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March 2017 in Review, From Ice Cream Rolls to Smoked Meats

The month in openings, closings, top news, and more

Rolled ice cream from Juicy Spot Cafe
Rolled ice cream from Juicy Spot Cafe

March 2017 was a relatively quiet month on the local restaurant front; we only tracked nine openings in Boston proper and a few more scattered beyond the city limits. Of the few openings that occurred, the cuisines were fairly diverse, ranging from Thai-style ice cream rolls to Texan barbecue to Indonesian cuisine to upscale French.

Fortunately, there weren’t too many closures either. We bid farewell to just a couple Boston proper spots — Crossroads Irish Pub and the Prudential location of P.F. Chang’s, along with a few places in Brookline, Arlington, and Framingham.

Read on for a summary of March 2017, including the most-read news stories and maps, the openings, and the closings.

  1. Will Ferrell-Themed Bar Will Bring Scotchy Scotch Scotch to Boston?: The 10-day pop-up, coming to Umbria in mid-April, will have themed cocktails and a subtle aura of rich mahogany.
  2. Boston Restaurants Standing in Solidarity With ‘A Day Without a Woman’ Strike: A number of local restaurants closed for the day or supported the strike in other ways.
  3. Juicy Spot Cafe Opens Thursday With Ice Cream Rolls, Smoothies, Juices, and More: It’s the first local outpost of the New York cafe.
  4. Boston Restaurants With the Most Stunning Design: Take a look back through four years of Stone Cold Stunner nominees and winners.
  5. Kokeshi Bursts Onto the North Shore With Fried Chicken Ramen and Octopus Hot Dogs: Take a peek inside the new Salem project from the Bambolina team.
  6. Beer Updates: Breweries Expand in Boston and Beyond: Lamplighter, Lord Hobo, Wormtown, Castle Island, and more have development plans in the works.
  7. The Boston Area Will Soon Be Down Two P.F. Chang’s: The Prudential Center and Peabody locations are closing.
  8. Intelligentsia Coffee Will Flood Watertown With Free Coffee This Week: As the cafe opening gets closer, the Intelligentsia truck has been doling out drinks and snacks in the parking lot.
  9. Shed’s BBQ Lands in Boston This Week: Smoked meat, cornbread, and more.
  10. Sorelle Brings Italian-Inspired Dishes to Abington on April 4: Chef Andrea Schnell will serve up pizza, pasta, and so much more.

  1. The Hottest Restaurants in Boston Right Now, March 2017: For the March Heatmap update, brought to you by the letter “B,” we welcomed Burro Bar in Brookline, Buttermilk & Bourbon in Back Bay, By Chloe in the Seaport, and in Back Bay.
  2. The Hottest Brunches in Boston Right Now, March 2017: The Brunch Heatmap got a complete refresh in March, with new additions including East Coast Grill, Frenchie, SRV, Little Donkey, and more.
  3. Where to Eat Vegetarian and Vegan Food in Boston: Updated in March to add even more options for meat-free dining around the Boston area.
  4. A Guide to Dining and Drinking in Salem, Massachusetts: Where to find French pastries, hard cider, ice cream, old-fashioned candy, and more. Updated in March to add new openings, remove places that have closed, etc.
  5. 70+ Restaurants Opened Around Boston in Winter 2017: Get to know all the newcomers.

  • Al’s Cafe (600 Technology Sq., Kendall Square, Cambridge): Weekday lunchtime subs, soups, and salads.
  • Back Bay Beats (B3) (160 Massachusetts Ave., Back Bay, Boston): A menu inspired by cuisine from the South and beyond, plus tons of live music, in a new Berklee building.
  • BB.Q Chicken (182 Harvard Ave., Allston): Located in the former Soulfire space, this is the first New England location for the Korean chicken chain.
  • Biryani Pot (255 Worcester Rd., Framingham): Hyderabadi cuisine, featuring biryani. This is the 14th location for the Texas-based chain.
  • Cafe Luna (612 Main St., Kendall Square, Cambridge): The popular Cambridge brunch spot relocated from Mass. Ave. in Central Square to a larger space; the menu will soon expand.
  • CraftRoots Brewing (4 Industrial Rd., Milford): Milford’s first brewery. It has a seven-barrel capacity and a taproom.
  • Juice Press (109 Seaport Blvd., Seaport District, Boston): The fifth Boston-area location for the New York-based juice chain. Smoothies, salads, cold-pressed juices, and more.
  • Juicy Spot Cafe (16 Tyler St., Chinatown, Boston): Rolled ice cream, smoothies, juice, and more. There are also two New York City locations.
  • Kaki Lima at Wink & Nod (3 Appleton St., South End, Boston): The newest resident in Wink & Nod’s culinary incubator is Kaki Lima, a popular Indonesian pop-up that’ll stay at the South End bar through mid-September.
  • Kokeshi (41 Lafayette St., Salem): Asian-inspired noodles and more from the team behind Bambolina, the nearby “neo-Neapolitan” pizza-focused restaurant.
  • Nirvana: The Taste of India (1680 Massachusetts Ave., between Porter and Harvard squares, Cambridge): Indian cuisine in the former West Side Lounge space. There’s a daily lunch buffet.
  • Noodle Market (470-472 Massachusetts Ave., Arlington Center): Vietnamese and Thai food in the former Sweet Chili space. Open for lunch and dinner.
  • Shed’s BBQ (32 Bromfield St., Downtown Crossing, Boston): Texas-style barbecue from the owners of Viga Eatery. For now, it’s only open for lunch, but dinner may be added later.
  • Troquet on South (107 South St., Leather District, Boston): After years on Boylston Street, this upscale French restaurant with a notable wine list has moved to a larger space downtown.
  • Tuscan Kitchen (581 Lafayette Rd., Portsmouth, NH): The Italian restaurant portion of Tuscan Kitchen & Market is now open; the market will follow. The dual concept is coming to Boston’s Seaport District in fall 2017.
  • Verts Mediterranean Grill (545 Boylston St., Back Bay, Boston): The second Boston-area location for the Texas-based fast-casual Mediterranean chain.
  • Yoki Express (101 Seaport Blvd., Seaport District, Boston): This fast-casual sibling to Medford’s Yoki Restaurant & Bar features sushi burritos and poke.

  • Baja Betty’s (3 Harvard St., Brookline Village): The 20-year-old burrito shop will be replaced by Boca Grande.
  • Capri Pizza & Subs (1323 Massachusetts Ave., Arlington): This casual pizza shop shut down early in 2016 before reopening under new ownership. Now it’s closed again.
  • Crossroads Irish Pub (495 Beacon St., Back Bay, Boston): A restaurant called St. Locale will replace the longtime Irish pub.
  • J&M Diner (969 Concord St., Framingham): A devastating fire wiped out an entire shopping complex, including this diner, which opened nearly 20 years ago. The owners will try to find a new location.
  • The Middle Gray (6 Station St., Brookline Village): The venue itself isn’t closed — it’ll remain in operation as an art gallery and event space — but The Middle Gray is no longer a coffee shop.
  • P.F. Chang’s (800 Boylston St. — Prudential Center, Back Bay, Boston): The national chain’s Prudential location closed in March, and the Peabody location is slated to close in April.