Thursday, December 31, 2015

Medieval Manor in Boston May Be Reopening

A couple of months ago, we reported that a landmark theater and restaurant was closing its doors forever. Now we have learned that this might not be the case after all.

A recent check on the website for the Medieval Manor in Boston's South End indicates that its New Year's Eve show tonight will likely be its last show (as mentioned previously), but a new note below says "We hope to reopen ASAP." A message sent from the E Berkeley Street spot this morning says that they are now hoping to renovate the space and reopen, mentioning that they sold their liquor license and are looking to replace it with a beer and wine license, and that they would be staying in their current home, though the space would be "modified."

[March 21, 2016 update: A Facebook post from over the weekend indicates that the Medieval Manor is hoping to reopen sometime later this year, though it has not been completely confirmed that it will move back into its old space. (Thanks to Drew Starr for bringing this to our attention.)]

[April 19, 2016 update: A new Facebook post from the place indicates that the Medieval Manor now has plans "to see YOU in 2017," and that it may be going the Kickstarter route to raise money.]

The Medieval Manor first opened more than 40 years ago, offering Middle Ages-themed musical comedy along with dinner and drinks; in October, the place said it would be closing at the end of the year and last month it petitioned to transfer its liquor license to the upcoming Bar Mezzana in the nearby Ink Block.

The address for the Medieval Manor is 246 E Berkeley Street, Boston, MA, 02116. Its website can be found at http://www.medievalmanor.com/

[Earlier Article]
Medieval Manor in Boston Is Closing

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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Finale in Boston's Park Plaza Is Closing

An upscale dessert spot and bakery in Boston is closing for good, apparently marking the end the line for what had once been a local group of shops.

According to a Twitter post from @FoodserviceEast, Finale at Park Plaza is shutting down, joining other now-closed locations in Cambridge's Harvard Square, Brookline's Coolidge Corner, and the Natick Mall. It is not known if the Park Plaza location has already closed or if it is getting ready to shut down; calls placed to the shop this morning went directly to voicemail, though its website is still up. (We have reached out to one of the people behind Finale and will post an update as soon as we get it.)

[January 1, 2016 update: A note sent from one of the owners of Finale states that the Park Plaza shop will be closing for good on Sunday (January 3), though some of its products will continue to be available at a new cafe in Park Square called Vivra Chocolate Studio that will open this spring.]

Finale first opened in Park Plaza more than 17 years ago, offering such items as cookies, cakes, brownies, cupcakes, soups, salads, sandwiches, small plates, coffee, and more.

The address for this dessert spot and bakery is: Finale, 1 Columbus Avenue, Boston, MA, 02116. Its website is at http://finaleboston.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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Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Firebox BBQ in Bedford Has Closed; Virsa de Punjab Indian Kitchen to Replace It

One of the relatively few BBQ joints in the Greater Boston area has shut down.

According to an article within the bedford-business.com site, Firebox BBQ on Great Road is no longer in business, with an employee of the place saying that the business will be moving to Woburn where it will focus on catering and will also continue to keep its food trucks in operation. A second post from the site mentions that a new dining spot called Virsa de Punjab Indian Kitchen will move into the former Firebox space possibly by late February.

Firebox first opened its doors in the fall of 2009, taking over the space where UFood Grill had been.

The address for the now-closed Firebox BBQ (and new Virsa de Punjab Indian Kitchen) is 347 Great Road (Routes 4/225), Bedford, MA, 01730.

[May 11, 2016 update: A new post from bedford-business.com mentions that Virsa de Punjab Indian Kitchen is now open, with the restaurant focusing on Northern Indian cuisine.]

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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Jasper White's Summer Shack in Dedham Has Closed

It looks like a local group of seafood restaurants owned by an award-winning chef has gotten just a bit smaller.

Eater Boston is reporting (via a source) that Jasper White's Summer Shack in Dedham is no longer in business, with a check on the Summer Shack website seeming to confirm this. (The Route 1 outlet is no longer shown on the locations page.) It looks like locations of the restaurant in Boston's Back Bay, the Alewife area of Cambridge, and Mohegan Sun in Connecticut remain in operation.

Summer Shack first opened in Dedham in June of 2011, taking over the space where a location of Bugaboo Creek had been.

The address for this now-closed seafood restaurant in Dedham was: Jasper White's Summer Shack, 850 Providence Highway, Dedham, MA, 02026. The website for the Summer Shack restaurants can be found at: http://www.summershackrestaurant.com/

Follow us on Twitter at @hiddenboston


[Related article from our sister site (Boston's Hidden Restaurants): Slideshow--Twelve Seafood Dishes from Boston-Area and New England Restaurants]



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Scofflaw Plans to Open at the Ink Block in Boston's South End

It looks like a new restaurant and bar may be opening at a red-hot development just south of downtown Boston, and one of the people involved comes from a dining spot in the Theatre District.

According to a licensing board page within the City of Boston website, a place tentatively called Scofflaw is planning to open within the Ink Block and it is looking to acquire the liquor license being held by the Lower Mills Tavern in Dorchester. (The Lower Mills Tavern is taking over the space where the Lower Mills Pub had been.) The post indicates that the proposed spot would have a dining area and a bar along with a seasonal patio, with Jarek Mountain--who is the beverage manager of Jason Santos's Abby Lane on Tremont Street--being named as the manager in the listing.

Very little is known about Scofflaw at this point in time (including if "Scofflaw" is just a working name for the place); as soon as we get more information, we will post an update here.

[January 6, 2016 update: Universal Hub mentions that Scofflaw would be a small restaurant and cocktail lounge that would cater mainly to folks who live within its building on Harrison Avenue.]

[January 20, 2016 update: Eater Boston states (via the Dorchester Reporter) that the city has approved of the license transfer from the Lower Mills Tavern to Scofflaw (with the former getting a new license).]

The address for this dining and drinking spot in the South End is 300 Harrison Avenue, Boston, MA, 02118.

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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Alden & Harlow in Cambridge's Harvard Square Offering $175 Burger on New Year's Eve

A bustling Harvard Square restaurant is going to be serving a very special--and very pricey--burger to ring in the new year.

According to an article in The Boston Globe,  & Harlow on Brattle Street is offering a $175 burger on New Year's Eve that will include eight ounces of house-ground Creekstone Farms beef topped with an egg yolk, shaved white truffle, Kobe beef tartare, Rush Creek Reserve cheese, and a dash of Jacobsen Salt, all on a house-made Parker House roll. The article says that the burger comes with pickles and house-made potato chips, and is served with a glass of Jacquesson Cuvee 736 Champagne.

The Globe mentions that the New Year's Eve burger is part of chef/owner Michael Scelfo's "secret burger" line.

The address for Alden & Harlow is 40 Brattle Street, Cambridge, MA, 02138; its website can be found at http://aldenharlow.com/

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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Update: Panera on Union Street by Boston's Faneuil Hall Has Closed; West Roxbury Location Closes As Well

[Ed note: This article was updated on January 12, 2016 to reflect new information given.]

A location of a chain of bakery-cafes that took over the space where a popular Irish pub had once been is no longer in business, while another within the Boston city limits has also closed

According to a Twitter post from Universal Hub, Panera on Union Street near Faneuil Hall in downtown Boston is shuttered, with a check on the Panera site seeming to confirm this (it is no longer listed in the locations section). The cafe opened last year, moving into the spot where The Purple Shamrock was for more than 30 years until closing in 2012.

UH also mentions that the West Roxbury location of Panera has shut down as well.

The website for Panera can be found at https://www.panerabread.com/

[January 12, 2016 update: The Boston Business Journal reports that with the closing of the Union Street and West Roxbury outlets of Panera, only three company-owned shops remain in all of Massachusetts (the rest are franchise-owned). In addition, Panera CFO Mike Bufano notes during a second-quarter earnings conference call that "the Boston market, as a whole, was well below our system average."]

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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Windy City Eats in Weymouth Has Closed; Windy City Dogs in Norwell Remains in Operation

A dining spot on the South Shore that was known for its Chicago-style hot dogs has very quietly shut down, though its second location remains open for business.

According to one of our readers, Windy City Eats in Weymouth is no longer in operation, with a Facebook post from the place confirming this, saying that it shuttered this fall because the two stores were "a little much to operate." The post refers customers to its Windy City Dogs location on Washington Street in Norwell.

Windy City Eats first opened in the summer of 2008, offering Chicago dogs along with Italian beef sandwiches, burgers, and more; Windy City Dogs opened its doors in Norwell in the fall of 2012.

The address for this now-closed eatery in Weymouth was: Windy City Eats, 407 Middle Street, Weymouth, MA, 02189.

Follow us on Twitter at @hiddenboston


[Related article from our sister site (Boston's Hidden Restaurants): Slideshow--Twelve Sandwiches from Restaurants in the Boston Area and Elsewhere in New England]



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Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Angela's Cafe in East Boston Is Opening Second Location in El Paisa Space in Orient Heights

One of the highest-rated Mexican restaurants in Boston is going to be expanding to a second location, and it will move into the space where a Colombian dining spot resides.

Eater Boston is reporting (via a licensing board page within the city of Boston website) that Angela's Cafe on Lexington Street in the Eagle Hill section of Eastie is looking to open Angela's Cafe II in the El Paisa space in Orient Heights. Based on the menu at the original Angela's Cafe, the new Bennington Street location could feature such items as guacamole, tortilla soup, chicken pole, pork adobo, gorditas, enchiladas, and flan.

[January 20, 2016 update: Based on an article in the East Boston Times-Free Press, the owners of Angela's recently had what appears to be a positive meeting with residents who live near the Orient Heights site where the restaurant plans to open. The article indicates that if all goes as planned, El Paisa will shut down very soon and Angela's could be up and running in its second location in February after two to three weeks of renovations.]

[February 29, 2016 update: Eater Boston states that the new location of Angela's Cafe is now open, and that it is serving breakfast and lunch only, along with a brunch (it is open from 7:00 AM to 3:00 PM daily).]

Angela's Cafe is a dining spot that was featured on Guy Fieri's Food Network show "Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives" in 2012; our sister site (Boston's Hidden Restaurants) has also featured it as an under-the-radar eatery to go to for authentic Mexican fare, with the review being found at the following link:

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

El Paisa, which features a mix of Colombian, Italian, and American fare, has also been featured by Boston's Hidden Restaurants, with its review being below:

http://hiddenboston.com/ElPaisa.html

The address for the new location of Angela's Cafe is 1012 Bennington Street, East Boston, MA, 02128.

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 Is Opening at Chestnut Hill Square

A couple of months ago, we reported that the people behind an eclectic pizza spot on Nantucket Island--and now in downtown Boston--would be opening more locations in the local area, and now we have learned that one place they had been looking at will indeed be the site of an upcoming shop.

According to an article from Eater Boston, Oath Craft Pizza is planning to open at Chestnut Hill Square, which is a relatively new mixed-use development along Route 9 by the Newton/Brookline border. Once it opens, the new location will join others on Straight Wharf in Nantucket (which is currently closed for the season) and within South Station in Boston; back in October, we had mentioned that Oath was also hoping to open eight to ten locations in the Boston area by the end of 2016, possibly looking at a "marquee" location in either Somerville's Davis Square section of Somerville or in Chestnut Hill. It is not known if the one coming to Chestnut Hill Square will indeed be their flagship, and there has been no word of late on a possible Davis Square shop; as soon as we find out more, we will post an update here.

[March 10, 2016 update: A new article from Eater Boston mentions that Oath Craft Pizza plans to open at Chestnut Hill Square toward the end of next week.]

[March 16, 2016 update: An email sent today indicates that Oath Craft Pizza is opening its new shop at Chestnut Hill Square on Friday (March 18).]

Chestnut Hill Square is currently home to such dining spots as Brio, Capital Grille, Seasons 52, and Sweetgreen, along with a location of Wegmans market.

The website for Oath Craft Pizza can be found at http://www.oathpizza.com/

[Earlier Article]
Oath Craft Pizza to Open Multiple Locations in the Boston Area

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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Wood and Fire Neapolitan Pizzeria Opens in Melrose

A new option for wood-fired pizza--and more--has come to the Boston area.

According to its Facebook page, Wood + Fire Neapolitan Pizzeria in Melrose is now open, moving into the space on Essex Street where Tooba's had been until closing this fall. The menu on the eatery's Facebook page shows such items as wood-fired pizza and panini, along with soups, salads, appetizers, and desserts, and it also features some beer and wine options.

Earlier we had reported that Wood + Fire could be related to a restaurant in Westchester County, NY, with a similar name and menu, but it turns out that the two places are not connected.

The address for this new restaurant in Melrose is: Wood + Fire Neapolitan Pizzeria, 35-37 Essex Street, Melrose, MA, 02176. Its Facebook page can be found at https://www.facebook.com/Wood-and-Fire-Neapolitan-Pizzeria-1608806866036253/

Thanks to The Passionate Foodie for bringing the opening of this place to our attention.

[Earlier Article]
Tooba's in Melrose Has Closed

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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Pammy's Is Replacing India Castle in Cambridge

A new restaurant may be coming to Cambridge, and it will be replacing another eatery between Harvard Square and Central Square that has been in business for more than 15 years.

According to a License Commission General Hearing page within the city of Cambridge website, a new spot tentatively called Thresher is seeking the liquor license currently held by India Castle on Mass. Ave., with the note saying that the new 85-seat restaurant would be open for dinner seven days a week. A search online on the manager listed--Christopher Willis--comes up with nothing related to the local restaurant scene, and no other information has been given on the proposed dining spot (or when India Castle might close); as soon as we find out more, we will post an update here.

India Castle first opened its doors in 1999, according to a post on the Manta site. The people behind the place also run Desi Dhaba in Cambridge, Kabab Corner in Medford, and Punjabi Tadka in Arlington.

The address for this proposed restaurant (and India Castle) is 928 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, MA, 02139.

[January 13, 2016 update: Eater Boston is reporting (via Cambridge Day) that the eatery replacing India Castle will actually be called Pammy's, and that it will be a "fine dining" but 'less stuffy" restaurant that features New American and Italian fare, with freshly-made pasta being at least part of the focus. If all goes well, Pammy's could be open sometime this spring.]

[June 6, 2016 update: A new article from Eater Boston says that India Castle closes its doors for good on Monday, June 13.]

[January 11, 2017 update: A job post within the bostonchefs.com site mentions that Pammy's is now looking for a general manager and that its kitchen "will be anchored by chefs whose collective experience include experience at Jean Georges, Clio, Franny‚Äôs in Brooklyn, and Rialto, to name a few."]

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, December 28, 2015

Highlights for the Week Ending December 25, 2015

A few more stories and articles centering on the Boston-area restaurant scene came out over the past week, including a retail location of a beloved ice cream company closing, a couple of waterfront bars possibly going away to make way for development, and a pizza truck going the brick-and-mortar route. In addition, our sister site (Boston's Hidden Restaurants) included an updated review of an Asian restaurant in Malden, a photo of prime rib eye from a hot pot place in Quincy, and a list of the best hidden restaurants of 2015.

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

Boston Restaurant Talk

Ben and Jerry's at Park Plaza in Boston Has Shut Down

Hilltop Butcher Shop in Weymouth Has Closed

Bugaboo Creek in Braintree Is Closing

Residential Tower Proposed at Site of Atlantic Beer Garden and The Whiskey Priest in Boston's Seaport District

Sunny Boy in Brookline's Washington Square to Close; Stoked to Move into Space

Boston's Hidden Restaurants

Updated Review: All Seasons Table in Malden, MA

New Photo: Prime Rib Eye from Shabu Restaurant in Quincy, MA

Best Hidden Restaurants in the Boston Area, 2015

Updated Review: Ashmont Grill in Dorchester, MA

New Photo: Jamaican Ten-Speed from All Seasons Table in Malden, MA

Follow us on Twitter at @hiddenboston


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Local Restaurateur Ken Kelly Has Passed Away

A restaurant owner who was behind several Somerville dining and drinking spots has died.

According to an obituary in The Somerville Times, Ken Kelly of Winchester passed away on December 23, leaving behind his wife and children along with family members in the local area, Ireland, Bermuda, and Maine. Kelly owned the River Bar at Somerville's Assembly Row, the Independent and Brass Union in Union Square, and Foundry and Saloon in Davis Square, and he was also a member of the Somerville Chamber of Commerce and was the recipient of the John W. Fitzgerald Lifetime Achievement Award.

A wake will be held for Ken Kelly today and tomorrow at the George L. Doherty Funeral Home in Powderhouse Square, with the funeral procession taking place Wednesday morning followed by a mass at St. Joseph Church in Union Square.

Follow us on Twitter at @hiddenboston


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Monroe Coming to Moksa/Naga Space in Cambridge's Central Square

[Ed note: This article was updated a few times in January of 2016 to reflect new information given, including a name for the place.]

A new restaurant is on its way to Cambridge, and it may be going into a space where another restaurant and a nightclub currently reside.

According to a job post within the Craigslist site, a new dining spot is having a job fair January 4-6, and the address shown on the page is the same as that of Moksa and Naga, which are located on Mass. Ave. in the city's Central Square neighborhood. It is not known if the new restaurant will be joining the dining spot and the nightclub (the back of the space is used for events) or if it will take over the entire space, and no other information is given within the job post other than the address and a logo with a large neon-purple "M"; as soon as we find out more, we will post an update here. (We reached out to the owner of Moksa and Naga least week but have not gotten a response as of yet.)

[January 1, 2016 update: Eater Boston mentions that a new restaurant, lounge, and nightclub is indeed taking over the Moksa/Naga space (with both of those spots closing down yesterday), and it will be called Monroe. According to EB, the new place will offer upscale American comfort food while the nightclub area will have a "sprawling" dance floor.]

[January 14, 2016 update: Wicked Local Cambridge says that Monroe plans to open on January 22.]

[January 27, 2016 update: A new post from Eater Boston states that Monroe is now open, and while the restaurant section of the place focuses mainly on classic and modern American fare, the club side has Egyptian touches, including hieroglyphic accents and a sphinx head.]

Moksa is a Pan-Asian eatery that first opened in March of 2012; Naga is a drinking and dancing spot that opened shortly after the debut of Moksa.

The address for this new restaurant and nightclub (as well as Moksa and Naga) is 450 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, MA, 02139.

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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Sunday, December 27, 2015

Chipotle in Brighton's Cleveland Circle Reopens After Closure Due to Norovirus Outbreak

A Brighton dining spot that closed earlier this month after diners became sick from eating at the place is open once again after getting clearance from the city of Boston over the weekend.

WCVB Boston mentions that Chipotle in Cleveland Circle opened back up on Saturday after being disinfected Saturday morning and passing a city inspection that afternoon. The Beacon Street eatery shuttered on December 7 after patrons contracted the norovirus (apparently from a sick employee), with the illness spreading to well over 100 students from Boston College. It appeared that Chipotle was going to open on Christmas Eve, but it reportedly had a water leak that kept it closed for the time being.

The address for the Cleveland Circle location of Chipotle is 1924 Beacon Street, Brighton, MA, 02135.

[Earlier Article]
Chipotle in Brighton's Cleveland Circle Closed After Diners Become Ill

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, December 24, 2015

Nonprofit Restaurant Proposed for Josiah Smith Tavern Site in Weston

Yet another new restaurant proposal for an historic site west of Boston has been given, and this one seems to be getting some positive feedback.

The Weston Town Crier is reporting that the Friends of the Josiah Smith Tavern have proposed opening a nonprofit restaurant at the site (which is on Boston Post Road in the center of town), with the dining spot having a capacity of 80 to 100 and being run by an unnamed educational institution, and that a Weston Arts & Innovation Center coming to the site may be part of the plans as well. The article says that the proposals were chosen after a couple of years of research including a public forum and a survey that took place in town, and that they have been unanimously supported by the Josiah Smith Tavern and Old Library Working Group, which met with the Board of Selectmen this week. The plans could be brought before town residents as early as May of 2016 at the annual town meeting, according to the post.

In 2009, a proposal to bring an upscale restaurant, bar, and function space to the property was voted down, while in 2013, a new proposal was presented to have Dante de Magistris (Restaurant Dante, Il Casale) open a dining spot there.

According to a page within the Weston Historical Society site, the tavern dates all the way back to 1757; currently, two structures reside at the site--the Josiah Smith Tavern and the Old Library.

[Earlier Articles]
Plans for a New Restaurant and Bar in Weston Center Voted Down
Restaurant Proposed (Again) for Historic Structure in Weston

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, December 23, 2015

Update: Bubor Cha Cha in Boston's Chinatown Shuts Down, Reopens After Health Violations

[Ed note: This article was updated on December 24 to reflect the fact that the restaurant has reopened.]

A restaurant in Chinatown that offers Chinese, Malaysian, and other Asian food has been shut down by the city due to an array of health violations.

Universal Hub is reporting that Bubor Cha Cha on Beach Street was ordered closed by a Boston health inspector on Tuesday for such issues as raw food being stored above food that was ready to eat, seafood and pork left on counters for too long a time, hot eggrolls that were stored at too-cool temperatures, hand sinks not having hot water and being blocked by boxes, and fruit flies found within the place. The article says that the dining spot could be allowed to reopen if another inspection shows that the issues have been resolved, but for now, Bubor Cha Cha is closed.

[December 24 update: According to @y2000k, Bubor Cha Cha is open once again. (A call placed to the restaurant confirms that it is open until midnight tonight.)]

Bubor Cha Cha first opened its doors in the summer of 2009.

The address for this restaurant in Chinatown is: Bubor Cha Cha, 45 Beach Street, Boston, MA, 02111.

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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Wok n Talk Opens in Brighton

A Chinese restaurant in Jamaica Plain has opened a second location in another part of Boston.

Eater Boston is reporting that Wok n Talk is now open in Brighton, taking over the space on Washington Street where China Garden and Hoy Hing used to be. The article notes that the new dining spot is affiliated with Wok n Talk on South Huntington Avenue near the Brookline border, and that it appears to be open late (possibly until 2:00 AM) and with an extensive menu that includes Thai and Singaporean fare along with Chinese food.

The original Wok n Talk opened in JP in 2011 in the former Fasika space (Fasika is now located on Broadway in East Somerville).

The address for this new Chinese restaurant in Brighton is: Wok n Talk, 525 Washington Street, Brighton, MA, 02135. The website for Wok n Talk can be found at http://www.wokntalkboston.com/

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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Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Pronti Bistro in Needham to Close; May Reopen in New, Smaller Space

A restaurant in the western suburbs of Boston that features a fusion of Indian and American fare is getting ready to shut its doors--though it is looking to return at some point in a brand new space.

According to a Twitter post from @brandnewwatch, Pronti Bistro in Needham plans to close down tomorrow and is looking to reopen in a smaller space, with the people behind it apparently looking both nearby and in Cambridge. A message from @brandnewwatch indicates that they have not decided on exactly where they will be heading, so keep checking back for updates as we get them.

Pronti Bistro first opened in April of 2011, offering such items as paratha filled with steak, chicken, steak, cottage cheese, and eggplant, bhurji (an Indian-style egg wrap), brownies, vanilla smoothies, and mango lassi.

The address for the soon-to-close Pronti Bistro is 11 Second Avenue, Needham, MA, 02494.

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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Ben and Jerry's at Park Plaza in Boston Has Shut Down

One of the Boston locations of a Vermont-based ice cream company has apparently said goodbye.

Eater Boston is reporting that the Park Plaza location of Ben and Jerry's is no longer in operation, with a check on the company's website seeming to confirm this (the shop is no longer shown within its locations section). It appears that the locations on Newbury Street in the Back Bay, Cambridge's Harvard Square, Braintree, and Natick remain in operation, along with its kiosk by the New England Aquarium on the waterfront. (EB says that the Park Plaza shop was an independently-owned franchise.)

A few months ago, we learned that Ben and Jerry's was planning to bring more shops to the region, though no specifics had been given at the time and it is still not known where or when they might be opening.

The address for the now-closed Ben and Jerry's at Park Plaza was 20 Park Plaza, Boston, MA, 02116. The website for the chain can be found at http://www.benjerry.com/

[Earlier Article]
Ben and Jerry's May Further Expand Through the Boston Area

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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Hilltop Butcher Shop in Weymouth Has Closed

A popular butcher shop on the South Shore has shut down for good, and with it, an iconic name has officially disappeared from the Boston-area landscape.

According to one of our sources, the Hilltop Butcher Shop in Weymouth is no longer in business, with a Facebook post from the place indicating that it actually closed sometime last month. An earlier article from the Patriot Ledger hinted to this happening, saying that the store was simply not getting enough business to remain in operation, so owner John Caccavaro and general manager Greg Hay decided to shut it down.

The Hilltop Butcher Shop had originally been located in Braintree--along with a location of the Hilltop Steak House--until 2007 when the restaurant closed and the store moved to Weymouth; the Ledger says that Caccavaro and Hay took the shop over last December when it looked like High County Investors (the parent company) might try to close its doors. The original Hilltop Steak House in Saugus shuttered in the fall of 2013 after more than 50 years in business, with the landmark building being demolished in April of this year.

The address for the now-closed Hilltop Butcher Shop was 116 Main Street, Weymouth, MA, 02188.

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, December 21, 2015

Highlights for the Week Ending December 18, 2015

Several more stories and articles focusing on the Boston-area restaurant scene came out over the past week, including a legendary group of NYC-based spots coming to Boston, a South End restaurant closing again, and a decades-old Faneuil Hall bar saying farewell. In addition, our sister site (Boston's Hidden Restaurants) included a new review of a hot pot place in North Quincy, a photo of a calzone from an old-school East Boston bar, and a list of more gifts for food and book lovers.

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

Boston Restaurant Talk

Craft Beer Cellar May Be Opening in Boston's Fort Point Neighborhood

The Halal Guys to Expand to the Boston Area

Merrill & Co. in Boston's South End to Close Again; Akinto to Replace It

Pepe's Pizza Eyeing Several Boston-Area Communities for Upcoming Locations

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New Photo: Tiramisu from Massimo's Ristorante in Wakefield, MA

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Bugaboo Creek in Braintree Is Closing

A restaurant chain is getting ready to say a final farewell to the Boston area, as it is closing its only remaining location later this week.

According to a post within a Facebook community group page, Bugaboo Creek in Braintree is shutting down at the end of business hours on Thursday (December 24), with a phone call placed to the restaurant confirming this. The chain of steakhouses used to have a number of outlets in the region, but most of them closed after the company filed for bankruptcy in the fall of 2010 and was subsequently sold. Once the Braintree location of Bugaboo closes, the Milford branch will be the only one left in all of Massachusetts.

The address for Bugaboo Creek in Braintree is 551 John Mahar Highway, Braintree, MA, 02184. The website for Bugaboo Creek can be found at http://www.bugaboocreek.com/

[May 11, 2016 update: According to a source, the Milford location of Bugaboo Creek has closed, which means that the chain no longer has any restaurants in Massachusetts. In addition, its outlet in Newington, NH, has closed as well, and only four locations of Bugaboo now remain in the entire country--Bangor and South Portland, ME, Nashua, NH, and Newark DE.]

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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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Gracie's Ice Cream in Somerville's Union Square Closes for the Season

A popular ice cream shop in one of Somerville's hottest neighborhoods is getting ready to close, but it will be back in a couple of months with some new offerings.

Eater Boston is reporting that Gracie's Ice Cream in Union Square will shut down on December 28 and will remain closed until March 1, at which point it will reopen with some minor renovations and options from a new "hot drinks program" as well as pastries, confections, and more. Aaron Cohen of @EatBoston and Ben Dryer of the former Sherman Market and the Sherman Cafe first opened Gracie's in November of 2014, serving such ice cream flavors as black raspberry chip, peach basil, cinnamon blueberry, coffee and chocolate, Swedish apple pie, and grape nut.

The address for Gracie's Ice Cream is 22 Union Square, Somerville, MA, 02143; its website can be found at http://www.graciesicecre.am/

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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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Residential Tower Proposed at Site of Atlantic Beer Garden and The Whiskey Priest in Boston's Seaport District

Yet another new development may be on its way to the Seaport District of Boston, and it would be built where a couple of bars currently reside.

According to a Twitter post from @SteveAdamsTweet of Banker & Tradesman, the Cronin Group/Cronin Holdings has proposed an "iconic" 22-story residential tower at the site of Atlantic Beer Garden and The Whiskey Priest where Northern Avenue and Seaport Boulevard meet, with the renderings showing what appears to be restaurant/retail space on the ground floor. It appears to be too early to know about the exact future of Atlantic Beer Garden or The Whiskey Priest if the tower is approved; as soon as we find out more, we will post an update here. (The Cronin Group operates both places.)

Atlantic Beer Garden and The Whiskey Priest took over the former Eastern Pier II/Seaport Bar and Grille space approximately seven years ago; in addition to these two spots, the Cronin Group also runs such places as Jerry Remy's, Temazcal, and Tony C's.

[December 21 update: An article from Banker & Tradesman says that the two bars would be "demolished" to make way for the new tower, though it is still not known whether they might reopen within the development. (The post also says that there would be restaurant and retail space on the first two floors of the tower.)]

[August 10, 2016 update: The Boston Globe is now reporting that The Conservation Law Foundation may sue Cronin Holdings over the proposal for a tower at the site of Atlantic Beer Garden and The Whiskey Priest because of possible violations of state law concerning public access and development along the shore.]

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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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Digumm's in Arlington Heights Reopens; GoFundMe Page Set Up

Earlier this month, we reported that an ice cream shop that had replaced the last location of a landmark chain of ice cream parlors was forced to close because it owed back rent, taxes, and water payments. Now we have learned that it has reopened, though it is apparently not out of the woods yet.

A check on the place yesterday evening indicated that Digumm's in Arlington Heights is back in operation once again, with an "open" sign lit up in the window and customers inside the Mass. Ave. shop. While the store is back in business, a search online today came up with a GoFundMe page for Digumm's which is trying to raise $60,000 and includes a note saying that "due to a company buy out by Hood ice cream of New England the name had to undergo a metamorphosis. Since then business has suffered a decline. As an affect the restaurant is struggling to keep up with expenses and faces closure....So please donate and help save our store!" (So far, $200 has been raised for the shop.)

As reported earlier, Digumm's had closed in early December with a note out front saying that  a constable served the place notice based on the fact that it owed more than $30,000 in rent, real estate taxes, and water charges. The shop had previously been the last Brigham's outlet to remain open, though Brigham's products can still be found in convenience stores and supermarkets.

[December 23 update: According to an article in the Arlington Advocate, Digumm's owner Steven Kupelnick says that he and co-owner John Mercer have agreed to a payment plan with the landlord for the now-reopened ice cream shop; the post notes that this is the second time Kupelnick and Mercer have been in this situation, as they had also set up a payment plan in 2012 when what was then Brigham's was seized by the state because of unpaid meal taxes (it soon reopened after a payment plan was set up).]

The address for Digumm's is 1328 Massachusetts Avenue, Arlington, MA, 02476.

[Earlier Articles]
Digumm's in Arlington Heights Is Apparently Shut Down Because of Overdue Rent
Brigham's in Arlington Heights to Become Digumm's
Last Brigham's in Arlington Heights Getting Ready to Officially Disappear from the Landscape

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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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Sunday, December 20, 2015

Sunny Boy in Brookline's Washington Square to Close; Stoked to Move into Space

It looks like a restaurant in Brookline's Washington Square is shutting down after only a half year in business, and a highly-rated pizza truck will be opening a brick-and-mortar dining spot within the space.

According to a source, Sunny Boy on Beacon Street is getting ready to close (possibly around the end of the week), with Stoked Wood Fired Pizza looking to replace it. A new article from Boston Magazine confirms this, saying that Stoked hopes to open in the Sunny Boy space around April 1, and that it will offer lunch and dinner, with brunch planned for some point as well.

[January 6, 2016 update: A poster on the Facebook site confirms what we heard a few days ago, that Sunny Boy shut its doors for good last week (apparently last Wednesday).]

Sunny Boy, which is affiliated with jm Curley and Bogie's Place in Boston's Downtown Crossing, first opened around the beginning of June in the former Cafe Nicholas space; it is a casual eatery featuring mostly traditional American fare and comfort food, while Stoked is a food truck that debuted in the spring of 2014, with Scott Riebling of the Boston rock band Letters to Cleo and Toirm Miller of the former Jack and the Bean Bowl food cart being behind it.

A few days ago, we mentioned that Stoked was planning to open a restaurant somewhere in Brookline, but at the time there was no indication as to where it would be located.

The address for Sunny Boy (and the upcoming Stoked Wood Fired Pizza) is 1632 Beacon Street, Brookline, MA, 02446; the Twitter page for Sunny Boy is at https://twitter.com/sunnyboybrklne while the website for Stoked can be found at http://www.stokedpizzaco.com/

[Earlier Article]
Stoked Wood Fired Pizza to Open Brick and Mortar Restaurant in Brookline

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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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Friday, December 18, 2015

Cucina D in Bedford Has Closed

An Italian restaurant in the northwest suburbs of Boston has closed down after being in business for a bit more than a year.

An email sent yesterday indicates that Cucina D in Bedford is no longer in business, with a Facebook post from the place confirming this, saying that "It is with bittersweet emotions that we tell you Cucina D will not be reopening its doors. As much as we loved serving amazing food to Bedford and the surrounding communities it was our time to move on." This is the second dining spot owned by the DiCenso family to close recently, as Donatello on Route 1 in Saugus shut its doors around the end of September; their other restaurant--Luna Rossa in Tewksbury--remains in operation.

Cucina D, which opened in the fall of 2014, offered such items as panini, pizza, pasta, risotto, and chicken, veal, and eggplant dishes.

The address for this now-closed restaurant in Bedford was: Cucina D, 54 Middlesex Turnpike, Bedford, MA, 01730.

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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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Roza Lyons to Open in Former Urban Art Bar Space in South Boston

A new restaurant is looking to open in South Boston, and it would be taking over the space where a paint bar had been.

Universal Hub is reporting that Roza Lyons is planning on opening within the former Urban Art Bar site on East Broadway, changing over the art studio space so that it is set up more like a traditional dining spot. The post mentions that the new restaurant would focus on tapas/small plates and that it would be open until 1:00 AM, though little else is known about the place at this point in time.

Urban Art Bar closed in June after being in business for approximately three years.

The address for this spot in South Boston is: Roza Lyons, 709 E Broadway, Boston, MA, 02127.

[March 28, 2016 update: The Improper Bostonian mentions that Roza Lyons is planning to open in April and that it will offer salads, panini and wraps, small plates, and beers mostly from local breweries along with wine.]

[May 24, 2016 update: Eater Boston says that Roza Lyons opens tomorrow (Wednesday, May 24).]

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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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