Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Bernard's Is Moving from The Mall at Chestnut Hill to The Street Chestnut Hill

A Chinese restaurant that has called The Mall at Chestnut Hill its home for nearly a quarter century is going to be moving a short distance east.

The Boston Herald is reporting that Bernard's plans to move into the redeveloped Chestnut Hill Shopping Center (called The Street Chestnut Hill), which is also home to a Shake Shack as well as future locations of Davio's and Del Frisco's. There does not appear to be a specific date for the move, though based on the estimated opening dates for the other restaurants at the shopping center, it is possible that the move could take place sometime in the spring of 2013.

[April 29, 2013 update: One of our sources tells us that Bernard's is now open in its new home.]

The article that mentions the move by Bernard's discusses new restaurants being planned for The Mall at Chestnut Hill, so stay tuned for updates on that as well.

[Earlier Articles]
Del Frisco's to Open in the Chestnut Hill Shopping Center
Davio's Partners with Theater Chain to Open Restaurant in Chestnut Hill
Confirmed: The Shake Shack Is Coming to Chestnut Hill
Chestnut Hill Shopping Center Renovation Plan to Include New Restaurants

Dante in Cambridge to Host the Unknown Calzone Dethrone, November 18, 2012

An East Cambridge restaurant that has been the site of sausage, chili, and ravioli competitions is going to be hosting another cook-off, with this one focusing on an item that can be found in sub shops and pizza joints across the area. mentions that Dante on Edwin H Land Boulevard will host the "Unknown Calzone Dethrone" on Sunday, November 18 from 2:00 PM to 5:00 PM, with a number of chefs competing to come up with the best meat, poultry, seafood or veggie-filled calzone. The event, which will be held on the restaurant's riverside patio, will include Jamie Bissonnette (Coppa, Toro), Anthony Caturano (Prezza), Evan Deluty (Stella), Colin Lynch (Menton), Dan Raia (Sweet Cheeks), Jason Santos (Blue Inc.), Josh Ziskin (La Morra), and several others.

Tickets to the Unknown Calzone Dethrone cost $20 each. Please note that this event will be held rain or shine.

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

[November 19 update: The Boston Globe reports that the winner of the Unknown Calzone Dethrone is Colin Lynch of Menton in Boston's Fort Point neighborhood.]

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Blaze Pizza Plans to Come to the Boston Area

A small group of California-based pizza restaurants known for cooking pizzas quickly at high temperatures is planning to come to Boston--and one of its investors is a well-known figure in the local area.

The Boston Herald is reporting that Blaze Pizza is looking to expand nationally, with the Boston area being a part of their expansion plans. One of its investors is Tom Werner, who is Chairman of the Boston Red Sox and is also involved with such local restaurants as Empire, Gem, the Red Lantern, and Towne.

[April 18, 2014 update: The Boston Business Journal mentions that Blaze Pizza could be opening at least 15 locations in the Boston area, now that restaurateurs Mitch Roberts and David Peterman have signed a franchise agreement with the chain (they also operate 34 locations of Panera). Thanks to Eater Boston for bringing this to our attention.]

[May 22, 2014 update: The Banker & Tradesman site says that ASAPizza LLC--the company run by franchisees Mitch Roberts and David Peterman--is looking at urban storefronts for its Boston-area locations of Blaze Pizza, with the shops being around 2,500 square feet and "near colleges, entertainment venues and medical centers."]

Blaze Pizza, which is based in Pasadena and has locations in Pasadena and Irvine (with two more Los Angeles-area shops in the works), makes their scratch-made artisanal pizzas on an "assembly line," with the pies then put into a white-hot oven, taking less than two minutes to cook. Their website can be found at

Boca Restaurant and Bar in Waltham to Close

It looks like a Costa Rican restaurant west of Boston is getting ready to close its doors.

The Brand New Watch blog of Wicked Local is reporting that Boca Restaurant and Bar in Waltham will be shutting down "very shortly," as the owners have decided to focus on their other business--a temporary staffing company called Panther Global Group--which will be expanding into Latin America. This is the second dining spot on Pine Street to close this month, as Sadie's Saloon and Eatery (which was next door to Boca) shuttered on October 19.

Boca Restaurant and Bar first opened six years ago, offering such dishes as arroz con pollo, beef patties, fried cheese, plantains, pork rinds, chorizo, steak and onions, and empanadas to diners.

The address for this soon-to-close spot in Waltham is: Boca Restaurant and Bar, 11 Pine Street, Waltham, MA, 02453.

[November 7 update: According to their website, Boca Restaurant and Bar has officially closed.]

Update: Plaza Catering and Deli and Cafe Latino in Boston to Morph into Discovery Cafe in Cambridge

[Ed note: This article was updated on November 7 to reflect new information about the move from Boston to Cambridge.]

A new cafe is getting ready to open in Cambridge, and the folks behind it also happen to run a corporate catering operation in Boston.

Eater Boston is reporting (via Chowhound) that the Discovery Cafe is opening on Sixth Street in Kendall Square, with the eatery being a "full-fledged restaurant" from the people behind Plaza Catering and Deli in Government Center. EB indicates that this appears to be a move, as Plaza Catering will be bringing its operations over to the Discovery Cafe, and a check on the Plaza Catering website seems to confirm this, as their contact information refers people to an address on Binney Street in Cambridge that is in the same block as the upcoming Discovery Cafe.

Expect to see soups, salads, snacks, pizza, sandwiches, and breakfast dishes at the Discovery Cafe, which is hoping to open on November 5.

[November 7 update: According to a poster on the Chowhound site, it looks like the Discovery Cafe is now open. Also, in addition to Plaza Catering and Deli leaving Government Center, Cafe Latino (which was part of the same place) has also closed, with Eater Boston stating that it will be merging with the Discovery Cafe, though there apparently won't be much of an emphasis on their menu items.]

The address for this new cafe in Kendall Square is: Discovery Cafe, 157 Sixth Street, Cambridge, MA, 02141. Their website can be found at

Monday, October 29, 2012

Highlights for the Week Ending October 26, 2012

Several more stories and articles focusing on the Boston-area restaurant scene came out over the past week, including a local chain of restaurants having one of their burgers launched into outer space, another Boston-area community looking at a food truck program, and a new spot moving into the space where a landmark restaurant had been until closing a week ago. In addition, our sister site (Boston's Hidden Restaurants) included a new review of a drive-in in Groton, a transcript of a new live online food discussion, and a photo of a soup from a Japanese restaurant in Stoneham.

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

Boston Restaurant Talk

b.good to Have a Burger Launched into Outer Space

Newton to Consider Bringing Food Trucks to the City

Boston Magazine Taste Event to Be Held November 12, 2012

Mistral Owner to Open French Restaurant in Boston's Fort Point Neighborhood

Mike's City Diner, British Beer Company Team Up to Plan New Restaurant for Locke-Ober Space

Boston's Hidden Restaurants

New Review: Johnson's Drive-In in Groton, MA

Transcript of Discussion on Fall Foods, Boston-Area Restaurants

Photo: Beer and Cheese Soup from jm Curley in Boston, MA

Updated Review: Pleasant Cafe in Roslindale, MA

Photo: Tom Yum Soup from Kyotoya in Stoneham, MA

Five Guys Burgers and Fries Is Opening in Waltham

A chain of rapidly expanding burger places continues to expand through the Boston area, with a new location planned for a western suburb of the city, though it could be awhile before it opens due to issues with parking and a special permit that is needed.

An article in Wicked Local Waltham indicates that Five Guys Burgers and Fries is planning to open in Waltham, though there is some controversy about parking spaces on the stretch of Main Street where the new burger spot will open. The article states that the owner of Cafe Angelinos says the development of the upcoming Five Guys has resulted in fewer parking spaces, and he has taken up the issue with the city of Waltham. Reps for Five Five Guys (along with the developer) are seeking a special permit for the proposed dining spot, but the permit has been delayed, so it is not known when the new Five Guys could be opening.

[April 8, 2013 update: A new article in Wicked Local Waltham states that the opening of Five Guys could be delayed further, as the Law Department is requesting more information from the developers of both Five Guys and Panera (which is also hoping to open in the space) on seating and "open floor information" in order to decide whether there would be enough parking available.]

[April 23, 2013 update: The Waltham Patch is reporting that Five Guys has the green light to move ahead, as the Waltham City Council approved special permits that will allow the developer to reduce the number of parking spaces that are required for Five Guys, Panera, and Chipotle, all of which plan to open at the site.]

[September 9, 2013 update: A recent article in the Waltham News Tribune mentions that the new Five Guys in Waltham is now planning to open by the middle of October.]

[November 3, 2013 update: A Twitter post sent to us indicates that the new Five Guys in Waltham is now open (this has also been confirmed by the restaurant's website).]

Boston-area locations of Five Guys Burgers and Fries can be found in Burlington, Canton, Chelsea, Dedham, Foxborough, Framingham, Gloucester, Hanover, Marlborough, Medford, Natick, Peabody, Randolph, Saugus, Stoneham, Swampscott, and Walpole. New locations are also planned for Boston (downtown and near Northeastern) as well as Braintree.

The address for this new location of Five Guys is 1030 Main Street, Waltham, MA, 02451. The the website for the burger chain is at

Johnnie's Foodmaster to Close All Ten of Their Locations

Last week we confirmed that Whole Foods Market will be taking over six of ten locations of Johnnie's Foodmaster. Now we have learned that the rest of the grocery stores will apparently be closing as well.

Based on information from someone at Johnnie's Foodmaster, it looks like the locations of Johnnie's in Lynn, Medford, Somerville (Alewife Brook Parkway), and Whitman will shut down, while locations in Arlington, Brookline, Charlestown, Melrose, Somerville (Beacon Street), and South Weymouth will be taken over by Whole Foods. The person we talked to at Johnnie's said that liquidation of all the stores will begin in about two weeks, with an expected closing date of November 30.

Johnnie's Foodmaster started out in East Cambridge in 1947 and is considered one of the last family-owned urban supermarkets in the Greater Boston area.

[Earlier Article]
Whole Foods Plans to Acquire Six Johnnie's Foodmaster Stores

Friday, October 26, 2012

b.good to Have a Burger Launched into Outer Space

This weekend, a small local chain of restaurants will be having one of its burgers sent to a place that no burger has dared to go.

According to a post on their Facebook page, b.good received an email from a Harvard student who--along with his fellow Science major friends--will be "launching a weather balloon into the edge of space (30km altitude)" tomorrow, and they have asked the chain if one of their burgers could be placed in the balloon with the hope that the students will be able to safely return it back to Earth.

There is no word on what will happen to the burger after its groundbreaking flight.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Tous Les Jours to Open in Former Kelly's Space in Allston

A Korea-based group of French-Asian bakeries with one location in the Boston area is going to be opening a second spot within the city, with this one moving into the space where a location of a popular roast beef place used to be.

The Boston Globe reports that Tous Les Jours is looking to open in the former Kelly's Roast Beef location on Commonwealth Avenue in Allston, confirming rumors we had heard that the plans for the Korean fried chicken place Bon Chon to open there have fallen through. Once it opens, the Allston location on Tous Les Jours will join another location at H-Mart in Burlington.

The Korean-owned Tous Les Jours currently has more than 1,000 stores around the world, though only a handful in the United States, including in California, Georgia, New Jersey, and Texas.

The address for this upcoming bakery in Allston is: Tous Les Jours, 1227 Commonwealth Avenue, Allston, MA, 02134. Their website is at

The Real Deal Deli Is Opening in Former Presto Pizzeria Space in Brighton

The folks behind a pair of eateries in West Roxbury and Jamaica Plain are going to be opening a third spot, with this one moving into the space in Brighton where a popular pizza joint used to be.

The Boston Globe is reporting that The Real Deal Deli plans to open on Beacon Street in Cleveland Circle, taking over the former Presto Pizzeria spot. (Presto Pizzeria closed this past July.) Based on the menu at the other two locations, expect to see sandwiches and pizza at the new Real Deal, along with such items as salads, wings, chili, and clam chowder.

[May 14, 2013 update: According to their website, The Real Deal Deli in Brighton is now open.]

The people behind The Real Deal Deli also run Sugar Bakery in West Roxbury and Sugar Baking Company and Restaurant in Roslindale.

The address for this new dining spot in Brighton is: The Real Deal Deli, 1936 Beacon Street, Brighton, MA, 02135. The website for The Real Deal can be found at

[Earlier Article]
Presto Pizzeria in Brighton Has Closed

Newton to Consider Bringing Food Trucks to the City

Yet another Boston-area community is looking into the possibility of joining the food truck craze.

The Newton TAB is reporting that city officials are considering bringing food trucks to Newton, with a task force being formed to weigh the pros and cons of the issue. Currently, the city does not have any regulations for food trucks and other mobile dining spots, unlike neighboring communities Boston, Brookline and Needham, all of which have food truck programs. (Food trucks can also be found in Malden, with Medford and Somerville also considering them as well.)

The article implies that food trucks will probably not be coming to Newton anytime soon, based on the results of a meeting earlier this month where city officials saw that "they still have a lot of prep work to do" before it could happen.

Thanks to Eater Boston for bringing this to our attention.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Cafe Rialto in Roslindale Is Closing

An Italian restaurant in Roslindale is going to be closing its doors after being in business for about 2 1/2 years.

Universal Hub is reporting that Cafe Rialto on Washington Street is getting ready to shut down, with the restaurant's Facebook page stating that their last day will apparently be this Saturday (October 27). Cafe Rialto first opened in April of 2010, offering salads, sandwiches, pasta dishes, pizza, and calzone, along with beer and wine.

The Square Corner Cafe had been in the space before Cafe Rialto, closing in the spring of 2009.

The address for this soon-to-close Italian restaurant in Roslindale is: Cafe Rialto, 4197 Washington Street, Roslindale, MA, 02131.

Thanks to Eater Boston for bringing this to our attention.

Expansion into Boston Planned for Group Behind Chicago's Old Town Social and Nellcote

It looks like the folks behind a couple of wildly popular Chicago restaurants may be looking to open a new dining spot somewhere in the Boston area.

Grub Street Boston is reporting that they received an email from Element Collective, which oversees the eclectic comfort food spot Old Town Social and the French/Mediterranean eatery Nellcote, stating that the group is making plans to bring a restaurant to Boston for their next project. GS was not given information on what type of place it could be, though they do mention that Chris Dexter of the group went to Harvard University, so he presumably knows a little about local tastes.

While little is indeed known about any restaurant that Element Collective might bring to Boston, one note that may be of particular interest to food lovers is the fact that the menu at Nellcote includes the offer to add fresh black truffles by the gram for any dish "at cost" ($4 a gram).

Carrie Nation Is Opening in Boston's Beacon Hill

It looks like a new eating and drinking establishment may be on its way to the Beacon Hill section of Boston, and ironically, it appears to be named after a person who was very much against eating and drinking establishments back in the day.

Adam's Hospitality & Tourism Industry Blog is reporting that Carrie Nation is hoping to open on Beacon Street, adjacent to the XV Beacon Hotel (between the state house and Tremont Street). The article mentions that the group behind the restaurant, which is apparently named after a radical member of the temperance movement in the late 1800s, is seeking a liquor license from the Boston Licensing Board this week.

As Adam mentions (via Wikipedia), Carrie Nation was known in part for vandalizing bars, and went as far as attacking drinking places with a hatchet.

[October 25 update: Universal Hub has more information on Carrie Nation, including the fact that the owners of Scholars (a restaurant and bar on nearby School Street) are behind the proposed spot. UH also mentions that Carrie Nation would not be an Irish pub, but would instead be a neighborhood dining and drinking spot with a whiskey bar, pool tables, and American fare with "a French bistro twist to it."]

[January 30, 2013 update: A job post on the Craigslist site indicates that plans are moving ahead for Carrie Nation, with a spring opening in the works.]

[May 15, 2013 update: Eater Boston states that Carrie Nation is planning to open sometime next week.]

[June 4, 2013 update: The Boston Globe says that Carrie Nation opens its doors at 5:00 PM today.]

The address for this upcoming restaurant and bar in Beacon Hill is 11 Beacon Street, Boston, MA, 02108.

Boston Magazine Taste Event to Be Held November 12, 2012

A popular local magazine is going to be hosting a food and drink event once again, and a number of top chefs from the Boston area will be participating.

On Monday, November 12, the Third Annual Boston Magazine Taste event will take place at the Mandarin Oriental in the Back Bay, with festivities beginning at 7:00 PM (6:00 PM for VIP). Chefs from such restaurants as Alma Nove, Ducali, Journeyman, L'Espalier, Neptune Oyster, Trade, Tremont 647, and many more will be taking part, giving samplings of food to guests.(Mixologists from Park and West Bridge will also be at the event.)

Tickets for Boston Magazine Taste cost $95 for general admission and $150 for VIP, with some of the proceeds going to the Greater Boston Food Bank. Please note that this is a 21+ event.

For more information on the 2012 Boston Magazine Taste event, please go to the following link:

Comella's Is Opening in Marblehead

It looks like a local group of Italian food retailers and caterers is going to be opening its first shop on the North Shore.

The Marblehead Patch is reporting that Comella's is planning to open at the corner of Atlantic Avenue and Commercial Street in Marblehead, taking over the space where Moran Studios used to be. The new eatery will have seating for 12, though like the others, much of their business will probably come from takeout orders. Expect to see such items as ravioli, gnocchi, lasagna, stuffed shells, and chicken parmigiana at the upcoming spot.

[January 29, 2013 update: A new article in the Marblehead Patch says that Comella's is planning to open their new location by March. (Thanks to North Shore Dish for bringing this to our attention.)]

[May 2, 2013 update: An article from The Marblehead Patch several weeks back says that Comella's is now open in Marblehead. (It opened in late March.)]

Currently, all but one of Comella's shops are located in the western suburbs of Boston (with the other being in the West Roxbury neighborhood of the city), including in Arlington, Belmont, Chestnut Hill, Concord, Natick, Needham, Wellesley, and West Newton.

The address for this new dining spot in Marblehead is: Comella's, 50 Atlantic Avenue, Marblehead, MA, 01945. Their website can be found at:

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

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Phantom Gourmet Wine and Food Phest Returns to Boston's South End, November 10, 2012

A dining and drinking event returns to the South End of Boston once again next month, and it will include a number of area restaurants and food purveyors as well as entertainment.

On Saturday, November 10, the Phantom Gourmet Wine & Food Phest will be returning to the Boston Center for the Arts (Cyclorama) on Tremont Street, with an afternoon session going from 3:00 PM to 6:00 PM and an evening session running from 7:00 PM to 10:00 PM. A few places that will be participating include the Cabby Shack, the Chocolate Truffle, Dunn Gaherin's, Martino's, and others, with wine from Barefoot Bubbly, Gabbiano, Josh Cellars, Yellow Tail, and others offered. Entertainment at the event will once again include music, dancing, and a "Make-out Photo Booth."

Tickets to the 2012 Phantom Gourmet Wine and Food Phest cost $40 in advance for general admission ($50 at the event), with the price including access to 10 food items, 30 different wines, and entertainment (individual tickets are good for one session only). For more information, please go to the following link:

Seth Greenberg Is Opening Bastille Kitchen in Boston's Fort Point Neighborhood

[Ed note: This article was updated on January 17, 2013 to reflect a name given for the restaurant, along with other new information.]

The person behind one of Boston's best-known restaurants as well as a tavern in a boutique hotel is looking to open a new spot, with this one being in one of the city's hottest neighborhoods.

The Boston Globe is reporting that Seth Greenberg of Mistral in the South End and Woodward (now closed) in the Ames Hotel in downtown Boston is planning on opening a French restaurant in the Fort Point neighborhood. The article mentions that Greenberg's newest spot will be in an old textile factory on Melcher Street, which is just across Fort Point Channel from South Station and near where the famous nightclub The Channel used to be. It looks like the eatery could be open in the spring of 2013.

[January 17, 2013 update: Grub Street Boston mentions that the name of the upcoming restaurant will be Bastille Kitchen, and the address will be 49 Melcher Street. GS also says that Mark Goldberg, who had been at Park in Cambridge's Harvard Square, will be in charge of the kitchen. The bistro could be open by September]

[March 4, 2014 update: The Boston Globe says that Bastille Kitchen is looking to open in early April, with the 11,000-square-foot place having the feel of a Parisian bistro with a dining room, bar, lounge, and a private dining section.]

[June 11, 2014 update: UrbanDaddy reports that Bastille Kitchen expects to open next week.]

[July 21, 2014 update: A new article in The Boston Globe states that Bastille Kitchen will open on Monday, July 28.]

Greenberg is also behind Capitale in New York as well as 1500 Degrees in Miami Beach.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Mike's City Diner, British Beer Company Team Up to Plan New Restaurant for Locke-Ober Space

Two days ago we reported that a landmark Boston restaurant that has been in business for more than 100 years had shut its doors for good. Now we have learned that the owner of a South End diner and the principal owner of a group of British-themed restaurants and bars have teamed up with a developer to bring a new dining spot to the space.

Patrick Maguire of I'm Your Server Not Your Servant is reporting via Facebook that Jay Hajj of Mike's City Diner on Washington Street and Michael Fallman of the Plymouth-based British Beer Company are going to be working with James P. Robertson Jr. of Origen Property Management in Boston to buy the Locke-Ober property and open a restaurant in its space. Patrick states that the building will not be gutted (there had been rumors that this might happen), and that the new owners "fully intend to respect and preserve the rich, historic features and integrity of the first floor, and eventually open a new bar and restaurant in that space."

The new restaurant, as implied in an earlier article here, will not be called Locke-Ober, instead becoming a completely new dining spot (and it will not be a location of the British Beer Company, according to the post, nor will Mike's City Diner be moving there).

It appears that the deal could be completed in early to mid-November, though the new spot won't be open for at least a year.

[February 5, 2013 update: Eater Boston reports (via the City of Boston website) that a meeting is taking place tomorrow at Boston City Hall concerning the transfer of a liquor license from Locke-Ober to the new restaurant coming to the space, whose name could be "Winter Place" according to the post. (Please note that this may just be a working name and could certainly change.)]

The address for this upcoming restaurant is 3 Winter Place, Boston, MA, 02108.

[Earlier Article]
Locke-Ober in Boston Has Closed

Highlights for the Week Ending October 19, 2012

A few more stories and articles centering on the Boston-area restaurant scene came out over the past week, including a Top Chef contestant planning to open a doughnut shop in Boston, a floating restaurant possibly coming to East Boston, and a sandwich competition returning to Cambridge. In addition, our sister site (Boston's Hidden Restaurants) included an updated review of an Indian dining spot in Cambridge, a list of restaurant closings and openings for October (so far), and a blog review of a restaurant and bar in downtown Boston.

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

Boston Restaurant Talk

Top Chef Contestant Plans to Open Stacked Doughnuts in Boston

A Floating Restaurant May Be Coming to East Boston

75 on Liberty Wharf Opens on the Boston Waterfront

National Sandwich Day Face-Off to Be Held at Chez Henri, November 3, 2012

Update: Spike's Junkyard Dogs in Somerville's Davis Square Is Apparently Closing

Boston's Hidden Restaurants

Updated Review: Dosa Factory in Cambridge, MA

Restaurant Closings/Openings for October, 2012 (So Far)

New Blog Review: jm Curley in Boston, MA

Question: Favorite Restaurant in Cambridge, MA?

Photo: Enchiladas en Aguacate from La Posada in Arlington, MA

Wendy's New Upscale Concept Has Come to Franklin and Marlborough

A fast-food joint that is known for its burgers has brought a new "upscale" concept to two communities along the Route 495 belt west of Boston.

The Boston Globe is reporting that a new version of Wendy's is now open in Franklin and an existing Wendy's in Marlborough has been changed over to the new format, with each restaurant including a fireplace, flat-screen TVs, WiFi, and a menu that goes well beyond the standard burgers and fries for which the chain is known. The article mentions that the new concept is part of Wendy's "A Cut Above" brand position that aims to differentiate the chain from other fast-food burger spots.

A couple of the items included on the menu at the Wendy's locations in Franklin and Marlborough include a berry almond chicken salad and a spicy guacamole chicken club sandwich, according to the Globe.

The article mentions that a press release shows there only being 10 such Wendy’s restaurants in the entire country that currently have this new concept.

Thanks to the Boston Business Journal for bringing this to our attention.

Viola Restaurant and Wine Bar in Braintree Has Closed

An Italian restaurant in Braintree has closed its doors after being in business for nearly five years.

Several sources over the past week mentioned that Viola Restaurant and Wine Bar on Washington Street has shuttered, and a check on the place this weekend indicates that it is indeed gone. The dining spot first opened in the spring of 2008, featuring such items as pasta, chicken, veal, seafood, and pizza. In addition to its main dining room, Viola also had a small outdoor patio that overlooked the Monatiquot River.

The address for this now-closed eatery in Braintree was: Viola Restaurant and Wine Bar, 1209 Washington Street, Braintree, MA 02184.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Locke-Ober in Boston Has Closed

A landmark Boston restaurant that has been in business for well over 100 years has apparently closed its doors for good.

Adam's Hospitality & Tourism Industry Blog is reporting (via a Facebook post from Patrick Maguire of jm Curley) that Locke-Ober shut down permanently at 7:30 this evening. No other information seems to have been given at this point in time, so check back for updates over the coming days.

[October 21 update: The Boston Globe mentions that Locke-Ober has closed "indefinitely," with a sign on the front door stating that the dining spot is "currently closed for business, pending Locke-Ober's sale of its buildings located at Winter Place." The sign also included a thank-you to its customers, with the hope that "the many warm memories we have shared within" would live on.]

[October 22 update: A more recent article in the Boston Globe indicates that David Ray (the owner of Locke-Ober) has sold the building and is moving on. Ray told the Globe the following: "I had a choice. Make Locke-Ober more casual, lower our standards to conform with the way society is today, or I could close it. I could close it with its history and its dignity intact. Because, frankly, it looked as good as it’s ever looked. The service was good, and the food was good." He also said that the new owners will probably have a restaurant on the first floor, though the upper floors (where there had been private dining rooms) will likely be used for housing. (Note: Any new restaurant that moves into the space will not be Locke-Ober.)]

Locke-Ober first opened in 1875, featuring mostly classic American fare such as steak, seafood, chicken, pork, and lamb dishes.

The address for Locke-Ober was: Locke-Ober, 3 Winter Place, Boston, MA, 02108.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Cheeseboy to Open a Brick-and-Mortar Restaurant in Downtown Boston

A group of takeout restaurants specializing in grilled cheese sandwiches is going to be opening its first brick-and-mortar storefront in the Boston area, and it will be located in the heart of the city.

The Real Downtown Crossing Facebook page is reporting that Cheeseboy is planning to open a shop on Washington Street (across from the old Borders books space), making this the third location to open in Boston and fifth in the metropolitan area. Based on other locations of Cheeseboy, expect to see an array of grilled cheese sandwiches as well as soups and desserts at the new spot.

We don't have an exact address for the upcoming Cheeseboy on Washington Street as of yet; as soon as we do, we will post it here.

[March 14, 2013 update: One of our sources tells us that the address for the upcoming Cheeseboy restaurant in Downtown Crossing will be 280 Washington Street, and it plans to open sometime this spring (based on a sign in the window).]

Cheeseboy can currently be found at South Station and the Prudential Center in Boston, at the Natick Mall in Natick, and at the South Shore Plaza in Braintree. Other locations are in Rhode Island, New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut, where it first started out. Its website is at

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Top Chef Contestant to Open Stacked Doughnuts in Boston

A contestant on a popular food show--and a cook at one of Boston's best-known restaurants--is planning to open a doughnut shop somewhere in the city.

The Chowder blog of Boston Magazine reports that Stephanie Cmar of No. 9 Park is eyeing locations for Stacked, a doughnut shop that could open within the next year or so.The article mentions that Cmar, who is competing on the upcoming season of Bravo's Top Chef, is looking at a few locations for her shop, including the Back Bay, the Innovation District, and the South End. Some doughnut options that will be available at Stacked include cider, nutella and caramelized white chocolate, toffee, and vanilla bean and raspberry.

[February 18, 2014 update: Stacked is not yet open, but Eater Boston mentions that Stephanie Cmar will be having a series of pop-ups for her upcoming doughnut shop, with the first three taking place at The Butcher Shop in Boston's South End over the course of the next three Saturdays starting at 9:00 AM and going until the doughnuts run out. EB also says that the doughnuts will be $3 each, with Bavarian-filled and citrus-glazed being a couple of options. (Note: Cmar will be looking for new places for the pop-ups once the ones at The Butcher Shop end.) ]

[March 13, 2014 update: Eater Boston says that Stacked will be continuing its pop-ups, this time at Commonwealth in Cambridge's Kendall Square on the next two Sundays (March 16 and 23). The doughnut flavors at these pop-ups will be salted chocolate and raspberry along with maple crumble, according to EB.]

[April 3, 2014 update: Zagat states that Stacked will be at The Salty Pig in Boston this Saturday and Sunday starting at 10:30 AM each day, and Fairsted Kitchen in Brookline on Monday night starting at 10:00 PM, and now Stephanie Cmar and her pop-up doughnut shop will be pairing up with Trademark Tarts, a business focusing on freshly-made pop tarts that was started by Justin Burke-Samson of the Mass Farmers Markets.]

[May 7, 2014 update: The pop-ups continue for Stacked (and Trademark Tarts), with a Twitter post mentioning that the next one is coming to Whole Foods Symphony on Westland Avenue this Saturday (May 10) from 10:00 AM to 12:00 PM. Proceeds from this pop-up will help support Boston Bakes for Breast Cancer.]

[May 14, 2014 update: Another pop-up alert for Stacked and Trademark Tarts--according to a Twitter post from the latter, they will be at The Merchant on Franklin Street in Boston's Financial District this Friday (May 16) starting at 8:30 AM, and then again on Sunday (May 18) starting at 10:30 AM.]

Stephanie Cmar graduated from Johnson & Wales in Providence and has worked as a sous chef at Stir Boston in addition to her job as rounds cook at No. 9 Park, according to her bio on the Bravo site.

A Floating Restaurant May Be Coming to East Boston

It looks like East Boston could become home to a new restaurant with water views--from every direction.

The East Boston Times-Free Press is reporting that Rick Nolan, who is the owner of Boston Harbor Cruises and The Landing on Long Wharf, is considering opening a floating restaurant called The Mooring somewhere between Piers Park in the Jeffries Point neighborhood and the Hyatt Harborside at Logan Airport. The article mentions that the proposed dining spot would be open from May to October and would be accessed via a free water shuttle that they provide (the shuttle would pick up customers in both East Boston and the Seaport District of South Boston). The menu at The Mooring would focus mostly on seafood, with meal prices in the teens.

While plans for the floating restaurant have already been presented to the Jeffries Point Neighborhood Association (JPNA), Nolan still needs to talk with the Coast Guard and the Boston Harbor Master about where exactly The Mooring would be located.

Thanks to Eater Boston for bringing this to our attention.]

[March 19, 2013 update: The East Boston Times-Free Press mentions that plans for The Mooring have been put on hold for a year, at which point the owner of the proposed floating restaurant will still have to show the plans to the Boston Harbor Master as well as the Coast Guard before a specific location can be decided upon. (Thanks to Eater Boston for bringing this to our attention.)]

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

El Centro Dos Is Replacing Tashi Delek in Brookline Village

It looks like the person behind a Mexican restaurant in the South End of Boston is going to be opening a second location, taking over the space in Brookline Village where a Tibetan eatery has been.

A Board of Selectmen calendar page from the Town of Brookline site indicates that the owners of Tashi Delek on Washington Street were seeking approval last month to transfer their All Kinds of Alcoholic Beverages License as a Common Victualler to Rabiul Islam, the owner and manager of El Centro. A page on the manta site shows that Rabiul Islam is president of Siraj Corp, whose address is 474 Shawmut Avenue in Boston's South End. El Centro restaurant is located at 472 Shawmut Avenue, and the restaurant that had been in that space before El Centro (under the same ownership) had been called Siraj Cafe, which seems to confirm that the upcoming spot in Brookline is indeed connected with the one in the South End.

[October 18 update: Eater Boston is reporting that Tashi Delek will be closing at the end of October, while the Brookline Patch mentions that the Brookline Board of Selectmen has approved the license transfer, with El Centro possibly opening in December.]

[April 3, 2013 update: Zagat says that the new El Centro (called El Centro Dos) in Brookline is now planning to open sometime this month.]

[June 21, 2013 update: CBH Communications says that El Centro Dos will open next Thursday (June 27).]

[June 27, 2013 update: Eater Boston confirms that El Centro Dos opens today, though it will only be open for dinner for now (expect it to be open for lunch on weekdays soon).]

Tashi Delek first opened in October of 2007, while the original El Centro in the South End opened its doors in May of 2011.

The address for Tashi Delek (and the new El Centro Dos) is 236 Washington Street, Brookline, MA, 02445.

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

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

75 on Liberty Wharf Opens on the Boston Waterfront

The folks behind two restaurants in Boston's Beacon Hill are on the verge of opening a new dining and drinking spot in another part of the city.

A post on their Facebook page indicates that 75 on Liberty Wharf opens tomorrow on the Boston waterfront, joining 75 Chestnut on Chestnut Street and Cheers on Beacon Street. It looks like the new spot will have about 1,500 square feet of space and a capacity of 60, with a mix of traditional American and New American fare offered.

[October 18 update: It looks like 75 on Liberty Wharf has a smaller capacity than was originally reported, with UrbanDaddy stating that it has seating for 35.]

The address for this new restaurant and bar on the waterfront is: 75 on Liberty Wharf, 220 Northern Avenue, Boston, MA, 02210.

[Earlier Article]
75 on Liberty Wharf Is Opening at Liberty Wharf in Boston

Barismo in East Arlington to Move, Expand

A small batch coffee roaster in East Arlington is going to be moving into a new space within the same block, and it may include an area with seating--something it does not currently have.

Eater Boston reports that Barismo is going to be moving from 169 Mass. Ave. to 171 Mass. Ave. which will allow it to more than double in size. The article mentions that the store will continue to focus on roasting and wholesale business, but there will be the "potential" for seating and a limited pastry menu that includes goods from dwelltime, a coffee bar in Cambridge that they opened this spring.

It looks like Barismo will be in their new space sometime in November, with the shop staying open in their current space until they make the move, according to Eater Boston.

The website for Barismo can be found at

[December 20 update: Eater Boston mentions that the expanded Barismo opened in its new space today. The article also says that while it initially has just a standing bar, six seats could be added to the place next month.]

National Sandwich Day Face-Off to Be Held at Chez Henri, November 3, 2012

National Sandwich Day is on the way, and with it, another Boston-area sandwich competition that will have three competitors rather than two this time around.

The Chowder blog of Boston Magazine is reporting that Chez Henri in Cambridge will be hosting--and participating in--another National Sandwich Day Face-Off, with this one including the Roxy's Gourmet Grilled Cheese food truck folks (who participated last year) along with a newcomer--Cambridge's All Star Sandwich Bar. The three-course competition, which will be held on November 3 starting at 5:30 PM, will have diners voting for the best sandwich by dropping off their votes in a ballot box at the end of their meals. Guests will be able to choose from a vegetarian sandwich option as well as a "carnivore" option.

Tickets for the Second Annual National Sandwich Day Face-Off cost $42 per person for the three courses, with tickets being available at the link below:

Chez Henri is located at 1 Shepard Street in Cambridge, between Porter Square and Harvard Square. Their phone number is (617) 354-8980, and their website can be found at

Flavors of Fall to Be Held in Cambridge, November 12, 2012

A fundraising event that focuses on fall foods returns to Cambridge's Harvard Square next month, and once again some of the best chefs in the Boston area will be participating.

On Monday, November 12, the Ninth Annual Flavors of Fall will take place at Regattabar in the Charles Hotel, with the event going from 5:30 PM to 8:30 PM. Flavors of Fall will have a dozen chefs from Cambridge and Somerville creating various fall dishes, with chefs from Amelia's Trattoria, Belly Wine Bar, Bergamot, The Blue Room, Garden at the Cellar, Harvest, Henrietta's Table, Rialto, Russell House Tavern, Sandrine's Bistro, UpStairs on the Square, and West Bridge taking part in the event. Beer, wine, cocktails, and ice cream will also be available, and live jazz music will be provided.

Tickets to the 2012 Flavors of Fall cost $65 each, with proceeds benefiting The Possible Project, a youth entrepreneurship center that teaches high school students how to create their own businesses.

For more information on this event, please go to the following link:

Spike's Junkyard Dogs in Somerville's Davis Square Is Closing

[Ed note: This article was updated on October 17 and November 27 to reflect new information received.]

It looks like a Rhode Island-based group of hot dog places will be closing its location in one of the busiest parts of Somerville, though no official confirmation has been given as of yet.

A post on the Eater Boston site indicates (via a Somerville News legal notice) that the space where Spike's Junkyard Dogs is at 217 Elm Street in Davis Square is apparently going to be taken over by The Painted Burro, a Mexican restaurant that resides next door (at 219 Elm Street) and is looking to expand. Some chatter on the Davis Square LiveJournal page includes one poster who says that "from what I hear, Spikes was already closing. It wasn't so much that Painted Burro is aggressively taking over, as they found out that Spikes was leaving and jumped on it....This is from talking to bartenders at Burro, not from any official announcement."

The hearing for The Painted Burro's expansion plans took place last night, so expect some updates to come out shortly.

[October 17 update: It appears more and more likely that Spike's is indeed closing their Somerville location, as The Painted Burro has responded to a question on their Facebook page about whether they will be expanding into the Spike's space with "That's the plan!"]

[October 17 update #2: Grub Street Boston is reporting that The Painted Burro is planning to open The Burro Bar as part of their expansion into the Spike's space, with the bar having the same dinner menu as The Painted Burro while the weekend lunch menu will have tortas and Mexican sandwiches. Expect The Burro Bar to be ready sometime this winter.]

[November 27 update: An email from Spike's indicates that its Somerville location will indeed be closing, with its last day of operation being this Friday (November 30). The note mentions that folks who visit Spike's in Somerville over the final few days will be given a coupon for a free hot dog or veggie dog that may be redeemed at either their Allston or Back Bay location.]   

In addition to its Somerville location, Spike's Junkyard Dogs can also be found in Allston, Boston's Back Bay, Burlington, North Attleboro, Providence, Cranston, Warwick, and Groton, CT. Their website is at

Monday, October 15, 2012

Luke's Lobster to Be at Boston's Head of the Charles Regatta

A New York-based group of lobster shacks that gets its lobsters from Maine will be coming to Boston in a few days, setting up shop at one of the city's most popular events.

An email sent to us from Luke's Lobster indicates that they will be at the Head of the Charles regatta this weekend, dishing out lobster rolls as well as shrimp and crab rolls from a tent set up at the event. Luke's will also offer chowder that will come from Maine partner Hurricane's Premium Soup and Chowder, which was awarded second place in Newport's Great Chowder Cookoff this year.

Former lobsterman and Maine resident Luke Holden--along with his father Jeff Holden and business partner Ben Conniff--established Luke's Lobster in the East Village of New York in the fall of 2009, and now has shops in the Upper West Side, Financial District, and the Plaza Food Hall in Midtown Manhattan, along with locations in Washington, DC (2), and Bethesda, MD. (Luke's also has a food truck in New York as well.) The website for Luke's Lobster can be found at