Luke’s Lobster, a growing fast-casual chain with roots in New York and Maine, first touched down in Boston a year ago this Sunday, July 17, at 75 Exeter St. in Back Bay. Now, the company is officially confirming a rumor from the spring: There will be a second Boston location at 290 Washington St. in Downtown Crossing, formerly a cupcake shop called Cakeology. It’s set to open later this summer; stay tuned for a more exact timeline.
While Luke’s Lobster first opened in 2009 in New York City, founder Luke Holden comes from Maine, which serves as the inspiration for the menu and vibe at the seafood-focused restaurants, not to mention the source for much of the seafood. There are now numerous locations in New York, as well as a couple in D.C. and one apiece in Vegas, Philadelphia, Bethesda, Chicago, and Hoboken. Plus, there’s a new full-service restaurant in Tenants Harbor, Maine — Luke’s at Tenants Harbor. It serves an expanded menu that features locally sourced seafood directly from the Tenants Harbor Fisherman’s Co-op, and the restaurant shares 50% of profits with the co-op.
Even at the rest of the locations, which are not full-service, it’s all about the sourcing. Luke’s uses its own sister company, Cape Seafood, to bring lobster and more "from ocean to plate" and is vocal about a commitment to sustainability and traceability.
The new Boston location will likely be similar in size, layout, and offerings to the one in Back Bay, although more details will be announced closer to the opening date. Luke’s menu features Maine-style lobster, crab, and shrimp rolls (served chilled "with a swipe of mayo" on a buttered and toasted split-top bun, plus some lemon butter and "secret spices"). There’s also chowder, crab claws, grilled cheese, and a few other options, along with soft drinks and and desserts (cookies and ice cream sandwiches made with South End Buttery cookies and Maine-based Gifford’s ice cream).
Here's a peek inside the existing Back Bay location: