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December 2011 Openings and Closings

Here we go again!

Looks like Burton's opens in Burlington this month, as well as Fuji in Kendall Square. As far as closings, I'm still not sure about Garden of Eat-In in Cambridge. Anyone been there lately? Any others opening or closing?

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  1. I'm not sure about Garden of Eat In either. I never see them open, but they seem to still have food inside. For now I'm assuming they're doing the same thing Good Food Cafe did -- open from time to time while doing catering business. I wasn't too impressed by the food I had there, honestly.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Boston_Otter

      I walked by maybe a week ago. There was a guy at the counter, holding his head in his hands. Nobody was eating in.

      1. re: Fly

        I've heard that they may be under new management and that the new owners are keeping the current menu while deciding whether to try a different sort of cuisine entirely.

        I went there once and had a slice of pepperoni and an Italian sub. The pizza was very mediocre and the sub wasn't much better.

    2. The Harvard Crimson reports that a branch of Orinoco will open in the old Small Plates space, a rumor I had heard occasionally during the last few months. It looks like construction is already underway, and they are hoping for an opening early next year. That's a great addition, at a great price point. Maybe the wait won't be quite as long as the South End location.

      1 Reply
      1. re: hckybg

        That's great news - should do really well there.

        Quick Orinoco Brookline story - stopped in there a few months back - we were waiting a really long time to get menus, place our order, table next to us sits down 15 minutes after us, we place our order, still waiting...then the new table orders and get their apps and we're still sitting with just drinks - clearly something got loused up so we just decided to pull up stakes and head over to Pomodoro next door - no hard feelings, stuff happens - but man oh man did they ever fight me on paying for my drinks. My logic was that I drank the booze, I'm gonna pay for it, or leave money on the bar. I appreciated the sentiment of comping the drinks, but I understood that I was being a little impetuous about leaving, so wanted to pay. I eventually won. But kudos to them for being so apologetic and trying really hard to let me walk out with all my money. As I said, we'll be back - no hard feelings. Stuff happens...

        Pomodoro was great as usual...

      2. Toiyou, Shabu & Sushi on Quincy Av., Quincy, looks like it's opened.
        Enjoy,
        CocoDan

        2 Replies
        1. re: CocoDan

          Thanks CocoDan, that was the name that eluded me when I was posting on the Quincy top restaurant thread

          1. re: Chocomom

            Please report back if you go. Haven't tried it yet.
            Enjoy,
            CocoDan

        2. According to the Herald, Bourbon Coffee is slated to open this month (finally.) Sounds like a place worth checking out:
          http://bostonherald.com/news/regional...

          2 Replies
          1. re: Stride

            I've been told that Bourbon finally opened today, this time for sure. Looking forward to checking them out tomorrow.

            1. re: T.B.

              Yes, it was definitely open last night.

          2. Maggio's Revere - closing end of the month.

            1 Reply
            1. re: phonelady

              wow they were around for a very long time iir

            2. According to their web site, 7 Grill in Danvers is opening on Wednesday 12/7

              http://www.7grill.com/7Grill/7GRILL.html

              1. I walked past Bon Savor in JP this weekend and was bummed to see workers removing appliances and furniture, and a big ol' FOR LEASE sign in the window.

                Not surprising since they trimmed their hours to weekend brunch only earlier this year, but still sad. The good news is it still has the tile floors and windows and corner location-- hopefully someone will fill it soon.

                2 Replies
                1. re: pierce

                  There's a rumor going around that Ten Tables might open a burger restaurant in that spot. Don't tell anyone, though. :-)

                  1. re: pierce

                    There was an article in the JP gazette. The co-owers are stuck in Colombia without visas to reenter the country. they are looking to sell the business.

                  2. I walked by the "old" Pulse Cafe spot this evening. The windows are covered with newspaper. There is a sign announcing the upcoming arrival of "Palm Sugar Thai Cuisine."

                    5 Replies
                    1. re: granolagurl

                      Two Thai restaurants failed in that same spot prior to Pulse Cafe. I hope Palm Sugar can make a decent go of it.

                      1. re: Parsnipity

                        Might be tough with Rod Dee in Porter, Lemon Thai on Highland and Sweet Ginger and Ronnarong in Union. But there is no Thai place in Davis - is there still one in Teele?

                        Per rknrll's post below, no more Tip Top Thai in Teele, so maybe the new place will be serving a need for Davis and north.

                          1. re: Bob Dobalina

                            As someone who lives a block or two from the former Pulse, for me, it'll really just depend on the quality of the place. With Foodler, I can have Thai from a dozen places delivered to me with just a few clicks. Hopefully they do a good job with the place. There's a decent amount of foot traffic now that Posto's doing well, and they'll do decent lunchtime business once the new office/apartment complex opens a block away.

                            1. re: Bob Dobalina

                              Weren't the two incarnations prior to Pulse Cafe both (short-lived) Thai restaurants? I remember one being particularly awful when I lived in Davis. I would have welcomed Thai food within walking distance, but that wasn't it.

                        1. Kelly's Roast Beef in Allston is closing this weekend per Boston.com:
                          http://www.boston.com/yourtown/news/a...

                          That didn't take very long. Sad that both the marquee retail/restaurant spaces at that corner will be vacant once Kelly's closes (the old Pizzeria Uno being the other one).

                          Edit to add that I just read the article a bit closer and see that TD Bank is taking over the Unos spot. grrrr. I hate when Banks take over prominent retail locations. They bring nothing to the neighborhood after 5pm. Although at least TD Bank is open on the weekend.

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: Gordough

                            I think a bank is supposed to be moving into the Uno's space, although it's been a while since I heard anything new about that.

                            Too bad, I guess, but even living in the neighborhood, I can't remember the last time I was in that Kelly's. Certainly not since the far superior Roast Beast opened.

                            1. re: Jenny Ondioline

                              Heh. Grub Street reports that Boloco is looking into moving into the Kelly's space. So looks like it time to start taking bets on what's gonna go in after that bad idea flames out...

                          2. Not a December opening, but new news to me: Deco will go into the old Kirkland Cafe spot near Dali. It's "Mediterranean", from the folks behind the North End's Bacco. They're aiming to open in late spring 2012.

                            http://mcslimjb.blogspot.com/

                            2 Replies
                            1. re: MC Slim JB

                              Wow, that's good news...that spot has been vacant for a long time.

                              1. re: MC Slim JB

                                Will they be holding on to the performance space, do you know? They have moved the entrance over to the side where the stage used to be.

                                Though that might be because since Kirkland closed, a child care opened up next door and maybe there are some regulations about how far apart the entrances can be?

                              2. Per Thrill list Thornton's Fenway Grille
                                Slated to open Friday:

                                1. Near Symphony Hall the Sebastians Cafe going into the old Au Bon Pain is still not open
                                  Sign in the window and on website says
                                  "The opening for the general public has been delayed. We're hoping to open by the end of the week of December 5th. Either Thursday or Friday. Stay tuned!"
                                  Place could make a fortune during the Pops Christmas performances if they were open.

                                  1. i saw a sign indicating that "panera bread" will be opening in the old bob slate space on mass. ave. boo! such a shame to both lose that bob slate AND have it replaced by panera. i bet they will make a killing though (across from harvard campus).

                                    2 Replies
                                    1. re: granolagurl

                                      You know Bob Slate is back, right? That more than makes up for yest another Panera.

                                      Penny just reported that Tasty Burger is opening a second location in Davis Square. Any idea where?

                                      1. re: Jenny Ondioline

                                        credit for that report belongs to maxinboston!

                                        Penny

                                    2. Hibernia Grill is open in Easton on rte 138. This is the former location of the Blackthorne Tavern.

                                      1. backbar in Union Square should open on Wednesday, December 14th.

                                        14 Replies
                                        1. re: dlin2007

                                          I would tack a week on to that. I got word that their guest list-only grand opening night wasn't until the following week.

                                          Brick & Mortar in Central Square should be open about that time as well (next week or two).

                                          http://cocktailvirgin.blogspot.com/

                                          1. re: yarm

                                            Hey yarm, I'm a fan of the blog. It's always a good resource for trying something new!

                                            The date I posted was told to me three days ago from a staff member. But given the many push-backs in opening date we've seen so far, I certainly wouldn't be surprised if you're correct!

                                            1. re: dlin2007

                                              Thanks!

                                              I'm going by the email I was sent last night by Backbar's bar manager.

                                            2. re: yarm

                                              Two industry friends of mine reported that they went to Brick & Mortar last night. It must be their soft opening. I wouldn't be surprised if they are fully open early next week!

                                              1. re: yarm

                                                Brick & Mortar will be open to the public on Monday night from 7pm-1am! I have to assume that in subsequent days that it will be opening earlier.

                                                http://cocktailvirgin.blogspot.com/

                                                1. re: yarm

                                                  Are they food & drinks or just drinks?

                                                  1. re: jgg13

                                                    The only thing I've heard about the food concept at Brick & Mortar is "shareable small plates".

                                                    http://mcslimjb.blogspot.com/

                                                  2. re: yarm

                                                    called them up and they said they are open to the public starting Tuesday and "door will be locked tonight"... maybe Monday is still soft opening?

                                                    1. re: barleywino

                                                      Don't know. this was what I saw on Facebook Sunday morning from Evan who works there:

                                                      "Brick & Mortar* is open for drinks tomorrow night from 7pm-1am. Come one, come all.

                                                      (*aka: Brick & Butter; Bread & Mortar; Bread Immortal; The Coffinship; Brett & Butler; The Enormous Room; The, wait, what?; The new spot; Oh, I love the B-Side; Your new favorite bar)
                                                      Like · · Yesterday at 4:29am · "

                                                      I assume if it was a soft opening announcement, it wouldn't say "come one come all". Nothing ever opens on time anyways.

                                                      Postnote: I just saw that Misty commented on one of my friends posts "B&M is taking a rest tomorrow. But starting Tuesday we will be open for, well, forever. "

                                                      http://cocktailvirgin.blogspot.com/

                                                      1. re: yarm

                                                        I hadn't realized that the Enormous Room was no more. Same owners? Why the demise?

                                                        1. re: yarm

                                                          Thanks for the inside scoop (as always!)

                                                2. re: dlin2007

                                                  My bad. I guess you were right. BostonMagazine is reporting today that the opening is on either the 14th or 15th. What I must have heard about is a separate event celebrating the opening (not the opening itself).

                                                  1. re: yarm

                                                    I didn't see the Boston Magazine write-up, but I saw this from Eater later on yesterday: http://boston.eater.com/archives/2011...

                                                    With all this conflicting information, I guess we'll just have to wait and see!

                                                  2. re: dlin2007

                                                    I am one day off. The official opening date is tomorrow, Thursday, Dec. 15th at 4pm. http://www.backbarunion.com/2011/12/h...

                                                    -----
                                                    backbar
                                                    9 Sanborn Ct, Somerville, MA 02143

                                                  3. A tiny new Thai restaurant with the rather awkward name A @ Time has opened in the space on Cambridge Street in Allston that had been Bo Thai (and then for a long while appeared to be operating as a commissary space for a Thai catering business or food truck.) I'm assuming they're mostly aiming for a takeaway/delivery business, because there seem to be only a couple of tables, but I've only been able to glimpse it from a passing bus so far.
                                                    http://www.aattime8.com/

                                                    6 Replies
                                                    1. re: Allstonian

                                                      On the short list for Worst New Restaurant Name of 2011! It sounds like indigestion.

                                                      http://mcslimjb.blogspot.com/

                                                      1. re: MC Slim JB

                                                        My problem with the name is not so much "sounds like indigestion" as the fact that it's completely nonsensical. They're also doing themselves a disservice because the phrase is just about unGoogleable.

                                                      2. re: Allstonian

                                                        As a public service, warning here to use the restroom -before- you look at their menu....

                                                        1. re: galleygirl

                                                          Their specials board is in the bathroom?

                                                        2. Kika Tapas, next to EVOO in Kendall Sq, is planning to open Monday (the 12th).

                                                          1 Reply
                                                          1. re: honestcuisine

                                                            We peaked in the windows last Thursday evening. They had the tables and chairs out, but still wrappped up. Everything else looked pretty complete. They've had the sign lit up at night for weeks now, so I'm glad they're finally opening.

                                                          2. There's a place named Griddler's Burger & Dogs that opened on Cambridge Street near the fire station. They only cook the 4 oz. burgers to medium (prefer medium-well). The reasoning was that "they won't have time to cook them longer". Strange because the place was close to empty. I think it was 6$ + for a double burger.

                                                            8 Replies
                                                            1. re: Guinness02122

                                                              Griddlers' emptiness may be due to the fact that today is its first full day of service. It's from the same folks behind its predecessor, The Federal.

                                                              Odd: many burger places have the opposite issue: they're unwilling to cook burgers less than medium because they listen to their lawyers more than their chefs.

                                                              http://mcslimjb.blogspot.com/

                                                              1. re: MC Slim JB

                                                                Yeah, I read about The Federal. I guess it made three years. Oh, well. Maybe I'll brave the onslaught today if they're willing to bump it up to medium well.

                                                                1. re: MC Slim JB

                                                                  I no longer work across the street from that psace or I'd check it out. I hated the Federal. As crappy as Venice Cafe was, I very much preferred it over the Federal.

                                                                  1. re: jgg13

                                                                    I have eaten here twice now (Griddlers) and was pleasantly surprised. The waffle fries are filling and tasty, the hot dog while pedestrian, was elevated by it's bun (properly grilled) and toppings (banana peppers, onions, and house-made pickles), and the burger (I repeated the pickles on this one, as the first time I had them on the dog, they were great) was a solid 'west coast' style griddle burger that was a perfect size for me...good for lunch as I don't want to gorge myself. A lunch box of a burger, waffle fries and onion rings (the '50/50) and a small soda was really a perfect, if not more than enough lunch option.

                                                                2. re: Guinness02122

                                                                  I dont know who told you that the reasoning was "they don't have time to cook them longer" but this is incorrect. We cook them medium well because we use a 4oz patty and after several trials we found that medium is the perfect temperature to ensure that the patty is juicy without being raw or overcooked into a grey slab. If you like your burger any other way, ask the counter and we'll cook them however you like. Our standard burgers are $4 for singles, $6 for doubles. As a side note, I don't know what time of the day you came in to our store, so the "emptiness" might've been due to the time you came in, as we've bee slammed for lunch and dinner rush. No complaints on sales numbers.

                                                                  1. re: wickedated

                                                                    Sorry, I meant to say *We DON'T cook them medium well because we use 4 oz pattys...

                                                                    1. re: wickedated

                                                                      I think I went before they were officially open. And yes, the person at the counter alluded to the time it would make the burger medium-well. Maybe he was doing some wishful thinking.

                                                                      1. re: wickedated

                                                                        Wickedated, are you the owner? I really enjoyed my two visits, I work accross from the Garden, and have been longing for a good hot dog joint, something the West End has been sorely missing. Glad to see your around, and hope your a success, I will be coming back that is certain, as I think it's a solid deal.

                                                                  2. tu metapan restaurant has opened in the old el buen gusto location on bennington street in east boston

                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                    1. Grillo's Pickles is opening a popup in Inman Square in January, says Grillo's. Boston Mag said it would be "near Prospect Street."

                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                      1. re: hckybg

                                                                        Oh, I am going to go check that out asap. Interesting addition to Inman, even if it is just short term.

                                                                        1. re: mvi

                                                                          It sounds like it could become permanent if successful. So save up your pickle money!

                                                                      2. As mentioned in earlier parts of this thread, Burton's in Burlington, Kika in Cambridge, and Brick & Mortar in Cambridge all may be opening today.

                                                                        2 Replies
                                                                        1. re: hiddenboston

                                                                          As well as Gridler's Burgers (per sign on door yesterday) on Cambridge St.
                                                                          Fin's; however, is still quiet, anyone with any update for them?

                                                                          1. re: hiddenboston

                                                                            http://kikatapas.com/

                                                                            never been to tapeo, but am not a fan of solea. hope they get a good chef here. menu has some interesting non-trad items.

                                                                          2. saloon, under foundry in davis square, having family and friends last night and tonight. concept is 1918 saloon. small menu, including stuff like deviled eggs, maple-glazed pork belly, a first-rate burger and steak & kidney pie, excellent beers on tap, and some very heavy hitters making craft cocktails in a beautifully wood-paneled room.

                                                                            went last night and was amazed at how well the food was executed on just the first night, in spite of the pos system being down.

                                                                            9 Replies
                                                                            1. re: hotoynoodle

                                                                              1918...so there will be a lot of discussion with the barman about the recent Red Sox World Series victory and the Great War?

                                                                              1. re: hckybg

                                                                                lol. the distinction is that it's pre-prohibition, so not based on the speak-easy model.

                                                                                don't think anybody was serving eggnog creme brulee back then, but hey...

                                                                                1. re: hckybg

                                                                                  don't forget the flu pandemic..then again it's not exactly dinnertime conversation :-)

                                                                                2. re: hotoynoodle

                                                                                  Silly question but... is the entrance to Saloon inside Foundry, or is there a separate entrance in the alleyway or the building next door?

                                                                                  1. re: Boston_Otter

                                                                                    UrbanDaddy sent me a message that answers this question--you enter through a door that's actually for the theatre and walk downstairs.

                                                                                    1. re: hiddenboston

                                                                                      Ah, OK, I saw them putting in that new door, but thought it was just for the theatre. Can't wait to check the place out.

                                                                                  2. re: hotoynoodle

                                                                                    Does anyone know, is Saloon open for lunch? And if so is the steak and kidney pie available at lunch?

                                                                                      1. re: MC Slim JB

                                                                                        thanks. after posting this i stopped being lazy and gave them a call, bar opens at 5pm and dinner service at 5:30. steak & kidney pie is on the menu now, but they plan to have a rotating choice of pie, so that will change at some point.

                                                                                  3. Fuji on Third Street in Cambridge opened today. Having walked by every day for months, I stopped in to say hello.

                                                                                    The place is still so new and they are working out kinks, for sure, but I think it will be a popular spot here in the Kendall area. There are two entrances and the hostess is located at the one in the middle, which means that if you enter the other door, no one pays any attention to you and it is very awkward. As the other door is closest to Kendall, this will be where most of the foot traffic comes from. Hopefully, they will fix this. All of the people came in that door and faced the same confusion.

                                                                                    The menu is huge. I sampled a lot of sushi and it was actually very good. The floors were already dirty which was odd and you get bombarded with techno music and Adele songs while seeing ESPN on the flat screen which is on mute. I won't comment too much on the service, as it was the first day, but it sure was super friendly.

                                                                                    I am very happy to have sushi here in Kendall Square and will be a regular at the bar on my way home.

                                                                                    6 Replies
                                                                                    1. re: mvi

                                                                                      Not to mention that that's the end where they put the sandwich board with the open sign on the outside -- leading to more confusion. I walked past after work (one of the offices I work at is upstairs in the same building) and I saw what looked to be staff meetings right in the bar seating area. Was happy to see already a few tables with patrons. I hope the place does well; their Quincy joint is probably the best sushi option in the area, and we definitely can use more food options in that neighborhood. If they are ready to do take out for lunch, I will add this place to my regular rotation.

                                                                                      1. re: kobuta

                                                                                        Good point. I saw that sandwich board too, and it seems only natural to go in that door. Staff were hard at work and sampling some food in that narrow hallway space when I was there, and the drinks menu was nonexistent but after all, it was opening day. I hope they succeed. I did hear them say that they do take out.

                                                                                      2. re: mvi

                                                                                        Funny how places don't seem to think these traffic flow issues through when they design places. Maybe it's the architect's fault?

                                                                                        When the Russell House Tavern opened, the main entrance was the bar, with the host stand nearly out of sight at the back of it. It was easy to walk in and stand there like a dope, wondering where the rest of the restaurant was, and why there was no one there to greet you. Makes a lot more sense now that the newer main entrance off the patio deposits you right at the host stand.

                                                                                        http://mcslimjb.blogspot.com/

                                                                                        1. re: MC Slim JB

                                                                                          Hopefully, one of the hounds that walk by this place every day will just go ahead and do the restaurant a favor by moving the sandwich board.

                                                                                          1. re: Bob Dobalina

                                                                                            The other misleading design (part of the original building and street) is that the corner where they put the sandwich board has a bench outside, so it makes a natural and pleasant waiting spot if there is ever a line. Not that it's that far from the other door, but if there was a re-do, I would've just used that as the main entrance.

                                                                                            By the way, the side that connects to the office building apparently is the where the bathroom is, and I get a nice full view of their toilet upon entrance and exit of the building. :p I hope they think about that as they do their cleaning.

                                                                                          2. re: MC Slim JB

                                                                                            Thought this about Catalyst as well- the pair of doors closest to the street are not the entry doors. They had a paper sign on them directing you to the "main" doors, but it seems like frosting the glass, or putting curtains on the door would make it clear without signage, and make the dining room feel more private as well. Suspect that those doors will give out to a patio in the future, but until then, the paper sign isn't a great solution.

                                                                                        2. Barrington Coffee has opened its cafe on Congress Street in Fort Point Channel. I got a great cup of coffee today and really hope that they do well.

                                                                                          3 Replies
                                                                                          1. re: johndory

                                                                                            Agree: pretty good coffee.

                                                                                            Across the street, Blue Wave is supposedly closing tomorrow (12/23). Will not be missed by anyone with taste buds.

                                                                                            1. re: Alcachofa

                                                                                              the late-night crowd lined up outside never struck me as there for the food. didn't even know they served any!

                                                                                              1. re: hotoynoodle

                                                                                                Bottom-of-the-line Sysco, fried "to perfection".

                                                                                          2. Eater Boston confirms: Don Ricardo's in the South End has closed. http://boston.eater.com/archives/2011... Very sad; loved that little place. And the fact that it used to be called Botucatu, but the second wife made the Don change it, as it was named for the first wife.

                                                                                            There was better Brazilian and Peruvian and Mexican food around Boston, but it was a rare place in the South End that was both modest and decent. Criminally overlooked by most neighbors.

                                                                                            Its replacement will be a Puerto Rican place called Vejigante. That's something, anyway.

                                                                                            http://mcslimjb.blogspot.com/

                                                                                            2 Replies
                                                                                            1. re: MC Slim JB

                                                                                              I can't wait for Vejigante. Missing really good rican food since last visit to the island was too long ago.

                                                                                              Izzy in Cambridge, I won't even call it Puerto Rican and Borinquen makes a good cubano but the rest of the food is meh. San Lorenzo was good but their selections are so limited now (parents that does the cooking should be retired so they don't make alot of their goodies anymore)
                                                                                              Cafe Latino is my fave but their hours are limited and they don't open on weekends: nothing like their pernil's crispy skin and their yuca salad. oh yummm.

                                                                                              1. Not sure it has already been mentioned, but Cafe Kafofo, a Brazilian coffee, pastry & sandwich cafe opens today at 594 Cambridge St, Cambridge.

                                                                                                1. In the food court at Super 88, where Wisteria was, a new place is about to open. The good news is their English is suspect because it's called "One of the Kind". Says Szechun and Mandarin. Looks almost ready. The takeout menu on the counter has a number of interesting dishes, including pork liver with special sauce, hot pots, and stir fried potato (which I'm hoping is one of my favorites).

                                                                                                  7 Replies
                                                                                                  1. re: lergnom

                                                                                                    Yep. Picked up a takeout menu myself while waiting for my country-style pad thai around the corner.

                                                                                                    There's also a number of Shandong dishes (lots of noodles and lamb dishes!) on the menu: this combined with the name "One of THE Kind" makes me wonder if perhaps these guys are somehow connected to the short-lived mini-empire Unique Dumpling.

                                                                                                    1. re: Jenny Ondioline

                                                                                                      Speaking of which, very big news on the Unique Chinese front. Much to my surprise, I noticed one day last week that they had a big "Grand Reopening" banner up, and were open for business again after having been shuttered without explanation for nearly 6 months! I was passing on the bus at the time so wasn't able to get any more info, but that was great to see.

                                                                                                      1. re: Allstonian

                                                                                                        Intriguing! I was lucky enough to try Unique in their original Cambridge location and it was some of the most interesting Chinese food I've had. The Allston location did not have as much, but some here called a day before for the special items.

                                                                                                        The owner is a university professor who was writing a book on American history for Chinese students and was a bit over-extended it seems. Perhaps his project is complete and he is back in full strength as a restauranteur.

                                                                                                        1. re: Allstonian

                                                                                                          Yep, I saw this on Thursday too, forgot to post about it. I also didn't have a chance to stop in, but it looks like the same signage. I really hope they still have Beijing-style jian bing ("spring onion crepe" is probably the best way to describe it), as they're the only place in Boston that has ever had this terrific snack.

                                                                                                        2. re: lergnom

                                                                                                          Found out the original head chef from Wisteria is taking over this spot. I hope it works out for him. The eatery needs new blood.

                                                                                                          1. re: mojospapi

                                                                                                            Great news, some of the best pan-fried Taiwanese dumplings I've tried. I never really warmed up to Wisteria's Newbury location, but I hate eating on Newbury St anyway. I loved the Cambridge St location, a short-lived residency like Unique's brief stay afterwards. Chinese chefs don't die they just open more restaurants.

                                                                                                        3. Little Vinny's in Magoun Square, Somerville, is apparently closing at the end of the month. In its place will be a 80s-themed bar called Daddy Jones with Aura chef and OM alum Rachel Klein doing the food.

                                                                                                          13 Replies
                                                                                                          1. re: yarm

                                                                                                            Too bad. Always had good experiences @ L'il Vinny's.

                                                                                                            1. re: yarm

                                                                                                              They did a Groupon that expires in February. Hopefully they can still take them.

                                                                                                              1. re: yarm

                                                                                                                That's a shame. But in my opinion, when given the choice between L'il Vinny's and Vinny's at Night, VaN was much better.

                                                                                                                1. re: Bob Dobalina

                                                                                                                  The other shame is that I just read in Eater that Daddy Jones will be a Lyon's Group venture. Ick. I though my neighborhood was immune from that.

                                                                                                                  1. re: yarm

                                                                                                                    Not sure sure it is a Lyon's venture.
                                                                                                                    Wicked Local says:

                                                                                                                    "Daddy Jones is going to be the creation of Dimitra Tsourianis, who has worked for the Lyons Group, one of the biggest nightclub owners in the Boston area, according to her attorney Anne Vigorito during a License Commission meeting Monday night."

                                                                                                                    1. re: rknrll

                                                                                                                      I see. The Eater blog took the liberties of interpreting that. Or I misinterpreted what they said:

                                                                                                                      Lil Vinny's Ristorante in Somerville's Magoun Square is closing on 12/31/11 after 12 years in business. Wicked Local Somerville says the space will become Daddy Jones, a bar harkening back to the 80's and 90's from the Lyons Group. Though the article says the new venture will serve affordable "light fare," they're bringing a serious chef to make it happen: Rachel Klein of Aura and formerly of OM.

                                                                                                                      1. re: yarm

                                                                                                                        I was told chef klien is going to be new chef at asana in the back bay

                                                                                                                        1. re: OLDCHEF

                                                                                                                          We had a lovely Christmas dinner at Asana. Not sure if it was prepared by the old or new chef but the food was great. Service was extremely polished.

                                                                                                                        2. re: yarm

                                                                                                                          That is too bad. Every time I had been to L'il Vinny's it was busy. Maybe the lease was up and the new place is paying more? Now I have an excuse to visit Vinny's at Night.

                                                                                                                        3. re: rknrll

                                                                                                                          I believe she used to manager 94 Mass Ave when it first opened (not sure if that was the opening name but we all know the story). I heard Greek food and cocktails will be the focus. She left the Lyons group venture when the concept changed into just another bar.

                                                                                                                    2. re: yarm

                                                                                                                      couldn't find the article (link?) so asking here: 1880s or 1980s for Daddy Jones?

                                                                                                                      1. re: enhF94

                                                                                                                        1980's. The 1880's would be interesting for that part of Somerville which was a bit more agricultural until 1890-1910 when the majority of houses were built. My whole block that probably has 2 dozen houses used to be a single property using the rest of the land for orchards and farming.

                                                                                                                        Two original articles:
                                                                                                                        http://www.wickedlocal.com/somerville...
                                                                                                                        http://bostonrestaurants.blogspot.com...
                                                                                                                        Two articles that play telephone and altered it slightly:
                                                                                                                        http://boston.eater.com/archives/2011...
                                                                                                                        http://boston.grubstreet.com/2011/12/...

                                                                                                                      2. re: yarm

                                                                                                                        From Grubstreet today:

                                                                                                                        Rejoice, Somervillians: You can still get your fill of red sauce in 2012 for a little while, at least. The beloved (but apparently not beloved enough) Lil' Vinny's will not close on December 31, as was previously reported. "We will be open through the New Year and will keep you updated on actual closing," they Tweet. Is this going to be another Gargoyles fake-out situation? Or maybe they're reconsidering closing altogether? Meanwhile, Dimitra Tsourianis, rumored to be opening a spot called Daddy Jones in the space with Aura's Rachel Klein, shoots down speculation that Klein is involved at all: "@rfklein and I are v close friends, but we are not opening a restaurant together," she Tweeted. Hmm. [LilVinnysResto/Twitter, Earlier]

                                                                                                                      3. Some of the signage is gone from Aguacate Verde in Somerville, and the place is dark. Doesn't look promising.

                                                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                                                        1. re: Boston_Otter

                                                                                                                          Drove by tonight and the lights were on inside, not sure if it was open or not

                                                                                                                        2. Dosa Temple opened in Somerville last Friday. Has anyone been?

                                                                                                                          http://dosatemple.com/Site2/home.html

                                                                                                                          4 Replies
                                                                                                                          1. re: maillard

                                                                                                                            Very excited about this, partially because the menu is at least somewhat different than the usual Indian restaurant menu template. If anyone goes, or has experience at the Ashland location, I'd love for you to start a thread on the place for recommendations.

                                                                                                                            1. re: maillard

                                                                                                                              Wow. Was scanning the location only last Thursday. Exciting.

                                                                                                                              1. re: maillard

                                                                                                                                Oh man, I'm excited to try this place. Dosas, sure, but... idli! Vada! Sambar! Chana batura! Lots of south Indian vegetarian food, a cuisine that's hard to find in Boston.

                                                                                                                                1. re: maillard

                                                                                                                                  I've had the post temple buffet in Ashland and while it is not quite as great as the best Lexington Av Tiffin Rooms in NYC, it along with the two Udapi Bhavan outlets are certainly "chow worthy".

                                                                                                                                  But I am quibbling about the fluffiness of the Idli, the creaminess of the tomato chutney, things like that.

                                                                                                                                  South Indian breakfasts are my favorite morning meals.

                                                                                                                                2. Does anyone know what is going into the old flower shop on the corner of market and washington st in brighton center? It says Restaurant/takeout? Thanks.

                                                                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                                                                  1. re: Northstar22

                                                                                                                                    I'm wondering this too. They were doing a lot of work for a while but I haven't seen any action in a while. I'm also wondering about the flower shop next to CVS that closed. I noticed the greenhouse in the back used to be a cafe.

                                                                                                                                  2. lowell, not boston, but ole, the tapas restaurant, shut over the weekend. too much trouble with their upstairs neighbor, brian's ivy hall, which promotoes overcrowding, fights and underage drinking til stupefied.

                                                                                                                                    1. Bosphorus??? I live around the corner from Bosphorus (Inman Sq, Cambridge) and it's been dark for a few nights now, including through last weekend. Anyone know if they are taking vacation? Or something else going on with them?

                                                                                                                                      1. Jim Curley's has a soft opening tonight on Temple St. Looks like a mid priced saloon with lunch avg $10 and dinner prices below $20.

                                                                                                                                        Opened by the Bina Group.

                                                                                                                                        1. It looks like the Wendys in Central Sq is closing, there are signs on the window thanking people for their patronage and pointing them to other locations.

                                                                                                                                          Hardly a big loss, doubly so considering the skeeviness of the customers there. OTOH it always provided a particular niche - a place to get something very quick to eat if you had 5-10 mins and were in that area (Moodys & McDs being the other two). If it turns into a good eatery or bar, I'll not miss it. If it turns into a mediocre eatery or bar I'll be ambivalent and if it turns into a bank i'll be irritated.

                                                                                                                                          14 Replies
                                                                                                                                          1. re: jgg13

                                                                                                                                            Good riddance. Even a bank is a huge upgrade over gross, unhealthy food and crowds of homeless crazies. Who's idea was it to put a fast food restaurant, a liquor store, a dollar store and a bus stop all on the same block? All they are missing is a methadone clinic.

                                                                                                                                            1. re: Kinopio

                                                                                                                                              Actually the liquor store and wendys used to be one combined liquor store, it was parallel to the road.

                                                                                                                                              It might be "gross, unhealthy food" but it also can give me something to eat in a matter of a minute, which isn't something that's going to happen at Craigie, ya know? On the other hand we already have 74 (thereabouts) banks in mental scare, trust me - we don't need another one.

                                                                                                                                              I've lived in central for about 12 years now and I like how it has a wide range of things there. I'm not so snobby as to immediately get upset at two fast food places in the midst of so many other options. But hey, the next time I have 5 minutes to eat in central square I'll stop into Central Kitchen and tell them that Kinopio said it was cool beause they're not serving "gross, unhealthy food".

                                                                                                                                              1. re: jgg13

                                                                                                                                                I don't object to cheap and fast; it's just a shame when one's only options for that are the kind of seriously bad food slung by the national fast-food chains. I've eaten at such places out of desperation, usually while traveling on business in restaurant-benighted parts of the country, but I don't like giving them my money. It only encourages them.

                                                                                                                                                http://mcslimjb.blogspot.com/

                                                                                                                                                1. re: MC Slim JB

                                                                                                                                                  As I mentioned in a previous post, there's Moodys around the corner as an example of a place that would fit the bill. There's also Hi-Fi and ABC but I'd submit that neither should be viewed as any sort of step up over Wendys. There are some "faster" options, e.g. Four Burgers & Dosa Factory but neither fit the description that I'm trying to capture.

                                                                                                                                                  Don't get me wrong, I'd love for there to be, say, the old Tacos Lupita sitting in Central Sq, but I doubt that's in the cards. I'm just saying that I'd rather have a Wendys than another bank, or some cheesy place keeping brosephs fed & liquored up on flavored vodka drinks like TiTS or the new Floating Rock. I'd definitely not mind another nicer resto or gastropub type of place, but we're starting to accumulate those and losing the quick eats spots.

                                                                                                                                                  As an aside, I also saw today that Hubba Hubba is closing. Apropos of this discussion, she cited the homelessness issue as one of the reasons saying that while she liked the local color that it was getting tiresome to deal with.

                                                                                                                                                2. re: jgg13

                                                                                                                                                  can you get Central Kitchen to be open for lunch, all the time?

                                                                                                                                                3. re: Kinopio

                                                                                                                                                  Can't wait until Central Square becomes a yuppie paradise and all those annoying homeless people get pushed somewhere else. How dare they think that our craft cocktail bars, obsessively-sourced guinea hens, and overpriced grocery stores belong to them. Maybe we can just turn the bus stops into taco trucks to hasten the displacement.

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: hckybg

                                                                                                                                                    If only they'd put a little bit of amaro into their Listerene bottles they'd see the light.

                                                                                                                                                  2. re: Kinopio

                                                                                                                                                    "Gross" is debatable, but is a big burger at Wendy's any more unhealthy than a big burger at Four Burgers, or a big steak sandwich from Z Rant? Not at all.

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Boston_Otter

                                                                                                                                                      Even as a supporter of Wendys in this fight, I'd say arguably yes depending on one's definition of "unhealthy" (a hobby horse of mine because it's really a multivariate problem where not all variables can be optimized). The argument is that the national chains pump their fare with fillers, chemicals, processed junk, etc whereas Four Burgers down the street uses all natural products.

                                                                                                                                                      Of course 4B costs 2x as much and takes about 4x as long. I eat at 4B far more often than I do Wendys, but they each have their place.

                                                                                                                                                  3. re: jgg13

                                                                                                                                                    i was in rendez-vous one night and a guy came in selling leather jackets, lol. steve hustled him out toute suite, but the types of business in that area don't seem to alter those idling around in the decades i've lived here.

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: hotoynoodle

                                                                                                                                                      That's pretty funny considering that it used to be the homeless hangout back when the BK was there. I remember when the Wendys first opened they used to actively police the patrons but once that BK closed they just gave up.

                                                                                                                                                      The crazies & other derelicts are the best part of living in that area, they make life interesting to say the least.

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: jgg13

                                                                                                                                                        While I've never felt personally threatened, there is occasionally a somewhat menacing vibe to Central Square that I don't often feel in other neighborhoods.

                                                                                                                                                        And I say this as someone who lives in Allston, which many Hounds apparently feel is only slightly less horrific than Calcutta.

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Jenny Ondioline

                                                                                                                                                          Hah, good one.

                                                                                                                                                          It does seem to be getting worse over the last few years, after really cleaning up quite a bit a decade ago. One thing I've found is that a lot of the hooliganry goes on between them and not towards random bystanders, this has also been my impression over the years from reading the police logs.

                                                                                                                                                          That said, if it helps to keep some of my favorite watering holes and eating spots a bit less packed such that I can go in at will, I won't complain ;)

                                                                                                                                                      2. re: hotoynoodle

                                                                                                                                                        I have seen Steve bounce people on two occasions (once a loud drunk guy who got belligerent when they wouldn't serve him, the other a young couple lurking around the bar who were acting a little suspicious only a few days after a purse snatching from said bar). Each time, my appreciation of him increased.

                                                                                                                                                        http://cocktailvirgin.blogspot.com

                                                                                                                                                    2. Just confirmed--GrassFed burger bar will be opening in JP, in the former Bon Savor space. The owner of Ten Tables is behind it. (Not a December opening--looks like February 1.)

                                                                                                                                                      1. Finale in Brookline is closing per the TAB.

                                                                                                                                                        4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Berheenia

                                                                                                                                                            Shocked it's held out as long as it has.

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Berheenia

                                                                                                                                                              I personally hope all of their locations go under as I have been served disgusting, old pastries at each one.

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: demonachizer

                                                                                                                                                                Not much love for their pastries, though I'm definitely not the target audience for fancy cakes anyway, but was served a really wonderful hot chocolate there, second only to Burdick's.

                                                                                                                                                            2. Got a notice in my mailbox today about a public hearing to discuss the upcoming conversion of Davis Square's Diva Lounge into a falafel restaurant.

                                                                                                                                                              11 Replies
                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Boston_Otter

                                                                                                                                                                As a followup, I believe that the proposed falafel place is a franchise of Amsterdam Falafelshop.
                                                                                                                                                                http://www.falafelshop.com/

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Boston_Otter

                                                                                                                                                                  I now remember Devra First of the Globe expressing excitement at this prospect (it's a DC-based chain), but I had no idea the Diva Lounge was their first location here. Is the Bistro half of Diva staying in business?

                                                                                                                                                                  http://mcslimjb.blogspot.com/

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: MC Slim JB

                                                                                                                                                                    As far as I know, Diva's staying open -- the flyer only mentioned the Lounge. If I were that Falafel place, I'd keep the wacky Jetsons decor.

                                                                                                                                                                    Frankly, I'm not surprised -- Diva Lounge has had a lot of trouble with violence during their DJ nights, the drinks there are terrible and overpriced, and they've been repeatedly accused of racism by customers. The last time I went there, I ordered some cocktail called the Kali or something and got a martini glass filled with unflavored Ketel One with a cinnamon stick garnish -- for $13.

                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Boston_Otter

                                                                                                                                                                      I'm with you on Diva Lounge: I liked the decor, thought the cocktails were unspeakable.

                                                                                                                                                                      http://mcslimjb.blogspot.com/

                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: Boston_Otter

                                                                                                                                                                    Last July, I mentioned that Amsterdam Falafelshop was looking to open somewhere in the Boston area, but had no idea where they were looking at the time.

                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: hiddenboston

                                                                                                                                                                      Davis seems perfect for a falafel shop. Can you even get a falafel anywhere near there? Bring it.

                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: deglazer

                                                                                                                                                                        Soundbites (and their takeout place across the street) in Ball Square is the closest falafel place to Davis that I know of. Their Middle Eastern food (lunch/dinner menu) is actually pretty good and overlooked relative to their breakfast/brunch food.

                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: deglazer

                                                                                                                                                                          Cafe Barada on Mass. Ave. in North Cambridge has falafel.

                                                                                                                                                                        2. re: hiddenboston

                                                                                                                                                                          As a Davis Square resident, this is some of the most exciting news I've heard in a long time. Amsterdam is deeply beloved in DC, with good reason. Anyone have an idea on the time frame for opening if they get through the red tape?

                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: tazia

                                                                                                                                                                            Agreed. Amsterdam Falafel is so good. I would go often even if it were inconveniently located, but if it's right in Davis that would be fantastic.

                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: maillard

                                                                                                                                                                              Agreed agreed. My jaw dropped when I read Boston_Otter's post above. Amsterdam Falafel is a great place, a spot I loved in DC, and they have a great bar with pickles and other awesome toppings that make me very happy.