saying that "After 15 amazing years, the time has come to say goodbye to our beloved Newbury Street location. Our lease ends on June 30th and, with so many other boloco restaurants a few short blocks away, we decided to let someone else take a stab at 247 Newbury Street." It appears that all other locations of Boloco--including nearby shops at Copley Square and on Boylston Street near Berklee--remain in operation.

Boloco was also in the news last week, with former CEO John Pepper stating that he has completed the re-purchase of Boloco from its private equity investors and is now heading up the chain once again.

The address for this location of Boloco is 247 Newbury Street, Boston, MA, 02116. Its website is at http://boloco.com/

[Earlier Article]
John Pepper Has Re-Purchased the Boloco Chain

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[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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UBurger to Open in Andover

Over the winter, we briefly mentioned that a small local group of burger spots was planning to open its first location outside of the Boston city limits. Now we have learned that this will indeed be taking place.

The Andover Townsman is reporting that UBurger is going to be opening a new shop within Andover Village Square, which is on the south end of Main Street in the center of town. The article says that in addition to being the first location outside of the city, it will also be the first to offer beer and wine, and the new spot will have an outdoor patio between the restaurant and the parking lot. If all goes as planned, expect the new UBurger to open on September 1.

UBurger currently has three locations in Boston, including ones on Beacon Street in Kenmore Square, Commonwealth Avenue by Boston University, and Huntington Avenue at Northeastern University. Two others in the city are no longer in operation (one across from Faneuil Hall and another across from Boston Common).

The website for UBurger can be found at http://www.uburger.com/

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[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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The Pixies to Play at the Soon-to-Close T.T. the Bear's in Cambridge Tonight

One of the region's most beloved bands is playing tonight at a legendary music club that is getting ready to close.

According to an article from Vanyaland, The Pixies will be playing tonight at T.T. the Bear's Place in Cambridge's Central Square, with tickets for the 18+ show going on sale at 2:00 PM at the Orpheum Theatre box office on a first-come-first-served basis, and with a limit of two tickets per sale. The post points out that the last time The Pixies played T.T.'s was in 1987, with Joey Santiago of the band saying that "T.T. the Bear's is one of the clubs that broke us."

T.T. the Bear's is closing its doors for good on July 25 after being in business for more than 25 years; at this point in time, it is not known what will happen to the space.

The address for T.T. the Bear's is 10 Brookline Street, Cambridge, MA, 02139. Its website can be found at http://www.ttthebears.com/

[Earlier Article]
T.T. the Bear's Place in Cambridge to Close for Good July 25

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[Note: Please join the Friends of Boston's Hidden Restaurants Facebook Group Page to get more info on dining spots and also chat with others about Boston-area restaurants.]



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Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Playska Is Opening in Cambridge's Inman Square

The people behind a fine-dining restaurant and a tavern with Central and Eastern European influences are going to be opening a third spot, and this one will be a fast-casual eatery.

According to an article in Eater Boston, Tim and Bronwyn Wiechmann of T.W. Food in Cambridge's Huron Village and Bronwyn in Somerville's Union Square are planning to open Playska in the Inman Square section of Cambridge, taking over the space on Hampshire Street where Rosie's Bakery had been until closing this past winter. The new place will focus on sandwiches with house-made bread, condiments, and pickles, with the offerings having Eastern European leanings; options will likely include a pork, lamb, and egg patty, a veggie patty made with chickpeas and beets, and honey challah panini.

If all goes as planned, Playska could be opening sometime in September.

[September 8 update: A License Commission General Hearing page within the City of Cambridge website shows that a meeting will take place this evening that looks at Playska's application for a Common Victualer license, which would allow food and non-alcoholic beverages to be served at the eatery. The post also notes that the spot would have seating for 16 and would be open from 7:00 AM to 9:00 PM daily.]

[October 22 update: A new article from Eater Boston states that Playska opens its doors on Thursday, October 29.]

The address for this new fast-casual spot in Inman Square is: Playska, 243 Hampshire Street, Cambridge, MA, 02139.

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[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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Cardullo's in Cambridge's Harvard Square Is Being Sold

An iconic grocery store in the heart of Cambridge's Harvard Square will soon be under new ownership.

Cambridge Day is reporting that Cardullo's on Brattle Street is being sold to Kim and Richard Wilson, who are "fleeing big business" (Kim has recently worked at Staples while Richard has worked at BJ's Wholesale Club). The article says that the changeover will mark the first time in its 65-year history that there won't be anyone from the Cardullo family fully involved with the store, though current co-owner Donez Cardullo-Tavilla does say that she will help out during the holidays. Both the Wilsons and the Cardullos will work together to make the transition a smooth one, with the sale of the shop slated to become official sometime in August.

[July 14 update: According to an article in the Cambridge Chronicle and TAB, the sale of Cardullo's should be finalized in the next four to six weeks (as soon as the liquor license transfer takes place), with the name and concept of the place remaining the same.]

Cardullo's, which first opened in 1950, is a gourmet market that sells a variety of cheese, chocolate products, honey, spices, coffee, tea, liquor, pasta, sandwiches, and more.

The address for Cardullo's is 6 Brattle Street, Cambridge, MA, 02138. Its website can be found at http://www.cardullos.com/

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[Note: Please join the Friends of Boston's Hidden Restaurants Facebook Group Page to get more info on dining spots and also chat with others about Boston-area restaurants.]



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Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Highlights for the Week Ending June 12, 2015

Several more stories and articles focusing on the Boston-area restaurant scene came out over the past week, including a well-known local chef planning to open a BBQ spot, two downtown Boston bars being forced out to make way for new development, and a legendary pizza place planning to expand further into the Boston area. In addition, our sister site (Boston's Hidden Restaurants) included a new review of a snack shack and ice cream stand west of Boston, a photo of steak from a Dorchester restaurant, and a question on favorite sandwiches.

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

Boston Restaurant Talk

Andy Husbands Plans to Open Smoke Shop in Cambridge's Kendall Square

PABU to Open in Boston's Downtown Crossing

The Littlest Bar and The Times in Boston Being Forced Out to Make Way for Development

Pepe's Pizza May Open Up to Five Locations in the Boston Area

En Boca to Open in Former Sandrine's Bistro Space in Cambridge's Harvard Square

Boston's Hidden Restaurants

New Review: Rota Spring Farm in Sterling, MA

New Photo: Wood-Grilled Steak from Ashmont Grill in Dorchester, MA

Question: Favorite Places for Sandwiches in the Boston Area?

Updated Review: Winthrop Arms in Winthrop, MA

New Photo: Guinness Stout from The Times Irish Pub and Restaurant in Boston, MA

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