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August 2013 Openings and Closings

What, too soon?

Thought this item was noteworthy for two reasons, both self-evident: Bondir is opening a 90-to-100-seat restaurant in Concord. Per Eater Boston, it's shooting for the titular month.


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  1. Great news for Concord, but it makes me nervous for the original which is far and away my favorite restaurant of the past year.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Gabatta

      Now the Metro'Westers can no longer complain that "no good food" exists in the suburbs! Jason Bond is a fine fellow and I wish him well; I hope his suburban foray marks the beginning of a trend of top chefs opening outposts along Rte 2, as there is really nothing worth swallowing out there, save one's pride after too many egg rolls at Chang An.

    2. Ha ha. For a minute I thought this said August 2012 openings and closings.

      This is really exciting news, by the way.

      1. Tatte Bakery and Cafe is opening another location at 205 Broadway in Cambridge.

        Also while I do not have an address quite yet, a Trini restaurant named "D Coal Pot" is set to open in Hyde Park. What I am hearing is that it is not just another Roti spot, but rather a full fledged Trinidadian restaurant that spans beyond the regular Roti, Doubles, etc....

        5 Replies
            1. re: Matt H

              Is that the corner across from the convenience store? Thx

          1. re: Matt H

            I was out in Hyde Park for the first time in ages and noticed a Dominican restaurant (I think) in the space that used to be a non-descript bar on Hyde Park Ave. It's a pretty good sized space so not sure it will last since those places seem to come and go frequently. Also there's a burger place called Zaz or Zoz on River St. that I'd never heard about. Cute and clean. And we tried Fairmount Grill which took the place of Townsends and had a pleasant time. The food was all decent (nothing mind blowing) but well priced and the cocktails were actually very good and very well priced ($9) for interesting combos.

            1. re: Matt H

              I was listening to the West Indian radio station this morning and it seems like "D Coal Pot" is open. Based on the ad this could be a really interesting place. True Trini Style take out place serving dishes that are extremely hard to find outside of someones home cooking on a regular basis. Few of the items advertised:

              - Shark n Bake
              - Crab and Dumpling
              - Callaloo
              - Aloo Pie
              - Saheena
              - Macaroni Pie
              - Curry Mango

              Also the usual's like Roti, Doubles and Palourie.

              I will be trying it out soon and reporting back, but even in cities with large Trini populations it is difficult to find a place that steps out of the typical Roti and Doubles box, so this could be exciting.

            2. The Boston Globe reports that the secondary Bondir will open in October. Very exciting.

              1. the Globe reports that Anthony's Pier 4 will close in August.

                2 Replies
                1. re: enhF94

                  I gave it a Devil's Dining Award in 2011:

                  "Manny Ramirez Award for Least Likely Future Comeback: to Anthony’s Pier 4, the Waterfront institution that was Boston’s It Place in 1976, but 35 years later has still not gotten the memo that the restaurant world has moved on. Slated for demolition to make way for another glitzy Seaport redevelopment project, it promises to relocate nearby. With its fly-in-amber menu, welter of fresh new Waterfront competitors, and longstanding troubles with the tax man, we’re thinking that ain’t happening."

                  (But I was wrong about Manny.)


                  1. re: enhF94

                    yesterday was their last day. i want to know who gets the "buoys" and "gulls" signs from the restroom doors?

                  2. Boston Restaurant Talk, and the Boston Tourism and Hospitality blog are both reporting that a new seafood restaurant will open in August in the Back Bay from the Columbus Hospitality Group (Moo, Sorrelina, Teatro, Mistral).

                    Referencing a craigslist posting for sous chefs, the tentative name is either Columbus Fish & Oyster or Columbus Fish & Seafood. No word on the exact location yet.

                    4 Replies
                    1. re: CTrainInbound

                      A top caliber seafood restaurant would be more than welcome.

                      1. re: Gabatta

                        Absolutely! Atlantic Fish is really the only one within a short walk from Copley Square and they are always packed with out of towners and not really doing anything exciting in terms of food. Although Island Creek and B&G aren't too far from Copley, it will be great to have something closer in the neighborhood.

                        I do think the name (whichever one they decide on) could be more creative.

                        1. re: CTrainInbound

                          Atlantic Fish is good, if a bit over priced, when compared to other options. I'm hoping for something a bit more refined than Atlantic Fish.

                      2. re: CTrainInbound

                        they will be in the old avila space.

                        the columbus group already has a dedicated fish buyer so this should be a great addition to their mini-empire.

                      3. I walked by Miso Market (Massachusetts Avenue-Porter Square) this morning and saw signs posted announcing that they will be closing in August. Something about the owners breaking their lease. Boo!

                        9 Replies
                            1. re: granolagurl

                              Oh no :( This season I found pickled cherry leaves and blossoms, mugwort powder, very inexpensive garlic scapes, green ume, chrysanthemum leaves, shishito peppers, amanatto (candied beans), and numerous other hard-to-find things. The search for those items begin again...

                              1. re: granolagurl

                                I know the owners had been pressing to get them out so they could convert that into another block of high-end condo's, but thought they still had a multi-year lease with a lot of time remaining. Maybe they agreed to get bought out..

                                A shame... I liked their onigiri better than Ebisuya's..

                                1. re: granolagurl

                                  Any hope of them reopening somewhere else?

                                  This article mentions a possible move to the old sport shop space. I hope the landlords who told them they would have a longer lease help them move to this spot or one nearby:

                                  1. re: poptart

                                    The old sport shop space is now a women's fitness center, so I don't see that happening.

                                    1. re: poptart

                                      I was in there over the weekend and asked if they were moving or just closing. She told me they were looking for new space, but haven't found anything affordable yet.

                                      1. re: Stride

                                        They should team up with Yumewokatare.

                                    2. Had dinner at Strip-T's on Saturday. We asked about Ribelle and the waiter said he had been told that it would open in the next week or two. We live in Washington Square and saw the new sign go up over the weekend. Ribelle is also now in twitter @RibelleBKline

                                      4 Replies
                                      1. re: marketpeach

                                        Friends and family ( invite only) this week- opening to the public soon after.

                                        1. re: kewpie

                                          Tonight is the last night of the soft opening...

                                          1. re: kewpie

                                            Has anyone been to Ribelle yet? I'd love to see a menu...

                                      2. Shaw's Supermarket's have announced that they will be closing abt 11 stores in RI, MA, and NH.

                                        1. Seta's Mediterranean Cafe to open in August in Belmont.

                                          271 Belmont St, next to Sophia's (!). This location was formerly Chicken Express.

                                          Based on facebook research, this appears to be first physical location, but Seta has had booths at local farmer's markets for a while.

                                          Here's the facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Setas-...

                                          1. Just got information that the Cafe Columbus (Liberty Mutual Building) is opening to the General Public this Monday August 5th:

                                            Café Columbus is open to the public and features:

                                            • Specialty beverages including espresso, cappuccino and Starbucks coffee

                                            • A wide selection of freshly prepared items such as sandwiches, salads, soups, pastries and fruit

                                            • Healthy breakfast and lunch offerings

                                            • Digital signage displaying easy-to-read menus and providing nutritional information on healthier offerings

                                            1 Reply
                                            1. re: meeps2002

                                              Is that what that new building is called? Not a bad-looking one, considering compared to some of its recently-built neighbors. Not enough decent breakfast options in that neighborhood.


                                            2. Naked Pizza in Coolidge Corner is papered over.

                                              1. The area 4 outpost on somerville ave is looking rather close

                                                26 Replies
                                                1. re: jgg13

                                                  Am I the only person that gets a totally unexplainable uneasy vibe from Area 4? It could just be remains from a convo with a bartender there who's "favorite movie" was something that was pretty disgusting.

                                                    1. re: kimfair1

                                                      Yeah really, you can't drop that bomb w/o filling in the details.

                                                      I'm going to throw out a guess: Bedknobs & Broomsticks

                                                      1. re: kimfair1

                                                        I am really reluctant to say. It might put you in the same position as me. And based on everyone's opinions, I think it is the association of this movie with this restaurant that is infecting my brain.

                                                        It is in fact so disgusting that I cannot in good conscience post it here in case a kid might see it.

                                                        Let me put it this way...it is a cross between a Saw movie and the Island of Dr. Moreau.

                                                        1. re: Bob Dobalina

                                                          I know of the movie that you're writing about. Perhaps (hopefully) the bartender was joking? As others have chimed in I've never had anything but good service, food and drink.

                                                          1. re: mats77

                                                            Yeah, I'm pretty sure I've figured it out as well. I've seen it, and as well as being disgusting, it's pretty awful.

                                                      2. re: Bob Dobalina

                                                        We've actually only gotten bad vibes from the owners (one experience in particular with the chef that still just baffles my mind that a person of his stature would fathom is ok). The rest of their staff has always been great.

                                                        1. re: Bob Dobalina

                                                          While it's not my favorite place on the planet (although I *am* excited to have the outpost on my street), I've never been uneasy there.

                                                          1. re: Bob Dobalina

                                                            I have never gotten bad vibes there. I find the service to be good not great, but not weird or anything.

                                                            Agreed, tell us the movie! My guess: Salò

                                                            1. re: maillard

                                                              Great guess! AND, it would be pretty weird for it to be someone's "favorite" movie! I've only eaten at the Area 4 truck, but I have to say, the kafta sandwich was pretty good!

                                                            2. re: Bob Dobalina

                                                              We've had nothing but positive experiences and vibes from A4. Sometimes the hostess seems overwhelmed, otherwise everything has been great.

                                                              1. re: Gabatta

                                                                We've always felt quite comfortable at 4 as well. Friendly, low-key service and a relaxed vibe. Never sat at the bar, though.

                                                                1. re: bear

                                                                  they serve the most perfectly dressed arugula salad. i order it always prepared to be let down "this" time, but never am.

                                                                  am never blown away by the service here, but it's not terrible either.

                                                            3. re: jgg13

                                                              According to Eater it's soft opening this weekend and grand opening on monday

                                                              1. re: jgg13

                                                                I'm planning on going this evening - very excited to have it in my neighborhood. I'll report back if I make it over!

                                                                1. re: blumiethekoala

                                                                  Yeah, me too. I was sad to see the bbq spot go but it was so short lived I barely got to know it anyways. Besides, since then I got my own smoker :)

                                                                  I normally avoid new openings but it's so close that we'll probably wander over there at some point this weekend.

                                                                  1. re: jgg13

                                                                    Went there tonight and loved it! It ended up being quite expensive for pizza (most of the pies are in the $15-17 range, and they're sized for about one person), but the vibe was great and the pizza was excellent. Apparently between 11pm and 1am every night once they're up and running for real, they'll serve a few of the basic pies at half price, cold. There are video games, some decent beers (I had a nice Slumbrew), and a really friendly staff. The prices will probably keep me from being a true regular, but I'll definitely be back on an occasional basis - and I'll probably give the late night deal a try pretty soon.

                                                                    1. re: blumiethekoala

                                                                      ^^My thoughts are exactly in line with yours! DH went on Friday for the soft opening (I wasn't able to make it) and we both went in for a quick dinner last night. I'm thrilled to have it in the neighborhood but it does seem a little pricey. I understand that the ingredients are high quality and the pizza really is excellent, but it just seems more expensive then the Kendall location. Probably because they only have smaller pizzas. We got a watermelon/tomato salad (delicious but tiny), one marg pizza and two beers. Total w/ tax and tip was $48. Again, the food was great, good beer selection but I definitely wasn't full upon leaving. Since I live right around the corner, I was hoping for a place I could go once every 1-2 weeks. This will probably be a once per month or every 2 months type of place, which makes me sort of sad. Maybe I just need more money?!! LOL. Will be back late night for sure though.

                                                                2. re: jgg13

                                                                  I'm guessing 50,000 people will be trying to get into A4 tonight, which is about 3 more people than in the Market Basket parking lot across the street. Maybe I'll go to Carlisle to get ice cream instead.

                                                                3. re: jgg13

                                                                  We ate at A4 pizza last night for the first time.

                                                                  We ordered the lentil salad with smoked bluefish to start. It arrived in a small frying pan which is a very odd presentation for something that is cold. I tested the pan, just in case it was a hot salad, which sounds silly now. This salad was really exceptional. The green lentils were cooked evenly to just the point of being soft without falling apart. There were some carrots and parsley, and of course chunks of smoked bluefish. The dressing was the star. Tangy mustard, perhaps some lemon. Really terrific.

                                                                  We then split a sopressata pizza. I started by eating just a bit of the crust without toppings and it is a darn good piece of bread. Slightly tangy, soft textures, and full of actual flavor. Moving on to actually eating everything together, the tomato sauce is seasoned, the cheese is very stringy, and there was a ton of sopressata.

                                                                  To be honest, I thought there was too much sopressata for the balance, but my dinner companion would not buy into my theory even a little bit. "Just like a good pepperoni" he kept murmuring between bites. I couldn't taste the cheese. It was all texture, but the sopressata might have overwhelmed that component.

                                                                  Now for the other stuff. This place is expensive. One salad, one 12" pizza, no drinks, $35 with tip. [Once again, I am getting priced out of my own neighborhood.] The space is dark. If there had been no sun, and there won't be in a month, I would not have been able to read the menu. Two groups ordering takeout took their menus outside in order to read it. The music is loud. Talking was a chore, almost impossible. I have known my dining companion for many years. We waited until we got home to chat about the day. The chairs are actually comfortable! That was a nice surprise. The silverware has some substance and was up to cutting the pizza. It does feel like a bar but it appears they have just enough table seats to be called a restaurant. They kept the long skinny bar along the ride side of the space from the BBQ place, and yes, you could eat in those, but not in a leisurely way. Lots of staff folks. More staff than customers. The head bartender was talking up a couple big-time explaining the simple menu over and over, and in order to be heard over the music was really screaming. Our server didn't feel the need to describe things to us in as much detail.

                                                                  1. re: smtucker

                                                                    "The space is dark. If there had been no sun, and there won't be in a month, I would not have been able to read the menu. Two groups ordering takeout took their menus outside in order to read it. The music is loud. Talking was a chore, almost impossible."

                                                                    I LOL'd at the couples taking the menu outside.

                                                                    I hate -- HATE, HATE -- that people are still opening dark restaurants. I hate loudness, too, but I view that as being something that the restaurants have less control over than the lighting. I've never understood it and never will.

                                                                    1. re: FinnFPM

                                                                      Restaurants can control the noise level; loudness is almost always a conscious choice, especially with new buildouts. I used to believe it was exclusively about creating lively, youthful ambiance (which it is, but only partly). The other big reason for high noise levels is that it discourages lingering, yielding more turns per service.


                                                                      1. re: MC Slim JB

                                                                        All good points.

                                                                        I guess there must be a large contingent of diners out there who simply don't mind this, because almost no restaurant is good enough to compel me to make a return trip to an excessively loud, dark place.

                                                                        1. re: MC Slim JB

                                                                          Yes it is possible to control loudness through design and material choice. No it is not always a conscious choice that results in a too-loud dining room. Many (most) restaurateurs and their architects simply do not know what to do or how important it is to do it. They may think they want a lively room and then are shocked to find just how loud it can be if no effort is made during design. (I have some personal and professional experience with this.)

                                                                      2. re: smtucker

                                                                        Went last week, had e meatball app, e pizza with banana peppers on it (and sausage?) and a special pizza which was amazing. Overall the pizzas were great and we dug the meatballs. Nice, albeit small, beer selection.

                                                                        It definitely is expensive though. They bill their pizzas as being individual sized and they are mostly in the upper teens. We had the above and two beers each for around $75, pre-tip.

                                                                        I dug the space (it was night time, we could read the menus) but its not a place I'd go if I had more than one other person with me.

                                                                        1. re: smtucker

                                                                          Boston Globe reviewed A4 today in the Cheap Eats column just proving that my "quick night price point" is no longer valid. I don't buy it though. A4 is not a cheap eat. I think they just don't have a category for these new neighborhood restaurants with finer dining price points.


                                                                      3. Busy Bee Bakery in Melrose closed last week after a 3 year run. A sad loss as a counterpoint to what is otherwise an improving food scene in the city.

                                                                        1. A new Caribbean place is opening in Somerville's Winter Hill - Some 'Ting Nice Caribbean Restaurant. Their Facebook page says August 15th for the opening. It's at 561 McGrath Highway, on the corner of Pearl St.

                                                                          9 Replies
                                                                          1. re: blumiethekoala

                                                                            Did the NTSB intern start naming restaurants too?

                                                                            1. re: mkfisher

                                                                              Haha. Despite the clunky name, I'm pretty excited for this place as it's not too far from my apartment. Fingers crossed for roti, which I haven't been able to find around Somerville.

                                                                              1. re: blumiethekoala

                                                                                Well if the Caribbean food doesn't work out, they could always switch to Chinese food without changing the name. /ntsb

                                                                                Re: roti in Somerville, I enjoyed the Trinidad roti at Hit Wicket, close by on Cambridge Street. Not sure how authentic, etc. but the lamb version was delicious.

                                                                                1. re: lossless

                                                                                  Oh, nice! I'll definitely have to give that a try. I've been meaning to make it over there. Thanks for the recommendation.

                                                                                  1. re: lossless

                                                                                    I also enjoyed the roti (I posted more dtails in the Hit Wicket thread)

                                                                              2. re: blumiethekoala

                                                                                I was wondering what was going to end up there. Could you paste the link to their facebook page? Cant seem to find it for some reason.

                                                                                Also any mention on what type of Caribbean, from the name I would guess Jamaican.

                                                                                1. re: Matt H

                                                                                  Here's the FB: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Some-T...

                                                                                  No specific mention of type, from what I can tell, but they do have a Facebook photo album of what appears to be stock photos of potential dishes. Some interesting stuff in there.

                                                                                  1. re: blumiethekoala

                                                                                    Thanks! Looks like a Jamaican-Trini hybrid to me. Good stuff.

                                                                                2. re: blumiethekoala

                                                                                  SomeTing Nice's sign was up yesterday, but the windows still have plastic.

                                                                                3. Per Eater Tamarind Bay in Harvard Square is closing as of 8/9. Supposedly they lost their lease and are looking for new space in Cambridge. It will be interesting to see if they resurface in light of the recent Brookline location closing which was blamed on chef's visa issues. At the time they said they were going to focus on the HSQ location, for which they must have been aware the lease was coming up?

                                                                                  That aside, it is too bad to lose one of the better Indian options in the area.

                                                                                  1. The new Whole Foods in Charlestown is slated to open tomorrow morning (Aug. 7th) at 10am, according to their Facebook page. I am so relieved! Slightly to home for me than the Charles River Plaza WF and with way, way easier parking. Whoot!

                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                    1. re: peelmeagrape

                                                                                      Does anyone know about the new WF in Arlington? It looked as tho there were lights on when I drove by today, but I couldn't really get a good look.

                                                                                    2. What's the latest on Ana Sortun's new place, Sarma? Wasn't it supposed to open around now? I know "this summer" often turns into "November". Can't wait to try it!

                                                                                      3 Replies
                                                                                          1. re: kewpie

                                                                                            October, then? I pass it every day and unless they snuck in some magic elves there is no way this is going to be done soon. They have not hung sheetrock yet.

                                                                                        1. Bento Express, near the corner of Boylston and Tremont, closed for renovations and a new sign is up for Fins Sushi and Grill.

                                                                                          1. A4 Pizza in Somerville is apparently soft-opening tonight, as per Eater.

                                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                                            1. re: nyc_to_ma

                                                                                              We went for dinner tonight - 2/3 full on Saturday, 7:30ish. The basil & walnut pesto pizza was very good. Fans of thin-crust will be happy here - in fact it was paper-thin in places but I didn't mind. The zucchini on the pizza was cooked perfectly. Lentil & smoked bluefish salad was even better than the pizza - flavorful and refreshing. I suggest asking for the mustard vinaigrette on the side and adding as you like. We'll be back soon. Quite a cozy space, and not a good pick for a large group. The tables for 2 already felt ever so slightly cramped.

                                                                                            2. Looks like Tonic is turning into an Italian restaurant: http://www.universalhub.com/2013/fail...

                                                                                              1. Noticed recently that the Irish Ale House in Dedham is closed for renovations. Never see many patrons inside...just a few bar customers. Hope they can do something to revitalize it.

                                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                                1. re: random amblings

                                                                                                  From their website: "The Olde Irish Alehouse Will be closing our doors for renovation on July 1, 2013. Expected to re-open in apprx 6-8 weeks with a new main bar and an added function room over-looking the Charles River, as well as much more. Check back for updates."

                                                                                                2. Construction has started at State Park in One Kendall. There's a long ways to go, but there's actually some progress in the space after 1 1/2 years of an abandoned Think Tank.

                                                                                                  1. AW MAN! Macaron Sweeterie has closed: http://lexington.patch.com/groups/bus... I only went here once and really enjoyed it. We JUST moved down the street from them and were looking forward to their return from their summer closing. PHOOEY.

                                                                                                    1. Just heard that Sauce Trattoria in Southie (formerly Wolfie's) has shuttered

                                                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                                                        1. re: pang

                                                                                                          I walked by Sauce about a half hour ago and it looked mighty dark.

                                                                                                        2. Tom Yum Koong in Arlington is papered over (I only saw it yesterday, so maybe it's already old news).

                                                                                                          This place was proof to me that just because you're Thai, don't mean you can cook.

                                                                                                          2 Replies
                                                                                                          1. re: digga

                                                                                                            I drove by tonight and saw the paper but I think there was also a white piece of paper on the brown paper that said "Reopening" something or other.

                                                                                                            1. re: Chris VR

                                                                                                              Ugh...I was hoping for something new in its place. Thanks - I'll walk by sometime this weekend.

                                                                                                          2. Cancun Taqueria is now open on Mass Avenue between Harvard and Central Square. Wonder whether their rice and beans are vegetarian as I have been craving a good burrito!

                                                                                                            5 Replies
                                                                                                            1. re: granolagurl

                                                                                                              Have you tried either Beantown Taqueria in Central? They have good vegetarian options.

                                                                                                              1. re: viperlush

                                                                                                                My hubby and I went to eat at Beantown when they first opened. We were getting ready to order the vegetarian burrito when the customer in front of us happened to ask whether the rice (and maybe the beans, I can't remember) in the burrito had chicken broth in it. He was told "yes." We were going to live in ignorant bliss, but once we knew with certainty that the vegetarian burrito was in fact NOT vegetarian, we left. Haven't been back since. Suppose it is probably worth asking again (perhaps maybe the recipe has changed since????).

                                                                                                                I am discovering that a lot of places actually "sneak" chicken broth in where you would least expect it. A friend of mine told me that Masala (Indian in Teele Square) uses chicken broth in their rice. I have yet to confirm this. Unfortunately (and naively) I have a tendency to believe that things are in fact vegetarian when they are marked as such.

                                                                                                              2. re: granolagurl

                                                                                                                Just had lunch here. Wet burrito with chili verde had good flavor and is massive. Fish taco made with tilapia was bland. Looked like they were doing well with takeout business.

                                                                                                                1. re: lossless

                                                                                                                  You've gotta love their signage. The coming soon duct taped over on the sloppily draped banner covering the old Lamole sign. No mention of now open or the like. The space looks completely unchanged from Lamole. I wonder if it is new owners or just a new concept.

                                                                                                                  1. re: Gabatta

                                                                                                                    If I can remember all the way back to this morning (it feels like FOREVER ago!), I think the "now open" was written (in lipstick? wax pen? marker?) across the front windows. About as classy as the sign. There are already 2 reviews on yelp for it so they must be up-and-running.

                                                                                                              3. Bagelville is coming to Mass Ave in Arlington on the Lexington... I think it used to be a Panera? I don't know anything about the place but the website they give is bagelvilleonline.com and their other outpost seems to be Faneuil Hall Marketplace. Not exactly a ringing endorsement... any opinions on these bagels?

                                                                                                                2 Replies
                                                                                                                1. re: Chris VR

                                                                                                                  If it is the same place as Faneuil Hall, they're round bagel-shaped objects made out of perfectly fine bread, but no more bagels than anything else I've found in Boston. They're very large, as bagel go -- like 20% bigger than I think of as standard. As a Panera replacement, it's equivalent in quality and a step down in terms of variety, although with the larger space maybe they'll branch out.

                                                                                                                  1. Rox Cafe has opened in the former Baker's Best spot in Newton Highlands. 3rd restaurants of the Rox Diner's crew focusing more on bar/dinner. Walked past a couple of nights ago - looked pretty busy.

                                                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                                                    1. re: winmeover

                                                                                                                      had a very good burger and friendly bar service there about 2 weeks ago. bright white space for the dining room and a separate entrance for take-out.

                                                                                                                    2. Five Horses Tavern is now open in the South End.
                                                                                                                      Soft opening was last night. Open for regular business today.
                                                                                                                      Menu looks quite similar to the menu online for their Somerville location -- a nice variety including many vegetarian options.

                                                                                                                      The pea diddy salad was a real stand-out -- a large salad with english peas, avocado, basil puree, mozzarella and greens.

                                                                                                                      I was happy to see a variety of affordable wine options, given the focus on beer.

                                                                                                                      They've flipped the layout relative to the old Columbus Cafe space. Large bar and bar seating on the left, tables on the right space. They had all the windows open to the outside last night and also outdoor seating.

                                                                                                                      Looks like a nice addition to the neighborhood.

                                                                                                                      1. It looks like Remick's in Quincy has closed. Windows papered over, etc. I guess I'm not surprised. I and a few of my friends tried it when it first opened and none of us liked it at all. We never went back. I didn't hear one person who had anything good to say about it.

                                                                                                                        It was a shame though, since they did such a nice job renovating the space and we were all hoping it would succeed.

                                                                                                                        1. The Brookline Spa(related to the Real Deal in West Roxbury Jamaica Plain and recently opened Cleveland Circle)) has a sign on it saying it's closed for renovations.

                                                                                                                          5 Replies
                                                                                                                          1. re: catsmeow

                                                                                                                            Hope that's not a euphemism. They do a mean cheeseburger sub.

                                                                                                                            1. re: Jenny Ondioline

                                                                                                                              I had no idea about the Real Deal connection; the website says it's been a "family-owned establishment since 1995."

                                                                                                                              Is that about the time that this place got shut down by the DEA? I recall it being Brookine's chumpiest convenience store (I lived nearby at the time). Shelves were either half-empty or stocked with stuff with years-bygone expiration dates. Then it came out in the Tab that the owner had been dealing weed out of it for years, and I went, "Ahhh, now I get it."

                                                                                                                              A place with a mean cheeseburger sub is a fine upgrade, in my opinion. I only know the Real Deal by reputation, but that sounds about in their wheelhouse.


                                                                                                                              1. re: MC Slim JB

                                                                                                                                It's been essentially food only for a while. Good stuff. An under-rated lunch option, especially if you take it to one of the parks right around there - e.g., Linden Park, Linden Square, Pierce Park.

                                                                                                                                1. re: lergnom

                                                                                                                                  I was just told by a Brookline Village restaurant person that the Spa actually closed due to back rent and other financial issues and that one of the brothers of the owner was trying to re-open it. It's a shame if true.

                                                                                                                                  1. re: BarryP

                                                                                                                                    That is terrible news, I eat there once a week for lunch and they put out such a consistently solid product. Really hope they can get things in order and re-open.

                                                                                                                          2. Local blogger BosGuy reports that Francesca's Cafe in the South End has closed.


                                                                                                                            6 Replies
                                                                                                                            1. re: MC Slim JB

                                                                                                                              Not taking cards was part of their demise

                                                                                                                              1. re: MC Slim JB

                                                                                                                                More alarming to me is the Eater Boston comment that says that Francesca's owner also owns the Delux Cafe and is selling it, too. That's a spot I would miss more.


                                                                                                                                1. re: MC Slim JB

                                                                                                                                  What? That would be awful. Delux is like the last good dive bar (depending on how you classify Anchovies) that we've got left in the South End.

                                                                                                                                  1. re: Spelunker

                                                                                                                                    Ah, the old dive bar conundrum. The Delux, Wally's, Anchovies, The Eagle, and by broad neighborhood boundary definitions, Slade's are the last South End bars that predate the late 90's renovation / gentrification boom and are still relatively cheap, casual, and fun. Not sure any but Slade's would meet my dive bar standard: the rest are too safe.

                                                                                                                                    J.J. Foley's and The Franklin got a bit fancier and pricier over time, but deserve a mention for longevity; Foley's still has the most diverse crowd in the neighborhood. Darryl's got a couple of swish makeovers from the Bob's days, ditto Coda after the Tim's era. The Red Fez got fancied up and has been terrible for years.

                                                                                                                                    The late Waltham Tavern was probably the last real bucket o' blood: "Ladies Invited" sign, pool table, puck bowling, good jukebox, $2 Buds, a place that ran an illegal sports book and dealt coke and Oxy. Saw a few ugly scraps there between scary lowlifes. The neighborhood late-stagers would line up for the 10am first call.

                                                                                                                                    The Mob guy who owned it was elderly yet still a frightening badass, ran his businesses from his social club up the block (now the Wholly Grain) before the DEA finally put him away for good. He died in Cedar Junction at the age of 84. The building is luxury condos now. Peter King lived in one for a while.

                                                                                                                                    Not much left. I'll be sorry to see The Delux go.


                                                                                                                                    1. re: MC Slim JB

                                                                                                                                      Yeah, I shuddered a bit to use the 'd' word, but it was useful shorthand. Anchovies is always a bit more restaurant-y, and I primarily think of Wally's as a music joint. Slade's I always forget about, but I would consider that Roxbury anyway (not that's a bad thing: I'm a big Darryl's fan).

                                                                                                                                      Two things are in short supply in the South End: casual cheap bars and late-night takeout. Delux is always one of my go-tos for the former, and it would be the biggest loss since The Other Side from my standpoint.

                                                                                                                                  2. re: MC Slim JB

                                                                                                                                    What? No! I'll be very disappointed to see that place go.

                                                                                                                                2. I will report back after I drive by, but two new places in Wollaston Center in Quincy, around the old movie theater. One is 'The China' and another, I forget the name. Both are Asian fare, shockingly.

                                                                                                                                  1. the latin spoon food truck has opened in malden center

                                                                                                                                    1. The old Razzy's space on Somerville Ave. has a new awning that says "Moroccan Hospitality Restaurant." Not open yet. Still paper on the windows.

                                                                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                                                                      1. re: sjculwell

                                                                                                                                        The work on the place has been pretty slow. My assumption has been that they're related to the one in Malden but don't know that for sure

                                                                                                                                      2. Apparently Bertucci's in Harvard Square is cleaned out and closed up. Not that we ever actually ate there but it will be mourned for its convenient at least weekly supply of pizza dough for homemade pizzas.

                                                                                                                                        14 Replies
                                                                                                                                          1. re: zigzag

                                                                                                                                            That's interesting. It usually did bangup business, not that I ever ate there. Their bread rolls were good, though. Any more details?

                                                                                                                                            1. re: Uncle Yabai

                                                                                                                                              The landlord wants something less chain-y there.

                                                                                                                                                1. re: FinnFPM

                                                                                                                                                  Well, that would be swimming against the current in Harvard Square these days. An unusual, but positive development.

                                                                                                                                                  To their credit, that Bertucci's was there for centuries, back to when the place wasn't as "chainy". It was one of the earlier locations, together with the Kendall Square one, after the original in Somerville, next to the Steve's (same owner by this point). Remember "Bertucci's Pizza and Bocce"? The bocce court went by the wayside pretty quick when Joey realized he could get more revenue per square foot by putting tables in that space instead.

                                                                                                                                                  I have a friend who used to live around the corner from the Steve's-Bertucci's building, and in its heyday that place was something special. Huge lines at both places, though. But we digress into Chows past and Chows no more, something frowned around these parts for some reason.

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Uncle Yabai

                                                                                                                                                    Hey, nobody's googling for restaurants that no longer exist. These Capital One 360 ads aren't going to view themselves.

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: FinnFPM

                                                                                                                                                      psssssst... install adblock, my friend.

                                                                                                                                                  2. re: FinnFPM

                                                                                                                                                    Given what is presumably a high rent for the space, will it just be something more restaurant group-y instead?

                                                                                                                                                2. re: zigzag

                                                                                                                                                  According to a sign Felipe's Taqueria will be moving into the old Bertucci's space from their current location in The Garage. I haven't been there much lately (frequenting Beantown Taqueria more), however have always found them to be one of the better Taqueria's in the area.

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Gabatta

                                                                                                                                                    I do enjoy their chorizo burrito, and I appreciate the pickled carrots and radishes.

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Gabatta

                                                                                                                                                      I've always found Felipe's to be a good, cheap, taco fallback in the area and really enjoy the condiment bar. It will be interesting to see if they do anything with more space.

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Klunco

                                                                                                                                                        Isn't the former Bertucci's right next to Flat Patties? If so, since the same dude own both, I imagine the plan is to expand Flat Patties into that space and put in Felipe's in the rest of it.

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Jenny Ondioline

                                                                                                                                                          The spaces are not immediately adjacent. Brattle Florist is immediately adjacent to Flat Patties, and there are a few other places (including Crema) in between as well.

                                                                                                                                                  2. New Caribbean place called "Some Ting Nice" being built, papered windows, on Broadway in Somerville sorta near Magoun Sq.

                                                                                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Prav

                                                                                                                                                      Any day now on this one! The opening was originally scheduled for the 15th, but as of the 17th, they were just waiting on the health inspector, according to the GM.

                                                                                                                                                    2. There's another thread on this, but for anyone who missed it, Sushi Island in Wakefield is closing this Sunday. More info here http://wakefield.patch.com/groups/bus... but it seems they are looking to reopen something, somewhere. And a new place is going to open in the same location, called Sakura Organic.

                                                                                                                                                      1. Nothing particularly exciting about this, but the former Copa-Cabana (formerly The Garden of Eat-In, and before that, Good Food Cafe) on Mass Ave near Hana Sushi and Greek Corner has a sign in the window saying that they'll soon be serving "authentic Indian cuisine".

                                                                                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Boston_Otter

                                                                                                                                                          Another Indian restaurant? Huh...market seems pretty saturated to me.

                                                                                                                                                        2. The Davis Square outlet of Snappy Sushi has reopened as Snappy Ramen. (Oddly enough, this was the idea I had suggested for another of the Snappy folks' restaurants, Yakitori Zai.) Eater has the menu: http://boston.eater.com/archives/2013...

                                                                                                                                                          Yume Wo Katare's summer hiatus ends August 30.

                                                                                                                                                          Shanghai Social Club in Allston is now officially open.


                                                                                                                                                          7 Replies
                                                                                                                                                          1. re: MC Slim JB

                                                                                                                                                            Speaking of Yakitori Zai, have you heard any updates on that one? They were going to reopen on August 1st with a new menu, but that hasn't happened yet, as far as I know.

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: blumiethekoala

                                                                                                                                                              I walked by last night: still closed, and the windows now papered over.


                                                                                                                                                              1. re: MC Slim JB

                                                                                                                                                                Eater is reporting that the closure of Yakitori Zai now appears permanent, in part allegedly due to neighbors' complaints about the ventilation. Myself, I doubt that claim, as I am on that block often and have never smelled any smoke from its grills. They spent quite a bit of money up front to obviate that problem.

                                                                                                                                                                The more sensible explanation to me is that they were simply way overpriced for the concept. A lot of people went once, liked the food, but blanched at the tab and never went back. The place was always nearly empty on weeknights, only seemed to get close to full on weekends for dinner and its ramen brunch.


                                                                                                                                                              2. re: blumiethekoala

                                                                                                                                                                An industry source confirms: the Yakitori Zai space is officially for sale. Put that one in the "permanently closed" column.


                                                                                                                                                              3. re: MC Slim JB

                                                                                                                                                                I'll miss the Newbury Fashion Roll and their lunchtime roll specials :/

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: MC Slim JB

                                                                                                                                                                  I tried the tonkotsu ramen at Snappy Ramen. I first thought the broth was too mild but it got better with each sip; I finished the whole bowl of soup which I haven't done in a long time with ramen. Decent noodles. Lots of green onions / leeks which I personally like. Plus mushrooms and toasted garlic. The 2 pork slices were very promising - good thickness and mix of lean and fatty - but sadly wasn't cooked so well and some bits were rubbery. If they can improve on cooking it then it'd be the best chashu compared to Sapporo and Inaka.

                                                                                                                                                                  Waitress said they're not sure yet if it'll be called Snappy Ramen or Snappy Sushi. Also, no gyoza which bums me out. Couple of diff Sapporo and 3 diff Kirin.

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: lossless

                                                                                                                                                                    The waitress when I went in said that all the changes were sort of sudden and they were still figuring things out; she said they'd kept a few of their old specialty rolls but were considering whether to add more or to add nigiri as well. I'm actually sort of surprised that they removed all of the hot entrees from their menu (tonkatsu, takoyaki, etc) that seemed to be really popular.

                                                                                                                                                                2. 28 Degrees has closed, let staff go.

                                                                                                                                                                  3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: random amblings

                                                                                                                                                                    The voicemail for 28 Degrees says they are closed through the Labor Day holiday(?)

                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: hiddenboston

                                                                                                                                                                      Thats what they posted on their front door. Just a white sheet of paper saying Closed Through Labor Day

                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: meeps2002

                                                                                                                                                                        I just sent a message to the owner of 28 Degrees to see what's going on. I'll let you know as soon as I hear.

                                                                                                                                                                  2. i know, i know, but strega prime is open.

                                                                                                                                                                    don't know if this is in here already, but the charlestown whole foods is open. went in mid-day yesterday and it was VERY busy. their super-clean no antibiotics rotisserie chickens were on-sale, however, it was one of the more disgusting versions of this thing i have ever had. most of it went in the trash. was on-sale 2 for $10. am so glad i just bought one.

                                                                                                                                                                    oh! and grapefruit juice was $3.99 a quart. am so glad this chain is expanding. :0

                                                                                                                                                                    1. Cafe Mattina in Maynard has a sign saying that Serendipity is opening soon. Don't know if it's just a name change or not.
                                                                                                                                                                      its not a huge loss either way. The sign they had up.about not expecting quick service and to think about this before entering could not have helped business!

                                                                                                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: maxevan

                                                                                                                                                                        Not just a name change. I know that Hobson's Homemade, local bakers, are involved and that (I believe) it will be a cafe.

                                                                                                                                                                      2. Not new, but Gran Gusto has moved its patio space to the back parking lot. Very quiet back there, though Sherman Street is hardly scenic. Hope it works out.

                                                                                                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Aromatherapy

                                                                                                                                                                          Not new now either, but the pleasant patio is out front again. Much better.

                                                                                                                                                                        2. yoma has reopened with a solely vegetarian menu. they have also removed many classic burmese dishes

                                                                                                                                                                          8 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: galangatron

                                                                                                                                                                            Seriously? Why would they do something so idiotic?

                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Jenny Ondioline

                                                                                                                                                                              My conversations with the owner many months ago indicated his growing preference for more healthful cooking (at that time he said he was not deep-frying anymore) with a focus on more vegetarian dishes. However, I am still surprised by this recent decision.

                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Nab

                                                                                                                                                                                The switch to vegetarian makes some sense, given the vegetarian/vegan neighborhood (Root, FoMu, Grasshopper). It's really a shame if some of the classic Burmese dishes are gone, though. Is there any other Burmese food in the Boston area?

                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: blumiethekoala

                                                                                                                                                                                  Nope - YoMa has remained the only Burmese restaurant in Boston, and was originally met with much excitement by those of us who had long mourned the loss of Mandalay.

                                                                                                                                                                                  An all vegetarian menu is a bit of a disappointment, but the news that they've dropped many of the classic Burmese dishes (and apparently dumbed down the few that remain to an unacceptable degree - see Taralli's post below) is much more of an issue.

                                                                                                                                                                            2. re: galangatron

                                                                                                                                                                              A revisit to the ginger salad of yore was a disappointment. The old salad had tons of julienned ginger, giving it a hot gingery bite. Saturday's version was hard to even taste it. The tea salad also paled.

                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Taralli

                                                                                                                                                                                Damn, I'll miss their shrimp and pumpkin curry.

                                                                                                                                                                              2. re: galangatron

                                                                                                                                                                                The only non-vegetarian or non-vegan dish left on YoMa's menu is the shrimp dumplings. There's some dairy in the desserts and a few other dishes.

                                                                                                                                                                                I know it's not the same thing, but there are echoes of Burmese cuisine in the Chiang Mai dishes on Thai North's specials menu, including kao soi.


                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: MC Slim JB

                                                                                                                                                                                  I'm vegetarian (excepting what I consider unique or exceptional meat dishes). I have tried the Burmese Curry at Thai North, and it is my favorite pork belly dish in Boston. So I echo MC's reminder of an echo of Burmese at Thai North.

                                                                                                                                                                              3. Any updates out there for the Sibling Rivalry Space or Noche?

                                                                                                                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: meeps2002

                                                                                                                                                                                  The Noche space is going to become Blind Tiger (same ownership) - possibly opening in October or November, or so they say. Someone's giving me details on the Sibling Rivalry space in a week or so - I'll post when I know something.

                                                                                                                                                                                2. Clay Pot Cafe has opened in the old King Fung space in Chinatown. Taishan specialities and 14 different clay pot rice dishes as well as hot pot. I'll try it perhaps later this week.

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. 606 Congress has closed, per Eater through BostonChefs.

                                                                                                                                                                                    I supposed I'm not surprised - I'd eaten there at least four times in the last six months and never saw more than three other tables full at any point. But I don't get it _why._ The location was a hot district, it's an easy drive, tables were easy to get, and the food was skillfully prepared by a staff who cared (see previous post http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/902237). My read was that they were using their $50,000 HACCP Sous Vide license to _finally_ start the hotel-cooking sous-vide revolution (i.e. properly cooked steak even on the night shift).

                                                                                                                                                                                    I couldn't fall in love with the place, but I am disappointed.

                                                                                                                                                                                    6 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: enhF94

                                                                                                                                                                                      I suspect why: it used a non-descript name for a hotel that is not well known by locals. So it lacked a strong brand association on which local business could be built. People weren't really aware it was there to be found.

                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Karl S

                                                                                                                                                                                        The name of the place to replace it - MC Medici - is not much better.

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Bob Dobalina

                                                                                                                                                                                          Remember when Michael Schlow was calling 606 one of "his" restaurants? Me, neither.


                                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: enhF94

                                                                                                                                                                                        schlow was consulting chef when it first opened, but i've never heard anything more than meh about the food. the bar/lounge area of that hotel is often mobbed during events and conventions, yet 606 would have tumbleweeds blowing through. the room's design also felt soul-less.

                                                                                                                                                                                        i don't think any of the hotel restaurants down there have branded themselves effectively in order to draw anybody other than their captive audiences. hopefully some of the smaller properties being built will offer more creative hotel dining, a la clio and icob.

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: hotoynoodle

                                                                                                                                                                                          I always thought of 606 as one of those generic hotel-lobby restaurants that are intended as an amenity for guests, not a dining destination. My understanding is that at such places, the hotel does zero to attract outside patrons because they don't want it ever to be more than 30% full, lest a guest be inconvenienced when they want to dine.

                                                                                                                                                                                          Schlow crowed about his involvement till the reviews came out, then it disappeared from his website. He missed one mention, though: http://www.michaelschlow.com/boston.html


                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: MC Slim JB



                                                                                                                                                                                            i understand hotels make all their f&b $$$$ on events,but it never feels welcoming to walk into an empty dining room. tamo is much smaller, but always jammed at breakfast, while 606 never was. bad feng shui maybe?

                                                                                                                                                                                      3. there is major construction going inside the old c-mart space in chinatown