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December 2013 Openings and Closings

It pains me to start this thread with this news: UpStairs on the Square closing on New Year's Eve, 2013. Building being sold. A series of farewell events is planned.

Lots of memories here, dating to its UpStairs at the Pudding days.

http://mcslimjb.blogspot.com/

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  1. It's too bad as the restaurant has been around in one form or another for quite some time. However, our last two visits (1 brunch & 1 dinner) were really poor in both food and service. Upstairs on the Square never came close to Upstairs at the Pudding in food, service or physical space (now that was a loss I still lament).

    1. You are quick! I have those memories, too, and just posted this to your October list of notifications. But what happened to November?

      2 Replies
      1. re: mvi

        When somebody hears about a November closing, they should start a thread on it.

        http://mcslimjb.blogspot.com/

        1. re: MC Slim JB

          I thought you stared them all. My apologies. Yes, Upstairs will be missed.

      2. Ack! All the cozy older places are going! Locke-Ober, the Oak Bar and now this. Granted, the food at Upstairs has been disappointing for years... Still sad.

        1. Building being sold? Isn't Grendel's Den also in the same building? What's happening to that?

          I haven't been there in many years, but I went to the Pudding location a fair bit. Would eat there and then head to the black and white room downstairs to party with the golden youth. Memorable events were people falling off the second floor windows, and the police raiding the black and white room regularly trying to shut out of control parties.

          5 Replies
          1. re: Uncle Yabai

            That may just be an excuse. For some reason, nobody likes to say, "We're just tired of it and packing it in", or "We're retiring". At least it's not that near-sure sign of doom, "Closed for renovations".

            http://mcslimjb.blogspot.com/

            1. re: MC Slim JB

              Also, If the inelegant Applebee's spot in the Crown Plaza Hotel straddling the Pike at exit 17 is asking 18,000usd a month in rent, heaven knows what they get for restaurant space right in The Square.

              1. re: hyde

                A little sign on the door that indicates what percentage of the gross goes to the landlord would be an amusing labeling requirement. There should be an app for that. Cruelty free eh?

              2. re: MC Slim JB

                Osushi Boston in Copley Place is closed. Osushi Boston is no longer associated with O Sushi in Cambridge. Not a lot of scuttlebutt around the closing.

              3. re: Uncle Yabai

                fwiw, grendel's is staying put. they must have a 1000-year lease.

              4. I liked it there. Steve Brand is over at Barcelona in Brookline now, so you can still get some of his food although it's decidedly different than it was at Upstairs.

                1. Although I've only been to Upstairs on the Square a handful of times, this feels more poignant to me after reading Charlotte Silver's Charlotte au Chocolat, a lovely memoir about literally growing up at the Pudding and on the Square.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: bear

                    Aw! Charlotte is a lovely young woman to boot and her book is a fun read. I hope her mom is happy about all the fun times at Upstairs. I will miss this place.

                    1. re: bear

                      That was a classic book. Worth a re-read, for sure.

                    2. Should this thread be titled January 2014?

                      1. Looks like Zenna Noodle in Coolidge Corner has closed; there's a For Rent sign in the window.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: GaryK

                          Here's to hoping it's not another sushi or frozen yogurt place!

                        2. Globe reporting that Scelfo thinks Alden & Harlow will open by the first week in December.

                          http://mcslimjb.blogspot.com/

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: MC Slim JB

                            I peeked into the space when in the neighborhood the other day. There is lots of build out work to be completed before they can even get in the space.

                          2. Seasonal, not permanent, closing alert: Sullivan's at Castle Island's last day of service till next year is December 1. They're offering 80-cent hot dogs until then.

                            http://mcslimjb.blogspot.com/

                            1. The b&m Clover in Kendall looks like it'll happen in December (or January) from what I can see. Still a good chunk of work needed inside the space. They do have their name up on the window now.

                              1. Christos in Brockton is closing December 31st. Haven't been in years. They were on our rotation around the time we used to go to the Hilltop. ;) I always waited for the Gold Room and ordered the lamb kabobs.

                                3 Replies
                                1. re: Pegmeister

                                  Another old school place goes by the way side, wonder if the kids weren't interested in continuing.

                                  1. re: Pegmeister

                                    I knew it was only a matter of time once the owner died. Went there as a kid at least once a month. Tried it again last summer and it was just sad. Just tried their website and it comes up as "Account Suspended".

                                    1. re: Pegmeister

                                      A Facebook post from the restaurant indicates that the folks behind Christo's are planning to open a takeout spot in early 2014 and are also scouting out possible locations for a new restaurant that would be "a bit smaller" than the original Christo's.

                                    2. I was peeking in the window of the Tenoch in the North End the other day and a guy came out to chat, and said they were hoping for the first week of december to open, he was expecting the first round of inspections to start that very day (I think it was thursday or friday of last week). I am really looking forward to having some nice mexican food in the area!

                                      3 Replies
                                      1. re: devilham

                                        The Tenoch folks are so friendly, open, and very good cooks! They often hand out samples of things not on the menu....once we got some almond cookies covered in powdered sugar that tasted exactly like some cookies often made around Christmas where I grew up in the south. The ingredients seem very high quality. I hope they encounter good will in their new neighborhood. We'll try it as soon as they open but the parking in Medford is easier.

                                        1. re: Madrid

                                          They really are the nicest people - I like giving them my business and will definitely get the the word out to North End friends once it opens.

                                          1. re: nyc_to_ma

                                            Almond cookies would sell very well in the North End, I bet.

                                      2. I see that the new Indian restaurant in the old Cognac Bistro space has opened. The name is Shan A Punjab. (Technically this belongs in November, since it happened last week but the Grand Opening sign is still up.) Anyone tried it yet?

                                        Q

                                        4 Replies
                                        1. re: QCumber

                                          It's actually Sher-A-Punjab, and it's the second outlet of a Quincy restaurant. I imagine the menus will be similar: http://www.sherapunjabquincy.com/menu/

                                          Have not been yet, but that was a quick cutover. Wonder if they'll have a karaoke night in Brookline, too?

                                          http://mcslimjb.blogspot.com/

                                          1. re: MC Slim JB

                                            Yes, but they give the other name on their website:

                                            http://www.shanapunjabbrookline.com/

                                            If you stop in, you will see why it was possible to make such a short journey from France to India.

                                            Q

                                            1. re: QCumber

                                              I stand corrected: Eater Boston is now reporting it as Shan, though it originally reported this as a mistake, that it was going to be another Sher.

                                              Also, I swear I thought I saw Sher on the signage when I drove by the other day. One thing nobody seems to be disputing: it's a sibling of the Quincy Sher.

                                              http://mcslimjb.blogspot.com/

                                        2. Eater is reporting that State Park will open later this month. I haven't looked in for a couple weeks, but the construction appeared to have a long ways to go at that point.

                                          3 Replies
                                          1. re: mkfisher

                                            I walked by the other night and they looked very close to opening. The windows are still blacked out but the entrance isn't. Looks to be fully furnished and their were people (staff?) drinking at the bar.

                                            1. re: Unfoodie

                                              Yup. I went by last night. Seemed to be people eating (looked to be staff/family members) at a booth in the back. Floor plan looks more or less the same as Think Tank.

                                            2. re: mkfisher

                                              State Park will indeed open on Tuesday (12/17) night.

                                            3. Lexington Patch reports that il Casale is opening a place in Lexington Center, where Nourish currently is, target date is Spring 2014. I suppose this should go on a Spring 2014 thread, but since there's no specifics on the dates, I'm sticking it here.

                                              http://lexington.patch.com/groups/bus...

                                              1. Just opened: Glynn Hospitality Group's new Central Wharf Co., its slicker-looking replacement for Jose McIntyre's. Better beer, fancier food (along the lines of nearby sibling Granary Tavern, I'd say), and higher prices: https://www.facebook.com/CentralWharf...

                                                http://mcslimjb.blogspot.com/

                                                1. Looks like Smoken' Joes has been evicted. From their facebook page: Wednesday night the landlord told us they expected for us to pay rent while we were closed. We told them we disagreed and needed to have a larger conversation on them reimbursing us for lost income. We just received a notice that they are evicting us!!! We have 2 weeks to evacuate the premises. If anyone can help, now would be the time.

                                                  https://www.facebook.com/pages/Smoken...

                                                  1 Reply
                                                  1. re: AdamGL

                                                    They obviously need to hire a lawyer, and not asking for help on Facebook.

                                                  2. Marsa on Elm has re-opened under new management, according to the sign. The sidewalk sandwich board looks like the menu is the same, at least in the lunch buffet. I haven't checked it out yet. Has anyone else tried it out since it's opened again?

                                                    1. Per Hidden Boston, Market at the W and Turner Fisheries are both closing this month. No word on their replacements.

                                                      http://mcslimjb.blogspot.com/

                                                      9 Replies
                                                      1. re: MC Slim JB

                                                        Wowee. It honestly is a miracle that either one of them lasted this long--even given the tourist effect.

                                                        1. re: senji000

                                                          Turner lingered for 30 years. I dreaded it, mercifully was only dragged there a few times, and never heard a good word about it. Market was okay, not terrible.

                                                          http://mcslimjb.blogspot.com/

                                                          1. re: MC Slim JB

                                                            This one always puzzled me, must have been doing brisk trade on the out-of-towners who didn't know any better. Good riddance.

                                                            1. re: MC Slim JB

                                                              I'll miss both.

                                                              Julia Child was a consultant at Turner when it first opened. I lunched there whenever I was attending a convention at one of the Copley Place hotels, but not since August 2012. It was a respite from the crowds elsewhere, and the lobster roll was pretty decent.

                                                              My SO will especially miss the soups at Market. They had Jean George's knack for making vegetable infusions rich without resorting to fat. The salmon sous vide unlocked textures I wouldn't have thought possible - silky. We are popping in for one last visit on their penultimate night. After that it's back to Midtown Manhattan for our Jean George fix.

                                                              1. re: MC Slim JB

                                                                I disagree. I went there often when it was new, and returned there for lunch often when I've come back to Boston. Always had delicious food and great service.

                                                                1. re: MC Slim JB

                                                                  I'm with Slim on Turner. When you look up "meh" in the dictionary there's a picture of Turner Fisheries.

                                                              2. re: MC Slim JB

                                                                I always enjoyed Market. Nice place for pre or post theater. Food was good, not horribly expensive and service was very good.

                                                                1. re: pemma

                                                                  I recently had lunch there and found that the food, cleanliness and service had really deteriorated in the past year. I was expecting Market to close.

                                                                2. re: MC Slim JB

                                                                  We did family Thanksgiving dinner there quite a few times in the past 10 years.

                                                                  But not this year.

                                                                  I blame those members of my family who chose other options this year.

                                                                3. I agree. Market was good for a comfortable meal, and did have Vongerichten's touch and hype at the beginning, but as many trendy restaurants do--especially those collaborated on by celebrity visionaries who subsequently spread themselves too thin--lost its sparkle and soul through the years. The best meal I had at Market was my first one, a couple of months after they opened. Not impressed with their pop up brunch menu yesterday.

                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                  1. re: senji000

                                                                    I have not returned for a couple of years but I have been amazed how well Brasserie Jo does when the celebrity chef, John Joho of the Everest Room in Chi-town, is so far away.

                                                                  2. Tenoch Mexican in the North End has the paper off the windows and looks ready to roll (and pretty nice inside to boot), if I had to guess they could open this week.

                                                                    1. Tacos El Charro (Hyde Square JP) is closed. A (nother) Cuban spot is opening in it's place...

                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                      1. re: jphound

                                                                        Aw, man. I remember Tacos el Charro fondly from back in the day when I lived in JP, and Todd English touted it as a local favorite (and I took that seriously. More than a decade ago, that).

                                                                        1. In addition to the The China last week (quick dim sum review in another post) in Quincy, the new yogurt-juice-tea-dessert place, Yocha, is now open at the corner of Billings Rd and Hancock St. A nice clean space with terrible acoustics so you can barely hear the servers call out your order.

                                                                          Got a nice mango smoothie with pomelo and mango bits. Tofu pudding dessert with black sesame soup and peanut mochi was not bad either.

                                                                          1. Dosa n Curry in Somerville nicely updated its decor a month ago. Much warmer feeling now more prone to dining in. Takeout mulligatawny and tomato rasam soups and tomatoey herbal aloo gobi were yummy.

                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                            1. re: Bob Dobalina

                                                                              it looks like the pizzas are gone though

                                                                            2. lechonera pincho in worcester has closed

                                                                              1. Looks like Sel de la Terre in Natick is closing at the end of the year.

                                                                                http://seldelaterre.com/

                                                                                5 Replies
                                                                                1. re: pcarC4

                                                                                  No! It was the only grown-up place at the Natick Collection. Sad. I guess you can't survive in a mall unless you cater to everyone.

                                                                                  1. re: MaxEntropy

                                                                                    Ummm, I don't think it was the Mall. Didn't they close by the aquarium and on boylston? I guess all the money is trying to keep Lespalia alive.

                                                                                    1. re: Bellachefa

                                                                                      yes, it was at Natick Mall and still is according to the web site through New Year's Eve. The Mall was the last location after the other two closed.

                                                                                        1. re: Eastwind

                                                                                          I don't know if it is struggling. It seems to be full most nights, however, IMO it is not what it once was. I think the overall experience has declined since shortly after the move and the emphasis on Apple Street Farms. FM is also opening a new restaurant, La Brasa, and I think his energy is being directed there.

                                                                                          www.hungrytommy.com

                                                                                  2. Habanero's in Waltham is closed for renovations according to a sign on their door. Not sure if Closed for renovations should be in quotes or not.

                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                    1. re: Duster17

                                                                                      Mediocre service & food. Wouldn't surprise me to see another Mexican restaurant to challenge Margarita's.

                                                                                    2. Will you start the January 2014 Openings and Closings tread
                                                                                      Pastoral
                                                                                      Alden and Harlow
                                                                                      the Merchant are all slated to open in January

                                                                                      1. Spice of Brookline has opened, serving "home style Thai cuisine." They are in the ex- Han River space near the St. Mary's T stop. My first visit was promising.

                                                                                        1. The owner of The Wine Cellar, the Back Bay fondue restaurant, indicated to me via a Facebook message that the place closed in mid-December.

                                                                                          http://mcslimjb.blogspot.com/

                                                                                          4 Replies
                                                                                          1. re: MC Slim JB

                                                                                            MC, the Yelp page says "temp closed" while the website says "closed for renovation." But they said this is permanent?

                                                                                            1. re: hiddenboston

                                                                                              His note said only, "the wine cellar is closed as of 12/1/13."

                                                                                              http://mcslimjb.blogspot.com/

                                                                                              1. re: hiddenboston

                                                                                                Facebook says "permanently closed," BUT that simply means that diners have reported that it's closed. The website continues to say it is "closed for renovations." Let's hope they reopen or there will be a serious dearth of melted cheese and chocolate in my neighborhood.

                                                                                            2. Wow...a lot of interesting closings. Is the market in Boston struggling?

                                                                                              2 Replies
                                                                                              1. re: Eastwind

                                                                                                Seems to me that openings far outpaced closings in 2013.

                                                                                                http://mcslimjb.blogspot.com/

                                                                                                1. re: Eastwind

                                                                                                  It definitely seems like there were a lot of closings in Waltham this year.

                                                                                                2. This is pretty late, but I don't think it's been reported here yet that Four Burgers on Boylston Street in Boston closed in December. According to Boston Restaurant Talk, a Griddler's Burgers and Dogs will take its place:

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