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May 2017 in Review, From Seafood Towers to Puffle Cones

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

North Square Oyster
North Square Oyster seafood tower
Sarah Storrer for Eater

May 2017 wasn’t too busy on the restaurant opening front, but there are a few newbies to welcome, including North Square Oyster in the North End, a new Blackbird Doughnuts location in Fenway, a couple new spots for Hong Kong-style desserts, a ceviche bar from the owners of acclaimed South End Greek restaurant Kava Neo-Taverna, and more; see the full rundown below.

It was also a very quiet month for closings, with only Bondir Concord, a BU location of Panera, and Prince Postale saying farewell. Plus, Journeyman announced its closure in May and officially closed June 3, and a few other businesses announced that they would close later this summer: Tufts’ Brown & Brew Coffee House, Golden Garden’s original Belmont location, and Karoun Restaurant in Newton. Visit them while you can.

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

Desserts at Ice Age
Desserts at Ice Age, which opened in May in Chinatown
  1. Two New Hong Kong-Style Dessert Spots Have Opened in Boston: Puffle cones and shave ice galore.
  2. New York’s Num Pang Arrives at the Pru Tomorrow With Fast-Casual Cambodian Sandwiches: Here’s a sneak peek inside.
  3. The Halal Guys Are Definitely Bringing Piles of Chicken to Boston: It’s still too early for specifics, but get excited, chicken fans.
  4. Renegades Pub Will Soon Let the Taps Flow in East Boston: Plenty of craft beer and burgers to go around.
  5. Goodnight Fatty Gets Permanent Weekend Space to Sell Its Cookies and Bottomless Milk: Enter the cookie oasis through an alley in Downtown Salem.
  6. A Boston Pastry Chef Will Soon Open Honeycomb in Hamilton: Scratch-made pastries, coffee, and more.
  7. Trillium Brewing’s Fort Point Expansion Will Include a Full-Service Restaurant and Patio: It will span two floors at 47 Farnsworth St.
  8. East Ocean City and Chau Chow City Shutter in Chinatown: Each had been around for decades.
  9. New York’s Iconic Magnolia Bakery Finally Arrives in Boston This Fall: What year is this?
  10. Nantucket’s LoLa 41 Gets a Boston Proper Sibling Tomorrow: LoLa 42 debuts at the Twenty Two Liberty building on Fan Pier.

A silver bowl on a metal stand is full of ice, shrimp, crab claws, and more. Dark blue restaurant booths are visible behind it.
Seafood tower at ReelHouse, a new addition to the May Heatmap
Brian Samuels Photography
  1. The Hottest Restaurants in Boston Right Now, May 2017: This month’s update included the additions of Les Sablons, ReelHouse, Terra at Eataly, Shaking Crab’s Quincy location, and Bess’s Cafe.
  2. The Ultimate $1 Oyster Guide, Spring 2017: Where to find dollar oyster deals in Boston and beyond.
  3. Where to Eat at Boston Logan International Airport (BOS): The best meal of your entire life: It probably wasn't in an airport. However, if that's where you need to be, here's where you should eat.
  4. Vital Brunch Spots to Know in Boston: Whether you're up for a classic dish, dim sum, or something with a little Southern flare, here are some essential Boston-area brunches that'll knock your socks off.
  5. These 170+ Patios Are Officially Open for 2017: Go forth and dine al fresco.
  6. The Cocktail Heatmap: Where to Drink Right Now: You should probably be spending spring with a cocktail (or several) in hand. Here are some hot new cocktail destinations to try this season.
  7. 20+ Things You Should Eat Today: Recommended eating (and drinking) around Boston.
  8. 32 Essential Boston Coffee Shops: Start your caffeine adventure here.
  9. The Coolest New Boston Ice Cream Shops: Scoops upon scoops upon scoops.
  10. The Boston Outdoor Dining Guide: Patios, rooftops, and picnics galore.

Num Pang’s limited-time pork belly and lob-stah sandwich
Num Pang’s limited-time pork belly and lob-stah sandwich
Evan Sung for Num Pang
  • 753 South (753 South St., Roslindale): Small plates, beer, and wine in Roslindale Village. Sibling to Delfino.
  • Aqua Pazza (135 Richmond St., North End, Boston): Italian seafood from the ever-growing DePasquale Ventures restaurant group.
  • Baja Box (793 Quincy Shore Dr., Quincy): An outdoor taco, nacho, and ice cream counter next to sibling spot The Clam Box.
  • Blackbird Doughnuts (20 Kilmarnock St., Fenway, Boston): The popular South End doughnut shop has expanded to Fenway.
  • Cabonnay (55 Bridge St., Manchester, NH): Wine-focused restaurant with a rooftop garden patio and an art gallery.
  • C Fruit Life (171 Brighton Ave., Allston, Boston): Hong Kong-based dessert chain with shave ice “snowdaes,” smoothies, fruit-based desserts, and more.
  • Clover (1 Oxford St., Cabot Science Center at Harvard University, Harvard Square, Cambridge): The newest Clover location is on the Harvard campus (but open to the public). Primarily a coffee counter, it does serve breakfast, lunch, and dinner items as well, but it’s a somewhat different approach than other Clover locations.
  • The Club Car (1 Main St., Nantucket): The classic Nantucket spot reopened under new ownership with Boston roots, serving California-inspired cuisine made with local ingredients.
  • Flaming Grill and Buffet (950 American Legion Hwy., Roslindale): A buffet with a wide variety of American, Chinese, and Japanese food, including lots of fried things, dumplings, soups, sushi, and pizza.
  • Finn McCool’s (200 High St., Downtown Boston): “Boston” poutine, corned beef nachos, cornbread chorizo mac & cheese, and other comfort food in the former Julep Bar space.
  • The Gate (3171 Washington St., Jamaica Plain, Boston): Irish and American pub food, from sweet potato poutine to lamb burgers, with desserts by Third Cliff Bakery.
  • Goodnight Fatty (10 Derby Sq., Salem): Late-night cookie pop-up Goodnight Fatty has found a permanent home in downtown Salem, open regularly from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays inside multimedia production company Sperling Interactive. Enter by the Higginson Square alleyway.
  • Haute Coffee (1 Canal Pk., East Cambridge): The Concord-based coffee shop has expanded to Cambridge’s Lechmere area, serving breakfast and lunch sandwiches, coffee and tea, granola, and more.
  • Ice Age (8 Tyler St., Chinatown, Boston): Ice cream served in puffle cones (Hong Kong-style egg waffles). Located on Tea Do’s second floor.
  • LoLa 42 (22 Liberty Dr., Seaport District, Boston): Sibling to Nantucket’s LoLa 41. Sushi, burgers, steak, and more.
  • North Square Oyster (5 North Sq., North End, Boston): Seafood towers, lobster rolls, and lots more from the Ward 8 team and executive chef Douglas Rodrigues (Liquid Art House, Clio).
  • Num Pang (800 Boylston St., Prudential Center, Back Bay, Boston): A new fast-casual option inside of the Prudential Center. The New York-based chain serves Vietnamese-inspired sandwiches, rice bowls, and more.
  • Puro Ceviche Bar (264 Newbury St., Back Bay, Boston): “A ceviche bar with Latin soul” serving small plates in the cozy space that used to house Trattoria Newbury. The Kava Neo-Taverna team is behind it.
  • The Railpenny Tavern (8 Exeter Rd., Epping, New Hampshire): Barbecue bacon burgers, cider-braised pork pot pie, fish & chips, and strawberry shortcake a half hour west of Portsmouth. Franklin Oyster House alum Gillian Roun is executive chef.
  • Renegades Pub (1004 Bennington St., East Boston): Local beers, a lot of whiskey, and comfort food in the former Victory Pub space.
  • Smokin’ Betty’s BBQ (94 Lafayette St., Salem): Smoked meats, gruyere beignets, fried green tomato po’boys, smoked Nashville hot chicken sandwiches, and more from the owners of Gulu-Gulu Cafe and Flying Saucer Pizza Company. There’s also a shuffleboard-bowling table.
  • Spoke Wine Bar (89 Holland St., Davis Square, Somerville): Spoke has been reborn under new ownership, former Spoke bartender Mary Kurth. Small plates, good wines, cozy vibes.
  • True Taste Seasonal Kitchen (301 Reservoir St., Needham): A delivery-only restaurant featuring gluten-free meals that cater to a wide variety of dietary needs, particularly people following Paleo or Whole30-style diets.
  • Turtle Swamp Brewing (3377 Washington St., Jamaica Plain, Boston): Not fully open yet — but keep an eye on Instagram for weekend hours, which include food truck visits, crowler fills, pints, and more.

Journeyman dish
A dish at Journeyman, now closed in Somerville

May 2017 closures:

  • Bondir Concord (24 Walden St., Concord): A few months after announcing that the space would be sold, Bondir chef-owner Jason Bond closed Bondir Concord as planned; Fiorella’s will take its place. Bondir remains open in Cambridge.
  • Panera Bread (888 Commonwealth Ave., Boston): The BU campus location of Panera shuttered due to high rent. This is one of several recent Panera closures.
  • Prince Postale (71 Prince St., North End, Boston): A shipping store — but also a burrito shop (and knishes, bagels, pastries, coffee, and more).

Closures announced in May 2017 that will happen at a later date:

  • Brown & Brew Coffee House (474 Boston Ave., Medford): This longtime Tufts coffee shop will close August 11. A new cafe, Kindlevan Café, will offer a similar menu when it opens within Tufts’ almost-completed Science and Engineering Complex.
  • Golden Garden (63 Concord Ave., Belmont): The Chinese restaurant’s newer Malden sibling will remain open, but this original Belmont location will close at the end of its lease on June 30.
  • Journeyman (9 Sanborn Ct., Union Square, Somerville): Once a high-end tasting menu-focused restaurant, Journeyman had recently converted some of its nights into a more casual concept centered around a wood-fired grill. Closed June 3.
  • Karoun Restaurant (839 Washington St., Newton): Open for decades, this Lebanese restaurant will close at the end of June. The building housing it was sold and will be demolished later this year.