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Boston's Most Anticipated Spring Restaurant Openings of 2015

Okay, a few summer openings as well.

SELECT Oyster Bar
SELECT Oyster Bar
Rachel Leah Blumenthal for Eater

Over the fall and winter, more than 110 restaurants opened in the Boston area. Think spring and summer will top that? Here's a look at some of the most anticipated upcoming openings. (Notice anything missing? Hit up the tipline.)

Babbo Pizzeria e Enoteca

Where: 11 Fan Pier Blvd., Boston (Fan Pier)
What: The first Boston venture by Mario Batali and Joe Bastianich. (One day, we may also get an Eataly.) The large space will feature wood-fired pizzas, pasta, gelato, and more, and there will be three bars (drinking, antipasti, pizza). Mario LaPosta and Caroline Conrad are onboard as executive chef and general manager, respectively; both come from other parts of the Batali/Bastianich empire. East by Northeast alum Blayne Daley has also joined the team as a manager.
When: Mid-April

Babbo Pizzeria

Photo: Twitter

The Backroom

Where: 468 Moody St., Waltham (connected to Moody's Delicatessen & Provisions)
What: Joshua Smith has already built up quite a reputation with his Waltham deli, Moody's, and now he's opening a restaurant in the adjacent space, featuring a wood-burning oven, loads of wine, and an "ultimate" charcuterie board.
When: Late April, as of March 20.

BISq

Where: 1071 Cambridge St., Cambridge (Inman Square)
What: The long-awaited sibling to Bergamot, featuring a hearty collection of charcuterie made by chef de cuisine Dan Bazzinotti. On the beverage side, wine director Kai Gagnon will be featuring wines from northern France, Austria, and Germany.
When: Early April

BISq logo

Logo: Facebook

Coppersmith

Where: 40 West Third St., Boston (South Boston)
What: A massive space that will include food trucks parked inside, a rooftop raw bar, a cafe, and more. Barbara Lynch Gruppo alum Chris Henry recently joined the team as executive chef. "We are not reinventing the culinary wheel," Henry previously said via press release. "Exceptional seasonal ingredients, a focus on flavor, easy to understand dishes, but executed with precision and attention to detail. Just great food without pretense."
When: April/May, as of March 18.

Coppersmith 1894 rendering

Rendering: Facebook

Hojoko

Where: 1271 Boylston St., Boston (in The Verb Hotel in Fenway)
What: A "high-energy izakaya" (or Japanese pub) from the O Ya team. The "fun and funky" space will apparently have karaoke.
When: Spring

Rendering: Facebook

Josephine

Where: 468 Commonwealth Ave., Boston (Kenmore Square)
What: French, but with a "twist." Owner Samuel Gosselin previously told Eater that the restaurant would be a combination of his "dining experiences over the last twenty years," the "casual" vibe of San Francisco, the "edgy and modern" vibe of New York, and the "modern" French restaurants popping up around Paris these days. Located in the former Petit Robert space, Josephine is currently undergoing renovations. Stefano Quaresima, previously executive chef at the South End location of Petit Robert, is executive chef.
When: Mid-April, as of March 23.

Josephine rendering

Rendering: Facebook

Lone Star Taco Bar

Where: 635 Cambridge St., Cambridge (East Cambridge)
What: The popular Allston taco spot (and sibling/neighbor to Deep Ellum) is crossing the river. It won't be an exact replica of the existing Lone Star; it'll draw some features from Deep Ellum as well, particularly in the complexity of its beverage program. Expect plenty of tequila and mezcal, sherry on tap, up to 28 beers on draft, and more.
When: Spring

Lone Star Taco Bar

Photo: Instagram

Loyal Nine

Where: 660-674 Cambridge St., Cambridge (East Cambridge)
What: "East Coast revival" cuisine from a team that includes alums of Brasstacks, Menton, Bondir, Puritan & Co., and more. By day, there will be a bakery and cafe (and all breads will be made in-house.) By night, expect a menu featuring lesser-known shellfish and a rum-and-brandy-focused cocktail list. Eventually there will be a patio.
When: March 28, 2015 (NOW OPEN)

Naco

Where: 297 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge (Central Square)
What: "Definitely not a traditional" taqueria from Alden & Harlow's Michael Scelfo. The Speakeasy Group's Alex Tannenbaum and Brian Lesser are also involved. Naco will have both quick-service and table-service options, and there will be a patio big enough for about 100 people. "We’re going to build a bar, we’ve got a unique kitchen concept coming to it, and we’re just going to play some good music, not mess with it too much, and just have some fun doing some good casual food," Scelfo previously told Eater.
When: May

Naco

Photo: Instagram

SELECT Oyster Bar

Where: 50 Gloucester St., Boston (Back Bay)
What: The first solo venture from Neptune Oyster alum Michael Serpa. It'll feature "unique takes on local fish," a raw bar, and a "creative" wine list, plus a great patio. Volle Nolle and Koy alum Sebastian Martinez is chef de cuisine.
When: Friday, April 3

Shepard

Where: 1 Shepard St., Cambridge (Harvard Square/Porter Square)
What: A restaurant that will be "French in spirit," taking over the former Chez Henri space. UpStairs on the Square alum Susan Regis and Hi-Rise Bread Company owner Rene Becker are behind it.
When: Early April

Shepard rendering

Rendering: Austin Architects

Tasting Counter

Where: 14 Tyler St., Somerville (at Aeronaut Brewing Company)
What: A 20-seat restaurant featuring high-end tasting menus by Peter Ungár, an alum of Aujourd'hui and The Bristol Lounge. Hence the name, all seats are counter seats so diners can see the chefs at work. Ungár aims for the restaurant to achieve "0 Carbon/50 Local/100 Natural" — no carbon footprint, at least 50% of food sourced in Massachusetts, and "natural" wines meeting certain criteria.
When: Early June

Tasting Counter

Photo: Facebook

Tiger Mama

Where: 1363 Boylston St., Boston (Fenway)
What: A new Southeast Asia-inspired venture from Sweet Cheeks' Tiffani Faison, conveniently located right down the street from Sweet Cheeks. (When asked whether finding the space was a coincidence or if she was focusing on Fenway, Faison tells Eater: "It was a convergence of the two. We love the Fenway and have an incredible relationship with our landlords so we left the possibility of the neighborhood open. I looked at a lot of other spaces in other places but found ourselves always coming back to Fenway.") Tiger Mama will feature two bars, include a tiki-themed one. Regarding coming up with the name, Faison says: "That is a really long story, but ultimately it was as playful as Sweet Cheeks and lives in the same nuance of fun and not taking ourselves too seriously. I also am a bit of a Tiger Mom in the kitchen — I want the best for my cooks, I want them to push to their best and discover their greatness, so there are some parallels. It also intimates Southeast Asian in a way that is cognizant that we are American."
When: Late summer is the current estimate, according to Faison.

Tiffani Faison

Photo: Provided

Villa Mexico

Where: 121 Water St., Boston (Financial District)
What: The reincarnation of the beloved gas station burrito shop, formerly located on the edge of Beacon Hill. (The new space is not part of a gas station.) Villa Mexico's original location shut down more than a year ago, although the team has been busy selling salsa and offering catering since then.
When: At the end of 2014, the estimate was spring 2015. An updated timeline has not been announced, but the restaurant received approval for its takeout license last week.

Villa Mexico Cafe

Rendering: Facebook

Also aiming for a spring opening:

Keep an eye on every little detail about potential spring openings here: Tracking Spring 2015 Boston Restaurant Openings

Looking more like summer or beyond:

See also:

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