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Jan 21, 2011 11:24 AM

Kendall Square: The Boston's Area's Next Restaurant Row?

It appears that all of a sudden a number of restaurants are coming to Kendall Square, including Firebrand Saints (a rotisserie/sandwich spot owned by the person behind Central Kitchen), Area IV (a small plates/wood-fired pizza spot/green restaurant run by the Achilles Project people/owner of Lumiere), and Meadhall (an upscale gastropub-type place taking over the Quantum Books space). It sounds like there may be other restaurants in the works around there as well.

So is it possible that Kendall Square might become a destination spot for dining? Who woulda thunk that?

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  1. Love how Restaurant Row automatically links to Shrewsbury Street in Worcest - who woulda thunk THAT!?

    1 Reply
    1. re: Bob Dobalina

      Oh jeez, I just noticed that. It's gone now! (At least from my post!) :-)

    2. There were attempts in the further past, but they were always affected by the fact the streets were absolutely deserted at night due to limited housing (note that One Kendall is far from Kendall, but it is close to housing as are Bambaro and others along the river). Like the Fenway a lot of apartment and condo housing has been put up in past years (and a lot more scuttled by the economy), so I think restaurant owners are deciding its worth the risk although its a lot more spread out than something like Central Square. (Za to Emma's is probably the distance from Cragie to Green Street and there is a lot less in between.)

      1. Most restaurants are still going to need a strong lunch business to get by in Kendall. Firebrand Saints sounds promising. Meadhall looks like it is going to be a very big space. There are already a lot of gastropubby options on this side of the river.

        2 Replies
        1. re: Gabatta

          But, if a place is good enough - diners will come. Just look at Hungry Mother. And it seem like there is still untapped opportunity in the dinner and a movie option with the Kendall Square Cinema - the Quantum Books location is a quite close and it wouldn't take much to trump Cambridge Brewing Co. food offerings.

          Hungry Mother
          Cambridge, MA, Cambridge, MA

          1. re: sflory

            I am all for more options on this side of the river. Hungry Mother is an exception so far and it remains to be seen if they can sustain in the long term. Just look at the Blue Room. They serve consistently excellent food which trumps many similar establishments in Boston and elsewhere in Cambridge, yet it is one place you can always grab a prime Open Table reservation at the last minute for any weekend night.

            A bit outside of Kendall, but Bondir has been relatively quiet so far. We have been twice and without reservations both times (at prime times). This is for a place which has served me what might be my best meals in greater Boston in the last 12 months. Despite opening close to the holidays and with some bad weather, this place would be close to banged out in another location. They are small and good enough that Bondir will do fine in the long term, however the closer you get to Kendall it is still tough for good dinner restaurants to make it.

            The Blue Room
            Hampshire and Portland streets, Cambridge, MA 02139

            279 Broadway, Cambridge, MA 02139

        2. It's sure looking that way. I'd love to see it happen. Kendall Square is crying out for new places to cater to all the residents that have moved there in the last few years. It really lacks a night life scene.

          1 Reply
          1. re: somerville01

            Yes, this will happen.

            The market is underserved, just as the South End is now overbuilt.

            The intensity of demand is not quite there yet but it is within sight.

            The economics will prevail.

          2. The end of Kendall closer to 3rd St. & the T station is begging for a good, yet casual bar with great food...a place where the high-tech/MIT crowd would feel comfortable in afterwork. Everyone at my office goes to Characters at the Marriott. after work, but it has no atmosphere and the food is sub par and overpriced. I am really hoping that Meadhall will fill that gap.

            I am also always excited about new interesting lunch destinations in the area.

            Where specifically are Area IV and Firebrand Saints going to be located?

            1 Reply
            1. re: mangorita

              Area IV will be at 500 Technology Square (Main Street) heading toward Central Square. Firebrand Saints will be at the corner of Broadway and Third, in the heart of the square.