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June 2017 in Review, From Lobster Rolls to Fried Fluffernutters

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

Noca Provisions
Pastries at NOCA Provisions
Rachel Leah Blumenthal for Eater

June was a busy month for restaurant openings, including some highly anticipated new restaurants that have been in the works for quite some time (Cunard Tavern in East Boston, Cultivar in Downtown Boston), new outposts of out-of-state chains (Dig Inn in Downtown Crossing, By Chloe in Fenway), and lots more.

But there were also a few sad goodbyes in June, including Blue Ginger in Wellesley, Journeyman in Somerville, the Blue Room and Belly Wine Bar in Cambridge, and Karoun in Newton, among others.

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

Lobster cocktail at Mastro’s Ocean Club
Lobster cocktail at Mastro’s Ocean Club
  1. Look Inside The Pour Yard, Quincy’s New Outdoor Drinking Destination: Now open with canned beers, light bites, and an herb garden.
  2. Eater’s Guide to New England’s 38 Essential Restaurants Debuts With Plenty of Boston Picks: Row 34, O Ya, Sportello, and more.
  3. Mastro’s Ocean Club Opens Thursday in Boston’s Seaport District: Towers of seafood and prime cuts of steak.
  4. Drink Beer Outside at Trillium’s Greenway Beer Garden, Debuting Today: There will also be wine, and visitors can bring their own food.
  5. Look Inside Cunard Tavern, Debuting in Eastie Next Week: A new addition to Jeffries Point.
  6. Tim Maslow Wants to Open a Restaurant That Boston Can Love: Meanwhile, the new father is finding joy in helping out at Mida in the South End.
  7. Local Chefs Weigh in on the Great Lobster Roll Debate: Hot vs. Cold: Plus, they share some of their favorite lobster roll destinations.
  8. So Many Restaurant Openings This Week (and More Updates): Some sad closures, a tale of 7-Eleven vengeance, and more.
  9. A Caribbean-Inspired ‘Speakeasy’ Will Open Inside a North Station-Area Bar: Shelter debuts inside the back room at Hurricane O’Reilly’s this week.
  10. The Blue Room and Belly Wine Bar Will Close on July 1: “Everything ends, you know. Nothing lasts forever.”

A small round piece of Boston cream pie sits on a white plate, garnished with a strawberry, chocolate sauce shaped like a row of hearts, and whipped cream
Boston Cream Pie at Parker’s Restaurant
Rachel Leah Blumenthal/Eater Boston
  1. The Hottest Restaurants in Boston Right Now, June 2017: This month’s update included the additions of North Square Oyster, Puro Ceviche Bar, and Spoke Wine Bar.
  2. The Hottest Brunches in Boston Right Now, June 2017: This month’s update included the additions of Craigie on Main, Publico, Self Portrait, and Les Sablons.
  3. 14 Outstanding Boston Sushi Restaurants: From simple perfection to mountains of gold flakes and truffles.
  4. Around Massachusetts in 20 Ice Creams: Start planning your summer road trips.
  5. Boston’s 24 Most Iconic Dishes: Get to know the city with these essential eats.
  6. 26 Things You Should Eat Today: Recommended eating (and drinking) around Boston.
  7. Essential Boston Late-Night Food, According to Bartenders: Who knows late-night food better than the people who get out of work late at night?
  8. Take a Road Trip to These Dog-Friendly New England Breweries: Beer. Dogs. What could be better?
  9. Where to Drink Beer in Portsmouth, New Hampshire: Breweries galore.
  10. The Most Comforting New Pasta Dishes in Boston: It's a fine time to try some hearty bowls of noodles.

sea level newburyport
Food at Sea Level
  • Barrett’s Alehouse (674 West Center St., West Bridgewater): The fourth location of Barrett’s Alehouse takes the place of Charlie Horse, which had been open for about 25 years. Pub food, function rooms, and live entertainment.
  • The Bebop (1116 Boylston St., Back Bay, Boston): Brunch, pub food, and live music near Berklee from the team behind The Burren in Somerville’s Davis Square.
  • Belly of the Beast (159 Main St., Northampton): A sandwich-focused restaurant from a pair of Boston-area restaurant industry alums.
  • BenCotto (361 Hanover St., North End, Boston): A new pizza-focused restaurant in a space that most recently was a flower shop but was a pizzeria for a very long time before that.
  • B.Good (301 Third St., Kendall Square, Cambridge): Yet another location for the growing Boston-based chain, which serves salads, burgers, and more.
  • Boca Grande (3 Harvard St., Brookline Village): This small local burrito chain debuted in 1986 but was down to one location (East Cambridge) before this new one opened in the former Baja Betty’s space.
  • Brighton Bodega (328 Washington St., Brighton Center): Small plates, raw bar items, and more from the team behind Devlin’s, Orleans, Warren Tavern, and more. This is the former longtime Mandy and Joe’s space.
  • By Chloe (100 Van Ness St., Fenway, Boston): This is the second Boston location for the New York-based vegan chain; the first is in the Seaport District.
  • Castle Island Brewery (31 Astor Ave., Norwood): This Norwood brewery now has a full taproom.
  • Chiharu (370 Boylston St., Brookline Village): Sushi and ramen from the owner of now-defunct May’s Cafe in Allston and an alum of Mix-It in Cambridge.
  • CrepeBerry Cafe (352 Washington St., Wellesley): A vegetarian-friendly menu full of acai bowls, crepes, sandwiches, and more from the owner of Broken Grounds Cafe in Newton.
  • Cultivar (1 Court St., Downtown Boston): Seasonal, local, high-end dining from Harvest alum Mary Dumont. It’s located in the Ames Hotel but operates independently from the hotel.
  • Cunard Tavern (24 Orleans St., East Boston): The long-awaited Eastie restaurant from Ducali’s Phil Frattaroli. A New England-inspired menu and craft beer.
  • Dig Inn (277 Washington St., Downtown Crossing): The New York-based chain of customizable bowls featuring local produce is expanding its Boston presence; this is the second local location, and a third is coming.
  • District 45 (45 Lewis St., Lynn): The newest project from the team behind Article 24, Bandita Brighton, Biltmore & Main, Local 149, and The Biltmore Bar & Grille. Blueberry braised short ribs, fried Fluffernutters, and more.
  • Espresso Yourself (767 Centre St., Jamaica Plain): A coffee shop in the former Uforge Gallery space. Coffee, light pastries, and more.
  • Grande Kitchen + Bar (118 Needham St): Modern American food from a Bastille Kitchen alum in the former Mick Morgan’s space.
  • The Industry (750 Adams St., Dorchester): Comfort food and whiskey from the Littlest Bar owners. This is the former Sonny’s Pub space.
  • Italian Cafe Gelato (21 Chestnut St., Quincy): A gelato shop at the West of Chestnut development, courtesy of the owners of Casa Razdora.
  • Ledger (125 Washington St., Salem): A new project from Matt O’Neil of The Blue Ox in Lynn, built in a historic bank space.
  • LimeRed Tea House (1092 Commonwealth Ave., Packard’s Corner, Allston): From the team behind the now-defunct Limoo Tea Bar comes a new place with a “wafflegato,” Hong Kong-style puffle cones, bubble tea, and more.
  • Mastro’s Ocean Club (22 Liberty Dr., Seaport District, Boston): A ritzy steak-and-seafood chain from the same group that owns McCormick & Schmick’s, Rainforest Cafe, and More.
  • Mooyah (225 Centre St., Jamaica Plain): Burgers, fries, and shakes from an expanding Texan chain.
  • MuLan Taiwanese Restaurant (228 Broadway, Cambridge): Finally reopen after a 2014 fire destroyed the space.
  • Mr. Mac’s Macaroni & Cheese (440 Middlesex Rd., Tyngsboro): A mac & cheese restaurant based in New Hampshire.
  • NOCA Provisions (156 Rindge Ave., North Cambridge): A cafe from the team behind The Table at Season to Taste and Season to Taste catering.
  • The Pour Yard (210 Washington St., Quincy): An outdoor beer garden (featuring canned beers) with fresh herbs and light bites.
  • Pret a Manger (700 Atlantic Ave., Downtown Boston): A tiny new South Station location of the British grab-and-go chain.
  • Pronto Cafe/Pronto Uyghur/Silk Road (645 Cambridge St., East Cambridge): The Pronto Cafe space is in the middle of transitioning into a Uyghur restaurant called Silk Road. It’s softly open now but will close later in the summer for renovations before grandly reopening as Silk Road.
  • Rail Stop Restaurant & Bar (96 Guest St., Brighton): Sibling to Gloucester’s Seaport Grille. Located at the new Boston Landing complex by the commuter rail.
  • Sea Level Oyster Bar (1 Market Sq., Newburyport): A seafood restaurant with an original location in Salem.
  • Shelter (237 Friend St., West End): A Caribbean-inspired, speakeasy-style bar hidden in the back of Hurricane O’Reilly’s.
  • South of the Clouds (412 Market St., Brighton Center): Located in the former Umai space, this restaurant features Yunnan cuisine, particularly rice noodle-based dishes.
  • Trillium Garden (Atlantic Ave. at High St., Downtown Boston): An outdoor beer garden by Trillium on the Greenway, with room for about 250 people. Bring your own food.
  • Vanderbilt Kitchen & Bar (105 Water St., Downtown Boston): Reopened in June after renovations, now under the ownership of the team behind Stoddard’s in Downtown Crossing.
  • Village Bar & Grill (38 Norman St., Everett): Sports bar and pizzeria located near Bone Up, Night Shift, and Short Path.

Journeyman dish
A dish at Journeyman

June 2017 closures:

  • Blue Ginger (583 Washington St., Wellesley): The closure of Ming Tsai’s restaurant marks the end of an era in Wellesley. Next, Tsai will focus on opening a fast-casual customizable bowl restaurant called ChowStirs.
  • En Boca (8 Holyoke St., Harvard Square, Cambridge): This eight-month-old restaurant focused on Mediterranean small plates and cited ongoing construction in the area as a driving force behind its closure.
  • Jade Monkey (1952 Beacon St., Cleveland Circle, Brighton): In early 2016, this location of Sa Pa rebranded into Jade Monkey, an Asian fusion restaurant.
  • 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.
  • Karoun Restaurant (839 Washington St., Newton): Open for decades, this Lebanese restaurant closed after the building housing it was sold.
  • La Rana Rossa (154 Green St.): This pizza-focused sibling to Blue Frog Bakery closed in mid-June; Blue Frog remains open.
  • Seven Star Bistro (153 Belgrade Ave., Roslindale): The six-year-old restaurant also had several regularly occurring spin-offs, Rozzie Ramen and Astro Diner. It was the first restaurant to receive a Boston BYOB license.
  • Wild Rice Vegan Cafe (71 Elm St., Watertown): Globally influenced vegan menu. Big sibling Red Lentil remains open.

Closures announced in June 2017 that will happen at a later date (or happened in the early days of July):

  • The Blue Room and Belly Wine Bar (1 Kendall Sq., Kendall Square, Cambridge): The sibling and neighbor restaurants never quite recovered from a devastating fire that kept them closed for a year. The Blue Room had been open for 26 years, 21 under the current ownership. Closed July 1.
  • Boloco (71 Mount Auburn St., Harvard Square, Cambridge): After almost 20 years, one of the oldest locations of the local burrito chain will close in mid-July. Australia-based burrito chain Zambrero is slated to move into the space.
  • Pizza King (29 Salem St., Lawrence): The restaurant had been open for over 50 years. Closed on July 2.