Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Boston.com's 2011 A-List Has Nominated Boston's Hidden Restaurants for Best Local Blogger

The Boston.com site has brought back the A-List for 2011, and our sister site has been nominated once again.

According to the 2011 A-List, Boston's Hidden Restaurants has been nominated for Best Local Blogger, joining more than 30 other nominees this year. In 2010, our sister site came in 7th place, with Server Not Servant winning the local blogger category.

The nominees can be found at the link below if you would like to vote for us or any of the others. Please note that it is easy to vote if you have a Facebook or Twitter account, as you can simply sign in using one or the other.

Best Local Blogger

Voting began on May 23, with the final date for voting being July 15. The results will be released on July 22.

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Food Truck Festival Coming to Pinehills in Plymouth, June 4, 2011

An event featuring food trucks and more is coming to a planned community within the town of Plymouth.

According to the Pinehills website, the Fabulous Food Truck Festival will be held at the Pinehills Village Green on Saturday, June 4, from 11:00 AM to 7:00 PM. The event will feature food from nine food trucks as well as a beer tasting and live music, and there will be facepainting and balloon art for kids. Participating trucks include Bon Me, Cafe Olio, the Eat Wagon, the FroYo Truck, Grilled Cheese Nation, Jasper White's Summer Shack, Kick Ass Cupcakes, The Market, and Red Barn Coffee. A tent will also be set up by Long Ridge Wine and Spirits for beer tastings done by Cisco Brewers and Mayflower Brewing Company.

The Pinehills Village Green is just off Route 3 (Exit 3 - Clark Road), about 40 miles south of downtown Boston.

For more information on the Fabulous Food Truck Festival at the Pinehills in Plymouth, please go to the link below.


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Surf and Turf Tavern (Formerly The Fish House) in Burlington Has Closed

A seafood restaurant that had been in business for about 35 years--and which changed ownership as well as its name last year--has apparently closed its doors.

According to one of our readers as well as several other sources, including posters on Chowhound and Yelp, the Surf and Turf Tavern on Cambridge Street has shut down. (We checked to confirm, and the restaurant's website is no longer working, and phone calls have gone unanswered.) About a year ago, The Fish House, which had been in the space since the 1970s, changed hands and became the Surf and Turf Tavern, adding to the menu a number of beef dishes.

It is not known why the Surf and Turf Tavern closed, and it is also not known at this time what might be going into the space. As soon as we find out more information, we will post an update here.

The address for this now-closed restaurant in Burlington was: Surf and Turf Tavern, 184 Cambridge Street, Burlington, MA, 01803.

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Boston Bacon Takedown Coming to Somerville, June 19, 2011

A culinary event that focuses on all things bacon is coming to Somerville in June.

An email sent to us from chilitakedown.com indicates that the Boston Bacon Takedown will be held at the Armory on Highland Avenue on June 19, starting at 3:00 PM. The event will feature 20 Boston cooks who will be creating a variety of bacon-based dishes, with guests judging each dish to decide which one is the best. In addition to prizes for the cooks, attendees will have a chance to win a year's supply of Hormel Black Label Bacon.

Tickets to the 2011 Boston Bacon Takedown cost $15. Please note that this is an all ages event, so children are welcome.

For more information on this event, please go to the link below.


The address for the Armory is: The Center for Arts at the Armory, 191 Highland Avenue, Somerville, MA, 02143. Their website can be found at http://www.artsatthearmory.org/

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Friday, May 27, 2011

Anemochory Is Bringing "Underground" Dining to the Boston Area

A series of "underground" dining experiences are on their way to the Boston area and beyond, with the first event coming in June.

An email sent to us indicates that Anemochory is bringing the concept of the underground restaurant to the area, featuring multi-course prix fixe meals using locally-sourced organic ingredients. Both the location and the entertainment provided will change with each event, with the objective being to provide tasty meals while discussing the the cultural, social, ethical, and political implications of food. The events are by invitation only, with Anemochory gathering emails from interested folks to add to their mailing list.

In addition to several dinners in the Boston area (where the group is based), Anemochory events will be coming to Martha's Vineyard, New York, and Los Angeles this year.

[October 26 update: An email sent by Anemochory indicates that they will be having one last event in the Boston area on Friday, November 4 before heading to Los Angeles for the winter. (They don't expect to be back in Boston until the spring of 2012 at the earliest.)]

For more information on Anemochory, please go to the link below.


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Nudo Gelateria Opening in Newton

It looks like a new place that features a wide variety of gelato will soon be opening in Newton.

An email sent to us indicates that Nudo Gelateria will be opening on Watertown Street (in the old Bobalicious space) in the Nonantum neighborhood of the city, with a planned opening for June 4. The email mentions that in addition to 24 different flavors of gelato, Nudo Gelateria will also feature espresso, cappuccino, affogato, gelato shakes, frozen Italian lemonade, salads, panini, and pastries.

[June 2 update: A poster on Chowhound says that there is a sign on the storefront saying that Nudo Gelateria will indeed be opening on Saturday, June 4.]

The address for Nudo Gelateria is: Nudo Gelateria, 308 Watertown Street, Newton, MA, 02458.

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EBI Sushi Has Opened in Somerville's Union Square

A new sushi bar has opened in Somerville, moving into the space where a Korean restaurant had been.

An email sent to us by one of our readers indicates that EBI Sushi is now open on Somerville Avenue in the Union Square section of the city. The new eatery has taken over the spot where Wu Chon House had been for more than 15 years before closing in the winter of 2010. Based on the menu within their website, EBI Sushi features sushi, tempura, teriyaki, chicken and pork cutlets, grilled shrimp and scallops, pan-fried vegetables, noodle soups, curried rice, and more.

EBI Sushi is open for lunch and dinner Monday through Saturday, and dinner only on Sundays, according to their website.

The address for this new restaurant in Union Square is: EBI Sushi, 290 Somerville Avenue, Somerville, MA, 02143. The website can be found at http://ebisushi.com/

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Update: L'Impasto Moving into Bengal Cafe Space in Cambridge

Two months after we reported on the closing of a Bengali restaurant in Cambridge, it looks like an Italian eatery will be moving into the now-vacant space.

A sign in the window of the old Bengal Cafe on Mass. Ave. indicates that an Italian restaurant is coming soon to the spot. The sign mentions that the restaurant will feature homemade pasta and homemade bread. [July 8 update: A new sign has been put up above the restaurant, indicating that the name of the spot will be L'Impasto.]

The Bengal Cafe, which initially opened in 2004, shut its doors this past March, and a "For Rent" sign had been in the window until recently.

[July 8 update: According to the City of Cambridge website, L'Impasto, will have a capacity of 30, including 6 seats within an outdoor patio area. The restaurant will be open for lunch and dinner, with hours being 11:00 AM to 10:00 PM daily.]

[August 16 update: According to a poster on the Boston's Hidden Restaurants Facebook page, L'Impasto will be opening tomorrow (Wednesday, August 17). A check on the place tonight confirms this, as a sign on the door states that it will open at 11:00 AM.]

The address for this new Italian dining spot in Cambridge is: L'Impasto, 2263 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, MA, 02140.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Fore River Grille to Open in Weymouth

A new restaurant is coming to Weymouth, and the people behind it happen to own a restaurant in another part of town.

According to the Patriot Ledger, the folks who own the Main Street Grille on Main Street in South Weymouth are planning to open the Fore River Grille on Route 3A in North Weymouth, moving into the space where the Bridge Street Grill and Billy Budd's used to be. The article mentions that the new eatery will be a bit like the Main Street Grille, though unlike that eatery, the Fore River Grille will have a specific area for takeout. The 2,000-square-foot space will include a bar, while the menu will feature sandwiches, steak tips, pizza, seafood, and more.

Expect a mid-June opening for the Fore River Grille, according to the Patriot Ledger. [June 30 update: According to their Facebook page, the Fore River Grille is about a week away from opening.]

The address for this upcoming spot in North Weymouth will be: Fore River Grille, 117 Bridge Street (Route 3A), Weymouth, MA, 02189.

For more information on the opening of the Fore River Grille, please go to the Patriot Ledger link below.

Owners of South Weymouth's Main Street Grille open new spot in North Weymouth

Taste of Somerville Coming June 7, 2011

A culinary event returns to Somerville in June, and this year, some lesser-known ethnic dining spots will be participating.

An email sent to us by SCM Community Transportation indicates that Taste of Somerville 2011 will be held once again at the Holiday Inn on Washington Street on Tuesday, June 7, with the hours this year being 5:30 PM to 7:30 PM. More than 30 restaurants will be participating this year (the event's 13th year, by the way), including such little-known spots as El Potro, Fasika, Maya Sol, and Rodizio Steakhouse as well as Diva Indian Bistro, Foundry On Elm, Mike's Restaurant, Olde Magoun's Saloon, Rudy's Cafe, and more.

Ticket to this event cost $30 in advance ($35 at the door) and can be purchased at the Somerville Theatre, Porter Square Books, or online. Proceeds from the 2011 Taste of Somerville will benefit Door2Door Transportation by SCM, a Davis Square-based not-for-profit that provides transportation for senior citizens and persons with disabilities.

For more information on the 2011 Taste of Somerville, please go to the link below:


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Kitsen Table Is Opening in Marblehead

A new restaurant appears to be coming to a seaside town on the North Shore, and it will look to feature foods from around the world in a community setting.

According to The Marblehead Patch, Kitsen Table has received a wine and malt beverage license from the town of Marblehead, and is planning to open on Bessom Street near the center of town. The article indicates that the new eatery will have a homey setting with a common dinner table, and the menu will have foods from around the globe. Wine dinners and full breakfasts are being considered for Kitsen Table, as well as the possibility of guest chefs coming to the restaurant on a monthly basis.

One of people behind Kitsen Table used to own Tapas Corner, a Beverly restaurant that closed a couple of months ago.

[June 27: According to their Facebook page, Kitsen Table is now open.]

The address for this new dining spot in Marblehead is: Kitsen Table, 10 Bessom Street, Marblehead, MA, 01945.

Thanks to North Shore Dish for bringing this to our attention.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Tossed to Open Five New Locations in the Boston Area

Last year, we reported that a small chain of quick-casual eateries that focuses on made-to-order salads had been looking at opening a second location in the Boston area. Now it looks like several new locations of Tossed may be on the way.

According to a PR Newswire press release, Tossed has signed franchise agreements for five new Boston spots. These new locations would join the single location currently open in Boston, which can be found at the Prudential Center in the Back Bay. The press release mentions that Tossed has signed franchise agreements in both Washington, DC, and California over the past year, and that its first location outside of the United States will open this summer in Vancouver, British Columbia.

In addition to salads, Tossed also features soups, sandwiches, cookies, and smoothies. The chain first started out in New York City in 1998, and now has locations in several states around the country.

the website for Tossed can be found at: http://www.tossed.com/

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Olives in Charlestown Plans to Reopen

Two months after we reported that the Boston Licensing Board had been looking into why Todd English's Olives restaurant was still closed months after a fire hit the place, it now appears that the Charlestown eatery may be on track to open fairly soon.

According to the Charlestown Patch, Olives should be ready to open by September, based on a letter that the celebrity chef sent to the board. The City Square eatery had been damaged in a grease fire in the spring of 2010 and has been closed ever since, prompting the Boston Licensing Board to get involved. In a hearing last month, the board decided to allow Olives to keep their liquor license for 45 days (until the end of this month), with the board deciding on what to do about the license at that point.

A call placed by the Patch to the dining spot more or less confirms the possibility of the reopening of Olives after Labor Day, as the Patch was told that it should be open by the end of the summer.

[July 1 update: According to The Boston Globe, the Boston Licensing Board has basically set a deadline of September 13 for Olives to open, at which point the board will have another hearing, possibly taking away the restaurant's liquor license if it is not yet in operation.]

[September 14 update: According to The Boston Herald, Todd English told the Boston Licensing Board yesterday that Olives will "re-open for the holidays." (Thanks to Grub Street Boston for bringing this to our attention.)]

[December 14 update: According to Universal Hub, Olives is now hoping to reopen in January.]

[February 15, 2012 update: A new post by Universal Hub mentions that Olives is still not open and that Todd English appeared before the Boston Licensing Board once again yesterday, explaining that (in Universal Hub's words) "the restaurant itself now passes muster with the Fire Department, [but] the City Square building it's in did not." Olives will be applying for occupancy and place-of-assembly permits within the next few days, and assuming that things go smoothly, it is possible that the eatery may be able to reopen soon after that. Stay tuned for more updates....]

[April 4, 2012 update: A new post by Universal Hub mentions that Todd English faced the Boston Licensing Board once again this week, stating that the last fire inspection for Olives is scheduled for tomorrow (Thursday, April 5). If the inspection goes well, the restaurant could be reopening very soon, as everything appears to be in place.]

[April 25, 2012 update: It appears that Olives is on the verge of reopening, as the Charlestown Patch reports that the restaurant now has all permits needed to open and it had a hiring day earlier this week.]

[April 30, 2012 update: The Boston Herald is reporting that Olives is now open once again.]

The address for Olives is: Olives, 10 City Square, Charlestown, MA, 02129.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Results of Twitter Fried Chicken Poll

Our latest Twitter poll has just wrapped up, with this poll focusing on the best fried chicken in the Boston area. We have done many other polls in the past, including a burrito poll (Anna's Taqueria in various locations won), a Cubano poll (El Oriental de Cuba in Jamaica Plain), a coffee poll (Boston Common Coffee in Boston won), a steak and cheese poll (Carl's in Waltham), an ice cream poll (Richardson's in Middleton), a macaroni and cheese poll (Fat Cat in Quincy), an onion ring poll (Mr. Bartley's Burger Cottage in Cambridge), a pizza poll (Santarpio's in East Boston), and a burger poll (Mr. Bartley's Burger Cottage). Below are the results of the Twitter fried chicken poll:

1) Hen House, Roxbury (17%)
2) Coast Cafe, Cambridge (11%)
2) Dairy Joy, Weston (11%)

Some other spots were picked in the Twitter fried chicken poll, including Bon Chon (Allston), Finnegan's Wake (Walpole), Grumpy White's (Quincy), KFC (various locations), Mrs. Jones (Dorchester), Packy's Pub (Roxbury), Plough and Stars (Cambridge), Popeye's (various locations), Soulfire (Allston), Summer Shack (various locations), and Super Chicken (Beverly).

Thanks once again to all of you who have voted in our Twitter polls. We will start another poll in the next week or two, so keep checking back on our Twitter page at http://twitter.com/hiddenboston.

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Dore Creperie Opening in Downtown Boston

A new dining spot featuring crepes and more is getting ready to open in the heart of Boston's downtown area.

According to their Facebook and Twitter pages, Dore Creperie is going to be opening at the corner of Beacon Street and Tremont Street, possibly moving into the space where Pressed Sandwiches used to be (we will try to confirm this as soon as we can). It looks like the new eatery will be open for breakfast and lunch on weekdays and lunch on weekends, and the place will be serving both lunch crepes and dessert crepes. The Facebook page for Dore indicates that the restaurant will have outdoor seating, and will offer delivery as well as takeout.

Expect an early June opening for Dore Creperie. [June 20 update: According to their Twitter page, Dore Creperie is now open.]

The address for this new dining spot in downtown Boston is: Dore Creperie, 1 Beacon Street, Boston, MA, 02108.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Flagship Location of Panera Bread to Open in Boston's Back Bay

A chain of bakery-cafes with a number of locations in the Boston area is getting ready to open a flagship location in the city, complete with a heated outdoor patio and fresh bread delivered each day one of their facilities southwest of Boston.

According to the Back Bay Patch, Panera Bread is going to open a flagship bakery-cafe on Boylston Street in the Back Bay, with an expected opening date of tomorrow (Tuesday, May 24). In addition to a heated patio and bread coming from their Franklin facility, the new Panera will have free wi-fi. The Patch article mentions that the new spot is expected to serve over 1,000 folks each day during the week, and its menu will feature seasonal items, including a lobster sandwich once it initially opens this week.

Panera Bread currently has about 1,500 locations across the country and in Ontario, according to the chain's website. The Patch article states that the new Back Bay spot will be the 39th Panera in the Boston area.

The address for this new Panera in the Back Bay will be: Panera Bread, 450 Boylston Street (near the Berkeley Street intersection), Boston, MA, 02116. The website for the chain can be found at http://www.panerabread.com/

For more information on the opening of Panera on Boylston Street, please go to the Back Bay Patch link below.

Panera Bread to Open on May 24

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Blue Fuji Opens in Medford Square

A new Asian fusion restaurant has come to Medford Square, opening in the space where a few other Asian dining spots have been over the past several years.

A check on Blue Fuji on Salem Street indicates that the restaurant is now up and running, as it has a grand opening sign out front. The eatery has taken over the spot where Wonder Taste had been until closing recently, and before that, Pho Yan and China Peony. Based on their online menu, it appears that Blue Fuji focuses on a mix of Japanese and Chinese fare, including sushi, teriyaki, egg foo yung, lo mein, and chow mein. A section featuring healthy items can also be found on the menu.

Blue Fuji is open for lunch and dinner seven days a week.

The address for this new restaurant in Medford Square is: Blue Fuji, 38 Salem Street, Medford, MA 02155. The phone number is (781) 388-1888. And the website can be found at http://www.bluefuji.com/

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Friday, May 20, 2011

Tacos Lupita in Somerville is Now Aguacate Verde

A Salvadoran and Mexican restaurant in Somerville that has been in business for a number of years has apparently been sold and now has a new name, though there is little in the way of changes to the menu.

According to posters on Chowhound, Tacos Lupita on Elm Street (near Davis Square and Porter Square) has changed hands, and is now called Aguacate Verde. One of the Chowhound posters mentions that the Tacos Lupita staff still appears to be working at the new dining spot, while another poster states that the menu for Aguacate Verde is more or less the same as the old Tacos Lupita, with only a couple of additions. A check on the new restaurant's website indeed shows items that Tacos Lupita used to serve, including tortas, mulitas, burritos, and gorditas.

Tacos Lupita was a restaurant that had been featured on our sister site (Boston's Hidden Restaurants), with the review at the link below:


It is not yet know if any changes are being made to the other locations of Tacos Lupita in Haverhill, Lawrence, and Lynn. As soon as we find out more information, we will post an update here.

The address for this new dining spot in Somerville is: Aguacate Verde, 13 Elm Street, Somerville, MA, 02143. The phone number is (617) 666-0677. And the website can be found at: http://www.aguacateverderestaurant.com/

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NY Pie Opening in Waltham

A new eatery is coming to Moody Street in Waltham, and it looks like the place will be featuring New York-style pizza as well as Chicago-style Italian beef.

According to the Waltham blog of Wicked Local, NY Pie is planning to open in the spot where Moody Street Pizza used to be, a bit south of the main "restaurant row" section of Moody Street, near the Newton line. The article mentions that NY Pie will offer brick-oven pizza, including 22-inch slices, and according to one of the owners, it will be "the first to introduce the Italian beef to New England." (Italian beef is a Chicago favorite, consisting of thinly-sliced roast beef soaking in its own juices, mixed with peppers, and placed on an Italian roll.)

NY Pie will probably be a takeout spot for most diners, as it will reside in a very small space, with only a few stools located by the front windows, according to the blog.

Expect a possible early June opening for NY Pie. [June 23 update: NY Pie is now open.]

The address for this new dining spot in Waltham is: NY Pie, 934 Moody Street, Waltham, MA, 02453.

For more information on the opening of NY Pie, please go to the Wicked Local blog link for Waltham below.

NY Pie set to land on Moody Street

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

Thursday, May 19, 2011

News Elsewhere: Elaine's Restaurant in Manhattan to Close

A famous New York City restaurant and bar that has been in business for nearly half a century is going to be closing its doors later this month.

According to the New York Times, Elaine's on 2nd Avenue in the Upper East Side of Manhattan will close for good at around 4:00 AM on May 27. The article mentions that the person who inherited the eatery when owner Elaine Kaufman passed away in late 2010 decided to shut the restaurant down because of "financial reality." (Some workers at Elaine's mentioned that business seemed slow after the passing of Elaine Kaufman, according to the New York Times.)

Elaine's, which first opened in 1963, has been a well-known spot for people-watching over the years, with many celebrities frequenting the place, including Robert Altman, Norman Mailer, Gay Talese, and Woody Allen, according to an earlier ABC News article.

The address for this soon-to-close restaurant in the Upper East Side of Manhattan is: Elaine's, 1703 2nd Avenue, New York, NY, 10128.

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Sbarro to Drop Chapter 11 Reorganization Plan; Other Options on the Table

A month after reporting that a chain of pizza restaurants filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, it appears that the chain may be dropping those plans, instead looking at other options.

According to MarketWatch, Sbarro has decided to look into other avenues beside reorganization, including possibly selling the company. The article mentions that an unnamed bidder appears to be interested in buying the Melville, NY-based company, and stakeholders in the chain seem to be supportive of Sbarro looking at alternatives to the reorganization plan for now.

Sbarro which filed for bankruptcy in April--and had been in financial trouble for a few years now--started out in 1956 and today has more than 1,000 restaurants worldwide, including three at Logan Airport in East Boston, one on Longwood Avenue over by the hospitals, and locations in Braintree and Natick.

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Paul, Mark, and Donnie Wahlberg Are Opening Wahlburgers in Hingham

[ED Note: This article was updated extensively on August 14 and August 26.]

It looks like the person behind an upscale restaurant on the South Shore--and the brother of two celebrities in the entertainment world--is going to be opening a burger restaurant. [August 26 update: Paul's brothers are also going to be involved with the restaurant--see update below.]

According to The Patriot Ledger, Paul Wahlberg is planning to open an as-of-yet unnamed eatery at the Hingham Shipyard in Hingham, across the street from Alma Nove, an Italian and Mediterranean restaurant that he founded. [August 14 update: According to a recent article in the Hingham Patch, the name of the restaurant will be Wahlburgers.] The article mentions that in addition to burgers, the new spot will feature hot dogs, fries and frappes, and that the nearly 3,000-square-foot space will be a casual dining spot with a capacity between 60 and 70, with a full bar and outdoor dining (including an outdoor fireplace).

Wahlberg, who is the brother of pop stars/actors Mark and Donnie Wahlberg, opened Alma Nove last June within the Hingham Shipyard, a massive waterfront complex that includes dining, entertainment, shopping, and recreation options, as well as a number of luxury condos.

[August 26 update: According to The Boston Herald, Mark and Donnie Wahlberg will also be involved with the new Wahlburgers restaurant, as they are part of the group that is behind it (The Wahlburgers' group, which is incorporated under the name Paragon Funding Group III LLC). The group also secured the name for the place, as it had originally been trademarked by a chain of burger places out of Rochester, NY called Tom Wahl's, which used the name "The Wahlburger" for one of its burgers.]

[October 24 update: According to both their Twitter and Facebook pages, Wahlburgers has been in the middle of a soft opening, with the grand opening to the public being tomorrow (Tuesday, October 25).]

The address for the new burger restaurant is: Wahlburgers, 19 Shipyard Drive, Hingham, MA, 02043.

For more information on this story, please go to the Patriot Ledger link below.

Paul Wahlberg opening burger restaurant in Hingham

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

Black Seed Cafe Opens in Medford

A Mediterranean restaurant across from Boston Common has opened a second location, this one being inside a mall in Medford.

According to The Medford Transcript and Wicked Local, the Black Seed Cafe is now open within the Meadow Glen Mall on the Mystic Valley Parkway. The article mentions that the new eatery, which has a capacity of 120 and is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner daily, features a mix of cuisines, including Italian, Middle Eastern, and Portuguese fare. Items on the menu include fried calamari, panini, hummus, chicken parmesan, lamb kebabs, and grilled fish.

The original Black Seed Cafe first opened on Tremont Street in downtown Boston in the late 1990s, according to the Medford Transcript.

The address for this new Mediterranean restaurant in the Meadow Glen Mall is: Black Seed Cafe, 3850 Mystic Valley Parkway, Medford, MA, 02155. The phone number is (781) 391-1900. And the website for the original Boston location can be found at http://www.blackseedcafeandgrill.com/

For more on the opening of the Black Seed Cafe in Medford, please go to the Medford Transcript/Wicked Local link below.

Mediterranean arrives at Medford's Meadow Glen Mall

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Blanca's Grill Restaurant to Apparently Replace El Buen Gusto in East Boston

A new restaurant appears to be coming to East Boston, and it looks like it is moving into the space where a Salvadoran eatery has been for several years.

According to EveryBlock Boston, Blanca's Grill Restaurant has received a business license to open at 295 Bennington Street in Day Square, which is the same address as El Buen Gusto. (A call placed to El Buen Gusto did not go through, as their line has apparently been disconnected.)

It is not yet known whether Blanca's Grill Restaurant is connected to Mama Blanca Restaurant on Saratoga Street in the Orient Heights of East Boston or Pupuseria Mama Blanca in Jeffries Point; as soon as we find out more information, we will post an update here.

The address for this upcoming restaurant in East Boston is: Blanca's Grill Restaurant, 295 Bennington Street, Boston, MA, 02128.

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Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Coffee Tea and Me Opens in Melrose

A new coffee shop featuring coffee that is both ground to order and brewed to order has opened in the downtown area of Melrose.

According to The Melrose Patch, Coffee Tea and Me is now open on Main Street, bringing to the area a place to get coffee, tea, muffins, chocolate treats, cookies, and eventually, sandwiches made in a panini press. The shop, which has a total of seven tables, focuses mainly on high-quality coffee and tea, with one of the owners roasting the coffee at home, while the loose teas are relatively difficult to find and from independent farms, according to the Patch.

The address for this new coffee shop in Melrose is: Coffee Tea and Me, 421 Main Street, Melrose, MA, 02176.

For more information on Coffee Tea and Me, please go to the Melrose Patch link below.

More Than Just a Plain Old Cup of Coffee

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Chefs in Shorts Coming to Boston's Seaport District, June 24, 2011

A barbecue-based culinary event returns to Boston in June, and as always, it will feature a number of Boston's most well-known chefs.

An email received from Regan Communications Group indicates that the 14th annual Chefs in Shorts is coming to Seaport Boston on Friday, June 24, from 7:00 PM to 9:30 PM. The outdoor barbecue will feature such chefs as Jay Silva (Bambara), Peter Tartsinis (Blue on Highland), Charles Draghi (Erbaluce), Alex Aratake (Haru Sushi), Harjit Singh (Kashmir), Nicholas Dixon (Lucky's Lounge), Marc Orfaly (Pigalle), Amin Belkadi (Stanhope Grille), Todd Hall (Temazcal Cantina), and many others.

Tickets to the 2011 Chefs in Shorts cost $60, the price of which includes beer, wine, and tastings. Proceeds once again will go to the Greater Boston Food Bank.

For more information on the 14th annual Chefs in Shorts event, please go to the Seaport Boston link below:


Rye Tavern Opening at The Pinehills in Plymouth

A new farm-to-table restaurant is opening south of Boston, and the group behind a couple of dining spots in Boston and Brookline are also behind this place.

According to a couple of job posts within the Craigslist site, Rye Tavern plans to open at The Pinehills, a massive planned community in Plymouth that is centered around two award-winning golf courses. The Craigslist posts mention that Rye Tavern is the latest project from Dramshop Hospitality, which is also behind Church on Kilmarnock Street in the Fenway section of Boston and the Regal Beagle in Brookline's Coolidge Corner (as well as the Union Fish in Plymouth). The new dining spot looks to feature seasonal offerings using sustainable, local ingredients, and the place will apparently have a weekend brunch.

A Wicked Local Plymouth article mentions that Rye Tavern will be taking over the space where Martha's Stone Soup used to be.

Pinehills is just off Route 3 (Exit 3 - Clark Road), about 40 miles south of downtown Boston. The street address for Rye Tavern is: Rye Tavern, 517 Old Sandwich Road, Plymouth, MA, 02360. Their Facebook page can be found at http://www.facebook.com/pages/Rye-Tavern/186414504738557

Expect a June opening for Rye Tavern. [June 24 update: According to their Facebook page, Rye Tavern is opening tonight.]

Il Faro in Medford Seized by the State

An Italian restaurant that has been in Medford Square for about 25 years is closed (at least for now), having been seized by the state.

Based on a note--and a photo of the "Seized" sign--from The Boston Foodie, Il Faro on Main Street is shuttered, with the aforementioned sign indicating that the dining spot has been taken over by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts for nonpayment of taxes. Il Faro, which, according to their website, first opened in 1986, featured a variety of Northern Italian and Southern Italian dishes, including mussels, risotto, lasagna, gnocchi, ribeye steak, pan-seared salmon, veal marsala, and chicken verdicchio.

Il Faro is a restaurant that had been featured within our sister site (Boston's Hidden Restaurants), with the review being at this link:


If Il Faro ends up reopening, we will post an update here.

[June 6 update: According to the Medford Patch, the "Seized" sign has been taken down at Il Faro, but the restaurant still owes the Massachusetts Department of Revenue a substantial amount of money in back taxes and penalties. The article mentions that the seizure is over (for now, at least) because almost all of the restaurant equipment belongs to the landlord of the building, so it can't be auctioned off to raise money. It is strongly recommended that anyone who plans to go to Il Faro should call ahead over the coming days and weeks to make sure it is open--their phone number is (781) 395-3669.]

The address for this restaurant in Medford Square is: Il Faro, 21 Main Street, Medford, MA, 02155.

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Will Gilson Leaving Cambridge's Garden at the Cellar, Working on New Pop-Up Restaurant in Truro

A well-known Boston-area chef who has recently been involved with several pop-up restaurants is going to be leaving the Cambridge restaurant he has been at for the past several years.

According to an article in The Feast, Will Gilson is planning to say goodbye to Garden at the Cellar on Mass. Ave., an gastropub located between Harvard and Central Squares. The article states that Gilson is looking to focus on other ventures, including a large-scale pop-up restaurant at Adrian's Restaurant in Truro that he and Aaron Cohen of Eat Boston will be involved with from May through October. The Feast also mentions that Gilson may have at least one other major project in the works after the pop-up restaurant closes for the season.

[May 23 update: According to Eat Boston, the new pop-up restaurant at Adrian's in Truro will be opening this Thursday (May 26).]

Will Gilson and Aaron Cohen have been involved with a number of pop-up restaurants over the past several months, including ones at the Mizu Salon in the Back Bay, the Boston Center for Adult Education in downtown Boston, Taza Chocolate and Bloc 11 in Somerville, and Mohr & McPherson in the South End. Another pop-up is going to be taking place at the British Consulate-General on Broadway in the Kendall Square section of Cambridge a bit later this month.

Gilson will stay on at Garden at the Cellar for a few more months before passing the torch to the sous-chef at the restaurant.

Garden at the Cellar is located at 991 Massachusetts Avenue in Cambridge, while Adrian's Restaurant is located on Route 6 in North Truro.

Thanks to Grub Street Boston for bringing this to our attention.

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Tuesday, May 17, 2011

The Salty Pig Opens in Boston's Back Bay

As we mentioned last fall, the folks behind Common Ground in Allston and Coda in Boston's South End (as well as Canary Square in Jamaica Plain) have been looking to open a restaurant in the Back Bay. Well, now we have a name for the place, as well as some other information.

According to The Feast, The Salty Pig is going to be opening on Dartmouth Street, moving into the space where Six Burner used to be until closing last fall. The article mentions that the new eatery will feature house-cured meats and a number of different cheeses from what appears to be a self-serve charcuterie section, as well as salads, sandwiches, and wood-fired flatbread pizza. Local beers will be offered at The Salty Pig, and wine will be available as well.

The restaurant, which will apparently be open for lunch and dinner seven days a week, will feature a large patio, which should be open by the time the restaurant opens (possibly in June).

[July 16 update: According to a post on their Facebook page, the Salty Pig is now open.]

The address for this new restaurant in the Back Bay is: The Salty Pig, 130 Dartmouth Street, Boston, MA, 02116. Their Facebook page can be found at http://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Salty-Pig/210331968992157

For more information on the opening of The Salty Pig, please go to The Feast link below.

The Salty Pig to Bring Salads, Pizzas, Salted Pig Parts to Back Bay

D'Amici's Bakery Opens in Melrose

A bakery with locations in Lynn and Wakefield has opened a third spot, with this one also being north of Boston.

According to their website, D'Amici's Bakery is now open on Main Street in Melrose. The new location is the largest of the three, with a full coffee bar along with indoor and outdoor seating. Like the other two bakeries, D'Amici's looks to offer breads, pastries, cookies, cakes, pies, sandwiches, and more.

A Melrose Free Press/Wicked Local article mentions that the new D'Amici's has actually been operating without a common victualler's license since opening earlier this month, but the place should be getting one this week. (The city apparently allowed them to remain open because all inspections had been made and the owner was in the process of getting all the needed paperwork ready for the permit.)

D'Amici's takes over the spot where Melrose Drug used to be, according to the Melrose Free Press and Wicked Local.

The address for this new bakery in Melrose is: 462 Main Street, Melrose, MA, 02176. The website for the bakeries can be found at: http://www.damicis.com/

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Owner of Now-Closed La Stanza Diva Teaming Up with Martinos Diner in Woburn

The person behind a now-closed Italian restaurant in Woburn is about to get back onto the local restaurant scene, partnering with the folks behind a diner located a little ways down the street from her former spot.

Lynne Howell, who was the chef and owner of La Stanza Diva on Main Street in Woburn Center, is heading to Martinos Diner (also on Main Street, heading toward the Winchester line), creating a menu that will be offered Wednesday through Saturday nights initially. As with her previous restaurant, dinner at Martinos will be BYOB. Currently, Martinos is a breakfast and lunch spot with a capacity of about 30 that has Greek-influenced diner fare, residing in the space where the New South End Cafe used to be.

[June 7 update: It looks like Lynne Howell will be at Martinos Diner starting this Friday (June 10).]

La Stanza Diva first opened about 20 years ago in the northern part of Woburn, eventually moving to the downtown area until it closed last year. The restaurant featured mostly Northern Italian, Southern Italian, and Mediterranean fare.

The address for Martinos is: Martinos Diner, 109 Main Street, Woburn, MA, 01801.

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Update: Gardner Cafe in Gardner Museum to Become Cafe G, Move into New Space

[Ed note: This article was updated on December 21 to reflect a name change to the restaurant.]

A cafe within a museum in Boston's Fenway neighborhood has temporarily closed, but it will reopen early next year under a new name in the museum's new wing.

According to their website, the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum's new wing will become home to an expanded version of the Gardner Cafe (which will be called Cafe G), with both indoor and outdoor seating available. An article in The Boston Globe mentions that the cafe, which first opened in 2002, will share the new wing with a greenhouse, galleries, space for various educational programs, and a concert hall with a capacity of nearly 300.

The original Gardner Cafe focused mainly on inventive lunch items and desserts, including quiche, chicken pot pie, cod cakes, bread pudding, and gelato.

It appears that Cafe G could reopen by January of 2012, according to the Globe.

[December 21 update: Based on a Craigslist post, it appears that Cafe G is still on track to open in January. The post mentions that the new spot will have a capacity of 100 and it will be a full-service restaurant.]

[January 12, 2012 update: According to artdaily.org, it looks like Cafe G will open a week from today (Thursday, January 19), when the new wing of the museum has its grand opening.]

The address for the upcoming Cafe G (and the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum) is 280 Fenway, Boston, MA, 02115. the website can be found at http://www.gardnermuseum.org/

Refuge Cafe Is Opening in Allston

A new restaurant appears to be on its way to Allston, and the people behind it are the same folks who run a Korean restaurant next door to the space.

According to EveryBlock Boston, Refuge Cafe has just received a business license to operate at 155 Brighton Avenue in the heart of Allston. An earlier article in Allston City Limits had mentioned that this new eatery will be run by the owners of Buk Kyung II, which is at 151 Brighton Avenue (the original Buk Kyung is in Somerville), and that the restaurant will apparently be open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, serving comfort food, vegan/organic fare, and cafe-style dishes. The article also states that Refuge Cafe may have a capacity of somewhere around 40.

The space that Refuge Cafe plans to move into is the same one where the Allston Cafe had been for about 25 years before closing last fall.

Expect a June opening for Refuge Cafe.

[September 8 update: According to the Allston Village Main Streets Twitter page, Refuge Cafe is planning to open next week. A photo of the place from Allston Village Main Streets: http://ow.ly/i/gYUk]

[September 19 update: According to their Facebook page, Refuge Cafe opens today. Thanks to Krefetz Law for letting us know about this.]

Monday, May 16, 2011

Piccadilly Pub in Randolph Has Closed

A small local chain of casual American restaurants has just closed their closest location to Boston.

According to one of our readers, the Picadilly Pub in Randolph is now closed (a check on the chain's website has indeed confirmed this), leaving only one remaining within 20 miles of Boston (where its headquarters are)--a location on Route 28 in North Reading. The Boston-based chain of restaurants has been shrinking over the past several years, with Picadilly Pubs closing in Waltham, Dedham, Tewksbury, and Franklin. A post on the Wikipedia site indicates that the Foxboro location has closed as well, though we are still trying to confirm this. In addition to the North Reading spot, remaining locations of the chain (which is owned by the same group that is behind the Elephant and Castle chain) can be found in Marlborough, Westboro, North Attleboro, Worcester, Auburn, Sturbridge, and West Springfield.

The Picadilly Pub, which first started out in the area nearly 40 years ago, features mostly comfort food and American classics, including burgers, wings, meatloaf, turkey dinner, steak tips, and short ribs.

The address for this now-closed restaurant in Randolph was: Picadilly Pub, 1064 North Main Street, Randolph, MA, 02368. The website for the chain can be found at http://www.piccadillypub.com/

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Cheeseboy Is Opening in Boston's Prudential Center

A takeout restaurant that specializes in grilled cheese sandwiches continues to expand in the Boston area, this time opening a new spot in the Back Bay over the coming months.

According to their Facebook page (via a PitchEngine press release), Cheeseboy is planning to open at the Prudential Center on Boylston Street. The note mentions that the new spot will be a kiosk within the the Terrace Food Court, and it will offer a variety of grilled cheese sandwiches as well as soups.

Cheeseboy currently has two locations in the Boston area--one at Boston's South Station and another at the South Shore Plaza in Braintree. (The original Cheeseboy can be found in Milford, CT.) The eatery offers snacks, desserts, and beverages in addition to grilled cheese sandwiches and soups.

Expect a summertime opening for the new Cheeseboy. [July 25 update: According to a poster on the Boston's Hidden Restaurants Facebook page (and confirmed by the Cheeseboy Twitter page), Cheeseboy in the Prudential Center is now open for business.]

The address for this upcoming eatery at the Prudential Center in the Back Bay will be: Cheeseboy, 800 Boylston Street, Boston, MA, 02199. The website for all the locations can be found at: http://cheeseboy.com/

Thanks to Adam's Hospitality and Tourism Industry Blog for bringing this to our attention.

Anthony's Italian Deli and Pasticceria Opens in Danvers

An Italian eatery has opened in the center of Danvers, bringing to North Shore town a place to get sandwiches, pastries, and more.

According to one of our sources, Anthony's Italian Deli & Pasticceria is now open on High Street in Danvers Square, with breakfast, lunch and (an early) dinner being served at the place, which has about 15 seats. Anthony's features a variety of sandwiches, including an Italian sub, a prosciutto Caprese, an Italian beef, a foot-long hot dog, and an eggplant parmesan. Soups and salads are also available at Anthony's, as well as appetizers/side dishes (including tripe, stuffed peppers, garlic bread, and marinated artichokes). Hand-made cannoli, tiramisu, lobster tails, and chocolate-covered fruits are a few of the desserts and sweets offered here, and they also serve espresso and cappuccino. Anthony's Italian Deli & Pasticceria does catering as well, with a number of platters and buffet trays available.

The address for this new Italian eatery in Danvers Square is: Anthony's Italian Deli & Pasticceria, 2 High Street, Danvers, MA, 01923. The phone number is (978) 539-8350. And the website can be found at http://anthonysdeli.org/

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Oyster Bar at Marina Bay Opening in Quincy

A new restaurant is coming to a section of Quincy known in part for its boardwalk and waterfront dining spots, and this eatery will feature a variety of seafood and more.

According to The Boston Herald, Oyster Bar at Marina Bay is planning to open around Memorial Day, bringing to this harborside neighborhood a place to get oysters, cherrystones, and fried seafood. The Herald mentions that the beer manager at Stoddard's Fine Food & Ale in Downtown Boston is involved with the project, which looks to be an outdoor bar along the water. Pictures on the restaurant's Facebook site indicate that the new dining spot may be behind the main section of Marina Bay (where the boardwalk and most of the restaurants are), heading east toward the end of Harbourside Road along the water.

Based on information from their Facebook page, the Oyster Bar at Marina Bay will be open for lunch and dinner daily, and it will have hot dogs and hamburgers (along with other sandwiches), in addition to seafood.

[May 29 update: According to their Facebook page, the Oyster Bar at Marina Bay is now open.]

The address for this new seafood restaurant at Marina Bay is: Oyster Bar at Marina Bay, 333 Victory Road, Quincy, MA, 02269. Their Facebook page can be found at: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Oyster-Bar-Marina-Bay/142554092479635

Thanks to Grub Street Boston for bringing this to our attention.

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Common Ground Cafe in Dorchester Has Closed

An eclectic restaurant in the Lower Mills section of Dorchester that was owned by a confederation of religious communities has closed its doors.

photo of the now-closed Common Ground Cafe, Dorchester, MAAccording to the Dorchester Reporter, the Common Ground Cafe on Dorchester Avenue is shuttered, with a "For Lease" sign in the window. A check on the place has confirmed its closure, and a large dumpster is out front, presumably there as part of the cleaning-out process. The article mentions that the restaurant "temporarily" closed a little more than two months ago, with the Twelve Tribes community (the folks who own the eatery) indicating that it was only closed for renovations. Twelve Tribes subsequently stated that it is indeed closed for good, though the group is looking to reopen elsewhere, possibly somewhere in Dorchester.

The Common Ground Cafe was a dark, cozy dining spot that shared its space with a natural food market (also closed now). The food offered on the menu was mostly healthy and organic fare, including several sandwich options as well as pizza. Our sister site (Boston's Hidden Restaurants) has a featured review on Common Ground, which can be found at the link below.


The address for this now-closed restaurant in Lower Mills was: Common Ground Cafe, 2255 Dorchester Avenue, Dorchester, MA, 02124.

For more information on the closing of Common Ground, please go to the Dorchester Reporter link below.

Lower Mills eatery Common Ground will not re-open

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Friday, May 13, 2011

The Savant Project in Boston's Mission Hill/Brigham Circle Neighborhood Is Closing

A quirky comfort food spot in the Mission Hill/Brigham Circle neighborhood of Boston is getting ready to close its doors.

According to Christine Liu (website: http://cmliu.com/) and a Facebook event page, The Savant Project on Tremont Street is going to shut down on Saturday, May 21 after being in business for about four years. A combination New American/tapas spot known in part for its live music and trivia nights, The Savant Project first opened in the fall of 2007, replacing the Solstice Cafe. The menu at the restaurant has included such items as polenta lasagna, fried Asian dumplings, fish tacos, stuffed roasted acorn squash, and deep-fried churros.

The address for this soon-to-close restaurant is in Mission Hill/Brigham Circle is: The Savant Project, 1625 Tremont Street, Boston, MA, 02120.

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Big Sky Bakery Moving from Newton to Watertown

A bakery and cafe has closed in Newton Centre, but it will continue to be in operation, as it is getting ready to move next door to Watertown.

According to a poster on Chowhound, Big Sky Bakery on Union Street has shut its doors, and a note within the bakery's website mentions that they will be moving to Main Street in Watertown, with the opening possibly being on May 20.

[June 7 update: According to their website, Big Sky Bakery is now open in Watertown.]

Big Sky Bakery features a variety of breads (including dark rye, anadama, pumpernickel, country wheat, and sourdough), cakes, pies, cookies, muffins, scones, coffees, and more. Their lunch menu includes soups, quiche, pockets, turnovers and croissants.

The address for the new Big Sky in Watertown will be: Big Sky Bakery, 142 Main Street, Watertown, MA, 02472. The website can be found at http://www.bigskybreads.com/

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49 Social Coming to Boston, Taking Over Former Ivy Space

A new fine dining restaurant is coming to the downtown Boston area, moving into the space where an upscale Italian cafe used to be.

According to OpenTable, 49 Social is planning to open on Temple Street (between Tremont Street and Washington Street), taking over the former Ivy Restaurant spot. Ivy closed its doors in October of 2010 after being in business for about five years, as its parent group had gone into bankruptcy last year. (Stoddard's, another Ivy Restaurant Group spot on the same street, remains open.)

Based on information from the OpenTable page for the restaurant, it appears that 49 Social will feature New American cuisine with some international influences, as well as a wide variety of wines and inventive cocktails. The space will include three levels of seating and two bars.

[May 23 update: According to UrbanDaddy, 49 Social is planning to open on Thursday (May 26).]

The address for this new restaurant in downtown Boston is: 49 Social, 49 Temple Place, Boston, MA, 02111.

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Jasper White's Summer Shack Is Opening in Dedham

It looks like a group of popular seafood restaurants owned by an award-winning chef will be adding one more location, with this one being southwest of Boston.

According to their website, a new Jasper White's Summer Shack will be opening on Route 1 in Dedham (the Dedham Patch and one of our Twitter followers both mention that it will be going into the old Bugaboo Creek location). This will be the fifth Summer Shack to come to New England, with the original being on the Alewife Brook Parkway in Cambridge, another on Dalton Street in Boston's Back Bay, a third in the Derby Street Shoppes in Hingham, and a fourth at the Mohegan Sun casino in Connecticut.

It is not yet known when the Dedham location of the Summer Shack will open, but a job fair is occurring for the restaurant this weekend, so it could be opening fairly soon.

[June 22 update: According to Jasper White's Facebook page, the new Summer Shack in Dedham is now open.]

The address for this new seafood restaurant in Dedham is: 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/

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Kickass Cupcake Truck Destroyed in a Fire; New Truck on the Way

A little under a year ago, we reported that a cupcake bakery on the eastern edge of Somerville's Davis Square had been looking to put a food truck on the road. Well, this spring it was finally getting ready to happen, but something happened that set things back a bit.

An email sent to us by CBH Communications indicates that the Kickass Cupcake truck was recently destroyed in a fire. The customized cupcake truck, which was planning to be at an MIT event earlier this month, was completely gutted both inside and out and appears to be a total loss, necessitating the need for a new truck, which is on the way. The email mentions that it is possible Kickass Cupcakes could have the truck on the road by the end of May if all goes as planned.

Kickass Cupcakes first opened in Somerville in the fall of 2007, featuring mini, regular sized, and extra large cupcakes in a variety of flavors. Their cupcakes had also been available at the Gelato Cafe on Linden Street in Wellesley, but the eatery closed down in the early fall of 2010.

The address for Kickass Cupcakes is: Kickass Cupcakes, 378 Highland Avenue, Somerville, MA, 02124.

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