Friday, June 28, 2013

Update: Olives in Charlestown Has Closed Its Doors; May Move

It appears that one of Todd English's restaurants has closed down.

According to several sources (including an initial Twitter query from food writer MC Slim JB), Olives restaurant in Charlestown has shuttered, with the windows being papered over and inquiries referred to the building owner. (One contact who has a very firm source indicates that it has indeed shuttered.) The City Square dining spot had been closed for an extensive period of time after being damaged in a grease fire in the spring of 2010, with it finally reopening in the spring of 2012.

A call was placed to Todd English Enterprises a short time ago, with a call back to us expected shortly, according to the person who answered the phone.

[June 28 update: A photo sent to us confirms that a sign out front says "The premises is closed until further notice," with a note about inquiries and requests for access being directed to City Square Holdings.]

[June 29 update: The Boston Globe's Restaurant Hub blog reports that Olive's may be reopening in a new location at some point, with Todd English saying that even though he is "leaving this neighborhood" (City Square in Charlestown), there will be a "rebirth of Olives" with a "true representation of the evolution of America's hunger for freshness and diversity," though it will "also stay true to Olives Mediterranean roots."]

The address for this now-closed eatery in Charlestown is: Olives, 10 City Square, Charlestown, MA, 02129.

Tony C's Is Opening at Burlington's 3rd Ave Complex (in Northwest Park)

A new sport-themed restaurant is going to be opening in a restaurant and shopping complex within an upcoming mixed-used development in Burlington, and the group behind it runs several popular dining and drinking spots in Boston.

The Boston Globe is reporting that Tony C's will open at 3rd Ave (a retail area that will be in the middle of the Northwest Park development just north of the Burlington Mall), joining such upcoming places as The Bancroft steakhouse, Kings, Redstone American Grill, and Wegmans. The article says that the new 8,400-square-foot spot will feature moderately-priced comfort food and a HD audiovisual system, with an atmosphere that will be geared toward sports lovers, families, and businesspeople. Expect Tony C's to open in 2014, according to the Globe.

[January 5, 2015 update: According to someone involved with the opening of Tony C's in Burlington, the new restaurant and bar is planning to open on January 16.]

[January 18, 2015 update: A Facebook post from the place indicates that Tony C's opens its new location in Burlington today at 11:00 AM.]

The Cronin Group, which runs Atlantic Beer Garden, The Boston Beer Garden, Jerry Remy's, Temazcal, and The Whiskey Priest, is behind the opening of Tony C's.

Papa Razzi in Chestnut Hill to Close

A small local group of Italian restaurants will be closing one of its locations this weekend, with the branch shutting down after being in business for 25 years.

The Boston Business Journal is reporting that Papa Razzi at the Mall at Chestnut Hill will shut its doors at the end of business hours on Sunday, as its lease has expired and they were unable to find a way to renew it with the Simon Property Group, which owns the mall. The article says that all other Papa Razzi locations owned by the Newport Harbor Corp. of Newport, RI--including in Boston's Back Bay, Burlington, Concord, Framingham, Wellesley, and Cranston, RI--will remain in operation. (Charles Sarkis, who founded the Papa Razzi chain, continues to run four locations in New York, New Jersey, and Washington D.C.) It is not yet known what might be moving into the Papa Razzi space at the mall.

Papa Razzi first started out in the Back Bay in 1989.

The address for this soon-to-close dining spot in Chestnut Hill is: Papa Razzi, 199 Boylston Street, Chestnut Hill, MA, 02467.

Avila in Boston Is Closing

A Mediterranean restaurant on the edge of Boston's Theatre District is closing this weekend.

The Boston Hospitality and Tourism Industry Blog is reporting that Avila on Charles Street South is shutting its doors for good after business hours on Saturday, with no indication of what might replace the eatery at this point. The article mentions that Avila is part of the Davio's restaurant group, which has locations of that dining spot in Boston and Chestnut Hill, as well as an upcoming branch in Lynnfield.

Avila has featured such items as steamed mussels, tuna tartare, gnocchi, tagliatelle bolognese, braised short ribs, and chicken under a brick on its menu.

The address for this soon-to-close restaurant is: Avila, 1 Charles Street South, Boston, MA, 02116.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Griddler's Burger and Dogs, Union Square Donuts Are Teaming Up to Create the Bronut

If you are a fan of burgers and donuts, get ready for a food item that features both.

Beginning Saturday, July 6 (and available on Saturdays and Sundays only from that point on), Griddler's Burger and Dogs in Boston's Beacon Hill will start offering a "Bronut," a donut-burger that is a collaboration between the eatery and Union Square Donuts in Somerville. The dish will include a Griddler's burger patty that has a fried egg on top, with both being inside a sweet and salty maple-bacon glazed donut "bun" from the donut shop. The Bronut will cost $6 and will be available from 11:00 AM to 11:00 PM at Griddler's while they last.

Griddler's can be found at 204 Cambridge Street in Boston, with their website being at

The Glenville Stops Coming to Allston

A new restaurant is being planned for Allston, and unlike most spots in this Boston neighborhood, this one may be an upscale place.

Universal Hub is reporting that Michael Chapman is looking to open The Glenville Stops, which one of his lawyers says would be "the highest-end restaurant ever in Allston." The Allston Civic Association supports the plans for the Glenville Avenue eatery, though the Boston Licensing Board still needs to approve of the liquor license transfer today, with the license being purchased from Positano Boston in Charlestown.

According to UH, the structure at the site of the proposed Glenville Stops is "a rat-infested, collapsing old building," so extensive renovations need to be done, though Chapman thinks that the new restaurant could be open by late August or early September (work is already being done on the spot).

[January 8, 2014 update: Eater Boston states (via The Improper Bostonian) that The Glenville Stops will offer both small and large plates, 20 beers on tap, and what looks to be an extensive wine list.]

[January 23, 2014 update: A new article from Eater Boston mentions that The Glenville Stops had been showing a menu (that has since been taken down) indicating that the restaurant might not be quite as high-end as originally thought (EB says the menu showed reasonably-priced comfort food items with international influences).]

[February 13, 2014 A new post from its Facebook page indicates that The Glenville Stops is planning to open on April 5.]

The address for this upcoming high-end dining spot in Allston is: The Glenville Stops, 87 Glenville Avenue, Allston, MA, 02134.

Thanks to Eater Boston for bringing this to our attention.

[New article from our sister site (Boston's Hidden Restaurants): Slideshow--Twelve of the Best Food Dishes of 2013 (So Far)]

Bunratty Tavern Is Opening in Reading

A new Irish pub is on its way to a northern suburb of Boston.

A job post on the Craigslist site mentions that a "top notch" Irish tavern is going to be opening in Reading, with a couple of articles in the Patch indicating that the place will be called Bunratty Tavern. An earlier article in the Reading Patch mentions that Eilish Havey and her husband Jim are behind the upcoming eating and drinking establishment on Main Street, with a Boston Phoenix article showing that Eilish has been comptroller of the Somers Group (which includes such spots as Durty Nelly's, the Green Dragon, Hennessey's, Mr. Dooley's, and Paddy O's). A more recent Medford Patch article says that Bunratty Tavern could be opening sometime in August, with the post stating that the pub will include an outdoor patio.

[March 23, 2014 update: Bunratty Tavern has not yet opened, but based on recent Facebook posts, construction on the place is moving along, so it could be opening fairly soon.]

[June 24, 2015 update: A new job post on Craigslist indicates that Bunratty Tavern is now open.]

The address for this new spot in Reading is: Bunratty Tavern, 622 Main Street, Reading, MA, 01867. Its website will be at

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Common Ground Bar and Grill in Allston Is Opening a Second Location in Arlington

It looks like a gastropub in Allston is expanding, with a second location on its way to a suburb of Boston.

The Arlington Patch is reporting that Common Ground Bar & Grill is planning to open another spot in Arlington, though the address has not been given as of yet. The article indicates that the plans are in their early stages, as an application for an operating license with the Town of Arlington has not been completed as of yesterday afternoon, though a Twitter username has been created for the spot (@CommonGroundARL). [June 28 update: A post from their Twitter page mentions that the new Common Ground could have "all [their] a row" in about a month, which probably means more information on an address, permitting issues, etc., not when they might open, as had previously been stated (thanks to the poster below for bringing this up).]

[July 17 update: A new article in the Arlington Patch states that Common Ground plans to open in the old Gemma spot at Broadway Plaza in Arlington Center. The article mentions that an Environmental Design Review hearing that looks at the proposal will take place on July 29.]

[August 21 update: A new article in the Arlington Advocate indicates the town has unanimously approved of Common Ground coming to Broadway Plaza, "providing it meets certain conditions" such as issues related to noise control, trash removal, and energy efficiency.]

[September 30, 2014 update: According to the restaurant's Facebook page, the new Common Ground in Arlington opens today.]

The original Common Ground, which is located on Harvard Avenue in Allston, has been in business for more than 15 years, with a change of ownership occurring in the summer of 2011. A few items on the menu include fish tacos, clam chowder, Cuban sandwiches, burgers, macaroni and cheese, and steak tips. Their website can be found at

[New article from our sister site (Boston's Hidden Restaurants): Slideshow--Twelve of the Best Food Dishes of 2013 (So Far)]

NM Cafe Is Opening within Neiman Marcus at The Natick Mall

A high-end department store west of Boston will soon be opening a new restaurant within its space.

According to a job post on the Craigslist site (and confirmed by the shop's website), NM Cafe will open inside the Neiman Marcus branch at The Natick Mall. This will be the only dining spot to open in New England from the chain (at this point in time), with the closest ones to the area being a spot called The Zodiac in White Plains, NY, a place called The Rotunda in Paramus, NJ, and a location of NM Cafe in Short Hills, NJ. Based on the menus at other NM Cafe locations, expect to see soups, salads, sandwiches, a few main entrees, and a children's menu at the casual upscale eatery.

Expect an August opening for the new NM Cafe at The Natick Mall.

[September 17 update: According to the store's website, NM Cafe is now open at The Natick Mall.]

The web page for the restaurants at Neiman Marcus shops can be found at

USA Today, Zagat Include El Sarape in Braintree Among Top Mexican Picks

A national daily newspaper and a popular restaurant guide have given their top picks for Mexican food, and a dining spot south of Boston has made the list.

According to USA Today and Zagat, El Sarape in Braintree is one of 20 eateries picked, with the restaurant (which is located on Commercial Street on the Braintree/Weymouth line) being mentioned along with high-end spots such as Topolobampo in Chicago and cheap eats places such as R&R Taqueria in the Baltimore area. Other places mentioned in the list include Mercadito Grove in New York City and Paloma Mexican Haute Cuisine in Philadelphia.

El Sarape is a restaurant that has been featured on our sister site (Boston's Hidden Restaurants), with the review being at the link below:

For a complete list of Mexican restaurant picks from USA Today and Zagat, please go to the following link:

Zagat picks the best Mexican restaurants in 20 cities

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Nicola Pizza House in Arlington Has Closed

A pizza place in Arlington Heights that has been in business for several decades has closed its doors.

The Arlington Patch is reporting that Nicola Pizza House on Mass. Ave. shuttered this past Sunday after 42 years in business, saying that the owners are planning to retire. Nicola's was known for both its traditional Neapolitan pizza as well as its Sicilian slices, and it also offered subs, wraps, pasta, and variety of Italian and American dishes, such as veal parmigiana, chicken wings, and steak tips.

According to the article, the owner of Peter Pan Superette on Park Avenue purchased the Nicola's property and the house next door, with one possible option for the spot being a pizza place, though nothing has been confirmed as of yet.

The address for this now-closed pizza spot in Arlington Heights was: Nicola Pizza House, 1215 Massachusetts Avenue, Arlington, MA, 02476.

Thanks to Rich O's Ravings for bringing this to our attention.

Thailand Cafe in Cambridge Is Closing

It looks like a Thai restaurant located a few blocks east of Central Square in Cambridge is going to be closing its doors.

According to a poster on an earlier Chowhound thread about its possible closure, Thailand Cafe on Mass. Ave. appears to be getting ready to close, with the poster saying that Sunday, June 30 could be their last day in operation (we will try to confirm this date). A Cambridge Chronicle/TAB article from this winter mentioned that the space in which the Thai eatery resides will apparently be making way for a new office and lab building. It is not yet known whether Thailand Cafe might try to relocate.

[July 1 update: It appears that Thailand Cafe has indeed closed for good, as its phone number went out of service this morning.]

Thailand Cafe is known in part for its authentic Thai and Southeast Asian cuisine, along with a variety of Chinese dishes (with an emphasis on Sichuan fare).

The address for this restaurant near Central Square is: Thailand Cafe, 302 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, MA, 02139.

Insomnia Cookies Is Opening by Boston University

A small chain of late-night cookie delivery shops that opened its first Boston-area store late last year is getting ready to open a second location.

According to a press release, Insomnia Cookies will be coming to Commonwealth Avenue by Boston University, joining an existing location on Mt. Auburn Street in the Harvard Square section of Cambridge.  The chain is known for its delivery of cookies to the doors of college students and others as well as its late-night retail shops, with the new location geared not only toward BU students, but also Red Sox fans who will be at nearby Fenway Park.

Other New England locations of Insomnia Cookies can be found at the University of Connecticut in Mansfield/Storrs and at Yale in New Haven.

It looks like the new Insomnia Cookies will open sometime this summer.

[September 4 update: Eater Boston is reporting that the new Insomnia Cookies by BU is now open.]

The address for this new spot will be: Insomnia Cookies, 708 Commonwealth Avenue, Boston, MA, 02215. Their website is at (Thanks to Eater Boston for supplying the address.)

Budda C in Brookline Is Being Replaced by Takusan Sushi

It looks like an Asian restaurant in Brookline is morphing into another eatery with a new name, continuing the trend of changes that have come to this space over the past few years.

According to both a Board of Selectmen post and notes from a Planning Board Meeting (sign and facade), Budda C Asian Bistro on Beacon Street is planning to become Takusan Sushi, with the ownership apparently remaining the same. Budda C had previously been called Buddachen, but it had to go through a name change in the summer of 2010 after being sued by the Philadelphia-based chain Buddakan for alleged trademark infringement. In the early part of 2010, Buddachen had replaced Jae's Cafe, which had also been under the same ownership.

Once we get more information on Takusan Sushi, we will post an update here.

[August 9 update: It appears that Takusan Sushi is close to opening, as Leah Mennies of Boston Magazine has posted a photo via Twitter/Instagram that shows a sign now up for the place (along with another sign in the window that says "all you can eat" sushi. As soon as we hear of an exact opening date, we will post another update here.]

[August 27 update: According to a poster on the Boston's Hidden Restaurants Facebook page (and confirmed by the restaurant's Facebook page), Takusan Sushi is now open.]

The address for the new Takusan Sushi is 1223 Beacon Street, Brookline, MA, 02446. Its website is at

[Earlier articles]
Buddachen in Brookline Is Changing Its Name to Budda C
Jae's Cafe in Brookline to Become Buddachen

Monday, June 24, 2013

Somerville Licensing Officials Question Burger Dive's Plan for Spiked Milkshakes, Wine and Beer

A fast-casual burger restaurant in Somerville is planning to serve alcohol, and while the city has given its approval, it apparently isn't too happy about it.

The Somerville Journal reports that the Licensing Commission approved an all-forms liquor license for Burger Dive in a 3-1 vote last week, though two of the officials questioned giving such a license to what they see as a family-friendly fast-food burger joint. The article quotes licensing commissioner John McKenna as saying "I'm disappointed that we've come into 2013 with this promised development and it's come down to giving a burger joint an all-forms," with commissioner Vito Vaccaro (who voted against it) comparing the Assembly Row eatery to McDonald's and Burger King.

In addition to wine and beer, Burger Dive also wants to offer spiked milkshakes.

Burger Dive is part of the Legendary Restaurant Group, which includes such spots as Papagayo, Max and Dylans, Sip, and Avery Provision. The website for the restaurant can be found at

Les Zygomates and Sorriso in Boston's Leather District Being Sold

It looks like the person behind three upscale restaurants in downtown Boston is selling two of them.

Eater Boston is reporting that a "reliable tipster" as well as "multiple staffers" at Les Zygomates and Sorriso say that a sale is in the works for the two spots, both of which are located on South Street in the city's Leather District. The owner of the restaurants--Ian Just--is also behind Society on High, which opened earlier this month and is not being sold. EB mentions that reps for Les Zygomates and Sorriso have not put out anything official on the pending sale as of yet, so keep checking back for updates.

[June 27 update: The Restaurant Hub blog of The Boston Globe mentions that it appears neither Les Zygomates nor Sorriso will close, and that no immediate changes are in store for either place. The post also says that there have only been talks about a sale, with nothing confirmed at this point.]

[January 24, 2014 update: The Boston Business Journal states that Les Zygomates and Sorriso were sold to Anthony Botta and Mark Tosi earlier this month, with some changes planned for both spots, though the article says that they would like to "preserve what the regulars like most about the two restaurants." In addition, it looks like Sorriso may get a name change at some point.]

The address for Les Zygomates is 129 South Street while the address for Sorriso is 107 South Street.

Highlights for the Week Ending June 21, 2013

Several more stories and articles focusing on the Boston-area restaurant scene came out over the past week, including a pizza bar coming to Somerville, a dive bar in Brighton closing its doors, and the folks behind an expanding group of food trucks and brick-and-mortar restaurants opening a new spot in Cambridge's Kendall Square. In addition, our sister site (Boston's Hidden Restaurants) included a new review of a Mexican restaurant in East Boston, a photo of a combo plate from a seafood spot in Quincy, and a blog entry on five good "summertime" eateries.

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

Boston Restaurant Talk

Yogurtland Opens in Cambridge's Harvard Square

A4 Pizza Bar to Open in Somerville

Hogan's Run in Brighton to Close; Will Be Replaced by Lincoln Bar and Grill

Tuscan Kitchen May Be Opening in Burlington

Clover Food Lab to Open Brick-and-Mortar Restaurant in Cambridge's Kendall Square

Boston's Hidden Restaurants

New Review: Mi Pueblito in East Boston, MA

New Photo: Scallops and Clams Combo Plate from Tony's Clam Shop in Quincy, MA

New Blog Post: Five Good Restaurant Options to Usher in the Summer

Question: Best French Fries in the Boston Area?

Updated Review: Bianchi's Pizza in Revere, MA

Sichuan Gourmet House Opens in Newton

A new Chinese restaurant has opened in Newton, moving into the space where a Thai eatery had been.

According to a poster on the Chowhound site (and confirmed by the restaurant's website), Sichuan Gourmet House is now open on Beacon Street near the Walnut Street intersection, taking over the former Tom Yum Koong III spot (the other two locations of the Thai spot--in Arlington Heights and Medford--remain open). A few of the items on the Sichuan Gourmet House menu include sliced pork in garlic sauce, chives and egg pancake, dan-dan noodle, roasted duck, shredded chicken with asparagus, curry beef, Mongolian lamb, and clams in black bean sauce.

The address for this new Chinese dining spot in Newton is: Sichuan Gourmet House, 1138 Beacon Street, Newton, MA, 02461. Its website can be found at

Friday, June 21, 2013

Yogurtland Opens in Cambridge's Harvard Square

A California-based frozen yogurt chain that recently opened its first Boston-area shop has now opened another location.

An email sent today states that Yogurtland has opened in the Harvard Square section of Cambridge, joining another one that opened earlier this month on Harvard Street in Brookline. The new self-service frozen yogurt spot on JFK Street will be open from 11:00 AM to 11:00 PM Sunday through Thursday and 11:00 AM to midnight on Fridays and Saturdays. Two more locations of Yogurtland are on their way to the area as well, with one coming to Newbury Street in Boston's Back Bay and another coming to Centre Street in Newton Centre.

The address for this new frozen yogurt shop in Harvard Square is: Yogurtland, 57 JFK Street, Cambridge, MA, 02140. The website for the company is at

[Earlier Article]
Yogurtland Is Coming to the Boston Area

Legal Sea Foods Is Opening New Location in Braintree; Older Location Is Closing

Braintree will soon have two Legal Sea Foods across the street from each other, though only for a few months.

The Braintree Forum is reporting that the local seafood chain will open a new location at South Shore Place on Forbes Road in the middle of November, with the original one at the South Shore Plaza (which is across the street) remaining open until its lease expires in February of 2014. The article says that the new Legal in Braintree will have seating for 220 inside, with another 50 seats set up on a seasonal outdoor patio. Hours will be 8:00 AM to 1:00 AM Monday through Saturday and 11:00 AM to 1:00 AM on Sundays.

[November 7 update: According to a post on its Facebook page, the new Legal Sea Foods is now open at South Shore Place.]

[January 26, 2014 update: A Chowhound poster mentions that the location of Legal Sea Foods at the South Shore Plaza closed this weekend. (A phone call to the South Shore Place location has confirmed this.)]

The address for the new location of Legal Sea Foods in Braintree is 30 Forbes Road, Braintree, MA, 02184. The website for the Legal chain is at

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Fenmore American Bistro Is Opening in Former Maluken Space in Kenmore Square's Hotel Buckminster

[Ed note: This article was updated on June 24 to reflect a name given to the place.]

A new eating and drinking spot is coming to the Kenmore Square neighborhood of Boston, and it will be taking over the space where another restaurant had been within a hotel.

According to a job post on the Craigslist site, the Hotel Buckminster on Beacon Street is going to be opening an upscale restaurant, with an earlier Facebook post stating that the "stylish and casual" pub-style restaurant and bar would be replacing Maluken (a Japanese eatery). An earlier Facebook question asked readers to choose a name for the upcoming spot, with the two choices being "Cy's" and "K-Station" (with the "K" being backwards), but it is not yet known exactly what the name of the restaurant will be.

[June 24 update: A new job post on Craigslist indicates that the name of the restaurant coming to the Hotel Buckminster will be "Fenmore American Bistro."]

[July 29 update: The Restaurant Hub blog of the Boston Globe is reporting (via the restaurant's Facebook page) that Fenmore American Bistro opens today at 4:00 PM.]

The address for this new eating and drinking establishment (and the Hotel Buckminster) is 645 Beacon Street, Boston, MA, 02215. The website for the hotel can be found at

[New article from our sister site (Boston's Hidden Restaurants): Slideshow--Twelve of the Best Food Dishes of 2013 (So Far)]

Mangia Neapolitan Pizza Is Opening in the Former Park Street Books Space in Medfield

A small local chain of pizzerias is opening another new shop, with this one being in a space southwest of Boston where a bookstore used to be.

The Medfield Press is reporting that Mangia Neapolitan Pizza plans to open a new location in Medfield, moving into the former Park Street Books spot (the bookstore has moved to Main Street). The article says that the shop would actually be a combination pizzeria/frozen yogurt place, with the pizza place to the left and the frozen yogurt spot to the right, and outdoor seating would be available. The Zoning Board of Appeals may take a final vote on the proposed eatery in July, according to the Press.

Mangia currently has locations in Boston's South End, Canton, Cohasset, Holliston, Hopkinton, Norton, Sharon, and Wenham, as well as one in Barrington, RI.

The address for this new pizzeria in Medfield is Mangia Neapolitan Pizza, 26 Park Street, Medfield, MA, 02052. The website can be found at:

Rifrullo Cafe Is Opening in Brookline

In March we reported that a luncheonette in Brookline whose history had gone back at least 100 years closed its doors. Now we have learned that a new dining spot will be moving into its space.

The Brookline TAB is reporting that Rifrullo Cafe plans to open on Cypress Street, taking over the former Sealey's Lunch spot, and that the new place had its license application approved by the Board of Selectmen earlier this week. The article mentions that Rifrullo will be a "locavore establishment" that features freshly-made "health-conscious" prepared foods and will have approximately 15 chairs within the space, though it will concentrate more on takeout.

[October 17 update: A note from Cutty Foods in Brookline Village that was posted on the Boston's Hidden Restaurants Facebook page indicates that Rifrullo Cafe is open.]

The address for this new eatery in Brookline is: Rifrullo Cafe, 147 Cypress Street, Brookline, MA, 02445.

[Earlier Article]
Sealey's Lunch in Brookline to Close

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

A4 Pizza Bar Is Opening in Somerville

Last fall we reported that Area Four was looking to open a second restaurant, and this spring we learned that it would be opening in Somerville. Now we hear that the place will be an offshoot of sorts of the original restaurant.

UrbanDaddy states that A4 Pizza Bar will open on Somerville Avenue (just west of Union Square) in the space where The Bearded Pig had briefly been last summer. The article mentions that the new spot will feature pizza and beer, along with barrel whiskey, and that it should be opening sometime during the first week of July.

[July 8 update: The job posting section indicates that A4 Pizza Bar is now planning to open later this month.]

[August 9 update: Eater Boston is reporting that A4 Pizza bar soft opens this evening, with its official opening coming on Monday. (Hours are 5:00 PM to 1:00 AM tonight and Saturday night, with the place apparently being closed on Sunday.)]

[August 12 update: A bit more on A4 (from a press release), which officially opens today--the new restaurant is a casual spot that has 36 seats inside as well as a patio that will hold 15-20 more, with a custom-made wood-fired in the back and a bar made of compressed particle board. The pizzas available at A4 will have "the thin crispiness and cooked sauce of a New Haven pizza with the charred crust of a traditional Neapolitan pie," with cold slices being available at half price from 11:00 PM to 1:00 AM each night. Salads, appetizers, and desserts will be offered, along with a rotating list of 24 beers (including 8 on tap). Whiskey and fernet will also be available, though cocktails will not be on the menu.]

The original Area Four first opened at 500 Technology Square in Cambridge's Kendall Square in June of 2011, featuring pizza and comfort food dishes. It also has a bar and a bakery-cafe on the premises.

The address for this new pizza spot in Somerville is: A4 Pizza Bar, 445 Somerville Avenue, Somerville, MA, 02143. The website for the original Area Four is at

[Earlier Article]
Update: Area Four in Cambridge Is Apparently Opening a Second Location in Somerville

[New article from our sister site (Boston's Hidden Restaurants): Slideshow--Twelve of the Best Food Dishes of 2013 (So Far)]

Hogan's Run in Brighton to Close; Being Replaced by Lincoln Bar and Grill

A dive bar in Brighton that has been in business for more than 30 years is going to be closing, though a new spot is moving into the space.

Universal Hub is reporting that Thomas Hogan of Hogan's Run on Lincoln Street is planning to sell the drinking spot to Francis Thomas, who will pay Hogan $250,000 for the place and reopen it as the Lincoln Bar and Grill. UH also says that more options will be added to the food menu at the new place, and the "portholes" will make way for real windows. The Boston Licensing Board will be voting on the transaction tomorrow, according to the article.

There had been talk over the past few years that Hogan's Run had been up for sale..

[January 16, 2014 update: A Facebook post from the bar indicates that Hogan's Run has closed, with another post mentioning that the Lincoln Bar and Grill is now open in the space.]

The address for Hogan's Run (and the Lincoln Bar and Grill) is 8 Lincoln Street, Brighton, MA, 02135.

CitySprouts and Chipotle to Host a Fundraiser in Cambridge and Somerville, June 22, 2013

An organization that offers garden-based education programs in the Cambridge public schools is teaming up with a chain of Mexican restaurants for a fundraiser this weekend.

On Saturday, June 22, locations of Chipotle in Cambridge and Somerville will be raising money for CitySprouts from 12:00 PM to 4:00 PM, with 50% of all proceeds donated to the organization. All customers need to do is print out a flyer and bring it to any of the Cambridge or Somerville locations. The flyer can be found at the Facebook link below.

CitySprouts Flyer

For more on CitySprouts, please go to the following link:

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Gene's Chinese Flatbread Cafe in Chelmsford Is Opening a New Location in Boston

The person behind a Chinese eatery that features flatbread sandwiches and pulled noodles is going to be opening another location in the heart of downtown Boston.

Eater Boston is reporting (via a Chowhound poster) that Gene Wu of Gene's Chinese Flatbread Cafe on Littleton Road will be expanding, opening a second spot on Bedford Street in the Financial District. It looks like the new outlet, which will initially be open for lunch only, may be up and running by next month.

[June 25 update: A veteran poster on the Chowhound thread above says that Gene's Chinese Flatbread Cafe will be moving into the former Burritos Express space, which is at 86 Bedford Street.]

[July 9 update: The Restaurant Hub blog of The Boston Globe mentions that the new location of Gene's Chinese Flatbread Cafe in Boston plans to open early next week.]

[July 24 update: Eater Boston states that the new location of Gene's Chinese Flatbread Cafe is now open in Boston.]

Gene's Chinese Flatbread Cafe serves items found in the Shaanxi region of Northwest China, including dishes with hand-pulled noodles. Other items on the menu include flatbread sandwiches with marinated shredded meat, lamb stew, and more familiar offerings such as spring rolls and beef teriyaki. The website for Gene's Chinese Flatbread Cafe is at

[New article from our sister site (Boston's Hidden Restaurants): Slideshow--Twelve of the Best Food Dishes of 2013 (So Far)]

Fresh City in Boston's Seaport District Has Closed

A local group of quick-casual restaurants has closed its shop in the Seaport District of Boston.

According to a poster on the Chowhound site (and confirmed by the restaurant's website), Fresh City on Seaport Lane at World Trade Center East is no longer in business, with the poster saying that it shuttered last Friday. It appears that other locations of the eatery--including at the Landmark Center in the Fenway, Natick, Newton, and Woburn--remain open.

The Seaport District location of Fresh City was a breakfast and lunch spot that offered such items as bagels, pastries, soups, salads, burritos, stir-fry items, pizza, and sandwiches.

The address for this now-closed restaurant in the Seaport District was: Fresh City, 2 Seaport Lane, Boston, MA, 02210. The website for all locations can be found at

Update: Kaju Tofu House Replaces Shabu-Ya in Cambridge's Harvard Square

[Ed note: This article was updated on October 17 to reflect a slight name change for the place, which is now open.]

A Korean restaurant in Allston may be joined by a second location in Cambridge, with this one taking over the space where another Korean and Japanese eatery resides.

A License Commission General Hearing page on the City of Cambridge website mentions that Shabu-Ya on JFK Street in Harvard Square is requesting permission to transfer its wine & malt beverages as a restaurant license to what could be called Kaju Tofu & Shabu Shabu House, with the hearing taking place a week from today (Tuesday, June 25). The original location of Kaju Tofu House is on Harvard Avenue in Allston, with the dining spot offering a variety of tofu soups as well as Korean BBQ, clay pot options, and tofu-based dishes.

The new Kaju Tofu & Shabu Shabu House would have seating for 120 (plus an additional 32 banked seats) and would serve lunch and dinner seven days a week, according to the hearing page.

The address for Shabu-Ya (and the proposed Kaju Tofu & Shabu Shabu House) is 57 JFK Street, Cambridge, MA, 02138. The website for the original Kaju Tofu House in Allston is at

[October 17 update: Eater Boston reports that this restaurant is now open, and that it is actually called Kaju Tofu House rather than Kaju Tofu & Shabu Shabu House.]

Fugakyu Is Opening in Lynnfield

The folks behind several Asian restaurants in the Boston area are going to be opening another spot, with this one being north of the city.

According to the MarketStreet Lynnfield website, a new location of Fugakyu will be opening at the new open-air retail center, which is located near the intersection of Routes 128/95 and Walnut Street. Once it opens, the eatery will join the original Fugakyu in Brookline and a Fugakyu Cafe in Sudbury, along with two other affiliates--East Ocean City and Kaze Shabu Shabu Restaurant, both of which reside in Boston's Chinatown neighborhood. Expect to see sushi, rice and noodle dishes, and more at the new Fugakyu in Lynnfield.

[May 13, 2014 update: An email sent indicates that the new Fugakyu in Lynnfield plans to open sometime this summer.]

[July 25, 2014 update: A poster on the Twitter site mentions that Fugakyu has opened at MarketStreet Lynnfield. (A check on the restaurant's Facebook page indicates that it appears to be a soft opening.)]

The website for Fugakyu in Brookline can be found at while the website for MarketStreet Lynnfield is at

Tokyo Japanese Steakhouse to Open at the Mall at Chestnut Hill

Another new restaurant is on the way to the Mall at Chestnut Hill, and this one will feature Japanese fare.

The Boston Globe mentions in an article about a Cheesecake Factory coming to the mall that Tokyo Japanese Steakhouse will also be opening there, with an earlier Newton Patch article stating that it will be going into the space on the second floor where Bernard's had been (Bernard's, which is a Chinese eatery, moved a short distance east to The Street Chestnut Hill). Last week we reported that Besito, an upscale Mexican dining spot based in New York State, will also be opening within the mall.

It appears that the new Tokyo Japanese Steakhouse may be connected to another restaurant by the same name at the South Shore Plaza in Braintree, but we have not been able to confirm this as of yet. (Keep checking back for updates.)

The website for the Mall at Chestnut Hill says that Tokyo Japanese Steakhouse is planning to open on September 15.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Otto Pizza Is Opening in Lynnfield

Yet another restaurant is coming to an upcoming development north of Boston, with this one being a pizza spot with three locations in the area.

A check on the MarketStreet Lynnfield website shows that Otto Pizza is going to be opening in the open-air retail center that will debut later this summer near the intersection of Routes 128/95 and Walnut Street. Based on information coming from other restaurants and businesses opening at MarketStreet, it appears that the new Otto could be opening sometime in August. (Other dining spots coming to the complex include Davio's, Kings, the Yard House, and Legal C Bar.)

[November 12 update: According to a Facebook post from the eatery, the new Otto Pizza in Lynnfield is now open.]

Portland, Maine-based Otto Pizza currently has two locations in Brookline (Coolidge Corner and near BU) and one in Cambridge's Harvard Square. It also has two shops in Portland. The website for Otto can be found at

[New article from our sister site (Boston's Hidden Restaurants): Slideshow--Twelve of the Best Food Dishes of 2013 (So Far)]

Kennedy's Public House Is Opening in Norwood

It looks like an Irish pub and restaurant is on its way to Norwood, and it will be opening inside a hotel.

According to a job post on the Craigslist site, Kennedy's Public House is planning to open in early July and is currently looking to hire staff for its place. A page on the Bill Shea's Replacement Countertops site indicates that the eating and drinking spot will be located within the Hampton Inn on Route 1, though the hotel site does not appear to mention anything about it as of yet.

[August 12 update: The Norwood Transcript and Bulletin mentions that Kennedy's Public House is now open (it actually opened last month), with owner Finbar Griffin saying that it is looking to have an "in-town, upscale feel at a downtown price." Griffin, who also is behind such places as Mick Morgan's and Tommy Doyle's, says that the eating and drinking establishment takes its name from John F. Kennedy, with the focus being on the President's trip to Ireland in 1963. A few menu items at Kennedy's include short rib spring rolls, fried oysters, grilled tilapia, lobster linguine, beef wellington, and lamb chops.]

The address for this new Irish pub and restaurant in Norwood is: Kennedy's Public House, 434 Providence Highway (Route 1), Norwood, MA, 02062. The website for the Hampton Inn can be found at

Tuscan Kitchen and Tuscan Market Are Opening in Burlington

It looks like the person behind an Italian restaurant and market in Salem, NH is opening a second location closer to Boston.

The Burlington Union is reporting that Joe Faro of Tuscan Kitchen and Tuscan Market is planning to open a new restaurant at New England Executive Park in Burlington (next to the Burlington Mall). The article mentions the "proposed construction of a new restaurant, Tuscan Kitchen," with the spot having 9,000 square feet on the first floor of the building and it would "also include a 4,800-square-foot build-out," with seating for people both inside and outside. The Burlington Planning Board heard about the proposal for Tuscan Kitchen on June 6, with a public hearing continuing on June 20.

[July 23 update: The Burlington Patch states that Tuscan Kitchen received a liquor license from the Town of Burlington last week, and that the new spot is planning to have a cafe and a market (Ed note: it will be called Tuscan Market) in addition to the main restaurant.]

[June 18, 2014 update: A press release says that Tuscan Kitchen and Tuscan Market will open later this summer or early in the fall, with seating for 543 inside and another 101 outside.]

[September 29 update: According to a Facebook post, Tuscan Kitchen and Tuscan Market are now open in Burlington. (The restaurant is only open for dinner, at least for now.)]

The original Tuscan Kitchen in Salem, NH, features regional Italian fare in a space that is designed to look like an authentic Italian home in the countryside. A market is also located next door (both are on Main Street). The website for both can be found at

Clover Food Lab Is Opening a Brick-and-Mortar Restaurant in Cambridge's Kendall Square

The folks behind several vegetarian food trucks and two brick-and-mortar restaurants are continuing to look into opening permanent dining spots, as a new one is currently in the works for Cambridge's Kendall Square.

A poster on the Chowhound site has confirmed what Zagat mentioned back in April, that Clover Food Lab is going to be opening at Cambridge Center (by the Main Street/Ames Street intersection), with the earlier Zagat article saying that it could be open by late summer or early fall. (Ed note: It looks like it will be at 5 Cambridge Center, not 10 Cambridge Center as Zagat had said.) This will likely be the fifth brick-and-mortar restaurant for Clover, as locations in Brookline and Burlington will soon be joining two others in Cambridge (Harvard Square and Inman Square). Clover also has trucks that can be found in various parts of Boston and Cambridge.

[October 1 update: According to a License Commission General Hearing page on the City of Cambridge website, the new Clover restaurant will indeed be at 5 Cambridge Center, and it is looking to be open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner daily with alcohol offered (depending on whether they can get a malt beverages license). The dining spot plans to have room for 62 inside and another 24 outside.]

[December 9 update: Cambridge Day states that the new Clover in Kendall Square is opening this Thursday (November 12) from 11:00 AM to 2:00 PM and will feature a "pay what you want" offer that day, with all proceeds going to hunger relief organization Lovin' Spoonfuls. (The restaurant starts opening regular hours--7:00 AM to 11:00 PM--on Saturday.)]

The address for this new dining spot in Kendall Square is: Clover Food Lab, 5 Cambridge Center, Cambridge, MA, 02142. The website for Clover is at

Friday, June 14, 2013

Highlights for the Week Ending June 14, 2013

A few more stories and articles focusing on the Boston-area restaurant scene came out over the past week, including an "Olmsted-inspired" restaurant planned for Brookline, a food and drink-based karaoke cruise coming to Boston Harbor, and an update on the former An Tua Nua space. In addition, our sister site (Boston's Hidden Restaurants) included an updated review of an Italian restaurant in Hull, a blog entry on Twitter lists, and a photo of a breakfast dish from a Boston diner.

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

Boston Restaurant Talk

Fairsted Kitchen Plans to Open in Former Umami Space in Brookline

Strega Pizzeria and Cafe Plans to Open in Boston's North End

Besito to Open in Burlington, Chestnut Hill, and Lynnfield

Steakcation to Be Held in Boston, July 6, 2013

Arc to Replace An Tua Nua

Boston's Hidden Restaurants

Updated Review: Mezzo Mare in Hull, MA

New Photo: Half Moon Cookie from Maria's Pastry Shop in Boston, MA

Blog Entry: Twitter Lists to Follow (Or Become a Part Of)

Question: What Are Your Favorite Boston-Area Restaurants for Pasta?

New Photo: Breakfast Quesadilla from Victoria's Diner in Boston, MA