Boston's North End may become an oyster conglomerate as a new restaurant slated to specialize in just that plans to open in a space on Salem Street, just down the street from Neptune Oyster, according to North End Waterfront.
The proposed restaurant will be called North End Oyster and will take over the Urban Cantina space at 74-76 Salem St., next door to Crudo. Nicholas Fiorillo, who is one of Crudo's owners, purchased the Urban Cantina space and plans to transfer the existing liquor license to North End Oyster.
In a presentation to the North End/Waterfront Neighborhood Council, attorney Daniel Toscano called the new restaurant a "Neptune Oyster on steroids," and he detailed some of the potential menu items, including a tremendous raw bar, hot and cold apps, and selection of entrees and desserts. He said it would be an upscale seafood establishment reflecting what the team had done at Crudo, which opened in summer 2015 and specializes in sushi.
Crudo's current general manager David Dellenbaugh, who was also on hand for the hearing, is the proposed manager for North End Oyster.
Jeff Nace, who owns Neptune Oyster, told Eater the area's oyster scene was strong and that he hadn't heard much about the proposed North End Oyster project, including its likening to his restaurant on steroids.
When Neptune opened 12 years ago, Nace said, the area was all Italian restaurants, and Neptune wanted to create its own niche. "I think we've succeeded in that," he said. "Anything else that follows is certainly flattering to us."
Toscano said he didn't think North End Oyster would take business away from Neptune, which he called a destination location. He said he hoped New England Oyster would be a destination as well and would cater to the local neighborhood, as Crudo does.
North End Oyster will have about 76 seats and a lower level. There is a hearing with the City of Boston licensing board scheduled for May 4.