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Spring 2014 Openings and Closings

I imagine anything posted here can move to the appropriate monthly opening/closing post as the dates get closer to reality.

Anyway, Universal Hub reports that an Italian restaurant called Sobo Bistro (for South Boston, get it?, because Southie isn't real-estate-speaky enough) is slated to open in a former electrician's shop at the corner of East Broadway and L Street, right next to the Tasty Burger. They're angling for a beer/wine license and midnight closing seven days.

http://mcslimjb.blogspot.com/

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  1. You should have put (yes, I know its Nov.) in your title. ;-)

    8 Replies
    1. re: LStaff

      Pretty much any projection for an opening that is more than eight weeks from the day it's posted should have a big asterisk next to it.

      http://mcslimjb.blogspot.com/

      1. re: MC Slim JB

        I might start a thread titled "Never Openings and Closings," including such places as Harry's on Harrison, Babbo Fort Point, Grumpy Cactus Bar and Grill, and Geoffrey Zakarian Harborside Bar and Grill.

        1. re: hiddenboston

          In the Never Opening category, don't forget the new and shiny location of Olives Charlestown, the new Anthony's Pier 4, Marc Orfaly's casual American concept in the old Pigalle space, Barbara Lynch's construction-worker-friendly shot and a beer joint, La Brasa in Somerville, and the brick and mortar Boston Super Dog (RIP, Gregg).

          http://mcslimjb.blogspot.com/

          1. re: MC Slim JB

            is La Brasa completely dead?

            1. re: Madrid

              Of that list, I'd say that's the only one that still has a shot at coming back to life. It has spent a lot of time in suspended animation.

              http://mcslimjb.blogspot.com/

              1. re: MC Slim JB

                I was kind of disappointed that East End Grille opened first. It's a big disappointment but then Sarma opened! Not as close to us but still closer than Oleana.

                1. re: MC Slim JB

                  PR reps for McClelland said as of 5 weeks ago that La Brasa was still going to happen, and within the past 2 weeks participated in a charity dinner with a bunch of other restaurants. They've held meals before, too, but this is the first food served by the La Brasa team under that name in some time.

              2. re: MC Slim JB

                and the new Radius, located "steps away" from the old one.

        2. Don't forget Dosa Factory in Waltham. The ornate facade on the unfinished space is looking pretty weather-worn.

          2 Replies
          1. re: bear

            Yeah, damn, even Charcoal Guido's opened leaving the Dosa Factory the saddest front on the block ( and bookended by weird Habenero's hours, sometimes open, sometimes not)

            1. re: bear

              It's funny, one day I walked by it and saw a couple of the metal trays on the outside missing and was surprised to see they were replaced a few days later.

            2. Eater Boston reports that CT-based tapas chain Barcelona, which has an outpost in Washington Square, Brookline, will take over the former Sibling Rivalry space in the South End. Opening sometime in 2014. That will make three Spanish places in the neighborhood.

              http://mcslimjb.blogspot.com/

              1. Merrill & Co. coming to the old 28 Degrees space this spring, from Babak Bina's restaurant group. Among other good news, that means a cocktail program from Kevin Mabry of jm Curley.

                http://mcslimjb.blogspot.com/

                2 Replies
                1. re: MC Slim JB

                  Here's a new door posting I saw this morning

                   
                  1. re: meeps2002

                    Their craigslist hiring ad says they're aiming for a March opening.

                    http://mcslimjb.blogspot.com/

                2. Since December is almost over, I figured I'd post this here.

                  Waltham Patch is reporting that Habanero's in Waltham has a sign on the door saying they're closed for renovations. No info online so it doesn't sound good.

                  1. Leo's Place in Havard Square just closed. A neat little breakfast place which was there for years.
                    Tazza Caffe in Providence will close their doors tonight, putting some thirty employees out of work.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: libertywharf

                      Just noticed Leo's was closed this evening. Any word on why? Rent? Retirement? Other?

                      1. re: mollfrey

                        Priced out of the building is what I heard.

                    2. Angel's Share in Inman (next to Clover) looks to be progressing slowly. I have high hopes for this place.

                      4 Replies
                      1. re: mkfisher

                        This is the first I've heard of Angel's Share. What sort of place is it?

                        1. re: mollfrey

                          I have been curious, too. All I know is that it is somehow connected to Bergamot. Clover owns the space, which has been empty for a couple of years now. When Clover bought the bakery that used to be there, they created three spaces. One has been used by Clover, the other by Grillo's Pickles. It appears that Angel's Share will be in the third that has been vacant.

                          1. re: mvi

                            Yeah, it's the second place from Keith Pooler, chef of Bergamot.

                            1. re: CportJ

                              I'm expecting it to be the Dan & Kai show, small plates, lots of cured meats and such, many wines by the glass, sherries... Understand I'm just adding to the rumor pile at the moment. But I'm very much looking forward to it.

                      2. I kind of half-wondered if the closing of the last Sel de la Terre (in Natick) might mean that La Brasa would come back from suspended animation. Eater Boston now reports that La Brasa is aiming for a March opening.

                        http://mcslimjb.blogspot.com/

                        1. Coppersmith, a 250-seat "American comfort food" restaurant, aims to open in South Boston around the corner from KO Catering & Pies, shooting for April 2014. Rooftop garden, patio, something about a couple of food trucks indoors (!), casual lunch, more formal dinner.

                          http://mcslimjb.blogspot.com/

                          5 Replies
                          1. re: MC Slim JB

                            Where around the corner? I drive by it all the time and haven't seen anything like a 250 seat place possible there.

                            Get to dirty bill's (Williams tavern) before it's gone!

                            1. re: C. Hamster

                              I'm a fan of The Williams. Coppersmith is taking over 40 West 3rd Street, the former J.W. Harris Co.

                              http://mcslimjb.blogspot.com/

                              1. re: MC Slim JB

                                Wow. That's some serious gentrification!

                                1. re: C. Hamster

                                  That's SoBo for ya!

                                  1. re: Beachowolfe

                                    I have proposed several alternate names for Coppersmith's neigbhorhood, what the old-timers call the Lower End, which clearly isn't realtor-friendly enough. While one proposal is pushing Broadway Village, I have proposed Doughboy Abbey, KO Meat Pies Palisades, Amrheinlandia, and the Dirty Billage. Friends have suggested Mulsburgh.

                                    http://mcslimjb.blogspot.com/

                          2. According to the owners of the building, the Somerville Ave outpost of Moroccan Hospitality will open "soon". Granted it doesn't appear that way from the outside but we might have different definitions of "soon"

                            5 Replies
                            1. re: jgg13

                              I walked by over the weekend, and it's starting to come together. I could only see a little bit between the sheets of paper covering the windows, but it appears to be freshly painted and clean. I don't think there were tables and chairs in place yet.

                              1. re: blumiethekoala

                                Yeah, I live around the corner and pass by it regularly (although lately from the other side of the street, so harder to see). Recently I've seen workers going in & out in the morning, the papering on the window has finally changed and I noticed that there are some new permits on the window.

                                1. re: jgg13

                                  Where on Somerville Ave. is it?

                                  1. re: Stride

                                    In the old Razzy's space, across from City Slicker/Woodys Liquors.

                                    The car lot, auto body shop and house next to them (in between their building & spring st) is slated to be knocked down and turned into a condo complex within the year, so at least they'll have a bunch of foot traffic living just next door :)

                              2. re: jgg13

                                In Malden, heard that they have been serving brunch weekends from 11am-4pm and featured such vittles as msamen (crepes), sfanj (beignets), khilil (preserved meat and eggs), baghri (spongy semolina pancakes), harcha (pan-fried flatbread), and rayeb (curdled milk) with honey and/or jam and mint tea since last June! Haven't been in a long time, but always liked their offerings. Anyone been recently who can confirm brunch or any change of hours?

                              3. According to Zagat, the Legal Sea Foods takeover of the former Olives Charlestown will not result in a Legal C Bar going in there, but a new to-be-named "Italian seafood" concept.

                                http://mcslimjb.blogspot.com/

                                5 Replies
                                1. re: MC Slim JB

                                  Um, about that. It now look like two former English landlords (at Kingfish Hall and Olives Charlestown) are wrangling over English assets like the Olives liquor license to help defray the back rent and other damages English owes them, which at my last count looks to be somewhere north of $1M.

                                  Universal Hub reports from the liquor board hearing on the transfer of the Olives license to Legal today:http://www.universalhub.com/2014/lega... Might not want to plan on a dinner at Legal Something-or-Other Charlestown just yet.

                                  My guess is that the Figs Charlestown license got seized to help pay off one or both of these debts.

                                  http://mcslimjb.blogspot.com/

                                  1. re: MC Slim JB

                                    how the mighty have fallen.

                                    1. re: hyde

                                      I think English's balance sheet is just fine; spectacular, even. It's just his reputation that's gone into the dumper, and I imagine he stopped caring about that some time ago.

                                      http://mcslimjb.blogspot.com/

                                      1. re: MC Slim JB

                                        Maybe when he was "clocked" with the watch.....

                                        1. re: MC Slim JB

                                          Saw someone recently on this site chopping on frank McClelland for "caring more about his farm" than the food at his restaurants.
                                          But, really, how much more elegant is that escape from the rat race of chefdom than the pimpdom of English's bail.

                                  2. Per Zagat, some committer of crimes against English punctuation and diction called MAST' Restaurant & Drinkery is opening this spring at 45 Province Street in DTX. Southern Italian, Spanish, Greek leaning menu. 120 seats, 30 seat patio.

                                    http://mcslimjb.blogspot.com/

                                    2 Replies
                                    1. re: MC Slim JB

                                      Drinkery drunkery doc...

                                      1. re: Bob Dobalina

                                        Drinky, drinkery, drinkesty?

                                        http://mcslimjb.blogspot.com/

                                    2. I was on Rt. 129 (by West St) Wilmington, noticed a new place Red Heat Tavern (Burton's Grill folks) looking for late March 2014 opening,

                                      1. FINALLY an arcade bar is being planned in the Boston area. I heard the space will be in Central Square and feature old school arcade games, pinball machines, a short order kitchen and craft bar program much like the ever-so-popular Barcade establishments.

                                        12 Replies
                                        1. re: Unfoodie

                                          This is not a Barcade, although the Barcade people have been looking to Boston for about a year they won't do anything until their Manhattan location opens up.

                                          The owner already has popular restaurant/bar in Cambridge and Somerville.

                                          1. re: Unfoodie

                                            Well, consider my interest officially piqued. I was initially thinking it was the Barcade folks but you already struck that down.

                                            Given the emulators and general vibe of one of their locations, coupled with your hints and a dash of my own wishful thinking, I'll hazard a guess - Michael Leviton/the A4 gang.

                                            1. re: Unfoodie

                                              I've been told that this venture is dead. Slotted for the space next to Green St. the build out would cost double what was originally planned.

                                            2. re: Unfoodie

                                              isn't this a bit like what the hungry mother folks recently opened hear Kendall? at least the arcade games? sorry I'm blanking on the name of this new place.

                                              1. re: Madrid

                                                State Park... The games are very limited. A few pinball, a shuffle board and a pool table. Guessing these barcade places have a lot more stuff.

                                                1. re: Madrid

                                                  Not at all. This will be an arcade with a bar and kitchen not a restaurant/bar with barely enough room for two pinball machines.

                                                2. re: Unfoodie

                                                  I'm trying to figure out WTH this would be. The old Blockbuster space which was recently rumored to be the new ManRay?

                                                  1. re: jgg13

                                                    OMG! Man Ray??? Seriously?

                                                    1. re: jgg13

                                                      I thought the Man Ray deal fell through and they were trying to put a pet store in the Blockbuster space.

                                                      1. re: black_lab

                                                        That is the latest news. Man Ray is still looking for another space.

                                                        http://mcslimjb.blogspot.com/

                                                        1. re: black_lab

                                                          Right, that's why I was thinking it could be this barcade-esque venture. The news was that it fell through as the landlord had become interested in a different project.

                                                          1. re: black_lab

                                                            The sign on the door says Petco.

                                                      2. Lovely looking signage seen today for Petsi Pies new location on Cambridge Street in East Cambridge. No one was inside but all of the old coffee equipment from RJ Gourmet appears to be gone.

                                                        6 Replies
                                                        1. re: mvi

                                                          That's a lovely bit of news! How far out of Inman is the location, would you say?

                                                          1. re: mollfrey

                                                            Across the train tracks, so solidly E. Cambridge. 5th or 6th St. is the cross-street.

                                                            1. re: CportJ

                                                              This is right. It's between 5th and 6th. There's now a blue awning above the door with Petsi Pies written on it.

                                                              1. re: mvi

                                                                Excellent! Thanks for the scoop! Can't wait to go check it out!

                                                          2. re: mvi

                                                            Looking forward to this!

                                                            1. re: mvi

                                                              So excited. Finally a good cup of coffee in my neighborhood

                                                            2. Nino's on Rt 53 in Hingham will be closing in about 6 weeks.
                                                              Being replaced by a white tablecloth, creative American restaurant (what ever that is). Don't know who, but was told the new owner coming in has a restaurant "in Town". I will miss Nino's. Food was always fairly good and they had some real good cheap wines by the glass.
                                                              Enjoyed,
                                                              CocoDan

                                                              5 Replies
                                                              1. re: CocoDan

                                                                CocoDan, has this been confirmed? This is the first I've heard about Nino's closing.

                                                                1. re: hiddenboston

                                                                  hb, I was there last night and "Spider" the bartender filled me in. Sad but true. Did not say who the new owner is.
                                                                  CocoDan

                                                                  1. re: CocoDan

                                                                    Spider, on your way over here bring me a Cutty and water.

                                                                    1. re: CocoDan

                                                                      Spider? Was he limping from a gunshot wound to the foot?

                                                                      1. re: hiddenboston

                                                                        Never got his real name, but he makes a hell of a martini, and always a good pour on the wines. No limping. You have to check your guns at the door!
                                                                        CocoDan

                                                                2. Pastoral Fort Point/Boston
                                                                  Legal Sea Bar @Millenial Boston/Downtown Crossing
                                                                  The Merchant Boston
                                                                  these new spots will all be opening in February
                                                                  not sure how to start the Febuary thread of should this go under spring 2014

                                                                  1. Not to sound like the little boy who cried lobo (see what I did there?), since I've speculated their impending opening for like 3 months now, but Tenoch Mexican has announced a Monday the 10th of February opening for their new North End location...kind of excited about this

                                                                    1. Beacon Hill Wine is planning to open Beacon Hill Gourmet on Charles St. A post on Twitter says it is going into 65 Charles St and aiming for a Spring 2014 opening.

                                                                      1. Nice "Colossal Guide" for 2014 openings from Eater Boston.

                                                                        http://boston.eater.com/archives/2014...

                                                                        1. The Chestnut Hill Wegmans will open April 27, according to Boston Hidden Restaurants.

                                                                          Disappointed posts will start flooding Chowhound April 28.

                                                                          6 Replies
                                                                          1. re: Jenny Ondioline

                                                                            The Wegmans liquor store opens earlier: March 29.

                                                                            http://mcslimjb.blogspot.com/

                                                                            1. re: Jenny Ondioline

                                                                              Why do you anticipate Chestnut Hill Wegmans complaints? Due to the smaller size of the Chestnut Hill store? Or disappointment in Wegmans generally?

                                                                              1. re: Gordough

                                                                                Previous history. The opening of the Northborough Wegmans was preceded by an enormous amount of hype claiming that it was a game changer for the entire supermarket industry in Massachusetts and it was going to change the way we thought of supermarkets forever and ever.

                                                                                And then it opened, and the reality set in, which is that Wegmans are really good supermarkets, but they're just supermarkets.

                                                                                1. re: Gordough

                                                                                  I finally went to the one in Northborough. It's similar to another one I've been too. Massive. I couldn't wait to get out of there but I had to see the whole thing. The produce section is laughably small despite the whole store being the size of two Home Depots. Like, Whole Foods Prospect Street has more produce. It's not good produce either. Still they have the audacity to sell $1000 a pound truffles. It's a very schizophrenic place and I have no idea what they want to be except big. They try to cater to everyone but IMO don't do a good job at serving any one type of consumer. The most sad thing was the coffee beans, they had Starbucks, Peets, and some cheap brands. Maybe there was a coffee roasting station somewhere else. Looking for one certain specialty item could mean walking literally one mile inside because it could be in one of five different aisles.

                                                                                  The food court is on par with or better than Whole Foods MGH, but I generally don't like eating in supermarkets myself. Certainly the best looking American-Chinese buffet around, like other Wegman's, but should I award points for being slightly better than Panda Express?

                                                                                  The liquor store makes the whole point obvious, move lots of boxes of cheap stuff under the guise of "Oh look, Honey, Moet & Chandon! Should I get the Cupcake Wine again? Hey, have you seen the kids?".

                                                                                  It's basically the Home Depot of supermarkets. Okay, the Lowe's. I can't stand it. I grabbed a bottle of $8 Mionetto Lambrusco and drove off for safer territory.

                                                                                  1. re: tatsu

                                                                                    Yah, people get excited about things that are really nothing to get excited about. Before Coors beer came to New England it was mysterious and sought after -- turned out to be just beer. Before Target got here it was a unique "designer" discount store -- turned out to be just a discount store. People lined up to get into Krispy Kreme when they came here -- now they're all closed. You've never seen anything like Wegman's before. It turns out to be just a big supermarket.

                                                                                2. re: Jenny Ondioline

                                                                                  It opens 7am. Normal hours are 6am to midnight. At 70k square feet, about half a normal sized one. The wine store above is already open.

                                                                                3. Medford Transcript reports that a new Japanese restaurant will open in Medford Square in April. Owners also own a restaurant in Brighton:

                                                                                  http://medford.wickedlocal.com/articl...

                                                                                  1. maybe old news but Johnny's Luncheonette in Newton has been sold.

                                                                                    3 Replies
                                                                                    1. re: julesyoung

                                                                                      They were? I know they were open today. When was Johnny's sold?

                                                                                      1. re: julesyoung

                                                                                        What's the story?

                                                                                        1. re: sallyt

                                                                                          Just saw this in the Newton Tab: Sold to the folks who owned Nourished in Lexington. Staff and menu will be retained, according to the article.

                                                                                      2. Not clear on the timing, but it looks like Peet's Coffee & Tea will take over the former Francesca's Cafe on Tremont Street in the South End.

                                                                                        http://mcslimjb.blogspot.com/

                                                                                        1. The interior of The Rosebud Diner near Davis Square has been completely gutted, though the (historic protected) exterior hasn't been touched. The owner of Vinny Testa's purchased the place a year ago, but now rumor has it (per Davis Square Livejournal) that the owners of The Painted Burro and Posto are either the new owners or lessees and will be doing something with it very soon.

                                                                                          3 Replies
                                                                                          1. re: Boston_Otter

                                                                                            Interesting. They have a lot going on between that (assuming the rumor is true) and their new downtown crossing Painted Burro on Temple Place in the old Windsor Button space.

                                                                                            1. re: Gordough

                                                                                              Boston Eater reports that it's true -- the Alpine Group is turning it into a "roadhouse diner" under the same name. They're shooting for a May opening. http://boston.eater.com/archives/2014...

                                                                                              1. re: Boston_Otter

                                                                                                Even better, there's another blurb there that says Bibim is going to open in the former McDonald's space in Davis Square. I've never tried Bibim, but I'm pretty sure it's a major improvement over McD's!

                                                                                          2. Wink and a Nod has their awning up and a sign posted "Wink & Nod training here" sounds like things are moving pretty quick

                                                                                             
                                                                                            9 Replies
                                                                                            1. re: meeps2002

                                                                                              photo attached

                                                                                               
                                                                                              1. re: meeps2002

                                                                                                They're also putting out (or allowing themselves to be involved in, not sure) promo videos like this one: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uD9GD...

                                                                                                I feel bad for that bartender; he looks (understandably) embarrassed to be in that video.

                                                                                                http://mcslimjb.blogspot.com/

                                                                                                1. re: meeps2002

                                                                                                  Wink & Nod is now open in the old Noche (fomer Icarus) space, doing a speakeasy concept and with the Whisk chefs in the kitchen doing tasting menus.

                                                                                                  http://mcslimjb.blogspot.com/

                                                                                                  1. re: MC Slim JB

                                                                                                    Isn't the "speakeasy" concept about 4-5yrs late?

                                                                                                    1. re: Unfoodie

                                                                                                      I guess it depends on what they mean by it. As a rule, it has been used to signify "serious, historically-minded craft cocktail bar" in the mode of Drink, though that's a bit of a historical solecism, as the action in craft cocktails preceded Prohibition; speakeasies notoriously served crap spirits in concoctions aimed at disguising their taste, the antithesis of the Golden Age of Cocktails.

                                                                                                      But there are plenty of places that have latched onto the speakeasy notion for the sheer trendiness of it all, some going so far as to institute passwords, like the awful, bygone and unmissed Prohibited at Symphony 8. In between are places that have a sort of old-timey vibe and aren't doing particularly careful, crafty cocktails, like the ironically named Carrie Nation.

                                                                                                      The proof of the drinking is in the cocktails; if they're really good, I don't care how they label the joint for marketing purposes. They've made some unfortunate choices in that department so far, like hiring this obnoxious character to promote the bar in his Internet cocktail "show": https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tD78g...

                                                                                                      http://mcslimjb.blogspot.com/

                                                                                                      1. re: MC Slim JB

                                                                                                        I have heard all positive reviews thus far - but that obnoxious guy in the YouTube videos could ruin it all for me.

                                                                                                        As someone who lives very close to the Wink & Nod space - I will say, it's impressive that they have had lines out the door every night, though super annoying for a resident. The sidewalk is loud and smokey, which I would be willing to bet gets called out sooner than later by the residents of 3 and 5 Appleton.

                                                                                                        The doorman is a nice gentleman, always looking dapper, but it's a little much imo. I feel like we're in denial it's Boston, not NYC...

                                                                                                        1. re: MC Slim JB

                                                                                                          Strike 2 was "#farmtococktail" posted on their fb page with a pic of a pile of limes.

                                                                                                          I wonder what farm those limes came from.

                                                                                                          1. re: Unfoodie

                                                                                                            They came from a farm....somewhere....

                                                                                                      2. re: MC Slim JB

                                                                                                        Short Interview on the Doorman - good guy

                                                                                                        http://boston.eater.com/archives/2014...

                                                                                                    2. Any news on the Korean chicken place in Chinatown?

                                                                                                      1. Exciting news for ramen fans: NYC's Totto Ramen appears to be opening a branch in Allston. New sign up on the space right next to Tavern on the Square (used to be a fro-yo shop.) No indication of expected opening date, and it looks like there's still a fair amount of work to be done on the interior.

                                                                                                        6 Replies
                                                                                                        1. re: Allstonian

                                                                                                          Allstonian, I can't find anything on this online, not even on the city of Boston website about their getting a license. So it's going into the space where YoYoCity was?

                                                                                                          1. re: hiddenboston

                                                                                                            Yes, exactly. I did a fair amount of searching online and couldn't find any other info either, but I saw the sign - I had to stop at the CVS and saw it as I passed on the bus, and I walked back after my errand to look more closely. Not a canvas banner but a finished store sign in place. It says "Totto Ramen," with the same rooster logo as the NYC shops.

                                                                                                            1. re: Allstonian

                                                                                                              Wow, that's big news, Allstonian.

                                                                                                              1. re: hiddenboston

                                                                                                                Here's a photo.

                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                1. re: Allstonian

                                                                                                                  Thanks, Allstonian!

                                                                                                          2. re: Allstonian

                                                                                                            Next to Tavern IN the Square, intersection Harvard St and Brighton Ave, yes? neato.

                                                                                                            http://tottoramen.com/

                                                                                                          3. According to Eater, the people behind Trina's are taking over Audubon.

                                                                                                            http://boston.eater.com/archives/2014...

                                                                                                            For me this is terrible news. Audubon has been consistently great and somewhat under the radar for what must be nearly 20 years. I have never had a bad meal there, and it has long been my go to spot before Red Sox games. It always pulls a good crowd, but is never a mob scene. From my admittedly limited experience, the food at Trina's is inconsistent at best.

                                                                                                            4 Replies
                                                                                                            1. re: black_lab

                                                                                                              I've long been an Audubon fan, too, but it seems to me that it has slipped in the past couple of years. Tyler Jay Wang from Kirkland and Mary Stout from Coppa are on the new team, too, and they are both terrific.

                                                                                                              http://mcslimjb.blogspot.com/

                                                                                                              1. re: MC Slim JB

                                                                                                                I'm more worried about the kitchen. I am interested in a place that will turn out consistently reliable food in this location. Bar talent that will attract industry types, a' la Trina's, doesn't do me much good here.

                                                                                                                1. re: black_lab

                                                                                                                  I agree, as I've always found good bartending at Audubon up to the level of their audience and ambitions, which is to say, pretty modest but not undiscriminating: nice, short, well-curated beer and wine lists, solid technical chops and quality spirits, if not quite craft-level cocktails.

                                                                                                                  But the food really feels like it has slipped in the past two years, to the point where I went from relying on it as my default pre-Sox stop of ten years or more (I get to maybe 20 regular-season games a year) to my haunting the rather more expensive, but on balance better value, ICOB for the past couple of years.

                                                                                                                  At first, I attributed the noticeable drop in crowds to the greatly expanded competition around Kenmore Square, but after a while, I decided it had at least as much to do with slipping quality overall. Maybe there was a vicious circle at work there.

                                                                                                                  http://mcslimjb.blogspot.com/

                                                                                                                2. re: MC Slim JB

                                                                                                                  now more interested in what will happen/is happening at kt&t. he/that menu were what got me in the door there (and inevitably ordering a kielbasa or something else from the well-priced portion of the food)

                                                                                                              2. For what it's worth the Gourmet Express convenience store/diner in Porter Square is closing. Don't have any further details as the guy seemed very bummed out when I asked about it.

                                                                                                                1. There is a new place opening soon in Malden called Ferry Street Food & Drink. They have a web site an their first menu pposted. New gasrto-pub with a nice selection of beers and classic cocktails.

                                                                                                                  2 Replies
                                                                                                                  1. re: RoyRon

                                                                                                                    Anyone been yet?

                                                                                                                    1. re: Taralli

                                                                                                                      they haven't opened yet

                                                                                                                  2. Not sure if it is a spring opening, but Eater took notice of a Craigslist ad for managers in Boston for Pepe's Pizza.

                                                                                                                    http://boston.eater.com/archives/2014...

                                                                                                                    Boston.com has a post that put me on to it - http://www.boston.com/news/local/mass...

                                                                                                                    Personally, I am a Roseland Apizza guy. But it beats driving to CT. I remember as a kid in the 80s first time going to Pepe's and while waiting in line, word filtered down that some guy had driven from Vermont (!) to stand in the same line to get Pepe's pizza. He must have been some sort of ur-Chowhound. In my mind, they chopped the clams on our pie that day and was excellent - May have been the first clam anything I ever tried.

                                                                                                                    10 Replies
                                                                                                                    1. re: Bob Dobalina

                                                                                                                      The original Pepe's in New Haven is awesome. However I recently ate at the Manchester outlet. It reminded me of all of the Regina alternate locations up here; it was decent but nothing close to the original, unfortunately.

                                                                                                                      1. re: black_lab

                                                                                                                        I've found the Fairfield offshoot to be reasonably close to the original (although the ambiance is not quite the same), but the Mohegan Sun location was a huge disappointment. I heard that it was better by Pepe's fans' standards when it first opened, but apparently too many visitors to the casino complained that the pizza was burnt, so they lowered the oven temperatures. Now it doesn't get that nice char.

                                                                                                                        I prefer Sally's ever so slightly over Pepe's, but hey, I'll take any of them!

                                                                                                                        1. re: blumiethekoala

                                                                                                                          What are the chances the Boston-area locations will have coal ovens? I'm guessing zero.

                                                                                                                          1. re: jajjguy

                                                                                                                            I can't imagine they'd expand somewhere where they wouldn't be able to use coal ovens - at least I hope not! I know Boston proper doesn't allow coal ovens, but what about some of the surrounding areas? Newton, Belmont, and Saugus each have a coal-fired pizza place - anywhere else? I'd be thrilled with Somerville or Cambridge, personally!

                                                                                                                            1. re: blumiethekoala

                                                                                                                              I have a feeling their locations will all be outside Boston proper to maximize their day and night takeout business. Plus the rent will be a lot more reasonable. I wonder if we will see them in the suburban outdoor shopping centers like the ones currently under construction in Burlington and Westwood, both with Wegman's.

                                                                                                                            2. re: jajjguy

                                                                                                                              As an update: I asked their publicist about whether or not they'd be able to open somewhere without coal ovens, and she gave me kind of a vague non-answer about how oven restrictions come into play in any town or state, and it's all part of the research they're doing as they evaluate options.

                                                                                                                              1. re: blumiethekoala

                                                                                                                                I prefer Sally's, don't like the casino outlet, really like Area 4 clam pizza, and would need to do a taste test to compare with Modern, but let's get real -- this is AWESOME NEWS!

                                                                                                                        2. re: Bob Dobalina

                                                                                                                          I've been a Modern Apizza fan (State St, New Haven) for 35 years. I'm half afraid to try a Pepe's in Boston because it might distort too many memories.

                                                                                                                          1. re: lergnom

                                                                                                                            I like moderns crust better (thin even by nh standard), and love their margherita and their fried eggplant pizza. But pepe's wins for me in the clam pie contest for sure.

                                                                                                                          2. re: Bob Dobalina

                                                                                                                            I heard that the sight of Mission Cantina/Beacon St. Tavern in Brookline is being considered.

                                                                                                                          3. According to a posting on the window - Tonight is the opening for Trophy Room - Former Fritz space in the South End.

                                                                                                                            http://www.zagat.com/b/boston/heres-t...

                                                                                                                            1. La Brasa Somerville is open! I saw it on their web site just now and called...yes they are open at 6. She said they had soft opening last two nights.

                                                                                                                              1. According to Patch, Ocean State Job Lot will be selling inexpensive beer and wine at three MA locations with two more added later. They'll start in Medford, East Falmouth and Randolph.

                                                                                                                                From the article: "All beer six packs are $6.49 (sold at room temperature); wine ranges from $2.99-$13.99 per bottle."