clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

All the Boston Food News That Mattered in October 2018: From Fish Trays to Fried Chicken Sandwiches

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

Fuku fried chicken and fries
Fuku fried chicken and fries
Zack DeZon/Fuku

Welcome to rainy November. A chill is in the air, but there are plenty of new restaurants to enjoy. Here’s a look back at last month’s activity, including buzzy new openings like a massive new space for an old brewery in Fort Point, a New York City fried chicken sandwich import in the Seaport District, and an arcade bar in Downtown Crossing.

There were some sad closures, too, including a popular neighborhood hangout in Coolidge Corner and a Southern restaurant in Inman Square.

Read on for a summary of October 2018, including the most-read news stories and maps, the openings, and the closings.

Fish tray at Trillium
Fish tray at the new Trillium Brewing Company restaurant in Fort Point
Trillium [Official Photo]
  1. Trillium’s Massive Fort Point Restaurant and Brewery Opens: Three stories of food and beer, including a seasonal roof deck.
  2. Suburban Boston Dining News, Updated Weekly: A round-up of restaurant openings, closings, and other news outside of the immediate Boston vicinity.
  3. David Chang’s Fried Chicken Joint Debuts in Boston’s Seaport District: Here’s a peek inside the casual new spot.
  4. A Bar Filled With Arcade Games Debuts Downtown: Look inside the Big Night Entertainment Group’s newest venue, Versus.
  5. One of Boston’s Best Italian Restaurants Is Probably Closing at the End of the Year: New development and liquor licensing are playing a role in the imminent shutter of Erbaluce in Boston’s Bay Village.
  6. Beacon Hill Pub Closes, but Not for Good: The longstanding dive bar has shuttered for now, but it’s temporary.
  7. One of Boston’s Best Bartenders Headlines New Downtown Bar: Naomi Levy is at the helm of Better Sorts Social Club, serving gorgeous cocktails made from ingredients like pasta water.
  8. Longtime Industry Vet Debuts His First Restaurant Tonight in Boston’s West End: First-time owner Tom Schlesinger-Guidelli opens Alcove, located at Lovejoy Wharf, right by TD Garden.
  9. Davis Square Is Living the Pizza Dream: The Boston Burger Co. team’s new venture, Mortadella Head, opened last week with square pizzas and huge sandwiches.
  10. Chef Behind Needham’s Beloved Sweet Basil Opens Third Suburban Restaurant: Dave Becker (also behind Juniper in Wellesley) has opened Balani in Waltham, and there are smoked meats, poutine, pizza, and more.

A closeup shot of the Flour sticky bun, one of Boston’s iconic dishes, sitting on a white plate on a wooden counter
The Flour sticky bun, one of Boston’s iconic dishes
Rachel Leah Blumenthal/Eater
  1. The 38 Essential Restaurants in Boston, Fall 2018: Boston’s greatest restaurants for any occasion, updated quarterly.
  2. The Hottest Restaurants in Boston Right Now, October 2018: Boston’s best new hotspots, updated monthly.
  3. The Hottest New Brunches in Boston Right Now, Fall 2018: Tired of your usual brunching routine?
  4. 26 Iconic Dishes Around Boston: Get to know the city and surrounding area with these essential eats.
  5. 12 Solid All-You-Can-Eat Meal Deals in Boston: When eating all that food is worth the money — and the pain.
  6. Where to Eat Vegetarian and Vegan Food Around Boston: 25 of the area’s best meat-free options.
  7. Where to Eat Dumplings in and Around Boston: From mini juicy buns to Taiwan-style pan-fried dumplings, Greater Boston’s got the goods.
  8. 16 Essential Boston-Area Coffee Shops: Start your caffeine adventure here.
  9. 20 Essential Cheap Eats in Boston: Save money while eating well.
  10. Warm up at These 20 Ramen Destinations: So many noodles.

better sorts social club cocktails
Cocktails at Better Sorts Social Club
Caitlin Cunningham
  • Achilito’s Taqueria (38 Hyde Park Ave., Jamaica Plain, Boston): A casual spot for burritos, tacos, and more, right by the Forest Hills T stop.
  • Alcove (50 Lovejoy Wharf, West End, Boston): The first ownership venture from longtime industry vet Tom Schlesinger-Guidelli, serving a menu that nods to the southeastern Massachusetts “farm coast,” full of agriculture, fishing, and wineries.
  • The Bagel Table (21 Main St., Ashland): An expansion of the Chestnut Hill shop, which specializes in local OMG! Bagels.
  • Balani (469 Moody St., Waltham): The third restaurant from Dave Becker, who is also behind Sweet Basil in Needham and Juniper in Wellesley. Balani serves a wide-ranging menu that includes everything from barbecue to scallop paella to Boston cream loukoumades.
  • Better Sorts Social Club (90 Tremont St., Downtown Crossing, Boston): This swanky cocktail bar replaced the Highball Lounge at the Kimpton Nine Zero Hotel. With acclaimed bartender Naomi Levy at the helm, Better Sorts serves cocktails full of interesting ingredients; there’s even a cacio e pepe-inspired drink with gouda-infused vermouth and black pepper pasta water syrup.
  • Bistro 489 (489 Winthrop St., Medford): Located inside of Medford Vocational Technical High School — and staffed by students. Open for breakfast and lunch some weekdays.
  • Central Public House (42 Main St., Hopkinton): Burgers, steak, sandwiches, tacos, and more, steps from the Boston Marathon start line.
  • Flour Bakery & Cafe (1 Design Center Pl., Seaport District, Boston): Joanne Chang’s acclaimed bakery continues to expand; this location is at the Innovation and Design Building at the far end of the Seaport, alongside the recently opened Chickadee and a few other dining options.
  • Fuku (43 Northern Ave., Seaport District, Boston): Celebrity chef David Chang’s first foray into Boston. It’s his fast-casual fried chicken sandwich joint, which originated in New York City.
  • Genki Ya (246 Elm St., Davis Square, Somerville): This is the fifth location for the decade-old local sushi chain, which originated in Brookline. This one is in the former Diva Indian Bistro space.
  • Happy Lamb Hot Pot (693 Washington St., Chinatown, Boston): The second local Happy Lamb (the first is in Cambridge.) Both are connected to the international Little Sheep Hot Pot chain.
  • J.C. Fruit Shop & More (606 Centre St., Jamaica Plain, Boston): Fruits, juices, and smoothies for now, with wraps and sandwiches coming soon.
  • Mortadella Head (20 College Ave., Davis Square, Somerville): An Italian-American deli from the team behind Boston Burger Co., serving a giant menu of pizza and sandwiches with many toppings, as well as salads, pastas, and more.
  • Noodle City (1 West Union St., Ashland): Ramen, pho, and other noodle soups.
  • Our Zone (1583 Commonwealth Ave., Brighton, Boston): A Sichuan restaurant replacing Chang’s House, serving dumplings, noodle soups, stir-fries, and more.
  • Rewild (1546 Hancock St., Quincy): A temporary home for an eventual vegan beer hall. For now, it’s a vegan cafe and restaurant during the week, pouring beer and wine on weekends, and it’ll get a permanent home — with a more expansive booze license — within the next few years.
  • Saloniki (1350 Massachusetts Ave., Harvard Square, Cambridge): The third location — and the flagship — for the casual Greek spot (the first two are in Fenway and Central Square.) This one is part of the newly renovated Smith Campus Center at Harvard, and it features a full bar and some new menu items.
  • Samuel Slater’s Restaurant (200 Gore Rd., Webster): On the shore of Lake Chargoggagoggmanchauggagoggchaubunagungamaugg, Samuel Slater’s is now open at Indian Ranch, serving American food with hints of French and Italian.
  • Tawakal Halal Cafe (389 Maverick St., Jeffries Point, East Boston): Formerly called Tawakal Halal Cuisine and located elsewhere in East Boston, this popular Somali restaurant has made a comeback after closing its original location back in 2011.
  • Thai Bar Shi (336 Washington St., Weymouth): Thai and sushi in the former Chile Mango & Lime space.
  • Trillium (50 Thomson Pl., Fort Point, Boston): A giant, multi-level restaurant and taproom for the popular brewery, which got its start in a much smaller space nearby and has since expanded to Canton and launched several seasonal beer gardens, too.
  • The Well Coffee House (1 State St., Downtown Boston): An expansion of the Christian non-profit cafe in South Station. This one is located in a former Pret a Manger space.
  • Versus (42 Province St., Downtown Crossing, Boston): An arcade bar, with comfort food, from the Big Night Entertainment Group (Red Lantern, Empire, etc.)
  • Wen’s Yunnan Noodle and Ramen (144 Tremont St., Downtown Boston): The second location for a noodle soup-focused restaurant (the first is on Newbury Street.)
  • Whole Heart Provisions (1350 Massachusetts Ave., Harvard Square, Cambridge): This is the third location for the vegan-friendly local restaurant; it’s inside the newly renovated Smith Campus Center at Harvard.

Yo! Sushi
Yo Sushi conveyor belt
Dana Hatic/Eater

October 2018 Closures

  • Brasserie Jo (Colonnade Hotel, 120 Huntington Ave., Back Bay, Boston): The French restaurant closed after 20 years in business.
  • Kummerspeck (118 Water St., Worcester): A restaurant and butcher shop from alums of the Barbara Lynch Gruppo. It was open for a little over a year.
  • Maria’s Pizza (273 Cabot St., Beverly): This North Shore pizzeria will be replaced by another — Amazing Pizza out of Salem.
  • Pho Mai (17 Beach St., Chinatown, Boston): After a recent transformation from Pho Hoa (a chain) to Pho Mai, this Vietnamese restaurant shut down.
  • The Regal Beagle (308 Harvard St., Coolidge Corner, Brookline): Named for the pub on Three’s Company, this neighborhood hangout had been open since 2009.
  • Tupelo (1193 Cambridge St., Inman Square, Cambridge): Open for almost a decade, this Southern restaurant cited staffing shortages as a reason contributing to the closure.
  • Yo Sushi (79 Seaport Blvd., Seaport District, Boston): The London-based conveyor belt sushi chain had been open for a couple years. It’ll be replaced by clothing store Indochino.

Forthcoming Closures Announced in October 2018 That Haven’t Happened Yet

  • Erbaluce (69 Church St., Bay Village, Boston): One of Boston’s best Italian restaurants for the past decade, Erbaluce will almost definitely close at the end of 2018 to make way for a new development. Owners Charles Draghi and Joan Johnson may try to open something more casual somewhere.
  • KO Pies at the Shipyard (256 Marginal St., East Boston): Owner Sam Jackson recently closed the smaller original location of KO Pies in South Boston, and now he has announced a probable closure in East Boston as well as he plans to leave the city in search of new adventures. He’s open to finding the right buyer to carry on KO Pies as is, though. Even if it does close, it won’t be until sometime in 2019.

loco moco at momi nonmi
Loco moco at Momi Nonmi, which opened in October 2017
Rachel Leah Blumenthal/Eater

Looking back at October 2017, openings included the debut brick-and-mortar space for a popular bagel pop-up; a casual Boston sibling to an acclaimed Portland, Maine, seafood star; a flashy new Fort Point location for a Back Bay Mexican restaurant; a cozy Inman Square izakaya; and more.

On the closure side, Boston bid farewell to a decade-old Seaport bar and a recently renovated Central Square Italian restaurant, both to make way for new developments, among other restaurants.

In other news in October 2017, a big international food hall confirmed plans for a 2019 expansion to Fenway; a Waltham hotspot detailed a number of expansion plans for Boston proper and beyond; and more.