Friday, May 29, 2015

Shanghai Fresh to Take Over Picante Mexican Grill Space in Cambridge's Central Square

It looks like a new Chinese restaurant might be coming to the Central Square section of Cambridge--and it may be moving into the space where a Mexican eatery has been for nearly a quarter century.

According to a License Commission General Hearing page within the City of Cambridge website, Shanghai Fresh is seeking the wine and beer license currently held by Picante Mexican Grill on Mass. Ave., and although the note does not specifically say that the new spot would be at the same address, a similar listing on does say in the premise description that the entrance and exit are on Mass. Ave. and that the only address given on both sites is the one for Picante. If the transfer is approved, Shanghai Fresh would possibly have seating for 45 inside and another 16 outside, with hours being 11:00 AM to 11:00 PM seven days a week.

Picante, which first opened in Central Square in the early 1990s, also had a second location in the Davis Square section of Somerville that is no longer in operation.

The address for Picante Mexican Grill (and the proposed Shanghai Fresh) is 735 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, MA, 02139.

[June 2 update: Eater Boston mentions that there is a connecton between Shanghai Fresh and the highly-rated Allston restaurant Shanghai Gate, as the name of the person behind both places is the same--along with the name of the business partner. Shanghai Gate gets high marks from some local food critics, and our sister site (Boston's Hidden Restaurants) has awarded it "Best Of" for Chinese food four out of the past ten years.]

[July 15 update: A phone call placed to Picante this morning indicates that its last day of business is tomorrow. (Thanks to a source for bringing this to our attention.)]

[February 1, 2016 update: A new article from Eater Boston states that Shanghai Fresh is now open, and that it is indeed the sister restaurant to Shanghi Gate in Allston (and it has a similar menu).]

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[A related post from our sister site (Boston's Hidden Restaurants): List of Restaurant Closings and Openings in the Boston Area]