It was a busy spring in Boston proper, with openings especially concentrated in Back Bay, Jamaica Plain, and the South End. Many were fast-casual, and a lot of new coffee options sprung up. While we expected to see the arrival of a few out-of-town brands — Dig Inn, Lady M, By Chloe — those are now aiming for summer openings. But we did say hello to some new siblings of existing Boston-area restaurants, including Casa Verde (sibling to Tres Gatos and Centre Street Cafe), a new Clover, a third FoMu, and a second Grass Fed.Allston got two restaurants that serve Korean-Mexican fusion (think tacos with Korean-inspired fillings) — Coreanos and OliToki. A handful of new pubs opened around town, including The Ginger Man near Faneuil Hall and Lower Mills Tavern in Dorchester. And some temporarily closed restaurants reopened — JM Curley and Cafe Madeleine in their original locations, and Crispy Crepes Cafe in a new spot.
Did we miss a spring Boston proper restaurant opening? Do you know of an upcoming summer (or beyond) opening that should be on our radar? Let us know. Want to learn about what opened in Cambridge, Somerville, and other nearby areas? Head right this way.
Originally published on March 14, 2016. Date of most recent update can be found above.
After closing down Shanghai Social Club in late 2014, the Red Paint Hospitality Group has replaced it with a new neighborhood-focused casual concept with grilled pizza, a raw bar, sandwiches, and the like. There are 16 beers on draft with a focus on American craft brews. The Hopewell has seasonal sidewalk dining as well as pool, shuffleboard, and arcade games.
Korean fusion with hints of Mexico and Hawaii — think tacos, burritos, and rice bowls with Korean-style fillings, as well as the Hawaiian staple spam musubi. Part of the menu is called the "YOLO corner," featuring "really weird concoctions" meant to satisfy the munchies. "We definitely want to bring some swagger and up the game for fast-casual food," co-owner John Kim previously told Eater. The 10-seat restaurant is takeout- and delivery-friendly.
The long-awaited Newbury Street Clover — in the works for more than four years — finally opened at the start of spring. The truck plugs in to the back of the Hynes MBTA station for electrical power, making it a sort of hybrid between Clover's standard trucks and its brick-and-mortar locations. It holds long and consistent hours like a restaurant but drive away each night.
This Australian-inspired coffee-and-meat-pie shop has just opened its third location this spring as a kiosk inside of a gym. The original location is by Haymarket, and there's also one in the South End within the Troy Boston building.
The Neighborhood Restaurant Group (Local 149, Bilmore & Main, The Biltmore Bar & Grille) has opened Article 24 in the former space of The Boyne in Brighton. A job posting described the restaurant as a "rock-n-roll-vintage-garage-inspired new American style pub" with craft cocktails and local DJs.
Keep an eye out for music-themed brunches, including one featuring EDM. The space, decorated with vintage items, has two levels, with 130 seats upstairs and 39 down. On the food side, the menu has sections dedicated to items like toast, ramen, sandwiches, and tacos. Chef Mark Allen is formerly from the now-shuttered Le Soir Bistro in Newton Highlands.
This sibling to Gregory Coughlin's Olde Magoun's Saloon and Copper House Tavern seats 240 and features dishes like cod and potato cakes, lamb poutine, a Reuben with kimchi, and Boston cream pie. The space was formerly home to Papagayo.
Shojo owners Brendan and Brian Moy, along with executive chef Mark O'Leary, revamped the Moy family's longstanding Best Little Restaurant to give it a bit of a facelift and modern spin. The new menu features dishes like soft-shell crab egg foo young, roasted bone marrow with scallion pancakes, and whole roasted trout. Old favorites will eventually make a comeback as well.
The Lower Mills Pub, which was open for more than three decades, has been reborn as Lower Mills Tavern, now under the ownership of Dropkick Murphys frontman Ken Casey and his business partner Brian O'Donnell. The menu is meant to be an affordable mix of flatbreads, burgers, and other comfort food. Well-known interior designer Taniya Nayak (who is married to O'Donnell) designed the space.
The Hilton Boston Downtown Hotel swiftly replaced Nix's Mate with 89 Broad, serving modern American food and open from 7 a.m. to midnight Sunday through Thursday and 7 a.m. to 2 a.m. Friday and Saturday.
The Coffee Trike closed in fall 2015 so that owner San Bellino could focus on working with the Gracenote Coffee team to open a brick-and-mortar cafe in Boston's Leather District, but now a new owner has resurrected the trike — Brad Pillen. Current peddling/pedaling locations include the corner of Park Street and Tremont Street at Boston Common and the South End Open Market.
This 149-seat restaurant near Faneuil Hall specializes in craft beer and comfort food, just like its big sibling in New York City. "We’re very much a public house, so we’re trying to give our customers and guests an atmosphere in which they can enjoy really great drinks, great food, and conversation," director of operations Alex Silberstein previously told Eater.
The South End's Render Coffee has expanded to the Cambridge Innovation Center's downtown Boston location. It's open to the public with seats for 90 and an adjacent meeting and event space (managed by CIC). Render serves Tandem and Gracenote coffee, local pastries, and more. Hours are 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on weekdays and closed on the weekend.
This Acton-based coffee roaster, which has a Newtonville cafe, opened a new location inside The Godfrey Hotel, adjacent to the lobby. The European-style espresso bar has quick-serve coffee for commuters as well as opportunities to sit down and really get into coffee, from tasting flights to classes. George Howell launched his eponymous coffee brand a decade after selling his 20-year-old company, The Coffee Connection, to Starbucks.
This popular Downtown Crossing spot for cocktails, burgers, and more shuttered in mid-February 2016 due to a pipe bursting in the space above and filling the restaurant with thousands of gallons of water. Two months of renovations included replacing the damaged ceiling and dry wall, but JM Curley's original aesthetic is largely unchanged.
This DC-based grab-and-go salad chain keeps adding new Boston area locations. The first of two Downtown Crossing locations opened this spring. (The second, at 87 Summer St., should open this summer, as well as a Fenway location.)
Beantown Pub has expanded by 584 feet, busting into space that was previously sublet to a coin shop. The new area is a coffee bar by day (with a separate entrance from the pub), and at night, it serves as an extension of the pub, providing additional bar seating.
After closing its original Audubon Circle location in October 2015 and saddening many crepe-loving students, Crispy Crepes has reopened even closer to Boston University (in a former Sal's Pizza location). In addition to crepes, both savory and sweet, Crispy Crepes also serves panini, wraps, and more.
Coppa alum Meghann Ward, her husband Kevin Walsh (a Clio alum), and her stepmother Marlena Ward have teamed up to bring a dual-concept restaurant to the former Church restaurant and music venue spaces. One side is a pop-up-inspired restaurant with casual pizzas, small bites, oysters, and the like, while the other side is a more intimate dining experience inspired by mid-century Havana, with a fireplace, a full dinner menu, and interesting cocktails.
Jerry Remy's Fenway location closed abruptly in April 2016, and its owners, The Cronin Group, promptly replaced it with one of their other brands, Tony C's, which has locations in Burlington and Somerville.
Whisk chefs Jeremy Kean and Philip Kruta purchased Fazenda Cafe over the summer and have been gradually transforming it into their dream restaurant, continuing to run it as a cafe since then (while also previewing Brassica dishes at a variety of pop-ups). Brassica debuted in its full form this spring. "It’s really the neighborhood spot we want to create now," Kruta told the Globe, noting that the duo has moved away from "fussy plating [and] edible sculptures." Daniel and Bouchon Bakery alum Arthur Haynes is onboard as pastry chef.
The team behind Tres Gatos and Centre Street Cafe made it a trio — and kept it all on Centre Street. Casa Verde is a 58-seat "casual, family-friendly Mexican eatery" with a focus on tacos and ceviche. The restaurant has a license for beer, wine, and liqueurs.
This fast-casual burger joint, which also serves boozy milkshakes, has expanded within Jamaica Plain. The new location is the former Tonic space by the Forest Hills MBTA station. "My new location will have more space, a 20-seat full-service bar with an all-alcohol license and an outdoor patio," owner Krista Kranyak previously told Eater. The full-service section includes "fun cocktails" as well as eight beers on tap and two organic wines on tap. The liquor license goes until 1 a.m., so there's a late-night bar menu available from 11 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. Meanwhile, the other side of the restaurant is quick-service and features bench seats with chalkboard tables — doodle while you wait.
New Forest Hills specialty burgers:
The Hawaiian with fried spam, seared pineapple, lettuce, Sriracha mayo
The Bibimbap with burdock root, sesame bean sprouts, kimchi, fried egg, Korean barbecue sauce
The Daddy with American cheese, ketchup, mustard, potato chips
Forest Hills with Swiss, kraut, bacon, fried pickle, Thousand Island dressing
O-Ring Me with cheddar, bacon, beer-battered fried onion ring, truffle ketchup
Chick'n Stack with two deep fried chicken breasts, green leaf lettuce, pickles, cilantro-lime mayo
"I am looking forward to the vibrancy of this developing neighborhood," said Kranyak, who is also behind Ten Tables in Jamaica Plain. She recently shuttered Ten Tables' Cambridge location to focus on expanding Grass Fed. The new location features the same classic burgers as the original, plus the addition of some new specialty burgers.
Evy Chen has transformed a former garage near the Sam Adams brewery into her first storefront, featuring cold brew tea, cold brew coffee, and more. There's an herb garden, too. Keep an eye out for seasonal tea blends, like her popular white tea mojito, which has mint, honey, and lime. There isn't much food available — just a few small snacks. Tea is really the focus here.
Based in Philadelphia, La Colombe also has cafes in New York, Chicago, and Washington, D.C. A large expansion is in the works, including this new Boston location, which serves the signature draft latte.
The Mission Hill coffee shop expanded to Roslindale this spring, serving up coffee and tea, smoothies, sandwiches, and other breakfast and lunch fare. Opens at 5 a.m. on weekdays and 7 a.m. on weekends.
Located in the former Urban Art Bar space, Roza Lyons comes from a team of alum from the nearby Playwright — Robert Fitzharris, Ian Neubecker, and Marcos Figueiredo. Roza Lyons serves sandwiches, salads, and shared plates, as well as wine, beer, and some cocktails. (The team secured the malt, wine, and liqueur license from Urban Art Bar.)
A group of Barbara Lynch Gruppo alum — married couple Colin Lynch (no relation to Barbara Lynch) and Heather Kennaway Lynch, along with Jefferson Macklin — opened a "coastal Italian" restaurant within the Sepia condo building at the Ink Block complex this spring. It seats around 125 inside and 34 on a patio.
From Second Glass, the wine events company behind Wine Riot events, comes the Wine Riot retail experience — a wine, beer, and liquor shop with elaborate educational displays, an app, and other ways to improve your booze-buying.