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October 2013 Openings and Closings

Eater notes a Craigslist posting that reveals that Ostra -- high-end New England seafood from the Columbus Hospitality Group (Mistral, Sorellina, etc.) in the former Avila space -- is hiring for an October opening.


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  1. am sure it will be spendy, but the group already has a dedicated fish buyer, so i think this will be a great addition to the dining scene here. all of their places rock on service as well.

    1. Several sources now point to Sarma opening in October. They snagged Vik Hegde from ICOB to run the bar program, a good guy: http://boston.eater.com/archives/2013...


      5 Replies
      1. re: MC Slim JB

        I CANNOT wait for Sarma to open. I'm so excited. I've been running by there the past few weeks just so I can keep peeking in the windows. The light fixtures and the paint colors look beautiful. I have really high expectations...

        1. re: MC Slim JB

          In what is a massive season for openings, this is the bar I am most looking forward to. It is probably the most mentioned opening when I speak to people in the industry, as well.

          Mezze cooking station as part of the bar? I love it. I hope it works in practice.

            1. re: Bob Dobalina

              if those lamb tips are "mezze" for you, i like how you roll!

          1. re: MC Slim JB

            We were at Oleana last night and it sounds like they're having some soft openings this weekend and fully opening next week.

          2. There is a cafe opening in the old Boloco space on Boston Ave in Medford called Tamper -- apparently also owned by the Boloco people. Noticed this weekend that the sign is now up outside.

            5 Replies
              1. re: MC Slim JB

                Ha ha. Tamper is such an odd name for a restaurant. I wonder if the food will be over-the-counter or by prescription only.

                1. re: hiddenboston

                  As it's an espresso-making tool, I suspect this will be a serious coffee shop.


              2. re: nyc_to_ma

                I walked by last night -- it was abustle with people setting up furniture and equipment, and looked pretty much ready to open. Sign said breakfast/lunch/coffee, which is what I expected from the name. DPH is often packed, so if they can siphon off a bit of that crowd, they should do fine. Especially if it's slightly cheaper.

                1. re: nyc_to_ma

                  And it's open -- I was going past on Sunday and decided to stop in. Very industrial-chic decor (knockoff Diesel vibe), coffee & pastry were good but not exceptional. Lots of people there. I think they'll be fine, again as I said before especially if they can get some of the DPH overflow crowd -- there's times I've been through there that I thought about stopping in for a coffee but it was so crowded that just trying to stand in line was more hassle than a coffee was worth.

                2. Does anyone know what is up with Imari (nee It Rains Fishes) in Winchester? We just moved to town and had heard good things, but called last night for takeout and the number is not in service.

                  There is one yelp review from late September stating "we will miss this restaurant," but nothing else.

                  1. I walked by Stega North End last night. It was in the process of being totally gutted. It must be getting a makeover.

                    9 Replies
                    1. re: Snowflake

                      Sure hope they add some more TV sets.

                      1. re: LeoLioness

                        Maybe they woke up one day and realized the interior was the most hideously mismatched assortment of random design motifs in the city. I speculated that it was done by some teenage Varano relative in their first semester at Frankie's Discount School of Design and Auto-Body Repair.


                      2. re: Snowflake

                        Maybe they're going to turn it into a 100,000-square-foot complex with fireplaces, water views, juggling clowns, and a few more TV sets.

                        1. re: Snowflake

                          I think they decided the combo of the yellow and TVs was a little too understated. They want something that pops a little more.

                          1. re: mkfisher

                            They will now show Scarface in 3D.

                              1. re: LeoLioness

                                If they don't do that, someone needs to get a Kickstarter going for a restaurant that will.

                              2. re: mkfisher

                                It just won't be Strega unless I can watch Moe Green getting shot through the eyeball while I'm enjoying dinner.


                              3. re: Snowflake

                                I walked by last night. Totally bizarre. They had the blinds drawn, there was a dumpster outside, but then they had a hostess at the door. It was terribly confusing. Asked someone that knows all things North End, and she didn't even know what was going on.

                              4. Any news on Fritz in SE becoming a martini bar?

                                1. Was driving down 3A in Cohasset and saw a sign for "Olympus Grill Now Open". No web presence yet http://www.olympia.bliztek.com but some twitter presence and Grub hub has a menu.

                                  Any one try it yet? I am going to going to try to get there over the weekend. I am partial Cedar Cafe in Hanover but always looking for good greek/middle eastern food.

                                  1. RJ Gourmet, a coffee shop on Cambridge Street in East Cambridge, has had its doors shut and its lights off for two days. No sign on the door and an old broom on the counter. Anyone have an update? Their coffee is great. But it's a poor location for this kind of coffee shop, in my opinion. I was never sure how they could make ends meet here.

                                    2 Replies
                                    1. re: mvi

                                      hiddenboston reported in the September Open/Close thread:

                                      "The person behind RJ Gourmet decided not to renew the lease."

                                      1. re: smtucker

                                        Oh, I should have checked there. Thanks. Good coffee.

                                    2. Mashawi Grill has opened in Allston. I had a tasty kabob there tonight. http://www.mashawiboston.com

                                      2 Replies
                                      1. re: robkeats

                                        Brighton, actually - it's on Sutherland Road just off of Commonwealth. Based on some of the less-standard items on the menu it sounds like the proprietors are Lebanese. Which of the kabobs did you have?

                                        1. re: Allstonian

                                          I had the dejaj kabob meal, 2 skewers plus salad and hummus. I also tried a dolma (stuffed grape leaf) and can recommend it.

                                      2. Monica's Mercato on Salem has completed the expansion.


                                        1. Not a restaurant, but I just got a postcard in the mail for Restaurant Depot. They are opening on Oct. 23 in Avon, 30 Bodwell Street.

                                          1 Reply
                                          1. Chubby Chickpea - Canton

                                            Canton Store News:
                                            We are relocating to our NEW KOSHER FACILITY at 120 Jackson Street, Canton, MA 02021. This new facility presents the opportunity for a much larger operation, even higher consistency, central air conditioning (when it's hot), and plenty of parking! At the present time, we have closed our old Canton location.

                                            Our targeted Grand Opening for the new store is Sunday, October 13, 2013! Stay tuned for more information!

                                            1. The pleasant Zenna's Noodle Bar near Coolidge Corner on Beacon has been closed for several days now. Someone locking the door the other day said simply that it was closed for now and that it was unknown whether it would re-open. A sign on the door yesterday directed any package deliveries to a different address.


                                              1. Delux is not closing, contrary to other rumors. Change in ownership but will remain as is.

                                                1. I went by Sarma last night and they were either open or having a soft opening (I was on a bus so couldn't investigate). Anyone know?

                                                  4 Replies
                                                  1. re: LeoLioness

                                                    Looked like a soft opening to me as we drove by on our way to Tenoch. The traffic on that bit of road right in front was a mess and all the parking was taken, so I too didn't investigate.

                                                    1. re: smtucker

                                                      I randomly did a google search for Sarma earlier this morning because I was curious if there was any news and open table popped up as the first link. I clicked on it and it said they were taking reservations tonight. No phone number listed for me to call and investigate though....

                                                      1. re: kdemayo

                                                        I just did a search for Sarma on twitter and a few posts from last night came up. Someone mentioned "friends and family." Another person also attached the below photo (partial of the menu) along with the caption "best beef jerky ever."

                                                    2. re: LeoLioness

                                                      Yup, soft opening on Tuesday night!

                                                    3. Phantom Gourmet's Facebook page is reporting that the Hilltop Steakhouse in Saugus will close on October 20.

                                                      I'd comment there, but I'm banned for making one too many jokes that they didn't care for. Very thin-skinned, those Andelman boys.


                                                      7 Replies
                                                      1. re: MC Slim JB

                                                        That place is still open? It was something to behold back in the day, though.

                                                        1. re: MC Slim JB

                                                          The Hilltop went way downhill over the past few decades, but it's sad to see another piece of Route 1 disappear. Pretty soon it'll be like any other road in the country.

                                                          1. re: hiddenboston

                                                            It was pretty good of its kind in its day, an undeniably a fun, kitschy experience, but I agree: it slid badly in recent years, and there are plenty more options in the cheapish-big-steak category these days.

                                                            It belongs in a museum exhibit with Anthony's Pier 4 and Weylu's, a fond memory from the 70s that only your grandparents are likely to mourn for the food. Thank goodness we've come a long way since then.


                                                            1. re: MC Slim JB

                                                              Maybe some hep cats from MIT will do an encore bovine escapade?

                                                              I wonder if they'll have an auction for all the chotchkie?

                                                              1. re: Bellachefa

                                                                Funny you should mention that - the marine antiques place on High Street is about to auction items from Anthony's Pier Four.

                                                          2. re: MC Slim JB

                                                            No surprise though, it was the cat's meow in the 70's when you had to wait in line for hours to get in. Gone are the Anthony's, Hawthorne's, General Glover style dinosaurs of that time period. Maybe the cactus should be placed in the neon hall of fame. The place will probably become just another mall.

                                                            1. re: MC Slim JB

                                                              hard to believe dave and dan cant take a joke. cough,cough.

                                                            2. Tornado Restaurant and Lounge in Malden should be opening before the end of the month.

                                                              1. Ida's, an old-school (1951) place in the North End closed this week. The DePasquale group apprently will take over the space.

                                                                2 Replies
                                                                1. re: mhead

                                                                  Any word on whether it will be a free-water or no-free-water place?


                                                                  1. re: mhead

                                                                    I seriously thought Ida's closed 20 years ago!

                                                                  2. the Davis Square LiveJournal reports that Martsa on Elm, in Davis Square, will close/reopen "under new management." Noted without comment.


                                                                    1. Some 'ting nice in Somerville opens Friday. Menu was posted on eater boston and it seems very ambitious.


                                                                      Huge West Indian addition to the area if they can execute.

                                                                      9 Replies
                                                                      1. re: Matt H

                                                                        In keeping with the name, the way the menu is written gives me a headache.

                                                                        1. re: Gabatta

                                                                          Just need to brush up on your "thinking accent" and it will flow
                                                                          ; )

                                                                        2. re: Matt H

                                                                          As long as it doesn't head like the Asiana flight, and become Sum Ting Wong...

                                                                          1. re: Matt H

                                                                            Wow, if they can pull all of that off, it'll be awesomely unique to the area. Ackee & saltfish? Cow heel soup? Manish Water?

                                                                            1. re: Matt H

                                                                              Thanks for the update, I have been keeping an eye on it but hadn't passed by recently trying to avoid some of the construction in the area.

                                                                              A restaurant serving "brunch and patty melts," as well as offering "libations -- craft beer and wine, sangria" which I think is called Snappy Patties is coming to West Medford where the stained glass shop used to be located. Still doing some initial construction as far as I can tell, so not likely to be an October opening but maybe a 2013 opening. Definitely room for both brunch places and more burger offerings in Medford (Carroll's is probably the best overall option and the Tatsty Gourmet the only place I know for a patty melt these days)... so I'll applaud as long as they don't manage to squeeze pizza somehow on their menu (even the the seafood restaurant nearby offers pizza).

                                                                              Bistro 5 is putting the finishing touches on their renovation -- lights and electrical work. Put a shiny new kitchen exhaust fan on to replace the one dented by a truck. Since the tables in the front area are set I assume the whole restaurant is back open for service, but haven't been by at night or seen the bar they added.

                                                                              1. re: itaunas

                                                                                Yeah, the front is open for service, including the bar -- I haven't been in but I go by at night all the time (I live very nearby). And I would actually applaud pizza, if it's good, since all of the pizza in West Medford is pretty crappy. Though more interesting pub-food would be welcome.

                                                                                1. re: antimony

                                                                                  Amici's is good for me for pizza. Hand stretched crust, decent dough management (only by the owners), uncooked sauce, decent cheese with no cheddar and pepperoni. Its not as thin as others but they will probably stretch as asked, the tomatoes have some acid, the cheese is mild compared to places which use romano (Armando's) and I sometimes come across rosemary in the sauce which is slightly unusual (I have always assumed they use italian seasoning). I also like their Steak and Cheese, but am not a big fan of their meatballs or sausage, plus wish they had more flavorful tomatoes at least occasionally. I think it puts Joe Pizza to shame, prefer the style to oft-mentioned Stella's, and I wouldn't trade it for a thin crust place. So its a keeper for me, but not for everyone -- medium thin crust, minimal spotting, not "well done." Service has been a bit rough with one of the owners recovering from knee surgery.

                                                                                  I'll occasionally go to Bocelli which cuts a lot of corners, but you can sit down, have a good choice of toppings, and appetizers. Regina's at the circle is pretty good, and I want to give Wellington's Brazilian pizzas a try, but the other 500 pizza places in Medford I give a pass to.

                                                                                  1. re: itaunas

                                                                                    Amici's is the best of the West Medford bunch, but I find it kind of blah. And when I say West Medford, I mean actually in West Medford, so that I can pick up a calzone, walk home with it, and arrive with it still reasonably hot. A place to actually sit down and have some food and a few beers at less than Bistro 5 prices would be fabulous -- trekking all the way to Salvatore's for only mediocre options is a pain in bad weather.

                                                                                  2. re: antimony

                                                                                    The whole restaurant and the bar is open. We were just there and sat at the bar. They did a nice job. It is still very nice, but it has a bit more casual vibe, which is what people seem to like today. There is one relatively small TV at the bar that faces away from the dining area. There is no bar menu now, which still makes it an expensive night out. But, we talked with the owner and he said he is coming up with a limited bar menu. There will be flatbreads, he hasn't worked it all out. It was very busy in there on a weeknight. They really need to come up with a lighter, reasonably priced bar menu so locals can go there more often.

                                                                              2. This belongs in December, but Upstairs on the Square has announced they are closing right after a New Year's Eve blow out party. This was reported today in the Cambridge Chronicle.

                                                                                1. From Chef Nookie's latest post on Eater Boston, sounds like he may squeak out an Oct. opening at Commonwealth in Kendall Sq.

                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                  1. re: CportJ

                                                                                    I walked by Commonwealth on Saturday. Kudos to Nookie if he can get that place opened in the next 10 days or so.

                                                                                  2. Kaju Tofu House has been open for a few days in Harvard Square. 57 JFK Street.

                                                                                    1. La Catrina Fonda Mexicana has opened on Commonwealth Avenue in Allston, near the intersection with Washington Street. Que bueno!

                                                                                      1. pretty sure this was in here, but ida's in the north end closed and i heard yesterday that frank depasquale bought it (maybe the building?) with his bakery downstairs this makes sense.

                                                                                        1. Zenna Noodle Bar in Coolidge Corner was closed when I walked by on Friday night. Sign in the window says "Space Available for Lease Immediately" and there was another handwritten note on the door asking for UPS packages to be delivered to the frozen yogurt place next door.

                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                          1. re: CTrainInbound

                                                                                            I saw that, too! How sad. I liked it and it's literally within eye shot of my apartment. Hopefully something good goes in.

                                                                                          2. In today's Banker and Tradesman....Modern Pastry has bought the adjacent building to expand its business.

                                                                                            1. Yumy's in Allston is closed. It's no wonder since it was a Korean couple trying to do Japanese Ramen..disastrously.

                                                                                              1. According to Scout Cambridge Tasty Burger is not moving into the Lyndell's space on Prospect. Couldn't get a liquor license to serve beer until 2am. Wonder what will end up in that space.

                                                                                                13 Replies
                                                                                                1. re: viperlush

                                                                                                  The Mid-Cambridge Temperance League clubhouse.

                                                                                                  1. re: viperlush

                                                                                                    Read the licensing commission minutes if you want a good laugh. The Tasty Burger guys were going to take extraordinary measures to deal with the noise (including building a second internal wall that would prevent noise coming from the back of the building). The neighbors over there clearly prefer a vacant building vs. a thriving new restaurant.

                                                                                                    1. re: mkfisher

                                                                                                      They're mad about Cardullo's/Lyndell's. Sad, since the owner of Tasty Burger grew up nearby.

                                                                                                      1. re: CportJ

                                                                                                        Lyndell's and Carberry's were both meh.

                                                                                                        1. re: Gabatta

                                                                                                          I don't disagree, but I think the neighbors weren't mad because they loved them so much as because, however unreasonably, they think a cafe fits in their neighborhood and a Tasty Burger serving beer does not, even though we're talking about incredibly-busy Prospect Street a block from Mass. Ave. in Central Square. That's probably why the noise-blocking promises didn't do any good.

                                                                                                        2. re: CportJ

                                                                                                          The Tasty Burger owner made the point that if it wasn't them, then someone else was going to want a liquor license in that space. The rent there more or less demands you sell liquor. I do wonder how the neighbors would feel if the license were only to 11pm, and if it were for a more formal restaurant. I think a lot of the concerns surrounded the Harvard Square location, and how it gets filled with drunk college kids late at night (their words, not mine). It is a nice spot, and that parking lot is a huge plus, so I hope they figure something out.

                                                                                                          1. re: mkfisher

                                                                                                            Too bad about Tasty Burger, but Puritan getting a full liquor license and Bergamot working on a new place next to Clover on Cambridge St. is good news! Also, one of the dumpling places in Chinatown is apparently trying to go into the old Buddhist Tea House on Mass. Ave. b/t Harvard and Central, although their upstairs neighbors are against it.

                                                                                                            1. re: CportJ

                                                                                                              The Tea House was a real loss. It was the perfect inexpensive lunch of the best vegetarian Chinese food in the area. It was such a tease; they closed for their usual holiday break, then extended it through Jan, the Feb, then indefinitely, and eventually no sign at all... I live in the area that would be included in any public hearing notice for that space and haven't seen anything.

                                                                                                              1. re: Gabatta

                                                                                                                Oh, no! I didn't know this! I agree, HUGE loss.

                                                                                                        3. re: mkfisher

                                                                                                          The Southie location has been a similar wrangle with balky neighbors for them. Most of what's nearby are abandoned properties. Baffling.


                                                                                                          1. re: MC Slim JB

                                                                                                            Intellectually, I understand and agree that a thriving restaurant space is better than an abandoned space. But, having lived in the South End and Manhattan for a while, I can tell you that having a restaurant serving until 2am, right near your house can be hellish.

                                                                                                            So, it doesn't really baffle me so much to understand the motivation behind the balky neighbors.

                                                                                                            1. re: mwk

                                                                                                              The Southie location has commercial business on either side of it, and abandoned houses behind it. It used to be an ice cream shop. I have always lived in densely urban neighborhoods of Boston, and I'm still puzzled by this. It's not like it's a radical new introduction to the block.


                                                                                                              1. re: MC Slim JB

                                                                                                                That location also does not serve alcohol.

                                                                                                      2. Oakleaf Cakes has successfully opened on Westland Ave in the East Fenway. I'm currently staring at a mini pumpkin cheesecake which keeps demanding, "Eat me!" despite dinner not having been finished yet, oh dear.

                                                                                                        1. Fairsted Kitchen, doing "Contemporary American with subtle accents of Middle Eastern and European spice", is open in Washington Square, Brookline in the old Umami space.


                                                                                                          1. May be old news, but Eastside Wings on Mt. Auburn in Watertown's Coolidge Sq. has closed.