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Could Dinosaur Bar-B-Que Expand to Boston?

Photo: Dinosaur Bar-B-Que, Syracuse/Rachel Leah Blumenthal

Maybe it has something to do with the large population of Boston-area residents who have connections to upstate and Western New York, but the rumor of beloved Syracuse-based chain Dinosaur Bar-B-Que expanding here has been tossed around for years now, particularly as the company has recently increased its growth rate from an initial one-restaurant-every-six-to-ten-years to one or two a year. Back in 2010, they were apparently scouting for locations in Boston, among other cities, but nothing came of it.

But a recent conversation with a waitress at the original location piqued Eater Boston's interest anew. A Boston location will probably open in the next year or two, she said — after Chicago, which is slated to open in spring 2015. She said that it was "definitely in the works," although she didn't know if a location had been found yet, but she expressed that owner John Stage likes up-and-coming neighborhoods. (Union Square or East Somerville, perhaps?) The official word from the company is less definite.

"There is nothing concrete at this time," said a rep for the restaurant, while acknowledging that they "have looked in the Boston area." He tantalizingly used the phrase "if and when" twice, though, and expressed that they're aware of the sizable Boston fan base.

Meanwhile, Boston Urban Partners, a local commercial brokerage firm, includes Dinosaur on its "experience" page, which contains a long list of restaurants, the rest of which are located here. While the firm declined to share information with Eater regarding Dinosaur, a tipster with knowledge of Boston Urban Partners confirmed that they did do some work with the restaurant, although the tipster was unsure whether they had found a location.

Dinosaur Bar-B-Que, which is know for its bikers and blues as much as its barbecue, evolved from a traveling concession stand in the early 80s (mostly hitting up biker events around the East Coast) to the first restaurant in Syracuse in 1988, followed by a Rochester location a decade later. Now, there are also New York outposts in Harlem, Troy, Brooklyn, and Buffalo, as well as Newark, New Jersey and Stamford, Connecticut. Chicago is the next confirmed location in the works. All of the restaurants feature a packed calendar of live music, not to mention a packed menu full of all sorts of barbecue delights.

While there's no official word yet confirming Boston expansion, draw hope from the fact that the city has been on Dinosaur's radar for quite some time. One day, maybe in the not-too-distant future, it could arrive here.
· Dinosaur Bar-B-Que [Official Site]