In the works for about four years, the Newbury Street Clover is "imminent," CEO and founder Ayr Muir said. The company is currently staffing up to open the city's first plug-in truck at the site behind the Hynes MBTA Station.
The deal between Clover and the MBTA was first reported back in March 2012. At the time, the 275-square foot space at 354 Newbury St. was going to be home to a semi-permanent cross between the vegetarian fast food chain's food trucks and its brick-and-mortar locations.
The job listing that popped up last week says the site will now host a plug-in truck, the first of its kind in Boston. The truck will have "long and consistent" hours plugged in at the site, including breakfast, lunch, and dinner service, but it will pack it in and drive away every night, Muir said via email.
"We made a deal with [the MBTA] to bring a really cool container-box restaurant to the site, but the State of MA wouldn't allow it to happen," Muir told Eater this week. "Then we shifted gears to a truck. It needs to be all electric because the MBTA doesn't allow propane on their property. So there's this massive power supply we'll be plugged into," he explained.
Muir was going to the site today to watch the concrete pad, visible in the photo, get leveled for Americans with Disabilities Act compliance.
Mike Fitzhenry, the "Mike" of the former Mike & Patty's sandwich shop and also an alum of Formaggio Kitchen and Hungry Mother, signed on with Clover last month and is going to be at the helm of CloverNEW. When the plug-in truck launches in a few weeks, one new menu item will be a "play on a po' boy" with Rhode Island blue oyster mushrooms and Massachusetts-grown kale and tomatoes, Muir said.
Clover has been rapidly expanding its vegetarian empire with its sixth brick-and-mortar, a 24-hour location opening in Central Square earlier this year; and a lease signed recently on space near South Station. The restaurant group has other outposts in Harvard Square, Kendall Square, East Cambridge, Brookline Village, and Burlington, plus a fleet of trucks covering places such as the Longwood Medical Area and by the Park Street station at Boston Common. A D.C. expansion is apparently in the works, too.