Friday, October 30, 2015

Heavenly Licks in Melrose Loses Its Home; Looking for New Location

A popular ice cream shop that has been in business for nearly 30 years has lost its home and is now in need of a new space.

The Melrose Free Press is reporting (via a Facebook post from the place) that Heavenly Licks has had to leave its shop on West Wyoming Avenue, with owner Kara Conley saying that the building's owner has other plans for the space and that the store would have to go. According to the article, Conley was unaware that she did not have a lease on the space, instead being a tenant-at will. Equipment from Heavenly Licks is now in storage while Conley looks for a new home, and while she would like to stay in Melrose, she would be willing to move to a nearby community if necessary.

Heavenly Licks, which first opened in the late 1980s, has been known for its variety of ice cream flavors along with frozen yogurt, Italian slush, and sherbet.

The former address for Heavenly Licks was 40 W Wyoming Avenue, Melrose, MA, 02176.

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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Thursday, October 29, 2015

Grass Fed Is Opening a Second Location in Jamaica Plain

Last year we reported that a burger bar in Jamaica Plain was looking to expand, and now we have learned that a second location will indeed be opening--and it won't be all that far from their original restaurant.

Eater Boston is reporting (via Jamaica Plain News) that Grass Fed on Centre Street is planning to open another location in the Forest Hills section of the neighborhood, taking over the space on Washington Street where Tonic had been before closing for good in 2013. The articles say that the new eatery will have an 18-foot bar along with restaurant seating inside, and an outdoor "beer garden" style patio will be set up in the back during the warmer months. If all goes as planned, the new Grass Fed could be opening in February of 2016.

The former Tonic space had also been looked at by The Wok in Wellesley last year, though those plans apparently fell through.

The address for the new location of Grass Fed in the Forest Hills area of JP is 3698 Washington Street, Jamaica Plain, MA, 02130. The restaurant's website can be found at http://www.grassfedjp.com/

[November 5 update: A new article in the Jamaica Plain News mentions that the Jamaica Plain Neighborhood Council's Public Service Committee has approved of Grass Fed's plans for a second location, including its requests for a liquor license and patio as well as a proposed closing time and delivery/takeout services; the next step is for the City of Boston to make a decision on the dining spot, with a meeting coming up on November 18.]

[March 23, 2016 update: Eater Boston states that the new Grass Fed in Forest Hills is now open.]

[Earlier Articles]
Ten Tables to Contract; Grass Fed to Expand
Tonic in Jamaica Plain Has Closed (Again)

Follow us on Twitter at @hiddenboston


[Related article from our sister site (Boston's Hidden Restaurants): Slideshow--Ten Burgers from Restaurants in the Boston Area]



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Jimmy John's to Open inside City Place in Downtown Boston

An Illinois-based chain of gourmet sandwich shops is expanding into the Boston area once again, and this time it is looking to open a location near Boston Common.

According to a Twitter post from @DGoodison of The Boston Herald, Jimmy John's is planning on opening in City Place within the State Transportation Building where Charles Street South and Stuart Street meet. If it gets approval from the city to open, the new shop will join others in South Boston, Park Drive in the Audubon Circle area, Valenti Way by North Station, Western Avenue in Allston-Brighton, and South Braintree.

John's opened its first shop in Charleston, IL in 1983 and now has more than 2,000 locations across the United States.

The address for this upcoming sandwich shop in Boston is: Jimmy John's, 12 Charles Street South, Boston, MA, 02116. The website for the chain can be found at https://www.jimmyjohns.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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Masa Southwestern Grill in Woburn Becomes Masa Taqueria and Tequila Bar

A pair of restaurants featuring southwestern fare has reconcepted its suburban location, with the dining spot now focusing on Mexican cuisine.

According to a Twitter post from Boston Globe writer @kcbaskin (with a press release on it being sent to us shortly after her post), Masa Southwestern Grill in Woburn is changing over to Masa Taqueria & Tequila Bar, with the revamped spot having a more focused and casual menu and the space having a relaxed feel. The release mentions that the new taqueria features such items as tacos, enchiladas, roast chicken, fiesta bowls, braised pork shoulder, and tortas, with all menu items being under $20. Drinks at Masa Taqueria & Tequila Bar include a variety of beers, wines, and cocktails, and there are also dozens of tequila options available.

Masa Southwestern Grill first opened its doors in Woburn in 2008; the original location on Tremont Street in Boston's South End remains as is.

The address for the newly revamped Masa Taqueria & Tequila Bar is 350 Cambridge Road, Woburn, MA, 01801. Its website can be found at http://www.masawoburn.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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Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Fat Hen Is Opening within La Brasa in East Somerville

It looks like an Italian restaurant will be opening within an eclectic Somerville dining spot that features globally-inspired dishes.

A Twitter post from @kcbaskin of The Boston Globe indicates that Fat Hen is going to open inside La Brasa on Broadway in East Somerville, with the tweet mentioning that Michael Bergin (Sel de La Terre, L'Espalier) will be heading up the spot. (La Brasa is run by Daniel Bojorquez of the now-closed Sel de La Terre in Natick and Frank McClelland of L'Espalier.) An event page from La Brasa states that Fat Hen will be taking over the market/cafe space, having seating for 30 and a very small open kitchen, with offerings including fresh pasta and braised meats along with craft beers and "off­beat" Italian wines.

If all goes as planned, Fat Hen could be opening in the spring of 2016.

La Brasa is located at 124 Broadway, which is a few blocks east of the Route 28 intersection. Its website can be found at http://www.labrasasomerville.com/

[August 4 update: Eater Boston states that Fat Hen opens this evening.]

Follow us on Twitter at @hiddenboston


[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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Nu Cafe to Open in Somerville's Union Square

It appears that a Worcester cafe is going to be expanding into the Boston area.

Eater Boston is reporting (via a planning staff report page) that Nu Cafe is looking to open in the Union Square section of Somerville, with the shop coming to a new condo development called 197 Union Square. The article and the report mention that the coffee shop/cafe would have seating for 120 and a total of 3,760 square feet of space on the first floor of the complex, and that it would offer salads, sandwiches, baked goods, coffee, and smoothies. It does not appear that an opening date has been given for the place as of yet.

The original location of Nu Cafe is on Chandler Street (Route 122) in the Beaver Brook section of Worcester.

The address for this upcoming coffee shop in Union Square is: Nu Cafe, 197 Washington St, Somerville, MA 02143. The website for the Worcester location can be found at http://www.nucafe.com/

[November 28 update: Eater Boston states that Nu Cafe will be having a grand opening party for its new location in Somerville on Saturday, December 3.]

Follow us on Twitter at @hiddenboston


[Related article from our sister site (Boston's Hidden Restaurants): Slideshow--Ten Items from Bakeries and Pastry Shops in the Boston Area and Beyond]




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West End Grill to Replace Rick's Cafe in Randolph

A new restaurant and bar is coming to a southern suburb of Boston, replacing another spot that was a popular pre- and post-movie stop.

According to a job post within the Craiglist site, West End Grill is opening in Randolph, taking over the space on Route 139 where Rick's Cafe had been for approximately 20 years. Very little is currently known about the new place, with its Facebook page classifying it has a sports bar and saying it will be an American restaurant, bar, and grill.

[December 2 update: A new job post on Craigslist indicates that West End Grill plans to open next week.]

Rick's Cafe, which closed this spring, focused on American comfort food and pub grub along with martinis and other cocktails. Moviegoers coming from and going to the Showcase Cinema de Lux next door made Rick's a particularly popular place on weekend nights.

The address for the upcoming West End Grill is 63 Mazzeo Drive (Route 139), Randolph, MA, 02368.

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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Spoodles Soup Factory Opens in Belmont

A dining spot that specializes in soups has opened in the western suburbs of Boston.

The Belmont Citizen-Herald is reporting that Spoodles Soup Factory is now open on Trapelo Road, with owner Jose Rios saying that it is a less expensive version of the Panera shops, and with larger portions. The article says that 12 different soups are offered daily at the place along with specialty sandwiches, and that customers can bring their meals into the Studio Cinema next door. This is the second location of Spoodles Soup Factory, with the original location being in Foxboro.

Spoodles Soup Factory replaces Cafe Burrito, which first opened in the summer of 2012.

The address for this new eatery in Belmont is: Spoodles Soup Factory, 374 Trapelo Road, Belmont, MA, 02478. Its website can be found at http://spoodlessoupfactory.com/

Follow us on Twitter at @hiddenboston


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



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Update: Boloco Closes Its School Street, Pearl Street Locations in Downtown Boston

[Ed note: This article was updated on October 28 to reflect the fact that two locations have closed.]

A local group of restaurants that features burritos has closed two of its shops in the heart of downtown Boston.

According to a Twitter post from @CappyinBoston, Boloco on School Street in the Downtown Crossing section of the city is now shuttered, with a note out front saying "It has been an honor to be a part of your neighborhood for nearly 7 years." The note also refers customers to its existing locations, including a nearby outlet on Congress Street. In addition, a second Twitter note sent this morning indicates that the Pearl Street location of Boloco in Boston's Financial District has closed as well, with the website for the eateries confirming this.

Other locations of Boloco can be found downtown and in the Back Bay, along with shops by Northeastern University, Children's Hospital in the Longwood area, Cleveland Circle in Brighton, Cambridge's Harvard Square, Lynnfield, Natick, and Wellesley. (Four other locations are in New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont.)

Boloco got its start as a group of eateries called The Wrap in the late 1990s before converting to its present form approximately ten years ago.

The address for this now-closed location of Boloco in Downtown Crossing is 27 School Street, Boston, MA, 02108, while the address for the closed shop in the Financial District is 125 Pearl Street, Boston, MA, 02110. The website for Boloco can be found at http://boloco.com/

Follow us on Twitter at @hiddenboston


[Related article from our sister site (Boston's Hidden Restaurants): Slideshow--Twelve Dishes for College Students in the Boston Area]



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George Germon of Al Forno in Providence Has Died

A James Beard Award-winning chef and co-owner of one of New England's most iconic restaurants has passed away.

According to an article in the Providence Journal, George Germon of Al Forno on South Main Street died Tuesday, leaving behind his wife Killeen with whom he opened the landmark restaurant back in 1980. Al Forno has been seen as a true dining destination over the years--in part because of its signature grilled pizza--with the article saying that chefs saw Germon as a "renaissance man" who came to stardom long before the Food Network and other media outlets helped spawn celebrities in the culinary world. The Journal notes that George and Killeen won a James Beard Award for Best Chef Northeast category in 1993, and that the two of them cooked for President Obama in 2010.

In addition to running Al Forno, Germon and his wife also put out two popular cookbooks--"Cucina Simpatica" and "On Top of Spaghetti."

Funeral arrangements have not been announced as of yet, according to a post in Providence Business News.

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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, October 27, 2015

Bar Mezzana Is Opening at the Ink Block in Boston's South End

A new Italian restaurant is on its way to a red-hot development just south of downtown Boston--and the people behind it come from a well-known restaurant group.

Eater Boston is reporting that Bar Mezzana is planning to open within the Sepia condo building in the Ink Block, a new complex that is located between Harrison Avenue and Albany Street in the South End. The article indicates that the restaurant will focus on coastal Italian fare, with seating for 105 in the dining area, 25 more in the bar, and another 40 on a seasonal patio. Three people from Barbara Lynch Gruppo are behind the dining spot, including Colin Lynch (executive chef of all of Gruppo), Heather Kennaway Lynch (general manager of Sportello), and Jefferson Macklin (president and COO of the group). If all goes as planned, Bar Mezzana hopes to open in the spring of 2016, according to EB.

Another location of Fuji from the JP Fuji Group (Fuji, B Cafe, Shabu Restaurant, Bistro Chi, Kama Lounge, YoCha, Shabu & Mein) is also planning to open in the Sepia condo building.

The address for this new restaurant in the Ink Block is: Bar Mezzana, 360 Harrison Ave, Boston, MA 02118. Its website will be at http://www.barmezzana.com/

[May 26, 2016 update: According to a source, Bar Mezzana opens its doors on June 1.]

[Related Article]
Fuji May Be Coming to the Ink Block in Boston's South End

Follow us on Twitter at @hiddenboston


[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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New Hotel with Rooftop Restaurant May Come to Salem

It looks like a new hotel may be on its way to the North Shore, and it would have one of the only rooftop restaurants in the region.

The Salem News is reporting that Lark Hotels is looking to open a hotel in the Newmark Building along the the Essex Street pedestrian mall in Salem, with the 44-room spot having "multiple" eateries, including a cafe on the ground floor and a restaurant on its rooftop deck, along with the possibility of a few bowling lanes and another dining space one floor below the roofdeck as well. If all goes as planned and the necessary permits are approved, construction on the hotel--which is tentatively called Hotel Salem--could begin later this year and may open in the early part of 2017, according to the article.

No other rooftop dining options can currently be found in Salem or in the surrounding communities, though the upcoming Mission on the Bay in Swampscott might include a roofdeck.

The address for this proposed hotel is 209 Essex Street, Salem, MA, 01970.

[Related Article]
Mission on the Bay to Open in Former Red Rock Bistro in Swampscott

Follow us on Twitter at @hiddenboston


[Related article from our sister site (Boston's Hidden Restaurants): Slideshow--Twelve Outdoor Dining Areas In the Boston Area and Beyond]



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Render Coffee Is Opening at CIC in Boston's Financial District

Ed note: This article has been updated to reflect the fact that Render Coffee is the cafe that is opening within the space.]

A local real estate services/venture capital company that is based in Cambridge is bringing a cafe and coffeehouse to the heart of downtown Boston.

According to a job post within the Craigslist site, CIC (which is also known as Cambridge Innovation Center) is bringing a cafe to 50 Milk Street in the Financial District, with the place featuring "coffee, espresso, and other specialty drinks using coffee beans not available anywhere else in the United States." The spot, which will reside in the building where CIC Boston is located, will be open to the public, according to the job listing. No opening date has been given as of yet, nor is there any information on what kind of food items might be offered at the cafe.

[February 11, 2016 update: According to a post from the Boston Hospitality and Tourism Industry Blog it looks like the address for the upcoming cafe and coffeehouse run by CIC Boston will actually be 121 Devonshire Street, though the building also includes a 50 Milk Street address.]

[March 22, 2016 update: A licensing board page within the City of Boston website indicates that Render Coffee is apparently setting up within 121 Cafe, with the notice saying that "Render Coffee @121" would have a coffee prep area and a storage section in a room on the first floor of 121 Devonshire Street. The original Render Coffee, which is located on Columbus Avenue in the South End, was once picked as one of the best coffee shops in America by The Daily Meal.]

[March 25, 2016 update: Boston Magazine confirms that Render Coffee will indeed be opening where CIC resides, as Render owner Christopher Dadey will be partnering with the company to open a 51-seat coffee shop with its own entrance on Devonshire Street. The article also says that unlike the South End location of Render, this shop will not offer sandwiches and "heartier" breakfast options, instead featuring coffee, espresso, and pastries from Iggy's and Nashoba Brook Bakery. If all goes as planned, the new location of Render could open sometime in April.]

[April 7, 2016 update: According to a Twitter post from @DTownBostonBID, Render Coffee at 121 is now open in Boston's Financial District.]

CIC first started out in Cambridge's Kendall Square in 1999, and is known as a "community of startups" that also has facilities in St. Louis and Rotterdam. Its website can be found at http://cic.us/

Follow us on Twitter at @hiddenboston


[Related article from our sister site (Boston's Hidden Restaurants): Slideshow--Ten Items from Bakeries and Pastry Shops in the Boston Area and Beyond]



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Monday, October 26, 2015

Highlights for the Week Ending October 23, 2015

Several more stories and articles focusing on the Boston-area restaurant scene came out over the past week, including a suburban restaurant looking to expand to the Seaport District, a pizza place on Nantucket Island making plans for a major expansion in the Boston area, and a group of Italian dining spots being sold to some of its employees. In addition, our sister site (Boston's Hidden Restaurants) included an updated review of an eclectic cafe in Dorchester, a photo of a hot dog from a roadside eatery in apple country, and an updated review of an Italian spot in Medford.

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

Boston Restaurant Talk

La Casa de Pedro in Watertown Plans to Open New Location in Boston's Seaport District

Coppa Alum May Be Opening Two Dining/Drinking Spots in Former Church Space in Boston's Fenway

Oath Craft Pizza to Open Multiple Locations in the Boston Area

Dudley Dough Opens in Roxbury

Salvatore's Restaurants Have Been Sold; Will Be Employee-Owned

Boston's Hidden Restaurants

Updated Review: Dot 2 Dot Cafe in Dorchester, MA

New Photo: Avgolemono from Taso's Euro-Cafe in Norwood, MA

New Photo: Hot Dog from Johnson's Drive-In in Groton, MA

Updated Review: Avellino's in Medford, MA

New Photo: Fries from Sullivan's in South Boston, MA

Follow us on Twitter at @hiddenboston


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YO! Sushi Is Opening Its First Boston Location

Five years ago, we reported that a London-based group of sushi spots was looking to open in Boston. Now we have learned that this is finally going to be happening.

According to an article in The Tampa Tribune, YO! Sushi is planning to open a restaurant in Boston in early 2016 along with two other new outlets in New York and New Jersey. Once it opens, the new eatery will be a quick-service spot featuring a slow-moving conveyor belt that delivers sushi to diners; other items on the menu will include soups, classic Japanese dishes such as gyoza, katsu, and tempura, and a variety of rice and noodle dishes.

The post says that the three new locations of YO! Sushi will join three others in Paramus, NJ and Tampa and Sarasota in Florida, along with just under 90 others around the world.

The website for YO! Sushi can be found at http://www.yosushiusa.com/

[October 27 update: Eater Boston mentions that YO! Sushi will open within the Seaport Square development in Boston's Seaport District, with this being the flagship location for the United States--and the first that is not in a mall.]

[August 18, 2016 update: A new post from Eater Boston states that YO! Sushi plans to open its first Boston location at Seaport Square in October, with the exact address being 85 Seaport Boulevard (the Watermark Seaport tower).]

[October 12, 2016 update: A tweet from Boston Herald writer @DGoodison mentions that YO! Sushi soft-opens in the Seaport District October 24, with its grand opening taking place on October 26.]

[Earlier Article]
YO! Sushi May Be Coming to Boston

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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Finagle a Bagel in Boston's Center Plaza Is Closing

It looks like another location of a local group of bagel shops is shutting down.

According to a licensing board page within the City of Boston website, Finagle a Bagel at Center Plaza in downtown Boston is planning to close in December, with the post saying that they have canceled their common victualler license. It appears that existing locations within MGH, in Boston's Back Bay, and the kiosk within the Kinko's building in Chestnut Hill remain open, though their website shows that their other Chestnut Hill shop is temporarily closed. Finagle a Bagel's products can also be found at various grocery stores in the region, including Roche Bros., Whole Foods, Shaw's, Market Basket, and others.

A number of Finagle a Bagel cafes have shuttered over the years, with locations in Boston's Financial District, Tremont Street by Boston Common, Brookline's Coolidge Corner, Burlington, Cambridge's Harvard Square, East Cambridge, Charlestown, Swampscott, Wayland, West Roxbury, and others all being out of business.

The address for this soon-to-close bagel shop in Boston is: Finagle a Bagel, 1 Center Plaza, Boston, MA, 02108. The website for the company can be found at http://www.finagleabagel.com/

[December 10 update: According to a post from the Boston Hospitality and Tourism Industry Blog, Finagle a Bagel at Center Plaza closes on Friday, December 18.]

Follow us on Twitter at @hiddenboston


[Related article from our sister site (Boston's Hidden Restaurants): Slideshow--Ten Items from Bakeries and Pastry Shops in the Boston Area and Beyond]




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Friday, October 23, 2015

Abe and Louie's in Boston's Back Bay Listed Among Top-Grossing Independent Restaurants in America

A new report has come out on the top-grossing independent restaurants in the United States, and a high-end steakhouse in Boston has made the list.

According to an article in the Boston Business Journal, Restaurant Business magazine includes Abe & Louie's at number 40 among its 100 dining spots for total sales in 2014, with the Back Bay restaurant reporting $16.2 million while having an average check size being $78. No other Boston-area or New England dining spots made the list, though a number of New York eateries are mentioned, including Buddakan, Lavo New York, Sparks Steak House, Grand Central Oyster Bar, Blue Water Grill, and others. The article lists the top-grossing restaurant in the country as Tao Asian Bistro in Las Vegas, with $47 million in sales while having an average check size of $70.

For a complete look at the top-grossing independent dining spots listed by Restaurant Business magazine, please go to the link below:

Top 100 Independents

The address for Abe & Louie's is 793 Boylston Street, Boston, MA, 02116. Its website can be found at http://abeandlouies.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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La Casa de Pedro in Watertown to Open New Location in Boston's Seaport District

It looks like the people behind a Venezuelan restaurant just west of Boston will be opening a new location, and this one will be in one of the city's hottest neighborhoods for dining.

According to a Twitter post from @DGoodison of The Boston Herald, La Casa de Pedro is looking to acquire a liquor license to open within the Waterside Place luxury apartment building on Congress Street in the Seaport District, with the license coming from the Sweetwater Tavern, a Boylston Place bar that closed (and was subsequently demolished) earlier this year. A picture of the hearing notice that was sent this morning indicates that the new location of the restaurant may include a bar/lounge area, a second bar, a ceviche dining and bar section, a family dining area, a private dining section, an outdoor patio, and more seating areas.

 La Casa de Pedro had also opened a restaurant in Billerica called Pedro's five years ago, but it shut down two years later. The original location of the eatery had been in Watertown Square but is now located on Arsenal Street east of the square.

The address for this upcoming location of La Casa de Pedro is 505 Congress Street, Boston, MA, 02210, The website for the original location in Watertown is at http://lacasadepedrolatincuisine.com/

[November 6 update: La Casa de Pedro is one step closer to opening in the Seaport District, as Universal Hub states that the city of Boston approved its plans yesterday to open on Congress Street.]

[August 25, 2016 update: A Zagat feature on upcoming restaurant openings mentions that La Casa de Pedro's new location in the Seaport District will open in September, and that it will be a lot bigger than the Watertown location, with seating for nearly 500.]

[November 13, 2016 update: The Tables section of The Boston Globe mentions that La Casa de Pedro hopes to open its new location in the Seaport District on Monday, November 14.]

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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Coppa Alum Plans to Open Two-Section Restaurant in Former Church Space in Boston's Fenway

Last month, we reported that yet another Boston-area music club had closed its doors (along with its restaurant). Now we have learned that a chef who used to work at one of the city's best-known dining spots may be opening not one, but two places within the space.

According to a Twitter post from @DGoodison of The Boston Herald, The Gromit Group is looking to take over the former Church space in the Fenway, with a note sent from her (and picture of the hearing notice) indicating that the Kilmarnock Street site would be split into two "unique" spaces, including a public dining spot that does not yet have a name and a separate semi-private room that would be used for additional seating for the public restaurant when not in use. A check on the Bizapedia site shows that Marlena Ward and Meghann Ward are behind The Gromit Group; Meghann Ward had been the chef de cuisine at Coppa in Boston's South End until recently.

[November 4 update: Universal Hub gives more information on the proposed spot coming to the Church space--it would be a "two-part restaurant" called Tapestry that would include a lower-priced section called Expo Kitchen and a higher-end space called the Clubroom. UH also mentions that Marlena Ward, her stepdaughter Meghann, and her fiancee are not planning to have live entertainment and are looking to cater to a much older crowd, with the dining spots focusing more on food than drink.]

[April 26, 2016 update: A Twitter post from @kciccolini mentions that Tapestry hopes to open in the former Church space on May 4.]

[May 2, 2016 update: A Facebook post from the place indicates that Tapestry might not open on May 4 after all, as the "exact date is tentative," but the note does say that they are still hoping to open early this month.]

Earlier, we had mentioned that the restaurant group behind Nix's Mate in Boston's Financial District (Bostonian Hospitality) had been looking at the Church space; it is not known if those plans fell through or if the two groups will be joining together on the new venture. (As soon as we find out more, we will post an update here.)

The address for the former Church space is 69 Kilmarnock Sreet, Boston, MA, 02215.

[Earlier Articles]
Church Rock Club in Boston's Fenway Closes, Restaurant Remains Open; Nix's Mate Eyes Space
Church in Boston's Fenway Neighborhood Closes Its Restaurant

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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Oath Craft Pizza to Open Multiple Locations in the Boston Area

In August, we mentioned that the people behind an eclectic pizza spot on Nantucket Island would be opening a second location in the heart of Boston, and now that the new shop is on the verge of opening, we have just learned that there could be many more locations coming to the local area.

According to an article in the Boston Business Journal, Oath Craft Pizza is planning to open a total of eight to ten locations in and around Boston by the end of 2016, with BostInno stating that they could be opening a "marquee" location in either the Davis Square section of Somerville or Chestnut Hill by as early as next March, though no lease has been signed as of yet. The original location of Oath on Straight Wharf in Nantucket is now closed for the season, though their new spot in South Station will have what looks to be a soft opening next week.

Oath Craft Pizza features an eclectic mix of pizzas including sriracha chicken, jalapeno relish, cotija cheese, pulled pork, cilantro garlic sauce, pickled red onion, and roasted potatoes. Its website can be found at http://www.oathpizza.com/

[Earlier Article]
Nantucket's Oath Craft Pizza to Open at South Station in Boston

Follow us on Twitter at @hiddenboston


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



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Thursday, October 22, 2015

Casa Vallarta Is Opening on Route 1 in Saugus

A pair of Mexican restaurants west and south of Boston will be opening a third location on an infamous stretch of road north of the city.

A message from @CappyinBoston indicates that Casa Vallarta is going to open on Route 1 in Saugus, moving into a space just north of the Route 129/Walnut Street intersection near where Jimmy's Steer House and IHOP are located. Once it opens, the new eatery will join existing locations in Northborough and Falmouth, and based on the menus at those restaurants, some of the items offered could be taco salads, enchiladas, quesadillas, chile rellens, tostadas, burritos, ceviche, red snapper, skirt steak, and marinated lamb shank.

No opening date has been given as of yet for the new location of Casa Vallarta.

The address for this Mexican restaurant in Saugus is: Casa Vallarta, 114 Broadway (Route 1), Saugus, MA, 01906. the website for all three locations can be found at http://casavallarta.org/

[December 28 update: The Saugus Advertiser states that the town has given Casa Vallarta the green light to open on Route 1, and that the owners want to open the place "as soon as possible." (The article also says that it will be taking over the space where Pearl Street Cafe had been.)]

[February 28, 2017 update: Casa Vallarta is now open in Saugus.]

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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Pizzamore Flatbread Company to Open in Woburn

It looks like a new restaurant that features flatbread pizza is coming to a northern suburb of Boston that is suddenly red-hot for dining.

According to a job post within the Craigslist site, Pizzamore Flatbread Company is planning to open on Main Street in Woburn, with the posting saying that the eatery will be a "fast casual concept" that includes "healthy flatbreads, artisan sandwiches and a variety of salads all to be cooked and served in a completely renovated restaurant with state of the art equipment and the freshest ingredients."

The address given for Pizzamore is the same as that of both Lanna Thai Diner and the now-closed Between Us Pizza; it is assumed that the new dining spot will be moving into the latter, though this has not been confirmed as of yet. (As soon as we get more information, we will post an update here.)

The address given for Pizzamore is 901 Main Street, Woburn, MA, 01801.

[November 16 update: According to a Facebook post from the place, Pizzamore Flatbread Company is now open.]

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



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Dudley Dough Opens in Roxbury

A gourmet pizza shop that is affiliated with a non-profit restaurant and organization is now open.

According to its Twitter page, Dudley Dough in Roxbury is now up and running, featuring pizza along with breakfast items, soups, salads, smoothies, ice cream, beer, wine, and more. The eatery, which is located within the Bolling Building in Roxbury's Dudley Square, is connected with Haley House Bakery Cafe, a dining spot that resides on nearby Dade Street, and Haley House itself, a South End-based non-profit organization that has been helping the homeless, the working poor, and others facing struggles since the mid 1960s.

Dudley Dough joins another dining spot in the Bolling Building--Dudley Cafe, which is Solmon Chowdhury of Shanti in Dorchester and Roslindale and Moksa/Naga in Cambridge--and a location of Tasty Burger is also being planned for the space as well.

Hours today for Dudley Dough are 7:00 AM to 8:00 PM, though it is not yet known if these are its permanent hours.

The address for Dudley Dough is 2302 Washington Street, Roxbury, MA, 02119. Its web page can be found at http://haleyhouse.org/what-we-do/dudley-dough/

Follow us on Twitter at @hiddenboston


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



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Abby Lane Owner Jason Santos Wins Marathon Race Against Non-Paying Diner

The chef and owner of a restaurant in Boston's Theatre District recently ran after a diner who allegedly didn't pay--and the race to catch him was a particularly long one.

The Boston Herald states that a "30-something, well-dressed guy" at Abby Lane on Tremont Street reportedly ran out the back door earlier this week after being confronted by Jason Santos and a bartender who told the chef/owner that the diner had walked out on a tab two weeks earlier. Santos ran after the perp in his clogs and his chef's coat, following him for more than a mile through the streets of the Theatre District before finding a police car by P.F. Chang's at Park Plaza; the police caught up with the patron over by Boston Common, according to the article. (The suspect was arrested for disorderly conduct and defrauding an innkeeper.)

Santos tells the Herald that in both instances, the diner said he had forgotten his wallet and needed to go out and get it so he could pay.

Jason Santos currently runs both Abby Lane and Back Bay Harry's on Berkeley Street, with the chef and restaurateur also appearing on the Fox show Hell's Kitchen back in 2010. (He was also involved with the now-closed Gargoyles in Somerville's Davis Square and Blue Inc. in downtown Boston.)

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, October 21, 2015

Update: Sa Pa in Brighton's Cleveland Circle to Be Replaced by Jade Monkey

[Ed note: This article was updated on December 4 to reflect confirmation of the restaurant's closure (and what might be replacing it).]

It looks like a pair of Vietnamese restaurants in Boston has dropped back down to one, as its second location appears to be shuttered.

According to a Twitter post from @LokayWCVB, Sa Pa in the Cleveland Circle section of Brighton is closed, with a photo showing the windows and front door being papered over. The restaurant's website still lists the Beacon Street shop, though a Google search shows that Google considers the eatery to be permanently closed. It looks like the original location of Sa Pa on Bedford Street in downtown Boston remains in operation.

Sa Pa first opened in Cleveland Circle in May of 2014, taking over the space where Bangkok Bistro had been until moving to Washington Street near Brighton Center. The dining spot offered banh mi, pho, and vermicelli bowls, along with kimchi, steamed buns, and egg rolls.

The address for this now-closed Vietnamese restaurant in Brighton was: Sa Pa, 1952 Beacon Street, Brighton, MA, 02135. The website for the original location can be found at https://www.sa-pa.com/

[December 4 update: Based on a hearing notice sent to us this morning, we now have confirmation that Sa Pa in Brighton has indeed closed for good. The notice says that a new dining spot called Jade Monkey is planning to move into the space and it also mentions that the petition to change the business from Sa Pa to Jade Monkey includes a change in the manager of the business as well.]

[February 8, 2016 update: Eater Boston states that Jade Monkey is now open and that it features Asian fusion cuisine; the post also says that the new spot is under the same ownership as that of the former Sa Pa.]

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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Mr. B's Pizza in Somerville Seeking Permission for a 4:00 AM Closing Time

A late-night pizza spot in Somerville is looking to stay open even later in order to remain in business.

The Somerville Journal is reporting that Mr. B's Pizza on Cross Street in the East Somerville/Prospect Hill area of the city is applying for a license to stay open until 4:00 AM for deliveries only, which would be two hours later than its current closing time of 2:00 AM. The article indicates that the owner of the pizzeria needs these extra two hours, with Mehmet Bakirci saying that "If they don’t give me an extension I’ll have to close down the business." Currently, Mr. B's is open for breakfast and lunch from 8:30 AM to 2:00 PM and for dinner from 6:00 PM to 2:00 AM (with the place doing deliveries only from midnight to 2:00 AM), though Bakirci states that "Daytime is doing nothing here, almost nothing."

The address for this pizza spot in Somerville is: Mr. B's Pizza, 142 Cross Street, Somerville, MA, 02145. Its website is at http://www.mrbpizza.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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The Dandee Donut Factory Is Coming to Marblehead

A pair of donut shops based in Florida will soon be joined by a third, and this one is coming to the Greater Boston area.

According to a job post within bostonchefs.com, The Dandee Donut Factory is planning to open in Marblehead, with the Warwick Place site indicating that it will be coming to the Pleasant Street cinema complex. Based on the other locations in Pompano Beach and Hollywood, the new shop will feature a wide variety of old-fashioned donuts and coffee, and the web page for the Marblehead shop shows that it may also offer breakfast and lunch items such as bagels, muffins, omelettes, waffles, pancakes, burgers, hot dogs, spinach pie, and more.

The Dandee Donut Factory was founded in 1995 by Peter Spyredes and Frank Pucine, with Spyredes currently running the Pompano Beach location and Pucine operating the Hollywood shop.

The address for this upcoming donut shop in Marblehead is: The Dandee Donut Factory, 123 Pleasant Street, Marblehead, MA, 01945. Its website can be found at http://dandeedonutsmarblehead.com/

Follow us on Twitter at @hiddenboston


[Related article from our sister site (Boston's Hidden Restaurants): Slideshow--Ten Items from Bakeries and Pastry Shops in the Boston Area and Beyond]



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Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Season 13 of "Top Chef" to Include Two Contestants from the Boston Area

A popular food-based reality show is getting ready for a brand new season, and this year, a couple of locals will be included among the contestants.

Eater Boston is reporting that Karen Akunowicz, who is executive chef of Myers + Chang in the South End, and Carl Dooley, who is a former chef de cuisine at Craigie on Main in Cambridge (and soon opening a new North Cambridge spot called The Table), will be competing in Season 13 of Bravo's "Top Chef," which will take place in a number of cities along the California coast rather than being in just one city. According to EB, this year's judges will be Richard Blais, Tom Colicchio, Emeril Lagasse, Padma Lakshmi, and Gail Simmons, while the contestants will be cooking for celebrities such as rapper MC Hammer and supermodel Chrissy Teigen.

"Top Chef" has featured several Boston-area folks on the show in the past, including Tiffani Faison of Sweet Cheeks, Michael Schlow of Tico, Alta Strada, and Doretta Tavern. Stephanie Cmar of Stacked Donuts and Kristen Kish (formerly of Menton).

For more information on Season 13 of "Top Chef"--which premiers on December 2--please go to the link below:

Top Chef Season 13 Kicks Off in December with Cameos from Chrissy Teigen and MC Hammer

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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Salvatore's Restaurants Have Been Sold; Will Be Employee-Owned

The person behind a local group of Italian restaurants has sold all of its locations, with the changeover taking place at the beginning of next month.

According to a press release, Sal Lupoli has sold the five locations of Salvatore's to a group of employees, with the restaurants officially becoming employee-owned as of November 1. In the release, Lupoli says that he decided to sell the group of dining spots because the real estate division of his business is taking on several new projects and he is also focusing more on charitable and civic commitments. (He will continue to run the Sal's pizza chain.)

Salvatore's can be found in the Seaport District, downtown Boston, Medford, Andover, and Lawrence; its website is at http://www.salvatoresrestaurants.com/

Follow us on Twitter at @hiddenboston


[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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Monday, October 19, 2015

Highlights for the Week Ending October 16, 2015

A few more stories and articles centering on the Boston-area restaurant scene came out over the past week, including a New York-based BBQ spot planning to come to Boston, a landmark theater and dining/drinking place announcing that it will close, and a popular magazine including a Boston restaurant among its picks for best new places. In addition, our sister site (Boston's Hidden Restaurants) included a new review of a food market, deli, and sub shop in Revere, a photo of a Greek dish from a restaurant in Norwood, and an updated review of a breakfast spot in Weymouth.

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

Boston Restaurant Talk

Hill Country Barbecue Market May Be Coming to Boston's Fort Point

Medieval Manor in Boston Is Closing

Esquire's Best New Restaurants List Includes Townsman in Boston

Granite Rail Tavern and Home Ice Sports Bar in Quincy to Close

Launch Plans to Open in Cambridge's Kendall Square

Boston's Hidden Restaurants

New Review: New Deal Fruit in Revere, MA

Restaurant Closings and Openings for October, 2015 (So Far)

New Photo: Pastichio from Taso's Euro-Cafe in Norwood, MA

Updated Review: Mad Hatter Cafe in Weymouth, MA

New Photo: Pizza from Louie's in Woburn, MA

Follow us on Twitter at @hiddenboston


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