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DIY Brewery Hopsters Plans Massive Expansion Beyond Boston

Plus, the North End rejected a Starbucks and will get a bank instead, and more news

Hopsters in the Seaport District
Hopsters in the Seaport District
Rachel Leah Blumenthal/Eater

Welcome back to AM Intel, a round-up of mini news bites to kick off the day.

Expansion Beyond Boston

Newton-based brewery Hopsters, which expanded to Boston’s Seaport District at the beginning of 2018, has expansion on the mind again, and lots of it. The brewery — which allows customers to drink beer, eat food, and brew their own beer — aims to have 16 locations by 2022, with Philadelphia as the first non-Massachusetts target. Founders Lee and Karen Cooper are currently trying to raise a portion of the $4 million needed for the Philly expansion on the WeFunder platform (in which participants are investors, not donors, unlike crowdfunding platforms such as Kickstarter). The Coopers previously raised over a million dollars on WeFunder leading up to the Seaport expansion. If all goes as planned, the Philadelphia location could open around spring 2019.

You Don’t Want Starbucks? You Get a Bank

Right at the gateway of the North End, the former home of Goody Glover’s and Peet’s Coffee could have been a Starbucks, but the neighborhood rejected it. Sure, it wasn’t the best option for a highly visible piece of real estate at the entryway of the historical neighborhood, but wouldn’t it have been slight better than a Chase Bank? Correction, 10/4/18: The Starbucks was slated for 198 Hanover St., but the former Goody Glover’s/Peet’s space — the space in which the bank will open — is actually at 50 Salem St., about 150 feet away.

No Suit for You

A federal judge has dismissed a lawsuit brought by a Rhode Island woman against Malden-based New England Coffee Co. over its Hazelnut Crème Coffee. The woman argued that the coffee company was in violation of both federal labeling laws and Massachusetts consumer-protection laws due to its complete lack of actual hazelnut; instead, it makes use of artificial and natural flavoring (as noted on the back of the package). She hoped to be lead plaintiff in a class-action suit to the tune of at least $5 million in damages, but a judge allowed the case to be dismissed because the woman’s argument didn’t prove strongly enough that she was deceived or harmed by her purchase of the coffee.

Retail Updates

Gourmet nut-and-chocolate shop Fastachi — which has locations in Watertown, Wellesley, and Boston’s Beacon Hill — has expanded again, this time to the Prudential Center in Back Bay (800 Boylston St., Boston). Open daily.

In other chocolate shop news, a Santa Fe cafe and shop called Kakawa Chocolate House will expand across the country to Salem, serving drinking chocolate “elixirs” and more. It will open a location near the Peabody Essex Museum as well as a kiosk inside the museum.

Meanwhile, Formaggio Kitchen’s latest expansion is still in the works, coming this fall to 94 Hampshire St. in Cambridge, right near Lord Hobo, with cheese, charcuterie, sandwiches, coffee, and more.

Bertucci’s as a “Gateway” Pizza

A Wellesley native waxes nostalgic for the early days of Bertucci’s, long before the chain felt corporate (and ultimately restructured — closing a number of locations — due to a bankruptcy filing). Back in the 1980s and 1990s, the restaurant “played a crucial role in acting as a gateway out of Greek pizza hegemony for thousands of New Englanders,” explains Kevin Alexander for Thrillist. And don’t forget about the glorious rolls, served “piping hot.” (Although not everyone’s a fan of the rolls.)

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Hopsters (Seaport District)

51 Sleeper St., Boston, MA 02210 Visit Website

Hopsters (Newton)

292 Centre St, Newton, MA 02459 (617) 584-1492 Visit Website