HOME > Chowhound > Greater Boston Area >

Discussion

October 2011 Openings and Closings

  • 153
  • Share

All right, all, here we go again. Any upcoming openings or closings this month? A few openings that come to mind include Wahlburgers in Hingham, Sweet Cheeks in the Fenway area, and Render Coffee in the South End. Not sure about closings right now, though it looks like Gargoyles in Somerville closed for good this past weekend.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
Delete
Posting Guidelines | FAQs | Feedback
Cancel
  1. a dessert stand called lickie lickie has opened in the food court at hong kong market in allston

    5 Replies
    1. re: galangatron

      That's awesome.

      1. re: galangatron

        galangatron, do they have a website? I was going to Google it, but figured I'd come up with results that would make my hair stand on end.

        1. re: hiddenboston

          no

          1. re: galangatron

            It's probably best that they don't have a website. :-b

        2. re: galangatron

          I was at the food court yesterday, and took a look at lickie lickie. I didn't try anything. They have ice cream and yogurt and a few other special desserts, but it didn't strike me as being very special. Am curious to hear if/when others try it...

        3. I hadn't heard about Render Coffee until now, as far as I know they are the first coffee bar in town to serve Counter Culture (though Clover occasionally does use their beans). I had heard rumors that Counter Culture was looking to expand into Boston; in DC and elsewhere they have training centers and the Counter Culture website mentions they are considering opening one in Boston, so I'd expect to see more of their coffee around. I like it very much, though we have the benefit of two great roasters in town (Barismo and George Howell) and several other great regional roasters (Barrington, Matt's Wood Roasted). I'll look forward to trying Render, though I hope they include some of the area roasters among their featured beans.

          4 Replies
          1. re: hckybg

            Counter Culture Coffee has been served at various spots around the city. Espresso Royale Caffe/Pavement Coffeehouse has been serving them and recently switched over to them as their house roaster. They'll be setting up a training center in Union Square ready sometime early-2012. Render Coffee (rendercoffeebar.com) will open soon and will feature guest roasters as well.

            -----
            Render Coffee
            563 Columbus Ave, Boston, MA 02118

            Pavement Coffeehouse
            1096 Boylston St, Boston, MA 02215

             
            1. re: yehwan

              Funny, I just went to Pavement the other day (for the first time in a few months) and noticed that everything was now Counter Culture. I liked that Pavement offered a range of beans, which was nice for comparison. I don't mind Counter Culture at all, but I do hope that places that use them still do mix in others. That is the best part of RBC, one of my favorite New York cafes, which rotates perhaps six or seven roasters.

              Do you mean Union Square, Somerville, I assume? Their training facilities typically host events and training for both their dealers and for the public, right? Not cafes? That's interesting, Inman Square is increasingly at the center of our budding coffee culture.

              1. re: hckybg

                RBC?! hckybg, now you've got my attention. But, I think you would agree that RBC offering multiple roasters/brew methods is the exception. (Hurts to be spoiled)

                Yes...close to the heart of the square. The Boston training will be in the mold of their other centers but double the size of New York. Yeah, I love living in Area 4. I gather you're excited for the opening of Dwelltime Coffee Bar as well?

                -----
                Dwelltime Coffee Bar
                364 Broadway, Cambridge, MA 02139

                1. re: yehwan

                  Yes, very excited for dwelltime, which is very close to my home. They do say they will also feature other roasters, but I'm generally just a big fan of Barismo because they try lots of different things and remain a local roaster. RBC is actually the only place I've seen their beans outside Boston, though I'd assume there might be others.

                  I had a nice experience at Area Four the other day, they always have a guest roaster too. Their espresso was from Novo, which I hadn't had before. It was tasty, though I don't meet a lot of espresso I don't like as long as it's well pulled.

          2. For those looking for good tortilla, fresh masa, etc, La Nina Tortilleria just opened in Chelsea. $2.50/lb for tortillas.

            http://laninatortilla.com/

            http://www.boston.com/lifestyle/food/...

            1 Reply
            1. re: emannths

              That is really good news. I see a field trip coming soon. Fresh masa for tamales. Yes!

            2. In Harvard Square where most recently the short lived Congo was, there are paper signs up saying a Sushi/Wine Bar is coming soon. There is no activity going on inside the space that I can tell.

              2 Replies
              1. re: SEH

                That sounds about right :).

                1. re: hckybg

                  Sushi/Wine bar? I give it six months, if it ever opens. Bring back that coffee shop that was there for ages before the revolving door.

              2. I follow The Pulse Cafe on Facebook where there have been rumblings about the fact that they are looking for a buyer and will close by the end of the month unless they find someone to take it on. I follow a mainly vegan diet (I do eat fish) and have not been over there yet myself as I heard mixed things about it, but I feel like I should go over and check it out.

                9 Replies
                1. re: mvi

                  That's too bad. I was hopeful for this place - initially it was not so good, then it seemed to find its footing and I patronized about once or twice a month between eat-in and take-out and was generally happy - salads were fresh and plentiful, if simple - entrees were a bit hit-or-miss but the flavors were generally good. Then they went and changed the menu, adding breakfast fare all-day and veggies burgers/sandwiches, and deleting the more interesting weekly rotation of entrees. I wonder if True Bistro siphoned off some of their clientele. Plus, the place was really dingy, in a Portlandia sorta way. It did kind of break my heart a little to watch people walk by Pulse and sneer at the menu on their way to Posto.

                  1. re: Bob Dobalina

                    I have to try it. They have cut back on their hours so I'll see what I can do. If I see any more news on their Facebook page, I'll post it.

                  2. re: mvi

                    I wanted to like this place a lot, and loved the idea of vegan "gourmet food" near me. But twice in a row, they served me over-steamed, limp, unseasoned vegetables (asparagus and broccoli). If a vegan place can't cook vegetables competently, I find it hard to give them business.

                    1. re: Boston_Otter

                      Are you referring to Pulse or True Bistro? Pulse never really billed itself as gourmet, as far as I know. TB does go for the gourmet gold, and my one dining experience there was excellent.

                      1. re: Bob Dobalina

                        I shouldn't have said 'gourmet', you're right. What I meant was that all of the other vegetarian/vegan places in the area focused on wraps, while Pulse served vegan 'calamari', raw-food 'pizzas', and other interesting things... at first.

                        1. re: Boston_Otter

                          That must have been in its really really early days. Never saw anything quite that creative on the menu while I was sampling. How was the vegan calamari? WHAT was the vegan calamari?!

                          1. re: Bob Dobalina

                            I think I had the vegan calamari. I think they were some sort of fired mushroom that came with a garlicky dipping sauce and were good. I am not vegetarian, but went there when it first opened with someone who is a semi-vegetarian and I thought the food was creative and pretty good. Did they ever start to serve wine/beer? I think it's tough for restaurants without the profit from alcohol.

                            1. re: pemma

                              Thanks for the responses. That actually sounds like something you could approximate at home, too.
                              No liquor license there - another area where True Bistro had them beat.

                            2. re: Bob Dobalina

                              pemma has it right -- they were some kind of mushroom (oyster?) that was cut into rings and sort of tempura fried. They approximated calamari rings pretty well but didn't last long on the menu. I tried the seitan 'roast beef' as well but honestly, it just tasted like store-bought seitan with some generic brown gravy. I loved their cornbread, though.

                    2. http://www.boston.com/Boston/business...

                      About 30 Mass area Friendly's are closing. Boo hoo...

                      I have only been there once in the past 10 years. We stopped at the one in Gardner, MA in a rush. My burger was cold and raw, which was representative of the overall food. Even growing up, I always opted for Newport Creamery over Friendly's where we lived.

                      10 Replies
                      1. re: Gabatta

                        Friendly's were always pretty good for me, but like most people it seems, I have not been there in at least 10 years, or maybe more. Back in the 80s heyday, the big beefs, tuna melts and reece's sundaes had no equal.

                        1. re: Bob Dobalina

                          I lived next door to the Fr in Brighton Center back in the early 70's and those tuna melts were the best! (particularly on a student budget)

                        2. re: Gabatta

                          There was a Friendly's at the end of my street growing up, so I'll always have fond memories of Conehead Sundaes. But yes, I have probably only been once since that one closed almost 20 years ago.

                          1. re: Gabatta

                            I'm glad the one in Watertown isn't closing... yet. I still enjoy them once in a great while.

                            1. re: Gabatta

                              Their ice cream was never as good as Brigham's.

                              1. re: pemma

                                If Wikipedia is correct, Friendly's manufactures Brigham's ice cream. It doesn't mean that Brigham's can't be better (the recipe is probably not the same), but in the context of your comment, it's a funny coincidence!

                                http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brigham&...

                                1. re: emannths

                                  Wikipedia is incorrect. It's Hood that manufactures Brigham's.

                                  1. re: Velda Mae

                                    Seems you're right. Not sure where's the Friendly's bit came from!

                                    Source: http://www.boston.com/business/ticker...

                                    1. re: emannths

                                      And I believe that Brigham's manufactured their own ice cream until Hood bought them a couple of years ago.

                                      1. re: bear

                                        they did! the factory used to be behind my house...makes me sad to see the gaping hole in the ground now where it used to stand :(

                            2. Robinwood Cafe $ Grill in JP is now under new ownership.The sign on the window says "fusion of American/Italian/Japanese. ???

                              5 Replies
                              1. re: 66corvair

                                If they add German food, it's like ...world war II in a bowl.

                                1. re: gourmaniac

                                  LOL

                                  1. re: gourmaniac

                                    Hopefully their dishes won't feel like World War II in our stomachs.

                                    1. re: hiddenboston

                                      There are already plenty of Sichuan restaurants for that!

                                  2. re: 66corvair

                                    Robinwood was already under new ownership when I reviewed it back in August for The Phoenix, but the menu had not changed at all. It still looked like a Greek-American owned diner, with gyros and such still being served alongside lots of deep-fried stuff, subs, pan pizza, plates of eggs with sad home fries, pretty reasonable burgers, and entrees like pretty fair steak tips and dried-out meatloaf with gloppy brown gravy, instant potatoes, and frozen broccoli. The website still has the old menu: http://www.robinwoodcafegrille.com/

                                    The main thing they talked about changing was doing better baked goods, which was needed: pretty sad muffins and such. I thought it was okay for what it was; will be curious to hear more about this new direction.

                                    http://mcslimjb.blogspot.com/

                                  3. Firebrand Saints in Kendall opened on the 5th. Haven't been, so would be curious to hear the scoop on the place.

                                    8 Replies
                                    1. re: Uncle Yabai

                                      I walked by this space the other day but it was in the morning and very quiet. Their web site looks more like a blog that details their construction progress. Do you know anything about the menu or the hours? Lunch? Thanks. It's not far from me, so I'd love to try it out. So many new places in the Kendall Square area these days. Exciting.

                                      1. re: Uncle Yabai

                                        Looks like they've got a website with menu (http://www.firebrandsaints.com) and a short piece by Devra First in the Globe (http://tinyurl.com/3qnjhvo). I'll probably try it out for lunch soon. Although they don't have their hours listed....

                                        1. re: erwocky

                                          Just dinner now. I walked by last night. They open at 5. It was totally packed at 6:30. Loud. Looked like fun.

                                          1. re: mvi

                                            Loud music or conversation bouncing off surfaces loud? Can you enjoy a conversation or will you have to text your dining companion?

                                            Penny
                                            http://www.bostonzest.com/

                                            1. re: BostonZest

                                              Hi Penny. Great question. When I popped in, I stayed in the doorway, chatting with the hostess, so I can't give a completely qualified answer, but at the time I'd say it was quite the scene and had the feel of a very rowdy, yet sophisticated frat party before the effects of long term drinking kick in. Appealing but loud. Mind you, it was a week night at 6:30, so I do not know what weekends are like and I have not really ventured in, so this is really not a very worthy account. I live nearby, though, so when I go in for the real deal, I'll get back to you. hopefully that will be soon. It really does look like a fun place. I do not think I'd go there for an intimate evening with my sweetheart.

                                              1. re: mvi

                                                "...the feel of a very rowdy, yet sophisticated frat party before the effects of long term drinking kick in. Appealing but loud."

                                                Now that's a vivid description, although I question the "appealing" part. De gustibus and all that.

                                                1. re: Allstonian

                                                  "So, this is a [MIT] bar. I thought there would be like equations and sh*t on the walls." --Chuckie, Good Will Hunting

                                          2. re: erwocky

                                            Any place that serves 1/2 pints is worth a go. So many places in Kendall now for after work drinks.

                                        2. some work finally going on at the old Steve's on Holyoke St in Harvard Sq, which has been "under renovation" for a long time. Ditto the highly touted new coffee place in Porter Exchange.

                                          3 Replies
                                          1. re: LauraBear

                                            You mean that "First Printer" vaporware?

                                            1. re: LauraBear

                                              work has ramped up on the place in Porter, and they've taken the paper down from the windows. If the construction reports are to believed and I think they're probably in the right ballpark) we should see it open before Thanksgiving.

                                              1. re: LauraBear

                                                The place on Holyoke Street (a former bank, complete with vault) was never Steve's; it was Herrell's.

                                              2. A post on Facebook indicates that Gargoyles in Somerville may in fact be open Oct 6-8 from 5:30-12:30 for cocktails and bar menu. Despite "closing permanently" twice now, they insist that this is their final few days open.

                                                10 Replies
                                                1. re: Boston_Otter

                                                  This is akin to the person who quits his or her job and then keeps coming back to the office over and over and over again to have lunch with workmates and catch up on things.

                                                  1. re: Boston_Otter

                                                    I hafta say I think this is very odd. I was sad to miss them before they closed and then sad to miss them when they were re-opened again (had visitors from out of town) and now to hear they might be open again for one last gasp? I smell some nostalgia-milking from the owners to capitalize on the genuinely good will of the former patrons. Am I being too cynical?

                                                    1. re: yumyum

                                                      I find it intensely irritating. When they had their big "closing forever" weekend, they made it really clear that the last day they'd be open would be a big good-bye to all of their patrons. I got a big group together for one last drink at Gargoyles.. and was told that they'd decided to close forever a day early. Then a week later they re-opened. Then closed forever. Now they're doing it again. It's sorta like Cher giving a half-dozen "farewell tours".

                                                      1. re: Boston_Otter

                                                        There's just a weird "No this time we REALLY REALLY MEAN IT" vibe to the re-openings. Kinda leaves a bad taste in my mouth.

                                                        1. re: yumyum

                                                          They have the Brett Favre syndrome.

                                                          1. re: jacquelines

                                                            So if the new Mexican place that takes over is really awesome, are the old Gargoyles folks gonna start carping that any place could have succeeded with such a great storefront?
                                                            http://espn.go.com/nfl/story/_/id/706...

                                                            1. re: hckybg

                                                              I hope so, but then the Food Network will run with it and create a new show while some how justifying Guy Fieri being thrown into the mix.

                                                          2. re: yumyum

                                                            Another update: I went to their last-ever closing-forever day last weekend for one last cocktail.... and just found out that they're open again this weekend. So at this point I give up and assume that they're going to stay open as long as possible until the new owners force them out.

                                                            1. re: Boston_Otter

                                                              I just posted on one of the Afterlife FB pages to confirm if this is true. It's so odd, isn't it?

                                                      2. re: Boston_Otter

                                                        The investors want out but the managing investor wants/wanted to keep it open. The space will be taken over by the folks behind Posto. It will be a Mexican joint.

                                                      3. Per Thrilllist another Japanese place for Coolidge Corner Osaka Japanese Sushi & Steakhouse
                                                        Opening tomorrow at 5p:on Green St.

                                                        11 Replies
                                                        1. re: Berheenia

                                                          It's in the space that was formerly the Kabbalah center (and long before that, a small synagogue whose name I can't recall, although I do remember that they never shoveled their sidewalks in the winter - one of my pet peeves, especially in a neighborhood which had so many elderly residents at the time.)

                                                          1. re: Allstonian

                                                            I don't recall it being a synagogue before that. It was a dance center. The synagogue down the street may have used it when they were rebuilding after a fire.

                                                            1. re: CookieLee

                                                              Oops - you're right, I was thinking of Young Israel, a block further down Green Street.

                                                              1. re: CookieLee

                                                                There was a religious organization in there before Kaballah. Hebrew College used it for overflow of their Prozdor high school program. That was after the landlord essentially refused to sell the building to the Brookline Community Education group that everyone loved.

                                                            2. re: Berheenia

                                                              They spent a fortune on the interior. It's a risk: Green is the side street off Harvard between Peet's and the suddenly closed Friendly's concept restaurant. I assume lots of valets. The inside looks very nice.

                                                              1. re: Berheenia

                                                                Osaka is purportedly a hibachi restaurant, by which I think they mean they're a teppanyaki joint (that also serves sushi, sigh.)

                                                                http://mcslimjb.blogspot.com/

                                                                1. re: MC Slim JB

                                                                  I was informed they want to focus on real Asian street food.

                                                                  1. re: Unfoodie

                                                                    So, Osaka intends to do more than strictly Japanese?

                                                                    http://mcslimjb.blogspot.com/

                                                                    1. re: MC Slim JB

                                                                      I was given the impression that it was going to focus on Asian street food but it might just be Japanese street food. The conversation took place months ago.

                                                                      1. re: Unfoodie

                                                                        I walked in today (10/11). They haven't received their take-out menus yet. I flipped through the regular menu: a variety of Japanese food.

                                                                        1. re: lergnom

                                                                          One of my friends walked in - and walked out. She said it was v. noisy @ 6:30pm, with the noise coming from the teppanyaki side. She said the room looks fabulous, but that you couldn't hear anything above the noise. Her suggestion is that maybe they'll build a wall to separate the areas.

                                                              2. Trade at Atlantic Wharf looks like it's getting pretty close. They've hung all of the lighting and tables look to have gone in yesterday

                                                                2 Replies
                                                                1. re: mkfisher

                                                                  According to this it's opening the week of the 17th:
                                                                  http://www.boston.com/lifestyle/food/...

                                                                  1. re: mkfisher

                                                                    Trade is open, already booming. Very strong first impression, kind of like a cross between Coppa (strong wood-fired small flatbreads) and Oleana (pan-Med flavors), in a big, industrial-looking setting. Loud when packed, all hard surfaces.

                                                                    http://mcslimjb.blogspot.com/

                                                                    -----
                                                                    Oleana
                                                                    134 Hampshire St., Cambridge, MA 02139

                                                                    Coppa
                                                                    253 Shawmut Ave, Boston, MA 02118

                                                                  2. The bar at the Ritz Carlton on Avery St has reopened. Haven't been yet. This was formerly Jerne.

                                                                    -----
                                                                    Jerne Restaurant and Bar
                                                                    12 Avery St, Boston, MA 02111

                                                                    1. There's been an empty space on the corner of Cambridge Street and Eighth in East Cambridge for a few months. Today there was a hand made sign saying Cafe Kafofo is opening soon. Picture of a coffee cup.No other info but the sign was not there yesterday so this is breaking news in East Cambridge. .

                                                                      1. Just read that Burton's in Fenway is closing up. I wonder what is going on over there? Now that Cambridge 1 and Burton's are gone, that side of Boylston will be pretty dark. Thoughts?

                                                                        5 Replies
                                                                        1. re: chrisdapos

                                                                          Sweet Cheeks will be opening in Cambridge 1's old space:

                                                                          http://bostonrestaurants.blogspot.com...

                                                                          1. re: Spenbald

                                                                            I was down there Saturday afternoon and couldn't see any action construction wise in the old Cambridge 1 spot. It's a pretty dead block in general.

                                                                            1. re: Berheenia

                                                                              I drive by there every morning. Definitely construction. In fact, I saw they bringing in at least 4 50' sony led tvs just this morning, so they must be almost done.

                                                                          2. re: chrisdapos

                                                                            Lower Boylston is far better suited to Sweet Caroline's simpler menu. The area by Burton's and Cambridge 1 was also where cars accelerate.

                                                                            The mere existence of several venues in an area does not make it a destination.

                                                                            1. re: postemotional1

                                                                              it's a long winter to get through, opening post-sox season.

                                                                          3. New Brazilian restaurant opening in Rockland in the old "Not Just Seafood" place on Union St.

                                                                            1. There is something new going in on Third Street in Cambridge just down from Za/Evoo. The name escapes me right now, but I remember it sounded Asian but I could be completely wrong on this. Anyone know what this is?

                                                                              5 Replies
                                                                              1. re: mkfisher

                                                                                Close, it's going to be a Spanish tapas joint called Kika Tapas.

                                                                                1. re: honestcuisine

                                                                                  Which, if memory serves, is from the folks behind Solea in Waltham.

                                                                                  http://mcslimjb.blogspot.com/

                                                                                2. re: mkfisher

                                                                                  mkfisher, are you referring to 300 Third Street? That's slated for Fuji (Japanese).

                                                                                  -----
                                                                                  Fuji
                                                                                  300 3rd St, Cambridge, MA 02142

                                                                                  1. re: yehwan

                                                                                    I think that's it. Actually walking down there later this afternoon, so will double check.

                                                                                    1. re: yehwan

                                                                                      That's what I have heard, too, for 300 Third Street. Lots of work going on there.

                                                                                  2. Don't think I've seen any mention of Hi-Rise Bread Company that closed on Brattle St but should open any day now at 1663 Massachusetts Ave. Dining options should be more developed with possibly sit-down service. High-level coffee program will continue. I'm glad parking should be easier over there as well.

                                                                                    -----
                                                                                    Hi-Rise Bread Company
                                                                                    1663 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge, MA 02138

                                                                                    2 Replies
                                                                                    1. re: yehwan

                                                                                      Looks like the Mass Ave Hi-Rise is now open based on @barismo tweets.

                                                                                      1. re: emannths

                                                                                        Correct! I stopped in this morning (@erwinchuk). Nice and bright along with a long standing bar. Hours are 7am-9pm, however, dinner entrees will not be available for a bit longer.

                                                                                         
                                                                                    2. The former Bugaboo Creek on Arsenal St next to the Mall in Watertown, is set to become a Miller's Ale House (big FL chain). Um.... Whoopdy Doo

                                                                                      http://www.millersalehouse.com

                                                                                      -----
                                                                                      Bugaboo Creek
                                                                                      615 Arsenal St, Watertown, MA 02472

                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                      1. re: okra

                                                                                        But their zingers are world famous! They say so themselves!

                                                                                      2. There is a new place (I believe called Taste) going into the old Roly Poly spot on Devonshire. There was a small sign on the window, but not much else going on.

                                                                                        1. I just found out that the mom-and-pop Korean market on Elm Street in Waltham, Dae Han, has closed. I don't exactly know when it closed as I haven't been for a few months. I'm so very sad as the store is very close to where I live and I really like the proprietors.

                                                                                          Does anyone know if there are similar Korean markets nearby (Waltham, Newton, Watertown)? I have zero desire to drive all the way to H Mart.

                                                                                          2 Replies
                                                                                          1. re: y2000k

                                                                                            There is Reliable Market in Union Square Somerville, and Lotte Market on Mass Ave. in Cambridge near MIT (walking distance from #70 central sq bus stop from Waltham).

                                                                                            1. re: y2000k

                                                                                              It closed a few months ago actually. I only shopped there once, perhaps a month before it closed. The homemade kimchee was pretty good if expensive. Another Korean grocery store closed in Newtonville too, around the same time. Reliable is still the best Korean grocery store, IMO, better than H-Mart in some regards except size of course.

                                                                                              -----
                                                                                              H-Mart
                                                                                              3 Old Concord Rd, Burlington, MA 01803

                                                                                            2. Something big is going on in the old Casal space on Cambridge Street near Inman Square. A search turned up a mention that the Clover folks are moving in. This would be awesome news. They are really ripping the place apart right now. with some serious work going on. That's all I know. Casal has closed....but is Clover coming? And if so, when?

                                                                                              All Star Pizza Bar on the corner of Prospect and Cambridge Street is making slow progress. But things are happening.

                                                                                              -----
                                                                                              All Star Pizza
                                                                                              25 Orchard View Dr Unit 6, Londonderry, NH 03053

                                                                                              11 Replies
                                                                                              1. re: mvi

                                                                                                Clover is definitely coming, it's on the permit and they've confirmed it. It will be a commissary and cafe space. My understanding was that they were to open sooner rather than later, but when I last walked by everything was down to the studs and it was a mess.

                                                                                                1. re: hckybg

                                                                                                  Thanks. There are lots of people hard at work in there and I agree, it looks like they have totally ripped the place apart. This is nice news for the area. Cambridge Street gets better all the time.

                                                                                                  1. re: mvi

                                                                                                    I just hope they have their brunch on Sundays...I like their sandwiches very much, but those pancakes were excellent!

                                                                                                    1. re: hckybg

                                                                                                      Clover is great, but I wish they would expand or vary the menu more. I was excited when they opened in Harvard Square, but it definitely gets old fast.

                                                                                                      1. re: Gabatta

                                                                                                        I agree with you, Gabatta. I also find their ordering system beyond confusing. It's really much more complicated than it needs to be and creates a stressful experience when you keep jumping up to get your things, that is if you hear your name. Let's hope the Clover people are taking a close look at all of the comments that have come in, as the observations seem fairly consistent across the board.

                                                                                                        1. re: mvi

                                                                                                          +1! They need to refresh their sandwiches periodically and there is still room to improve consistency. Sometimes the egg and eggplant is perfectly custardy, other times it is rubbery. Likewise, sometimes the vegetables in the chickpea fritter sandwich are tasty, other times they are bland. In general, a much more interesting pickled vegetable mixture would really improve the chickpea fritter; perhaps pickled cauliflower, cucumber, etc. They do mix in varied sandwiches (such as the recent basil, which was very good) but it is usually only one at a time.

                                                                                                          1. re: hckybg

                                                                                                            I hear you. They have expanded so quickly; let's hope they take a little while to breathe, focus on the food, the ordering system and consistency. I remain a Clover fan, and remember the days when we all rushed over to their lone food truck, but there's clear room for improvement.

                                                                                                            1. re: mvi

                                                                                                              I just saw a post on the Boston magazine food blog that said the new "Clover HUB" (their Inman Square location's name, apparently) will open in "weeks." I'm guessing it will be a bunch of weeks, but perhaps before the end of the year, it seems?

                                                                                                        2. re: Gabatta

                                                                                                          Add me to the list of those who agree. I understand wanting a minimalist menu so that they can focus on what they are good at, but it gets boring. And I don't get the ordering process. Why must the ordertakers mingle around the boards blocking them? Does it really save time? But what do I know, I'm a little bitter that they got rid of the pimento cheese sandwich before I had a chance to try it.

                                                                                                          1. re: viperlush

                                                                                                            Also, if you are going to have a minimalist menu with few choices, try not to have items which you run out of by dinner time every day thus compounding the issue.

                                                                                                  2. re: mvi

                                                                                                    Clover HUB is open for business! http://www.cloverfoodlab.com/?p=7334

                                                                                                    -----
                                                                                                    Clover HUB
                                                                                                    1075 Cambridge St, Cambridge, MA 02141

                                                                                                  3. There was a big sign on Basha Cafe in Cambridge saying that Casbah Restaurant and Lounge is coming soon.

                                                                                                    -----
                                                                                                    Basha Cafe
                                                                                                    26 New St, Cambridge, MA 02138

                                                                                                    8 Replies
                                                                                                    1. re: bear

                                                                                                      Sari's new place (Casablanca owner/seller)

                                                                                                      1. re: jajjguy

                                                                                                        Huh. That should be pretty interesting.

                                                                                                        1. re: jajjguy

                                                                                                          sari is selling casablanca?? gee, we've been going there fore EVer . you think the rent just went outasight? that would seem really odd in this economy....

                                                                                                          1. re: opinionatedchef

                                                                                                            http://www.bizjournals.com/boston/new...

                                                                                                            1. re: Allstonian

                                                                                                              thanks -ian. so Friendly Toast is up for sale as well............

                                                                                                              -----
                                                                                                              The Friendly Toast
                                                                                                              1 Kendall Square, Cambridge, MA

                                                                                                              1. re: opinionatedchef

                                                                                                                Both the one in Cambridge and the original in Portsmouth...

                                                                                                                1. re: opinionatedchef

                                                                                                                  Please don't nickname me - my handle is neither -ian or Ian. Thanks so much.

                                                                                                                  Yes, the news about The Friendly Toast being for sale has been around for a while now. I have no idea as to the progress of any sale.

                                                                                                                  1. re: opinionatedchef

                                                                                                                    That's a real shame.

                                                                                                          2. Salvatore's on Washington/Theater District looked like they were having a soft opening. last night.

                                                                                                            Trade on Atlantic was also serving but not sure it was just staff or friends and family. Nice looking place from the outside.

                                                                                                            1. POPS in the South End has closed its' doors

                                                                                                              http://bostonrestaurants.blogspot.com...

                                                                                                              3 Replies
                                                                                                              1. re: meeps2002

                                                                                                                What's with that location There have been lots of good restaurants there, Pops included, but nothing ever survives. I believe Perdix was there and before that Amanda Lydon's restaurant Truc(?) all were really good. Too bad.

                                                                                                                1. re: Northender

                                                                                                                  Before Truc, it was Azita.. owner now operating Bina, Binoteca 26?, and Lala Rokh.

                                                                                                                  I had a great meal at Truc. I think the problem with the space is that it's very small When I was at Truc, there was no bar or waiting area. Perdix or Pops may have put in a bar (haven't been)but it's still a very small space.

                                                                                                                  -----
                                                                                                                  Lala Rokh
                                                                                                                  97 Mount Vernon Street, Boston, MA 02108

                                                                                                                  1. re: 9lives

                                                                                                                    I remember Azita and it too was a veryy good restaurant - nice family - babak Bina and his sister. It is just strange that there have at least four, much better than average restaurants there and iir they had a very nice glassed in patio in the back. You are probably correct that the lack of an adequate bar may have cost them.

                                                                                                              2. The former Au Bon Pain space near Symphony Hall on Mass Ave has a sign in the window saying Sebastian's is opening 'soon'. I'm not familiar with this chain.

                                                                                                                10 Replies
                                                                                                                1. re: Berheenia

                                                                                                                  Nothing earth shattering. They're all over the financial district.

                                                                                                                  1. re: Guinness02122

                                                                                                                    Among the Financial District chains, I think Sebastian's has one of the better salad bars - ton of food for the $, especially if you stay away from the proteins. Blows Cosi away, which I guess is not saying much.

                                                                                                                    1. re: Bob Dobalina

                                                                                                                      True. Never thought of the salads.

                                                                                                                      1. re: Bob Dobalina

                                                                                                                        Good options, but maybe I'm alone at finding their salad bar overpriced? If you choose some greens, with a few extra veggie options and some chicken, you're talking about a $10 salad.

                                                                                                                        1. re: kobuta

                                                                                                                          That's what I meant - stay away from the add-ons / proteins - it becomes overpriced as soon as you add one of those - completely agree. If you stick with the standard veggies, you can eat a ton.

                                                                                                                          1. re: Bob Dobalina

                                                                                                                            Easily two meals out of one salad.

                                                                                                                          2. re: kobuta

                                                                                                                            I'm with Kobuta on this one. I find it mildly overpriced. Maybe I just have a bigger appetite than Northender, but it's not even close to being enough for two meals.

                                                                                                                            1. re: mkfisher

                                                                                                                              you have a good appetite - actually, ashamed to admit but i usually eat the whole salad but I feel as if I over did it. Maybe it's just right?

                                                                                                                              1. re: Northender

                                                                                                                                Gotta put Cafe de Boston above Sebastian's for a DTX salad.

                                                                                                                                For those w/ big appetites their mixed grill plate with chicken, steak, doner kabob, falafel, hummus, shepherd salad, and pita is rivaled only by Cafe Latino's pernil plate.

                                                                                                                        2. re: Guinness02122

                                                                                                                          one in kendall square also. their bread and butter biz is catering anyway.

                                                                                                                      2. Across from Target in Watertown, in the auto parts plaza at 23-25 Elm St., is a sign saying that a Middle Eastern Market and Grocery is coming soon. They were advertising "Armenian pizza." I couldn't see if there was much progress inside.

                                                                                                                        We'll see if they can carve out a niche in that area with so many wonderful options already available in the immediate vicinity.

                                                                                                                        1. Red Lulu opens tomorrow in Salem. It's a new place from the folks behind Lolita in the Back Bay of Boston.

                                                                                                                          1. Walburgers in the Hingham Shipyard opened this week with all the Hingham & Hollywood "glitteratti" invited. Yikes!
                                                                                                                            Did They Enjoy?
                                                                                                                            CocoDan

                                                                                                                            1. 3 Little Figs opened today in Somerville

                                                                                                                              1. 10/29/11 Email from Sari, owner of Casablanca, announcing that his new place, Casbah, is now open at 26 New St., Fresh Pond area, Cambridge; website up later this weekend.Mediterr and Midd Eastern cuisine.

                                                                                                                                www.casbah-cambridge.com

                                                                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                                                                1. re: opinionatedchef

                                                                                                                                  Wish him the best but, location, location, location?

                                                                                                                                2. Kee Kar Lau an americanized chinese joint in Teele burnt down on saturday night. Not going to send waves through the boston dining community but for those of us who live in Teele, we will have to learn do without our 2 am eggroll fix.

                                                                                                                                  -----
                                                                                                                                  Kee Kar Lau Restaurant
                                                                                                                                  1158 Broadway, Somerville, MA 02144

                                                                                                                                  3 Replies
                                                                                                                                  1. re: joth68

                                                                                                                                    I'm hoping they can re-open somewhere. KKL was one of the best Chinese delivery places in the Teele/Davis/Porter area.

                                                                                                                                    1. re: joth68

                                                                                                                                      According to Somerville Patch, Maria's Italian Cold Cuts was pretty heavily damaged, too. I kept meaning to check it out. Hope they can rebuild.

                                                                                                                                      1. re: bear

                                                                                                                                        They also mention the ATF is investigating. But that doesn't mean it's suspicious or anything…