Thursday, January 28, 2016

The Automatic Bar to Replace Atasca in Cambridge

[Ed note: This article was updated on February 14 to reflect new information given, including who is behind the upcoming restaurant and the space is will be taking over.]

It looks like a brand new restaurant and bar is replacing another dining spot in Cambridge, and a legendary local bartender appears to be involved with the place.

A Twitter post from a couple of days back indicates that an Instagram page quietly appeared two weeks ago for The Automatic Bar, which says it will be a "neighborhood restaurant opening in Cambridge sometime between early summer and 2099." A hashtag for #americascousin shows on the page appears to refer to another Instagram page, this one for Dave Cagle, who is known for his bartending (and other jobs) at such places as the now-closed B-Side Lounge in Cambridge, Green Street in Central Square, Lone Star Taco Bar in Cambridge and Allston, Deep Ellum in Allston, Trina's Starlite Lounge on the Somerville/Cambridge line in Inman Square, and the ONCE Lounge within Cuisine en Locale in Somerville.

The B-Side Lounge was a place that was hugely influential to many of the region's present-day cocktail spots, with a number of well-known people within the local food and drink scene working there at one time or another before it closed in 2008 (including Dave Cagle).

[February 14 update: Eater Boston is reporting that The Automatic will be opening on Hampshire Street, moving into the space where the Portuguese restaurant Atasca has been since 2000 (Atasca first started out on Broadway in the mid-1990s), with the article also saying that Chris Schlesinger--who has run such places as East Coast Grill in Cambridge and the Back Eddy in Westport--is teaming up with Dave Cagle to open the new spot. EB says The Automatic will offer food that will "have that Chris Schlesinger mark on it" and the drinks list will feature classic cocktails, while the space will have seating for 74 inside and another 40 on an outdoor patio. It appears that Atasca might be closing in May, with The Automatic possibly opening in the middle of that month.]

[April 1 update: A new article from Eater Boston states that Atasca has closed, with owner Joe Cerqueira now focusing on Rocco's in Wilmington, which he purchased last year.]

[November 19 update: Eater Boston mentions that The Automatic opened to the public for drinks yesterday and will do the same tonight, with dinner service starting on Monday (it is closed Sunday) and lunch coming soon.]

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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]