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August 2011 Openings and Closings

Here we go again. (Is it really August already? Damn...) What are some restaurants that are opening or closing this month? I just heard that The Capital Grille is moving from Newbury Street to Boylston Street with a planned opening date of August 24. Also looks like The Brahmin should be opening any day now on Stanhope Street. And Common Ground in Allston should be reopening shortly, under new ownership.

Not sure of any closings other than The Lyceum in Salem closing its doors yesterday.

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  1. Abigail's in Kendall Square appears to be set to open this month.

    Robinwood Cafe in JP has new owners; not yet clear how much the menu or concept will change.

    Catalyst in Area IV is angling for a late-August opening, though that might be optimistic.

    http://mcslimjb.blogspot.com/

    2 Replies
    1. re: MC Slim JB

      Abigail's has the paper down off the windows and looks complete. Should be any day now.

      1. re: Matt H

        I was walking by last night as they were taking off those huge photos from the windows and then on my way back, saw lot of activity inside. VERY good news for this neighborhood. I was told to come in on Friday night for opening night and may do so if it is not too crazy. The menu looks great.

    2. Firebrand Saints in Kendal and Five Horses in Davis are shooting for late August.

      1. Has "The African Cuisine" in Hyde Park (Boston's only W. African restaurant that I know of) closed for good? I was sad to read this by someone on Yelp, but I wanted to make sure it was true and that they weren't on vacation or something.

        -----
        The African Cuisine
        1248 Hyde Park Ave, Boston, MA 02136

        2 Replies
          1. re: galangatron

            yikes, that would be turrble. seeing aromatherapy lamenting the loss of nigerian goat pepper pot stew from the lowell festy had me thinking of returning to TAC for the same. say it ain't so.

        1. Someone just emailed me, saying that Genesio in Randolph was closed. I'm still trying to confirm--anyone know for a fact that the place is gone?

          -----
          Genesio Restaurant & Bar
          482 S Main St, Randolph, MA 02368

          1 Reply
          1. re: hiddenboston

            No cars have been at the site when I have been by for at least the last 3 weeks.

          2. It looks like Miso Market in Porter is getting ready to open this month, according to a sign in the window.

            4 Replies
            1. re: bear

              Just saw on Cambridge Day that it opened yesterday:

              http://www.cambridgeday.com/2011/08/0...

              Sounds like they are not fully stocked yet. I'm going to try to check them out in the hext few days.

              1. re: czarp

                Good news, but too bad they aren't going to carry produce or sushi.

                1. re: bear

                  So I went today. Pretty obvious that they are not fully stocked yet -- they could double the number of aisles and it still would not feel crowded.

                  One really nice touch: there is an assortment of real baskets you can use while shopping.

                  The owner mentioned that she hopes to get some produce and fish stocked soon, and that they will also be selling more takeaway lunches and snacks. (Today they had several seaweed-wrapped rice balls, some daikon salads, and an assortment of goods from Japanoise.)

                  1. re: czarp

                    Thanks for the report. I guess I misunderstood and thought they wouldn't have fish or produce, so this is really good news to me. I'll check it out soon.

            2. In another conversation,
              http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/7985...

              Tedmom reported on an upcoming hiatus for Bravo at the MFA,

              "When we received our bill, however, it came with a note that the restaurant would be closing soon (early August) for remodeling of both the room and the menu and would re-open sometime in September."

              Penny
              http://www.bostonzest.com/

              1. Blue Inc. started serving lunch today... we had a really nice (and quite large) charcuterie plate there on Friday night.

                1. A Twitter friend tells me that Journeyman has just reopened.

                  http://mcslimjb.blogspot.com/

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: MC Slim JB

                    Might that Twitter friend be Journeyman :)? They did write that they are open, so it's definitely the case.

                    1. re: hckybg

                      Actually, a civilian that lives nearby (or I would have cited the restaurant as a more authoritative source).

                      http://mcslimjb.blogspot.com/

                  2. Walking by today I saw that the pleasant Zenna's Noodle Bar at Coolidge Corner is temporarily closed due to a fire at the nail salon next door. They hope it is not too long before they re-open.

                    Q

                    1. Looks like Wild Willy's Burgers has opened in Quincy Point on Rt 3A. Have not been yet.
                      Also, Fore River Grill in N. Weymouth on 3A, I think has been opened for a couple of weeks. Have not been.
                      CocoDan

                      -----
                      Wild Willy's Burgers
                      1257 Highland Ave, Needham, MA 02492

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: CocoDan

                        The Wild Willy's in Quincy is indeed open, but it's suffereing from serious opening pains. Service slow, confused, l-o o o o o-n-g waits, even if you phone ahead. Burger overcooked, fries lukewarm; the only thing near good were the onion rings. Watertown has them way beat. I'll wait a few more weeks before giving them another try.

                        -----
                        Wild Willy's
                        46 Arsenal St, Watertown, MA 02472

                        1. re: keencook1

                          Thanks for the update. Drove by Sat. night, and it looked like they were doing some business.
                          I'll wait until someone says "go"! There are many good burgers in the area to experience service and food abuse.
                          Sorry you didn't Enjoy,
                          CocoDan

                          1. re: keencook1

                            I think Wild Willy's belongs on the Chains board, anyway.

                            http://mcslimjb.blogspot.com/

                            -----
                            Wild Willy's
                            46 Arsenal St, Watertown, MA 02472

                        2. Brahmin says its open. Big sign.

                          From their website: "Choosing to dine inside or al fresco at our 40 person patio overlooking beautiful Back Bay Boston,"

                          In actuality it overlooks an ally, a defunct fenced-in construction site and the Pike.

                          7 Replies
                          1. re: C. Hamster

                            It ain't no Cliffs of Moher, as one of my friends once said.

                            1. re: C. Hamster

                              In fairness, blue bloods tend not to dine out of doors, and their pasty complexions sunburn easily. I heard that space between Stanhope and the Pike canyon was to be turned into a park someday.

                              http://mcslimjb.blogspot.com/

                              1. re: C. Hamster

                                I think that Stanhope Street is one of the worst locations in the city.
                                #JustSaying

                                1. re: bgavin

                                  There are some pretty bad patios around. I might give the "worst" nod to Brasserie Jo. Huntington Avenue ain't much fun. A little shelter from traffic goes a long way.

                                  http://mcslimjb.blogspot.com/

                                  -----
                                  Brasserie Jo
                                  120 Huntington Avenue, Boston, MA 02116

                                  1. re: MC Slim JB

                                    I think the windblown, draped-in-shadow "patios" at Woodward, Four Green Fields, and Marliave look like something out of Blade Runner.

                                    1. re: robwat36

                                      Those are awesome - the Woodward spot in particular is like a wind tunnel test chamber. They really ought to put up some sort of baffle.

                                2. re: C. Hamster

                                  The giant "open" sign was up last weekend when we walked by, but they were closed - a worker told me they were opening this past Tuesday. Not sure if they actually did though - I can't get to Back Bay during the week much. Urban Daddy says they'll be open for the weekend.

                                3. Thanks for the tip on the captial grille. The place has been run down for a few years.

                                  1. The Aroma Bistro and Cafe, at 278 Highland Ave is closed. At least I think that's what was there last--Yelp has 3 different restraurants/cafes/bakeries at that address!

                                    Three Little Figs bakery will be opening in that space in September. Looks like it'll be mostly pastries, with a Greek pedigree. They currently bake in JP, and are available at City Feed and Supply, Voltage, Mystic Coffee Roasters, and the JP farmers market.

                                    http://www.3littlefigs.com/3LittleFig...

                                    -----
                                    Mystic Coffee Roaster
                                    30 Riverside Ave, Medford, MA 02155

                                    5 Replies
                                    1. re: emannths

                                      There is a gourmet bakery coming in to the Aroma spot - there was a mention of it here, but I cannot find it.

                                      1. re: Bob Dobalina

                                        I commented on it Bob, but can't find that either. All I know is what I tasted from 3LF at the Winter Farmers Market at the Armory (the avocado tea bread) is enough to make me really hopeful for their spot. That stuff was excellent.

                                        1. re: yumyum

                                          Looks like I missed the July mention: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/7932...

                                          And here's your commen on the Winter Market, yumyum: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/7704...

                                          1. re: emannths

                                            Wow...total tunnel vision on your original post, emannths....I think I must have stopped reading after the first paragraph. 3 Little Figs it is.

                                      2. re: emannths

                                        I think that is the sweetest, most wonderful name!! I would drag my a-- over there just because that!

                                      3. Anyone have any news on Wolfie's in South Boston? Old Kelly's Landing space. I saw that the sign just went up a few days ago and the inside has looked finished for a while...

                                        3 Replies
                                        1. re: senji000

                                          I drove by Wolfie's on Friday night, and it was not only open but packed. Saw a lot of plasma TV's hanging on the wall, but really hoping this is different than the typical Southie hangout (Stats, Playwright, etc.)

                                          Also saw that Owl Station Bar & Bistro by the Broadway T stop opened up the other week. Looks nice, but haven't seen many people in there.

                                            1. re: C. Hamster

                                              It's next to Teriyaki House on W Broadway, in the space where Triple O's used to be.

                                              -----
                                              Teriyaki House
                                              32 W Broadway, Boston, MA 02127

                                        2. gaga seafood restaurant has opened in the old pearl villa location on tyler street in chinatown

                                          1. Just got a notice that Abigail's on Third Street in Cambridge is opening Friday night. Can't wait. They are right across from Voltage in the Kendall Square neighborhood. The drink menu look fabulous and the menu appears to be friendly and not too expensive. I was able to get a sneak peak at the bar, which is just stunning. This little area is really perking up.

                                            1. Forgive me if this has already been mentioned (or if it was a July Opening)

                                              There is a new Dunkin Donuts on Memorial Drive in Cambridge next to the Mobile Station (near River). Might be tempted to run in when we get stopped in traffic at those lights.

                                              2 Replies
                                              1. re: viperlush

                                                A new Dunkin' Donuts? I didn't realize they were expanding. :-b

                                                1. re: hiddenboston

                                                  Yeah, it's amazing. I guess Starbucks taking over Harvard Square has forced DD to up their presence in Cambridge. At least it's not another bank.

                                              2. This has probably already been posted, but a quick search didn't show much. Driving on Belmont St. in Belmont, I noticed a sign for Samira's Homemade Egyptian and Lebanese Takeout and Wholesale. Her website says it will be opening soon. The blinds were drawn and it didn't look open this afternoon. Anyone have details?

                                                Talk about an embarrassment of riches for food from that region of the world in such a small area.

                                                3 Replies
                                                1. re: bear

                                                  She appears at some of the farmer's markets and sells to stores I believe as well.

                                                  1. re: tatsu

                                                    Right. I've gotten her stuff at Formaggio. I just wasn't aware that she was going to have a brick and mortar place.

                                                  2. re: bear

                                                    Writing about this place right now, actually. A couple is opening the place, and the wife started out at Formaggio, eventually going into full-time business with her husband, wholesaling their foods at Farmers' Markets and various stores (Pemberton, Russo's, etc.). And now they are opening a retail takeout spot and it looks like they will be moving their wholesale operation there as well. (Sounds like they may have been renting out or "borrowing" a commercial kitchen somewhere up to now).

                                                  3. While enjoying lunch at the Kendall's Sq's farmer's market last week, we were handed a card that said that Redbones had a "rib shack" at 300 Athaneum St, right by Genzyme Center in Kendall Sq. Try as I might, couldn't find it today so I assume it might be a coming soon? I did see a Redbones catering truck parked in that area this afternoon, but wasn't able to find anything remotely close to store front. I didn't find a reference on Red Bones web site to this location, and the promo card didn't read "coming soon" or have any indication it was yet to open. Am I just completely blind? Does anyone know anything about this?

                                                    26 Replies
                                                    1. re: kobuta

                                                      As much as I like to malign red bones, this is good info to know considering that I'm going to be working over in kendall starting 2 weeks from now

                                                      1. re: kobuta

                                                        I went searching for it on Monday as well (Got the same flier) and no luck either.

                                                        I've never been a big fan of Redbones, but the last visit a couple months ago showed a huge improvement over past trips, so I am a bit more excited about this than I typically would be without that most recent meal.

                                                        1. re: kobuta

                                                          I know Redbones has a food truck, but it mostly parks in Back Bay.

                                                          http://mcslimjb.blogspot.com/

                                                          -----
                                                          Redbones
                                                          55 Chester St, Somerville, MA 02144

                                                          1. re: kobuta

                                                            I saw this on a "foodie" friend's Twitter page yesterday and am trying to find out more info, but not much yet. Sounds like lunch only on weekdays, but that's about all I know at this point.

                                                            1. re: hiddenboston

                                                              Just got more info on the new Redbones spot. It'll be called The BBQ Rib Shack and it'll be a quick-service place with a bit of outdoor seating, a limited menu, and no alcohol. Sounds like it'll be mostly for workers in the area looking to get a quick lunch.

                                                              1. re: hiddenboston

                                                                I believe the hours are 11-3 and its located right by the Kendall Square Skating Rink Area next to Genzyme.

                                                                1. re: Matt H

                                                                  Confirmed by a story in The Feast this morning. The BBQ Rib Shack will be at 300 Athaneum Street, corner of Linskey Way, weekdays only, 11am to 3pm.

                                                                  http://mcslimjb.blogspot.com/

                                                                  1. re: MC Slim JB

                                                                    Just read on Boston.com that the hours are 11-5 with the option to expand hours down the road. They also said there is a chance it will be open tomorrow.

                                                                    1. re: Matt H

                                                                      Yes, there were conflicting reports as to their hours, but a good source just confirmed that the hours will indeed be 11-5. Also, there's a chance the place might not open until Monday, but we'll see I guess.

                                                                      1. re: hiddenboston

                                                                        Any information on if everything will be smoked on-site? Or in Somerville?

                                                                        I am trying to remember what the hours were on the flyer I received from them (cant find it anymore) but for some reason 5:00 closing time is what I recall.

                                                                        1. re: Matt H

                                                                          My guess is, the food won't be smoked there, but I'll try to find out. It really sounds almost like a food stand with a bit of outdoor dining. Not really a true restaurant...

                                                                          1. re: Matt H

                                                                            $100 says the City of Cambridge isn't allowing a live smoker to be set up outdoors in that neighborhood.

                                                                            http://mcslimjb.blogspot.com/

                                                                            1. re: MC Slim JB

                                                                              No, but MIT/Schumberger/Draper/Novartis/Genzyme labs are just fine.

                                                                              1. re: emannths

                                                                                Which ones of those are releasing unscrubbed smoke into the air?

                                                                                http://mcslimjb.blogspot.com/

                                                                                1. re: MC Slim JB

                                                                                  The MIT BBQs near Kresge ;-)

                                                                                  I wonder if they'd let the do it if they processed the waste smoke (which of course is WAY too complicated and expensive to be practical)...

                                                                                1. re: Matt H

                                                                                  Doesn't silk road bbq set up their charcoal pits in Cambridge?? I saw them at a Harvard Square festival as well setup on the MIT campus during their anniversarry. But do I expect them to, no especailly since smoking ribs takes a lot longer than a skewer of meat.

                                                                                  1. re: lc02139

                                                                                    Cambridge usually requires a paid detail from the Fire dept for events like that...

                                                                                2. re: MC Slim JB

                                                                                  Silk Road BBQ towed their custom made smoker and grill into Athenaeum and Kendall Streets, a few times a week, before they moved to Greenway. This was in 2009 or 2008.

                                                                                  I can haz 100 bucks?

                                                                                  -----
                                                                                  Silk Road BBQ
                                                                                  Rowes Wharf Plaza, Boston, MA 02110

                                                                                  1. re: tatsu

                                                                                    It was only late last year and maybe early this year. I remember hitting them in the winter months. They haven't been in Kendall for the last few months though and am said they won't be coming back to the Kendall area.

                                                                                3. re: Matt H

                                                                                  I would imagine they would just take the ribs produced at their commissary and reheat them on a grill.

                                                                                  1. re: LStaff

                                                                                    I saw Silk Road at the Saturday farmer's market in Waltham last weekend.

                                                                                    1. re: lergnom

                                                                                      Got a very nice couple pulled pork breakfast tacos from Silk Road at Waltham yesterday.

                                                                        2. re: hiddenboston

                                                                          Redbones Rib Shack in Kendall opens tomorrow at 11:00am according to boston.com.

                                                                          -----
                                                                          Redbones
                                                                          55 Chester St, Somerville, MA 02144

                                                                          1. re: MC Slim JB

                                                                            Don't tell Christine I called her a foodie. :-O

                                                                      2. Joshua Tree on Comm Ave closed, and the space is being renovated. Drove by this morning, and the name of the place is going up: B RLEY. Think it's BARLEY??
                                                                        The renovation is continuing on the building on Green St. in Coolidge Corner, on it's way to being a Japanese Bistro.
                                                                        I might be wrong, but I heard from someone that the space that was Minsok is becoming a daycare site.

                                                                        -----
                                                                        Minsok
                                                                        92 Harvard St, Brookline, MA 02446

                                                                        Joshua Tree
                                                                        1314 Commonwealth Ave, Allston, MA 02134

                                                                        3 Replies
                                                                        1. re: CookieLee

                                                                          Maybe it's short for B R'LYEH, Boston's first Cthulhu themed bar.

                                                                          1. re: CookieLee

                                                                            Yes, Joshua Tree on Comm. Ave. is becoming Barley Hall. Same ownership, though. Oh well.
                                                                            http://bostonrestaurants.blogspot.com...

                                                                            Galleygirl mentioned that the Minsok space would become a daycare on the July thread:
                                                                            http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/7932...

                                                                            1. re: Allstonian

                                                                              Well, that's unfortunate about the same ownership. I can't imagine it could be any worse. At least it will be clean, for a week or so.

                                                                          2. I have been wanting to try the dumplings at Unique Foods in Allston, a couple doors down from Garlic and Lemons - but the metal doors have been down for a month, and the phone has been disconnected.

                                                                            -----
                                                                            Unique Chinese Food
                                                                            145 Harvard Ave, Boston, MA 02446

                                                                            3 Replies
                                                                            1. re: okra

                                                                              From a Yelper:

                                                                              *** Possibly a summer vacation, according to reports ***
                                                                              *** But it's been 3 weeks ***

                                                                              That was a month ago.

                                                                              1. re: hiddenboston

                                                                                The website still mentions the East Cambridge location, current home of Curry Thai.

                                                                                Who writes "Move, then close" on a business plan?

                                                                                1. re: okra

                                                                                  The folks at Wisteria went for the even more daring "Move, then abandon the new location overnight and disappear off the face of the earth" option!

                                                                            2. New Thai restaurant building out a spot next to the closed Rod Dee in Coolidge Corner. They're joining two storefronts together, making a larger space, and one of the guys working said it was related to Rod Dee.

                                                                              4 Replies
                                                                              1. re: galleygirl

                                                                                I had heard awhile back that it was going to be Rod Dee, but perhaps it will have a new name?

                                                                                  1. re: galleygirl

                                                                                    :-) No one scoops me. NO ONE! :-D

                                                                                    By the way, Anthony's Pier 4 is closing (not right away, though). No surprise, I guess, with all the development going on there. They may reopen next door, but it doesn't sound definite.

                                                                                    1. re: hiddenboston

                                                                                      I'm guessing that Anthony's won't reopen in the Seaport.

                                                                                      http://mcslimjb.blogspot.com/

                                                                              2. Major re-do at Trader Joe's in Coolidge Corner. In addition to tearing up the back parking lot they added on space from the adjacent store (game store) and are busy rearranging all stock and reconfiguring the general layout. Just adds to the cheerful chaos that we always encounter there Sunday afternoon.

                                                                                -----
                                                                                Trader Joe's
                                                                                1427 Massachusetts Ave, Arlington, MA 02476

                                                                                11 Replies
                                                                                1. re: Berheenia

                                                                                  Ew, I dread that store on weekends. "Hostile chaos" is more like it.

                                                                                  http://mcslimjb.blogspot.com/

                                                                                  1. re: MC Slim JB

                                                                                    I finally stopped going to that store after stopping on one night to find a string quartet playing in the bread section. It was a little too precious after a long day of work.

                                                                                    1. re: LeoLioness

                                                                                      That sounds like a comedy sketch!

                                                                                      I like the store, like that it has parking, but weekends are brutal there.

                                                                                      http://mcslimjb.blogspot.com/

                                                                                      1. re: MC Slim JB

                                                                                        It sure felt like one, and I was playing the part of the Grumpy Woman Who Just Wants Her English Muffins and Eff All This Twee Sh*t and Sorry For Getting in YOUR Way, Cellist.

                                                                                        A little Coolidge Corner sometimes goes a long way.

                                                                                        -----
                                                                                        English Muffin
                                                                                        1989 Plainfield Pike, Johnston, RI 02919

                                                                                        1. re: LeoLioness

                                                                                          so true but I only have use of a car on Sundays and their wine is so much cheaper than anything else in Brookline....

                                                                                        2. re: MC Slim JB

                                                                                          I'm thinking T.J.'s belongs on the chain board???
                                                                                          CocoDan

                                                                                    2. re: Berheenia

                                                                                      Why do all the TJs have such bad parking? I stopped going to the one in Arlington Heights after realizing that I'm too old to get into a wild fistfight with another driver (and too slow to run away).

                                                                                      1. re: hiddenboston

                                                                                        There's no such thing as bad parking. Just bad parkers.

                                                                                        1. re: Bob Dobalina

                                                                                          I used to share a parking lot with the Senior Center in Arlington. I was always convinced they pulled out of there and moved on to the TJoe's lot.

                                                                                      2. re: Berheenia

                                                                                        FYI, the redo is mostly more space, not more products. I asked. This store currently carries about 95% of the TJ's stuff sold in the northeast. They may add a few items but most of the rest is stuff that they tried out in the area but doesn't sell well enough. Each area has its tastes.

                                                                                        1. re: lergnom

                                                                                          that place is such a fluster-cuck on weekends, i gave up going, never mind trying to take a car there.

                                                                                      3. Don't know if this has been mentioned anywhere before, but I noticed at the weekend that one of the units on Somerville Ave near Market Basket / Dane St. area (burgundy awning) has a sign up saying it's going to be a dosa place. That would be an interesting addition to that stretch.

                                                                                        3 Replies
                                                                                        1. re: chickendhansak

                                                                                          Yup, it'll be called Dosa Temple and is affiliated with the one in Ashland.

                                                                                          -----
                                                                                          Dosa Temple
                                                                                          59 Pond St, Ashland, MA 01721

                                                                                          1. re: hiddenboston

                                                                                            Thanks! Even more exciting than I thought.

                                                                                            1. re: chickendhansak

                                                                                              dosa temple is pretty good, i haven't compared to udapi bhavan tho

                                                                                        2. the eastern standard people will be taking over the foundation lounge space, and opening a "serious" craft cocktail bar. as opposed to the other bars where they serve terrible drinks. ;) possibly by end of month, or early september.

                                                                                          5 Replies
                                                                                          1. re: hotoynoodle

                                                                                            Thank goodness. I am so sick of that flavored-vodka BS they sling at Eastern Standard. Who do they think I am: Carrie Bradshaw?

                                                                                            http://mcslimjb.blogspot.com/

                                                                                            -----
                                                                                            Eastern Standard
                                                                                            528 Commonwealth Avenue, Boston, MA 02215

                                                                                            1. re: hotoynoodle

                                                                                              "Like drink but not pretentious" is what I've heard of the soon-to-be space. I didn't know drink menu's, TVs and a back-bar were pretentious. ;)

                                                                                              1. re: hotoynoodle

                                                                                                That reminds me - does anyone know whatever happened to the Sasha Petraske cocktail bar that was supposed to open downstairs at the W, like, a year or two ago?

                                                                                                1. re: robwat36

                                                                                                  The Petraske bar in the W Boston is to be called Descent. I figured after all this time that the plans had been put on indefinite hold, but now they're saying October or November.

                                                                                                  http://mcslimjb.blogspot.com/

                                                                                              2. Menu and web site are now up for Catalyst in Kendall Square. Says they are opening "soon" for dinner. Lunch in September.

                                                                                                7 Replies
                                                                                                1. re: mvi

                                                                                                  Ah, finally! A classy-looking website that doesn't rely on Flash and doesn't use PDFs for its menus! It's not the prettiest, for sure, but it works!

                                                                                                  1. re: Spenbald

                                                                                                    wow thats one of the better resto websites i've seen in a while

                                                                                                    1. re: jgg13

                                                                                                      Maybe a bit of that plain-text MIT culture is seeping out into the Kendall scene?

                                                                                                      Can it be long before silly iPad menus are replaced with telnet connections to a UNIX shell?

                                                                                                      1. re: chickendhansak

                                                                                                        I'd honestly like that :) It'd be sweet if they set somethign up like the old chargen port, you could just telnet to it and it'd stream a text version of a menu.

                                                                                                        Heck, I'd probably go to a place just *because* they did that.

                                                                                                        1. re: jgg13

                                                                                                          Stream it as a comma-separated list and I'm there.

                                                                                                      2. re: jgg13

                                                                                                        Good site, but they will have do a better job with SEO as 'catalyst' has a lot of associations in Cambridge.

                                                                                                      3. re: Spenbald

                                                                                                        I've been banging that "No Flash" drum for a long time, and codified all the sins that restaurants commit with their stupid websites in a very popular blog piece I wrote last year. (I'm hardly the first to make those observations, but I illustrated my points with examples from good and bad Boston restaurant websites.)

                                                                                                        Looks like Catalyst is paying attention to those lessons, as are a growing number of new restaurant websites I've seen lately. (Blue Inc. has a pretty good one by this standard. Area Four's is nice and simple, but they still miss basics like putting the phone number, hours and a reservations link on every page.) I think the growing prevalence of smartphones might be driving this. It's about freaking time.

                                                                                                        I've pointed the finger at gold-bricking website designers, but many of them insist that its the restaurant owners themselves that drive those miserable designs, pointing to some awful Flashy vanity site like Todd English's and saying, "I want something like that." The smarter ones are finally figuring out that a dumb website design costs them customers.

                                                                                                        http://mcslimjb.blogspot.com/

                                                                                                        -----
                                                                                                        Area Four
                                                                                                        500 Technology Square, Cambridge, MA 02139

                                                                                                    2. Saw that Valhalla is taking over the space of CCTV on Prospect St in Central Sq. Looks like people from All Asia.

                                                                                                      http://www.cambridgeday.com/2011/08/1...

                                                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                                                      1. re: hoolese

                                                                                                        The question is - will valhalla be like the crappy pan-asian resto that All Asia originally was, or the scuzzy punk rock/etc music club w/ crappy pseudo-chinese food that it became? Or will it be something else?

                                                                                                        1. re: jgg13

                                                                                                          It appears to be more of a name change than anything else, though the new place will have a lot more room than the old spot.

                                                                                                      2. Almost certainly a September opening, but Trina's Starlite Lounge is converting its little-used parlor side to a sports bar. Currently under construction, targeted to open in time for the NFL regular season. I'm hoping it will recall a bit of the old Abbey scene.

                                                                                                        http://mcslimjb.blogspot.com/

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                                                                                                        Trina's Starlite Lounge
                                                                                                        3 Beacon St, Somerville, MA 02143

                                                                                                        21 Replies
                                                                                                        1. re: MC Slim JB

                                                                                                          It won't...but this is a pretty good idea.

                                                                                                          1. re: MC Slim JB

                                                                                                            What is the little-used parlor side? If you mean the side that requires a walk around from the main entrance, turn right, and right again, that's disappointing news, because that seems to me the nicer side to drink most of the time.

                                                                                                            1. re: chickendhansak

                                                                                                              I always liked the parlor, too, but after a while it was down to being open only a couple of nights a week. This ought to be a much bigger draw for the neighborhood.

                                                                                                              http://mcslimjb.blogspot.com/

                                                                                                              1. re: MC Slim JB

                                                                                                                That is sad news, I loved Trinas and the side parlor was a great little spot, my neighborhood cocktail place. We need another sports bar like we need another Irish bar.

                                                                                                                1. re: hoolese

                                                                                                                  Where do folks around Inman go to watch the game? I wonder if maybe this could be a more awesome kind of sports bar.

                                                                                                                  http://mcslimjb.blogspot.com/

                                                                                                                  1. re: MC Slim JB

                                                                                                                    The Thirsty Scholar.
                                                                                                                    And yeah, I'd imagine Josh and crew would make it fun...food/wing specials or whatever.

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                                                                                                                    Thirsty Scholar
                                                                                                                    70 Beacon St, Somerville, MA 02143

                                                                                                                    1. re: rknrll

                                                                                                                      Yeah, we typically go to the scholar when watching games in that area.

                                                                                                                    2. re: MC Slim JB

                                                                                                                      The Druid is good for certain sports and much preferable to the Thirsty Scholar IMO.

                                                                                                                      1. re: chickendhansak

                                                                                                                        In general I agree but not for catching a game. The nice thing about the scholar is they have a gajillion TVs and you can get a decent view from pretty much anywhere. That's pretty much the only reason I go there though

                                                                                                                        1. re: jgg13

                                                                                                                          You make a fair point and in fact I used to go to the Scholar to watch football (soccer) but now I just make sure I get to The Druid super early for anything I want to see, and usually have no problem. That said, they are not a total-commitment venue in my experience and sometimes need to be asked to put the sound on, etc.

                                                                                                                          When big TVs and viewing angles have been a concern I've more recently gone to Tavern in the Square in Porter.

                                                                                                                          1. re: chickendhansak

                                                                                                                            Ah, I was going to mention that they have the game sound which is relatively rare then I realized that I tend to only go there for bigger games (e.g. sox playoffs). I try to avoid going to the porter TitS just because I really dislike that place, but sometimes we end up at spirit which is so-so.

                                                                                                                    3. re: hoolese

                                                                                                                      I agree, that side of Trina's was its oasis, especially on weekends, IME. In fact I've been there when that side was closed even though the rest of the place was packed. Maybe they had difficulty predicting when to close it.

                                                                                                                      1. re: hoolese

                                                                                                                        Yeah, I'm a fan of the parlor. Ah well :(

                                                                                                                        1. re: hoolese

                                                                                                                          You can still love Trina's, it's not going anywhere--just the one room. I liked that you could usually get a spot there but assume they are doing this because they need to. I'm sure whatever they do will be nice, perhaps a sports bar with TVs but not too many, and good drinks.

                                                                                                                        2. re: MC Slim JB

                                                                                                                          What is going to make it a "sports bar" exactly? A bunch of TVs?

                                                                                                                          I find the food at Trina's pretty dismal for dinner, but I could see them having fun with a snack menu for games.

                                                                                                                      2. re: MC Slim JB

                                                                                                                        Interesting. Journeyman in Union Square is doing the same- creating a bar in a separate space that is situated right behind the restaurant. Can't quite tell from the description how the two will link up the spaces. It won't be a sports bar though. They say it will be a "calm and comfortable environment" with an extensive drink menu. Opening mid-fall.

                                                                                                                        1. re: mvi

                                                                                                                          I walked through Allston yesterday and noticed that a place called Refuge Cafe is preparing to open in the old Herrell's space. It looks like they will have sandwiches and breakfast foods as well as "comfort food favorites." They have done some sprucing up on the outside of the building at least!

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                                                                                                                          Herrell's
                                                                                                                          155 Brighton Ave, Allston, MA 02134

                                                                                                                          1. re: lmuller

                                                                                                                            Yes, the owner of Buk Kyung and Myung Dong is opening it: she said she wanted to open it because she'd heard Starbucks was looking into the space. It's gotta be better than the last incarnation of Herrells was.

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                                                                                                                            Herrell's
                                                                                                                            155 Brighton Ave, Allston, MA 02134

                                                                                                                            Buk Kyung
                                                                                                                            MA, MA

                                                                                                                            1. re: Jenny Ondioline

                                                                                                                              Korean "comfort food favourites" ? Maybe Korean breakfast and sandwiches ?

                                                                                                                              1. re: Nab

                                                                                                                                My understanding is that it's a strictly American menu, it's just that it's owned by a Korean woman.

                                                                                                                              2. re: Jenny Ondioline

                                                                                                                                I think that qualifies her as a community benefactor!

                                                                                                                        2. As alluded to in another thread, Village Fish, in Needham, has closed.

                                                                                                                          I heard from a friend of the owner, that they are reopening this fall in the same location as a "BBQ/Sportsbar", keeping some of the more popular items from the current menu. They've gotten a smoker and are currently working on the rehab.

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                                                                                                                          Village Fish
                                                                                                                          970 Great Plain Ave, Needham, MA 02492

                                                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                                                          1. re: L2k

                                                                                                                            not saying it won't happen, but so far, this is not an accurate forecast. village fish still operating as usual ,per the other thread.

                                                                                                                            people might want to call before they go.

                                                                                                                            http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/803879

                                                                                                                          2. heng heng 2 on chelmsford street in lowell is now neak meas restaurant

                                                                                                                            1. L'Impasto in North Cambridge (Mass Ave near Dover St) is now open. Sign in the window says that they are baking their own focaccia and loaf breads.

                                                                                                                              1. Club Choices in Union Square is to become "Radio Bar" with rock bands and a locavore American comfort food menu, apparently.

                                                                                                                                http://www.wickedlocal.com/somerville...

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                                                                                                                                Club Choices
                                                                                                                                379 Somerville Ave, Somerville, MA

                                                                                                                                2 Replies
                                                                                                                                1. re: chickendhansak

                                                                                                                                  Wait, they aren't doing any remodeling? I've never been there, but the outside doesn't suggest an interior that would fit the food they describe. Maybe I'm judging a book by its cover? Any insight from anyone who's been?

                                                                                                                                  1. re: hckybg

                                                                                                                                    That does seem odd and I haven't been in several years but don't know of many changes. The upstairs is a hard (concrete?) dance floor with basic hi-tops and a reasonable sized bar a step up and separated by a small fence. Downstairs is split into a few alcoves, with a pool table and some couches. The kitchen was downstairs and in the not so recent past cranked out Caribbean food. Upstairs had pretty minimal natural light. More space and maybe a step up from a dive bar, but its not where you would expect locavores. For the bands' sake I would hope they might do some acoustics work and I suspect the main focus will be as a bar, rather than restaurant, but focusing on the latter in PR certainly helps with approvals.

                                                                                                                                2. News from Zagat:

                                                                                                                                  http://www.zagat.com/buzz/fall-previe...

                                                                                                                                  Looks like they are all opening in October and beyond.

                                                                                                                                  1. Went by the Viet Grill in Canton and it was closed. Having Crispy Hen withdrawal!

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                                                                                                                                    Viet Grill
                                                                                                                                    645 Washington St, Canton, MA 02021

                                                                                                                                    1. Looks like Five Horses Tavern is still on track to open this Thursday.

                                                                                                                                      1. Since there isn't a September topic yet, I'll mention that Braza Bar and Grill (in the Cafe Belo space on School Street) is doing a soft opening starting this Sunday 9/4. Rodizio is $9.99, which was what CB was offering, but no idea if they will maintain that price.

                                                                                                                                        2 Replies
                                                                                                                                          1. re: opinionatedchef

                                                                                                                                            When I posted I thought there was additional info above, but must have been in the July edition. This is in Everett Square just a few steps down school street from the large intersection of Broadway/Chelsea/Norwood/School and more. Its in a former Polynesian restaurant which housed the second establishment of Cafe Belo in Everett (the first Cafe Belo was most recently "Brazilian Country"). There municipal lots behind the restaurant, in a triangle between Norwood/School/Corey. Anything I have seen from the owners is regarding entertainment, so aside from the focus on churrasco, I have no idea about the food.

                                                                                                                                        1. Champions Sports Bar Opened up another location at the Cambridge Marriott in Kendall. Not exactly a good food destination based on the other locations, but should have a good selection of games playing with alot of TV's.

                                                                                                                                          1. Villa Mexico will be closing in September sometime. The owner had problems with the landlord about the ability to keep food fresh for years. Now the building is slated for housing is what I heard. Too bad.

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                                                                                                                                            Villa Mexico
                                                                                                                                            296 Cambridge St, Boston, MA 02114

                                                                                                                                            2 Replies
                                                                                                                                            1. re: Guinness02122

                                                                                                                                              whew. this sooo skyrocketed to the top of CH Bum Steers for us.

                                                                                                                                              1. re: opinionatedchef

                                                                                                                                                I think the inconsistency can be blamed on the owner of the building who didn't keep the electricity on all the time. A lot of food needed to be thrown out because of this. I think the building went through enormous neglect, as did the tenants. I never had a bad experience there, and my most recent was less than a month ago.

                                                                                                                                            2. Mt Everest Kitchen, the Nepali restaurant on Brighton ave, seems to be closed. Windows are papered up, and there was a handwritten note saying that another restaurant (don't remember the name - it sounded either Chinese or Korean) is coming soon.

                                                                                                                                              This must be very recent, as there is a Yelp review of this place from 8/26.

                                                                                                                                              :(

                                                                                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                                                                                              1. re: Prav

                                                                                                                                                I just noticed the papered-up windows this morning, as I passed on the bus.

                                                                                                                                                The terse Yelp review from 8/26 didn't say anything about when they actually went there - I honestly don't know how long they've been closed.

                                                                                                                                              2. Just drove by and saw that Veggie Galaxy in Central Square has opened.

                                                                                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                1. re: Gabatta

                                                                                                                                                  A friend informed us this was a private event with opening later in the week. Judging by the line out the door at Life Alive every night, this place will do well.