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July 2013 Openings and Closings

Just checked a little while ago--Thailand Cafe in Cambridge just disconnected their phones, so it looks like farewell to them.

Any other openings or closings that might be happening this month?

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  1. It's not clear exactly when, but the Herald reports that two new Pinkberry stores will be opening this year - The North End store will be located at 285 Hanover Street and Davis Square's new location will be located at 263 Elm Street, Somerville.

    13 Replies
    1. re: Stride

      That will be the 3rd tart yogurt place in Davis square. Can there possibly be that much demand?

      1. re: Melmybelle

        This topic comes up a lot here. I subscribe to the theory that many of the new fro-yo chains are like for-profit colleges, which are all about enrolling students and collecting tuition from them with the help of government loans, not seeing them through to graduation. I think a lot of fro-yo franchises are preying on gullible franchisees, overselling the market opportunity, and don't particularly care if these small businesspeople succeed as long as they collect their startup fees.


        1. re: MC Slim JB

          You say preying on gullible franchisees, I say efficiently allocating capital, maximizing utility, and fulfilling the American dream!

          1. re: MC Slim JB

            Heck, that already happened once in the fro-yo industry -- in the late '80s/early '90s. TCBY had almost 3,000 locations; now they have 300. Amazingly, they're trying to sell it to franchisees again.

            I read an article about the Davis Square situation recently and the owners of iYo basically said they'd ride this trend as far as it takes them, but that they were prepared to change focus. Hopefully that bodes well for the independent operators.

          2. re: Melmybelle

            I had the same thought. And they are all near each other on Elm Street. Still, I'm glad to know there will be a Pinkberry among the mix!

            1. re: Melmybelle

              Maybe not, but it's funny that this conversation came up, because I was just walking down Elm St. yesterday and thinking that I kind of wanted some frozen yogurt, but wasn't sure about the options available (I've never had orange leaf or whatever or the other one). If there was a pinkberry or berryline or sixteen handles, I probably would've gotten some... Not sure that this is typical, though.

              1. re: maillard

                Orange Leaf and iYO have very similar yogurt -- a dozen or so flavors, most of which are super-sweet and taste like soft-serve ice cream. iYO (the local indie store) also has make-your-own waffles and a coffee bar. As I understand it, Pinkberry's more of the tart style of fro-yo.

                1. re: Boston_Otter

                  Thanks very much! I don't like the sweet type at all, so I'm glad I didn't try it.

                  I wish someone would make full-fat tart yogurt. That is delicious. I do sometimes make it at home, but I'd love to be able to get it out as well.

                  1. re: maillard

                    I'm so with you on that. I would love a little fat in the yogurt...that's something I would go out of my way for.

                  2. re: Boston_Otter

                    JP Lick's yogurt X is tarter than the others in my opinion. Another thing about iYo and Orange Leaf is you have to be careful to avoid artificial sweeteners. I've been burned by this- a whole bowl of yogurt that turns out to have that nasty sucralose flavor and was not listed as such.

                    1. re: Parsnipity

                      Oh yikes. That's good to know. Certain artificial sweeteners make me violently ill, so I'll just skip iYo and Orange Leaf. I've never tried JP Lick's for some reason. I'll check it out.

                      1. re: maillard

                        Or you could ask. iYo has been very good about catering to folks and helping out.

            2. Should we put July vacations here or should that be a separate topic.

              And can anyone confirm Galleria Umberto's normal month of July closure?


              3 Replies
              1. re: BostonZest

                Umberto's closed dates this year are today (well, yesterday, since they're closed Sundays) through July 29.

                1. re: Jenny Ondioline

                  I wish I knew about it before going in and being disappointed when I saw the sign :((( Does anyone know where to get a take out arancini that is any good in the area??

                2. re: BostonZest

                  Penny, maybe a new thread should be started, just so we don't panic anyone when they see Galleria Umberto under closings and openings. :-)

                3. Erbaluce is on its annual summer hiatus through July 9.


                  1. I haven't been in years but it was announced to that
                    North Ends Boschetto bakery is closing after 110 years.

                    1. Whole Foods opens its Melrose location in the old Foodmaster on July 24th.

                      5 Replies
                      1. re: Karl S

                        any eta on the arlington location?

                        1. re: hotoynoodle

                          Haven't a clue. The announcement re Melrose was in the past week, because the project took less time than they originally thought (the Melrose Foodmaster was built within the past 20 years or so).

                          1. re: Karl S

                            seems bizarre that it would take so long to make a market into a market.

                            1. re: hotoynoodle

                              It's like fixing a house sometimes it just isn't worth saving things if the bones are bad or don't fit your design. Hopefully they are updating to the latest energy saving equipment. I'm sure it would be easier to turn a whole foods in to a stop and shop.

                              1. re: lc02139

                                Charlestown location opens August 7. Beacon St. in Somerville in September.

                      2. I drove through Newton Corner this morning and there looked like there was work going on at the long-shuttered Applebees in the Crowne Plaza Hotel. Has anyone heard anything about what might be going in there?

                        4 Replies
                        1. re: pemma

                          very interesting. That space has been vacant for the better part of a decade now and I could never figure out why. There is ample parking on street and in the garage right there. I wonder if Buff's has ever considered expanding and taking that space. Probably would have happened by now...

                          1. re: Gordough

                            I looked into renting the lease is18k a month!

                          2. re: pemma

                            From the May 21 agenda for the Newton Licensing Commision:
                            Application filed by Newton Corner Restaurant Concepts, LLC, d/b/a Social Restaurant and Bar, Jeffrey Denecke, 28Gertrude Street, Watertown, MA. 02472. To be exercised at 320 Washington Street, Newton. MA. 02458. Hours of Operation from: Monday – Sunday 11:00 A.M. – 1:00 A.M. Entertainment will include Recorded Music, live Bands and 8 Televisions. 7 days. Seating (172 )

                            1. re: MaxEntropy

                              drove by this evening (11/14) and there were diners...

                          3. Commenting on Boschetto's bakery closing. Rent was raised. Sad...

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: gourmaniac

                              Just watching Greater Boston segment about increased rents, and demographic changes, in the North End. Boschetto's owner was on camera, saying the raise almost QUINTUPLED the rent. Something like that is really outrageous.

                            2. There's been some movement in the old Think Tank space. Looks like they've moved some furniture around and brought in some Hawaiian leis and drink tickets. I'm fascinated with what's going with this long abandoned space, if only because their barstools would look great in my condo.

                              2 Replies
                              1. re: mkfisher

                                That is going to be State Park from the team at Hungry Mother.


                                1. re: jcab923

                                  Good to know. I knew the HM folks were doing something, but didn't know it was in that exact space.

                              2. So disappointed to see that Royal Palace on Tyler St. is closed! Seems to have happened about 2 weeks ago.

                                3 Replies
                                1. re: emmtilt

                                  Really? That would be horrible. I get take out there weekly though did not do so last week. I will check today.

                                  1. re: gourmaniac

                                    We did, too! I talked to Patrick last week at his sister's place, and he said he's definitely closed. He'll be at the Juice Bar for the foreseeable future. Boo!

                                    1. re: emmtilt

                                      I just walked by and it is shuttered and locked. Thanks for your followup confirmation. That is a real shame! It was perhaps my favorite take out place and i will miss it. They had my favorite beef chow fun, salty spicy pork chop and braised pork belly with preserved mustard greens (a rarity). Patrick is such a nice guy too. I wish him well.

                                2. Longboards Cafe and Bar should be opening in a week or so in Pickering Wharf Salem, it's in the old Hungry Whale space.

                                  1. An Tua Nua (closing noted in the June thread) is now operating as Arc, using a compass logo (kind of like the Mason's symbol). I walked by there on the 4th, after the Sox game, and it was dark and quiet inside, although the doors were open. Was too damn hot to even stop and look at a menu (if one was hanging).

                                    It's possible ATN was the longest lived rendition of that location over the 30+ years I've been following (and getting kicked out of) bars in that space. As well as the short lived version of B&D deli there.

                                    1. Avila in Back Bay near the Theatre District is no more. It will be replaced by a seafood restaurant from the Columbus Hospitality people (Mistral, Sorellina, Mooo...., etc.), to be called Columbus Fish and Oyster, set to open this fall.

                                      Also looks like nasty German "Italian" chain Vapiano in the Transportation Building might be done.


                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: MC Slim JB

                                        Last I looked, there was some ambiguity about the closing of Vapiano, thanks to one of those "closed for renovation" signs that often really mean "we are done, done, done-zo." There's a fun Eater Boston story about Nookie Postal scouring restaurant bankruptcy auctions for cheap equipment for his forthcoming restaurants, and Vapiano's gear was among them: http://boston.eater.com/archives/2013... So put that stupid place in the Dead column.


                                      2. Anyone have any news about Cafe Han River in Brookline? Someone told me the front is papered over. Is this true?

                                        2 Replies
                                        1. re: hiddenboston

                                          I recall hearing (here, I believe) that it closed last month, maybe before.

                                          Yep, it's in the June thread; there was talk of the owners recasting it as a Thai place and the neighbors objecting to proposed new hours.


                                        2. Remington's on Boylston Street has closed after close to 30 years. Furniture was piled outside yesterday. The owner of the building, Emerson College, apparently would not extend their lease. The college's takeover of the area continues.

                                          1. Razzy's Deli & Desserts is now closed in Worburn and is now called Sandwich Jerks, LLC.

                                            1. Warwick Place
                                              123 Pleasant Street
                                              Marblehead, MA 01945

                                              is now open

                                              1. The South End version of FIve Horses Tavern- which seems like it's been taking forever to build out- looks like it is pretty dang close now. They've added the outdoor tables and chairs so might make it by end of July.

                                                  1. re: MC Slim JB

                                                    I saw that, too...but I can't find anything about a salmonella outbreak on the dept. public health sites. Do we know if anywhere else is affected?

                                                  2. Asinayo Korean grocery store in Framingham center is closed (has a for lease sign in the window and all the inventory is gone).

                                                    3 Replies
                                                    1. re: daikon

                                                      That's unfortunate - it was our go-to Asian stuff store in the area.

                                                      Anyone have suggestions for a good replacement in the Natick/Framingham area? I'm sure there must be a few others (maybe some better) - went there out of habit.

                                                      1. re: NE_Wombat

                                                        Formosa Asian Marketplace is the closest thing in the area.

                                                        1. re: NE_Wombat

                                                          There is a new place, a Taiwanese Market (could that be the Formosa Asian Mkt. Daikon mentions?) downstairs from Sichuan Garden on Rt.9, but it's pretty small and pretty expensive...

                                                      2. Simpli Bar & Bites opened at 3840 Washington Street near Forest Hills (technically JP, but may as well be Rosi) across from the new Harvest Co-op. Seems like they have breakfast, lunch, dinner, and a full liquor license.

                                                        1. Locale on Hanover St. across from Strega looks really close. The tables are in there, and the space looks more or less finished.

                                                          1. Changsho is closing after service tomorrow to remodel and will reopen sometime in the fall, per the attached picture on their door. When I picked up our take out they said they would be expanding the bar area, but I didn't get any additional details to how the menu might be changing.

                                                            5 Replies
                                                            1. re: Gabatta

                                                              Soundst to me like the classic "closed for remodeling" gambit. Whatever, that place hasn't been anywhere near worth going to since 1991 or thereabouts.

                                                              1. re: Uncle Yabai

                                                                Yeah "classic".

                                                                Changsho has always had pretty much the same, very good, Americanized Chinese cuisine. It's not like they served an authentic menu in the past.

                                                                1. re: Gabatta

                                                                  As I said, the last time Changsho fell into the "very good" category was sometime around 1991.

                                                                2. re: Uncle Yabai

                                                                  Very much disagreed. They've easily got some of the best Chinese-American in the Cambridge area in a really lovely space -- I'm not surprised they're spending some time remodeling the cramped bar area.

                                                              2. Yakitori Zai is closed for renovations, per a sign on its door, until sometime in August. This may have something to do with a purported "ventilation problem". They do grill their skewers over charcoal.


                                                                4 Replies
                                                                1. re: MC Slim JB

                                                                  The last time I've heard the phrase "ventilation problem" was that BBQ place in Union that lasted about two weeks, before it went poof, never to be seen again. Hope YZ fares better.

                                                                  1. re: Bob Dobalina

                                                                    "Early August" is what the sign says, and I've seen staffers continuing to meet in the restaurant most nights since the closure.

                                                                    I'm always skeptical of these "temporary" issues -- so many, like the recent Vapiano closure, become permanent -- but Zai has been open for over a year without generating any complaints from the neighbors about smoke smells from chimney exhaust, which is what usually dooms in-city BBQ places (see Bearded Pig and Roadhouse BBQ in Washington Square, Brookline). So maybe it is just a repair.

                                                                    On the other hand, I have watched the thin weeknight crowds at this place during that year-plus and wondered how they could make a go of it. I like the food, but it's too pricey to be anything but a very occasional stop instead of part our neighborhood rotation (our last check for two broke $200 with modest wine and sake).

                                                                    The weekend lunch ramen is outstanding; I have wondered aloud before here if a new focus on ramen would draw more regular crowds. It's a small place, yet the only times I ever see it remotely full are peak weekend nights.


                                                                    1. re: MC Slim JB

                                                                      They really missed the mark with the pricing IMO. For a place that was greatly anticipated, it failed to generate any significant buzz before or shortly after opening.

                                                                  2. re: MC Slim JB

                                                                    Eater Boston is reporting (via a tipster) that Yakitori Zai's temporary closure may be not for a ventilation problem (surprise!), but to effect a concept reboot to "Franco-Japanese cuisine."

                                                                    Hope the weekend ramen stays.


                                                                  3. Big sign has gone up in the restaurant space on the corner of McGrath Hwy and Pearl Street in Somerville- "Carribean Restaurant Opening Soon." My google-fu isn't coming up with any reports.

                                                                    2 Replies
                                                                    1. re: smtucker

                                                                      I just posted on Eater Boston about this (I'm not allowed to share the link here, right?) It'll be called Some 'Ting Nice Caribbean Restaurant, and it's supposed to open on August 15th. They have a minimal Facebook page up at this point, but I can't find much else. The address is 561 McGrath Highway. I'll go post about this on the August thread.

                                                                      1. re: blumiethekoala

                                                                        I got in deep doo-doo here years ago for posting my links, so yeah, it's best not to do it. :-)

                                                                    2. Was surprised to see the windows of MJ's Subs in Roslindale papered over. Turns out it's due to retirement.


                                                                      1. Tatte Bakery's new location at 205 Broadway in Cambridge was originally slated to open July 1st. It has been postponed twice and is currently scheduled to open August 12th. Here is the info on their website:

                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                        1. re: bonhomme1

                                                                          Maybe that will ease the crush at the one on 3rd St.

                                                                        2. As reported elsewhere here, the second location of Gene's Chinese Flatbread Cafe, in Downtown Crossing in the old Burritos Express location, is now open. Note that the hours are 11a-4p, weekdays only.


                                                                          1. Just got a call from Pier 4 canceling our Aug 4th reservation. They are officially closing July 31.

                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                            1. re: catsmeow

                                                                              You lucked out. Place has been beyond dreadful for years. I am not sure I would even go there if someone else was paying.

                                                                            2. Maluken in Kenmore Sq closed (don't remember seeing it on the board). A new sign just went up that the Fenmore Grill is taking its place.

                                                                              6 Replies
                                                                                1. re: kobuta

                                                                                  lol, i walked by that place for decades. i think i went in once for a peek and it was so dingy and dark i walked right back out. was always surprised it managed to stay open.

                                                                                  did you ever eat there?

                                                                                  1. re: hotoynoodle

                                                                                    I hadn't been in there for a while but for years had always liked their sushi and sashimi.

                                                                                    1. re: hotoynoodle

                                                                                      Once when I joined a group years ago, and due to the size and demographics (read: a lot of poor college kids), this was their place of choice for a bite in the area. That was enough for me. To give them credit, I was surprised to find omu rice on the menu, but it was not a great rendition of omu rice.

                                                                                      1. re: kobuta

                                                                                        Eh, what's so bad about a cheap, dingy late night karaoke option in Kenmore? In a way, it was one of the last surviving dives in that area, with, what, Lower Depths the last man standing? Not like the horribly named and generic sounding Fenmore Grill is going to last long or come close to competing with ICOB or Eastern Standard across the street.

                                                                                    2. re: kobuta

                                                                                      Maluken was one of those places that I considered trying for twenty years, but something always held me back: call it my Mediocre-Looking Sushi in Shabby-Looking Hotels Sense tingling.

                                                                                      Every new place starts out on my hot list of places to try, but eventually, if I haven't hit it in a year or so, slips to my lukewarm list, and rarely escapes from there. Maluken was a 19-year veteran of my lukewarm list.

                                                                                      You never want to say never, and many of my "unpromising" first impressions turn out to be wrong (Rino's, La Frontera, New Jang Su, Liberty Bell, Mangia Pizza in Watertown, and so on and on) that I try hard to quash those. But I never got over my insistent "meh" feeling about this place.


                                                                                  2. Was briefly in Reliable Market today and noticed some significant changes to the store layout. The back room (with the kim chi etc.) has been re-arranged and a full kitchen is in mid-install. Don't know what the plans are, but it appears to be somewhat open/public as opposed to being behind closed doors like a prep kitchen.

                                                                                    5 Replies
                                                                                    1. re: deglazer

                                                                                      In case anyone buys beer/soju here, I noticed a sign last week saying they have some license issue and are not selling any for now.

                                                                                      1. re: deglazer

                                                                                        I was at Reliable earlier today. Asked about the kitchen setup. The fish person said it's not any kind of a restaurant; they plan to make food that will be delivered and sold elsewhere. I asked if he meant something like lunch boxes or truck food, and he said yes but seemed unsure. The cashier person said it's not clear when it'll start - not soon though.

                                                                                        1. re: lossless

                                                                                          Thanks for the info! Something like lunch boxes would be cool, but I guess we'll have to wait and see. I just started buying the occasional bento from Miso Market, only to find that they are soon to close.

                                                                                          1. re: deglazer

                                                                                            I just came from Reliable, and there were a few people with clipboards wandering around, checking things out. Not sure if they were inspectors or something else. One of them was talking to an employee about a seating area, but I couldn't make out much more than that. Lunch boxes or something in that realm would be fantastic, if that's what's going on. The alcohol is still blocked off with a sign mentioning a pending license transfer; it's been that way for at least a few weeks now.

                                                                                        2. re: deglazer

                                                                                          The kitchen at Reliable was being used today - one person was cooking vegetable jeon. On the counter were free samples of tteokbokki, japchae, jeon, and various banchan of the fish guts sort. Plus packages of gimbap and tteokbokki to go. She told me they would be open every day during lunchtime. The tteokbokki has good flavor, and is the minimalist version - just sticks of tteok and sauce. See photos.