Saturday, May 30, 2020

Deep Ellum in Allston Is Closing

One of Boston's most popular gastropubs is shutting down for good.

According to a source (Matthew DiGirolamo), Deep Ellum in Allston is closing its doors on June 7, with a Facebook post from the Cambridge Street spot saying that "we can't thank everyone enough for supporting us, celebrating your milestones with us, for all the hugs, and the memories, and family that formed here." The post says that the adjacent Lone Star Taco Bar will expand into the space, stating that "we [can't] wait to show off our face lift when we are able to re-open." (Lone Star Taco Bar and Deep Ellum are under the same ownership.)

Deep Ellum first opened 13 years ago, with the restaurant and bar being known for its comfort food, craft beer offerings, and classic cocktails along with its hidden patio out back.

The address for Deep Ellum is 477 Cambridge Street, Allston, MA, 02134.

by Marc Hurwitz (Also 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]

Friday, May 29, 2020

Food Trucks Slated to Return to Rose Kennedy Greenway in Boston on June 1

Food trucks are getting ready to return to downtown Boston for another season, though restrictions will be in place due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to an article from Boston Magazine, the food truck season kicks off on the Rose Kennedy Greenway June 1, with social distancing protocols put into place and, generally, fewer trucks set up at the sites. Expect to see such familiar names along the Greenway on weekdays this summer, including Bon Me, the Chicken & Rice Guys, the Chubby Chickpea, Daddy's Bonetown Burgers, Jamaica Mi Hungry, Posto, Zo, and others.

Boston Magazine notes that the food truck season was originally supposed to begin on April 1 this year.

Go to the link below to see the current schedule for the food trucks, though note that it could definitely change:

https://www.rosekennedygreenway.org/food

by Marc Hurwitz (Also 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]

The Baker Administration Releases Guidance/Safety Standards for Massachusetts Restaurants

Early last week, Governor Charlie Baker signed an executive order that set up a four-phase approach to reopen the Massachusetts economy based on public health guidance, with restaurants in the state being slated to reopen in Phase 2. Now we have been able to see the guidance and safety standards for dining spots as they get closer to opening back up.

According to a post from The Boston Herald, the state is releasing a checklist and a safety standards sheet for restaurants that is being made official during Governor Baker's press conference this afternoon. The PDF pages are separated into four categories--social distancing, hygiene protocols, safety and operations, and cleaning and disinfecting--with some highlights including the following:

-- Tables must be at least six feet away from each other unless barriers are set up.
-- Parties cannot be greater than six people.
-- Diners cannot sit at bars, though they can sit at tables set up in bar areas.
-- All customers have to be seated, so standing around bar areas is not allowed.
-- All diners and workers have to wear masks at all times, except for diners when they are seated. (Those who can't wear masks due to disabilities or medical conditions are exempt.)
-- Unattended buffets, topping bars, and drink stations, must remain shuttered.
-- Condiments, utensils, place settings and menus must be single-use or sanitized after each use. (Menus can also be displayed and/or shown electronically.)
-- Workers must be screened for illness at each shift.
-- Restaurants will be allowed to maximize outdoor dining space as long as they receive city/town approval.
-- Restaurants are encouraged to minimize interaction via technological/mobile solutions.

During the press conference, Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito said that restaurants will only be able to offer outdoor dining initially in Phase 2, but indoor dining is expected to begin sometimes during Phase 2. As of now, Phase 2 is scheduled to kick in on Monday, June 8, though that date is not written in stone as of yet.

by Marc Hurwitz (Also 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]

The Future of Eastern Standard in Boston's Kenmore Square Appears to Be in Question

It looks like one of the most popular restaurants in Boston could be facing an uncertain future.

According to several sources in the restaurant and hospitality industries, there is chatter about the exact status of Eastern Standard in Kenmore Square, with a Facebook post from Marlo Marketing indicating that a lease issue appears to be taking place. The post mentions that the marketing firm is "heartbroken at the thought that a short-sighted landlord would rather end this Boston institution than work with an owner as passionate and dedicated to his community, his team and his guests during this unprecedented time in history," while linking to a post from the restaurant itself that talks about its turning 15 years old this week but which also seems to have both cryptic and not-so-cryptic messages that have sparked discussion among people in the industry. (The note says, among other things, that Eastern Standard is now "a line item on a landlord's balance sheet and chances are they lack the vision to imagine it as anything else. It's feeble PPP money in a bank account that will have to given back. Right now it's a memory.") We have reached out to Marlo Marketing and people with connections to Eastern Standard; as soon as we find out more about the status of the restaurant, we will post an update here.

Eastern Standard first opened in 2005, with the place being known in part for its food offerings with French influences and its cocktail list.

The address for Eastern Standard is 528 Commonwealth Avenue, Boston, MA, 02215. Its website can be found at https://easternstandardboston.com/

by Marc Hurwitz (Also 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]

Thursday, May 28, 2020

Gaslight in Boston's South End to Start Offering Food from Cinquecento's Menu

An Italian restaurant in the SoWa part of Boston's South End that was heavily damaged in a flood will live on for now at a nearby restaurant that is known for its French fare.

According to a Facebook post, Cinquecento's menu items will be available at Gaslight starting this Saturday, with the post saying that "all of your Italian favorites will now be served @gaslightboston for delivery and curbside pickup." The note also confirms what was feared about Cinquecento--that is was "destroyed" in mid-April due to a water main break that flooded much of the surrounding area. (At the time, the restaurant posted that the first floor was a total loss with damages exceeding $1 million.)

It is not yet known whether Cinquecento will be rebuilt; if we hear anything, we will post an update here.

Gaslight is located at 560 Harrison Avenue while Cinquecento is at 500 Harrison Avenue. (Both restaurants are part of the Aquitaine Group.)

[Earlier Article]
Cinquecento in Boston's South End Is Closed After Suffering Major Flood Damage; First Floor a "Total Loss"

by Marc Hurwitz (Also 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]

Le Pain Quotidien Files for Bankruptcy, May Permanently Close a Number of Locations

A chain of bakery-cafes that got its start in Belgium--and which once appeared to have aspirations to expand to the Boston area--appears to be in serious trouble.

According to an article from USA Today, Le Pain Quotidien has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection and is now looking at a sale that would help stave off liquidation. The post states that the proposed sale would be to Aurify Brands, a New York-based company that oversees such brands as Five Guys and Melt Shop--and the sale could lead to the permanent closures of a number of Le Pain Quotidien outlets in the United States, as it is mentioned that at least 35 of its 98 locations in this country would be able to reopen, indicating that at least some of the others might shut down.

USA Today says that Le Pain Quotidien had actually been planning the bankruptcy filing before the COVID-19 pandemic, though chief restructuring officer Steven Fleming says that the coronavirus crisis brought the business to the brink of liquidation and all shops ended up closing for the time being.

Le Pain Quotidien was founded in Brussels back in 1990, with the chain building a big presence in New York City, and at one time, a page for Boston locations existed on its website, though no shops ever did open in or around the city. (Three locations can be found in Connecticut.)

The website for Le Pain Quotidien is at https://www.lepainquotidien.com/us/en/

by Marc Hurwitz (Also 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]