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Boston Restaurant Opening Guide, Summer 2016

Everything you need to know about what's opening in and around Boston in summer 2016

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From crab nachos in Central Square to bao in Harvard, crepe cakes in Back Bay to tinned fish in Downtown Crossing, we tracked summer restaurant openings in Boston proper and beyond. Read on for all the details. (Note that several regions with a large number of openings — Boston proper, Cambridge, Somerville — continue on to their own pages, so be sure to click "read more" for all the information about each city.

Want to go back in time and find out what opened last season? Head right this way. Or are you looking for a preview of what will open in fall 2016? Check it out here.

Originally published on July 1, 2016. Date of the most recent update appears above.

Table Of Contents (all h2's added automatically)

Boston Proper

haley henry

So many summer openings in Boston proper were new locations of existing brands. We saw the openings of two more Sweetgreens, two more Clovers, and two satellite pop-up locations of FoMu, as well as the first Massachusetts arrivals of out-of-town brands Dig Inn and Lady M. Beard Papa's got a new location, as did Santouka Ramen, Pressed, and Emma's Pizza. A new Wahlburgers opened at Logan Airport, and Downeast Cider House expanded from Charlestown to East Boston.

We also saw some familiar teams embark on new projects, such as the opening of Porto by the Trade team, Il Molo by the Frattarolis (Lucia), Doña Habana by the team behind Vejigantes and Merengue, and Dumpling Kingdom from the Dumpling Cafe and Dumpling Palace team.

Plus, Haley.Henry Wine Bar brought tinned seafood to Downtown Crossing, Lucy's American Tavern took over an old Hollywood Video space in Dorchester, Hi B3ar introduced Allston to Thai-style rolled ice cream, and lots more. READ MORE >>>

Image credit: A menu test at Haley.Henry/Instagram


Pizza at Otto

Otto Pizza took over the former Comella's space at 202 Massachusetts Ave. in East Arlington; it opened on July 14, 2016. A retail shop called The Local Fare debuted at 2 Lake St. in mid-August, a collaboration among three food businesses: Nutty Life (dairy-free milks), Boston Bonbon (macarons and more), and Kitchen Millie ("two-bite" cookies).

Image credit: Pizza at Otto/Twitter


Smoked beef ribs at Magnolia Smokehouse

Spark Coffee opened on July 1, 2016 inside of the Wine Gallery at 3 Cypress St. serving pour-over coffees and espresso drinks from George Howell and loose-leaf teas from Rishi Tea. Baked goods and more coffee and tea offerings will be added soon. Plus, Magnolia Smokehouse replaced Village Smokehouse at 6 Harvard Sq. in September.

Image credit: Smoked beef ribs at Magnolia/Facebook


The Smoke Shop Food & Beverage Gallery

Cambridge had a blockbuster opening season, from Ken Oringer's and Jamie Bissonnette's first restaurant on this side of the river (Little Donkey) to the much-anticipated Smoke Shop from Andy Husbands, not to mention Mamaleh's from the State Park crew. Plus, Michael Scelfo's cooking up seafood, pizza, and more at his Alden & Harlow sequel, Waypoint. And all of the restaurants that were damaged in a fire at One Kendall Square a year ago have finally reopened; Flat Top Johnny's returned earlier this year, while Beantowne Coffee House, The Blue Room, and Belly returned this summer. And that's not all. READ MORE >>>

Image credit: Ribs at The Smoke Shop/Rachel Leah Blumenthal for Eater


Cape Cod Cafe

One of Southeast Massachusetts' most beloved bar pizza purveyors has added a fourth location. Nearly 70-year-old Cape Cod Cafe opened a new location in Easton (690 Depot St. in the Shaw's Plaza) on June 30, 2016. The other locations are in Brockton, Raynham, and Bridgewater.

Image credit: Bar pizzas at Cape Cod Cafe/Facebook


Riversbend menu testing

L'Espalier's Frank McClelland opened Riversbend at the Essex Marina in July 2016. The restaurant features "family-focused, farm-to-fork, wood-fired cooking," according to the website, and there were hints of pizza during the early planning stages.

Image credit: Menu testing from last year/Facebook


Bone Up Brewing beer

Owned by husband-and-wife duo Jared and Liz Kiraly, Bone Up Brewing Company debut its taproom on August 27, 2016 at 38 Norman St. Their beers "celebrate American styles while taking inspiration from old-school Belgian techniques," and some distribution has already begun. Meanwhile, Night Shift Brewing debuted its taproom expansion, The Annex, on September 9.

Image credit: Beer at Bone Up Brewing/Facebook


exhibit a brewing

Exhibit 'A' Brewing Company opened on August 31 in the former Jack's Abby space at 81 Morton St. Owner Matthew Steinberg's brewing resume includes experience at Harpoon, John Harvard's, Rapscallion, Off Shore Brewing Company, High Horse, and more.

Image credit: Beer at Exhibit 'A'/Facebook


KKatie's Burger Bar

Plymouth-based KKatie's Burger Bar expanded to Hyannis — its third location — in July 2016, and a new Quincy location is expected to follow in the fall.

Image credit: A burger from KKatie's Burger Bar/Facebook


Check Raise stout at Idle Hands

Idle Hands Craft Ales, originally located in Everett, had to find a new home once casino construction gobbled up its space. The brewing company's new (larger) location celebrated a grand opening at 89 Commercial St. on July 7, 2016. There's seating for 60 — and yes, there are actual bathrooms.

Image credit: Check Raise stout at Idle Hands/Facebook


Superfine menu testing

On August 31, former West Bridge chef/owner Matthew Gaudet opened Superfine at 25 Union St. — easily accessible from the commuter rail and Singing Beach. The family-friendly restaurant is meant to be "festive, fun, and low-key," Gaudet previously told Eater, featuring "satisfyingly delicious familiar foods" like pizza and ribs. His focus is on sourcing great local ingredients. The pizza dough is made with the West Bridge sourdough starter, and there are other familiar items for West Bridge fans as well, including the ribs and the burger. Keep an eye out for events and workshops in the space.

Image credit: Menu testing for Superfine (pizza, steak, and more)/Instagram


Howling Wolf Taqueria

Salem's Howling Wolf Taqueria now has an express location in Marblehead (Millers Plaza, 87 Pleasant St.) that serves up counter-service burritos, quesadillas, tacos, chimichangas, and more.

Image credit: A hard-shell taco special at the Salem location/Facebook

Martha's Vineyard

The Covington food

The Covington opened in late June 2016 at 52 Main St., courtesy of Beetlebung Farm's Chris Fischer, along with restaurateurs Patrick and Ted Courtney. The Courtneys also own The Port Hunter across the street. The Covington's ingredients are sourced from Fischer's farm and other local spots.

Image credit: A dish at The Covington/Official Site


Zebra's Bistro food

Zebra's Bistro & Wine Bar closed in July 2016 to be revamped into a new, renovated concept from the same owner. The restaurant is called Nosh & Grog Provisions, and it opened in late July. It's intended to be a fun, more casual spot than Zebra's with dishes like fried chicken with ancient spices and fried cornbread; chicken skins with cucumber ranch tzatziki and Sriracha; and carnival-style fried dough.

Image credit: Goat cheese arancini at Zebra's, before the transformation/Facebook



After announcing Massachusetts expansion plans way back in 2008, Texas-based wing chain Wingstop has finally touched down in the area; it opened on July 27, 2016 at 678 Fellsway in Medford and will arrive in East Boston in fall 2016. Wings come in regular and boneless varieties, and there are also chicken tenders, all of which can be served in 11 different flavors, from teriyaki to atomic.

Image credit: Wings at Wingstop/Facebook


Cheesy Street Grill

A "cheese wheelin' and sandwich dealin'" quick-service grilled cheese spot called Cheesy Street Grill opened in June at two service plazas on the Mass. Pike, one in Natick (eastbound) and one in Westborough (westbound). The company also has a grilled cheese truck in Connecticut by the same name. Also on the menu: taco salads, mac and cheese, and cupcakes.

Image credit: Grilled cheese with a mac and cheese topping at Cheesy Street Grill/Facebook


Metzy's Taqueria

The Metzy's Taqueria food truck now has a brick-and-mortar sibling: Metzy's Cantina opened at the Newburyport MBTA station on August 12, 2016, serving tacos, burritos, and more, plus beer and wine.

Image credit: Tacos from Metzy's Taqueria/Facebook


The Savage Wiener hot dogs

The Savage Wiener has launched a pop-up within Sandwich Works (827 Beacon St.), offering up hot dogs and muffin tops. It will stay there indefinitely but may eventually get a standalone space somewhere. Plus, Central is open nearby (761 Beacon St.) with a Mediterranean-inspired menu, and KoKo Bakery debuted in August 2016 at 232L California St, serving French and German breads, a variety of pastries, and more. 

Image credit: Hot dogs from The Savage Wiener/Facebook

North Attleborough

rockin roastin mug

Aerosmith memorabilia, crazy dragon signage, and caffeine — all in one place. Aerosmith drummer Joey Kramer and business partners Ron Mann and Frank Cimler are behind Rockin' & Roastin' Cafe (as well as the Rockin' & Roastin' coffee brand), which opened at 551B S. Washington St. on July 1, 2016.

Image credit: A Rockin' & Roastin' mug/Facebook



Tío Juan’s Margaritas Mexican Restaurant, aka Margaritas, opened at 10006 Shops Way (at Northborough Crossing) on August 16, 2016. It's the eighth Massachusetts location for the chain, which has been around for over three decades. This location will be the first to open with a new design scheme that features a large bar and artwork sourced from Mexico. 

Image credit: A margarita at Margaritas/Provided


Cafe Roo

Plymouth's Café Roo opened a second location this summer; the original is in Cordage Park, and the new one is in The Pinehills. The cafes serve breakfast and lunch, offering up breakfast sandwiches, stuffed French toast, smoothies, and more. 

Image credit: Cinnamon buns at Café Roo/Facebook


Feather & Wedge

Feather & Wedge opened in mid-September at 5 Main St., taking over the former spaces of a gallery and retail shop. The restaurant seats 50 and features foods made from ingredients sourced from around the area. 

Image credit: A Feather & Wedge tasting/Instagram


Notch Brewing infinite jest

A modern Italian restaurant called Trattoria Orsini opened on July 20, 2016 in the former Grapevine space (26 Congress St.) with 90 seats inside and 90 on a seasonal patio. Notch Brewing Co., which had been contract-brewing out of different facilities for over five years, also opened in mid-July at 283 Derby St. in downtown Salem. It includes a 1,000-square-foot European-style beer garden.

Image credit: Infinite Jest from Notch Brewing/Facebook


Fishermen's View jonah crab

A new seafood-focused restaurant and market called Fishermen’s View opened in August 2016 at 20 Freezer Rd., owned by brothers Bob and Denny Colbert, who have been fishing out of the Sandwich Marina for decades. The "boat-to-table" restaurant features marina and canal views.

Image credit: Jonah crab at Fishermen's View/Instagram


Tramezzini at Fat Hen

It turned out to be a quiet opening season in Somerville compared to other recent seasons, but we saw the debut of swanky Italian restaurant Fat Hen inside of La Brasa's former market space, as well as vegetarian-friendly pizzeria Veggie Crust in the former A4 pizza space. Plus, a new location of Coolidge Corner board game cafe Knight Moves opened in Teele Square, Forge Baking Co. busted into an adjacent space to open an ice cream shop, MEM tea opened a retail and education storefront in Davis, Assembly Row got a Pretzelmaker location, and shared culinary workspace/event space Foundation Kitchen expanded into a Washington Street spot on the edge of Union Square. READ MORE >>>

Image credit: Tramezzini at Fat Hen/Rachel Leah Blumenthal for Eater



A year-old Italian restaurant in Waltham, Brelundi, added a second location nearby in late July 2016. The new Brelundi is located inside the historic Watch Factory on the Charles River (185 Crescent St.) and serves the same menu as the original location (pizza, panini, pasta, etc.), plus beer and wine. 

Image credit: Pizza at Brelundi/Facebook


Coach Grill

Open since 1930, Coach Grill was forced to temporarily shutter in mid-April 2016 due to a small fire. It reopened in early July with a restored kitchen; the dining room was unaffected by the fire. It's part of the Tavistock Restaurant Collection, which also owns Abe & Louie's, Atlantic Fish Co., Joe's American Bar & Grill, and more.

Image credit: Chocolate cake at Coach Grill/Facebook


Caffe Nero

London-based coffee shop chain Caffe Nero opened a new location at the Wellesley Hills station on September 7, 2016.

Image credit: Iced tea at Caffe Nero/Rachel Leah Blumenthal for Eater


Cheesy Street Grill 2

A "cheese wheelin' and sandwich dealin'" quick-service grilled cheese spot called Cheesy Street Grill opened in June at two service plazas on the Mass. Pike, one in Natick (eastbound) and one in Westborough (westbound). The company also has a grilled cheese truck in Connecticut by the same name. Also on the menu: taco salads, mac and cheese, and cupcakes.

Image credit: Beef short rib grilled cheese at Cheesy Street Grill/Facebook


Alumni pizza weymouth

A new sports bar called Alumni 836 has opened at 836 Washington St. (Route 53) with Keno, the lottery, and lots of televisions. Plus, it serves the bar pizza recipe from the now-shuttered Alumni Cafe in Quincy. (The new Alumni is under different ownership.)

Image credit: Pizza at Alumni/Facebook


JW's Winthrop

Bambara alum Jay Silva purchased JW's Winthrop (10 Putnam St.) and took the helm at the beginning of July 2016. Over the next few months, he'll be transforming it into "two restaurants for the price of one," with part of the space as a casual, takeout-oriented pizzeria and the other part as a full-service, seafood-oriented restaurant. 

Image credit: Steak at JW's Winthrop/Official Site


Dacosta's Pizza Bakery

Brew on the Grid — a coffee shop from former Starbucks director of operations Frank Pearce, who was the first to bring Starbucks to the Worcester area — opened at 56 Franklin St. in late July 2016. Pearce hopes to open 35 Brew locations in the next five years, with cities like Salem and Lynn as potential expansion targets. Plus, Dacosta's Pizza Bakery opened on August 31, 2016 at 40 Millbrook St. with Neapolitan pizzas and the restaurant's "version of the sandwich" called the panuozzo, "a cross between a calzone and a pita." Then, in early September, a restaurant called Bull Mansion opened in the historic Bull Mansion at 55 Pearl St., serving American bistro fare by B.T.'s Smokehouse alum Gary Ankin.

Photo: Boston skyline/Marcio Jose Bastos Silva on Shutterstock

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