There’s plenty more to Massachusetts dining than just restaurants in Boston proper. We’re keeping tabs on developments in the Greater Boston area and beyond, including openings, closures, and more. With a focus on Greater Boston suburbs but occasionally reaching out further around the state, this piece is updated weekly, with the most recent news appearing at the top. (Check out the fall 2018 archive here.)
Update, March 20, 2019: Spring has arrived, and this page will no longer be updated. Head on over to the next season right here.
March 13, 2019
ARLINGTON — Jose’s Torta Mexicana (793 Massachusetts Ave.) will take over part of the space previously occupied by Bagels by Us, with Butternut Bakehouse moving into the other half. Jose’s will serve tortas, along with other Mexican dishes, and it comes to Arlington from Carlos Mendez, who’s also behind Jose’s in Cambridge.
BEVERLY — The closure of L’Espalier in Boston last year marked the end of an era for Frank McClelland, who owned and operated the restaurant for 30 years. Now, he has a project in the works for Beverly, where he plans to open a restaurant and specialty grocery store. The two projects will occupy space in the Holmes Beverly apartment building at 110 Rantoul St.; The restaurant will seat 148, serving a mix of New England and European cuisine, while the grocery store will also offer prepared foods and contain a bakery and coffee shop with 16 seats.
CHELSEA — Jose Duarte of Taranta (210 Hanover St., North End, Boston) and the restaurant’s manager, Taylor Choquet, plan to open a restaurant in Chelsea at 22 Adams St. that, like Taranta, will focus on both Peruvian and Italian food. The restaurant will have seating for 16, and it may acquire a wine and malt beverages license.
QUINCY — Purefections Chocolate (1348 Hancock St.) has relocated in Quincy, reopening over the weekend in Quincy Center, where it will resume production of its sweet treats made with Belgian chocolate.
March 6, 2019
DEDHAM — The Grateful Dedham Diner is now open in (you guessed it) Dedham. It took over the former D’Angelo’s space at 573 High St. in Dedham Square and opened this week, operating from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. and serving all-day breakfast.
SAUGUS — Kane’s Donuts is now open at Essex Landing along Route 1. The new shop, which joins another in Saugus and one in Downtown Boston, opened on the site of a former miniature golf course, known for its famed orange dinosaur statue, which remains watchful over Route 1.
WALTHAM/QUINCY/ELSEWHERE — Oklahoma City-based chain Coolgreens could open three locations in Massachusetts, courtesy of Weston native and franchisor Demy Martin. There are locations planned for Waltham and Quincy, and Martin is on the hunt for a third, planning to open in the summer of 2019. Coolgreens serves a selection of salads, wraps, sandwiches, quinoa bowls, flatbreads, and sides.
WATERTOWN — La Casa de Pedro (343 Arsenal St.) has closed amid financial struggles. Following bankruptcy proceedings that resulted from the restaurant’s brief time operating a second location in Boston’s Seaport, owner Pedro Alcarón closed the Watertown restaurant on February 28, he told the Globe. In financing the Seaport expansion, the team had used the Watertown restaurant as collateral, and its debt reached more than $3 million.
February 27, 2019
MALDEN — Up Tea Hub (7 Pleasant St.) has opened in Malden serving assorted teas, including bubble tea, cheese milk tea, and more. The cafe has a lounge seating area — and a couple of giant teddy bears.
MARLBOROUGH — Allora Ristorante (139 Lakeside Ave.) closed down in early February after 12 years in business, and now it appears the restaurant was evicted by the landlord, with the owners asked to pay more than $50,000 in rent and back taxes.
NEWTON — A bakery chain specializing in bundt cakes has opened in Newton. Nothing Bundt Cakes is now open at 170 Needham St., where it offers eight-inch and 10-inch cakes, as well as tiered cakes, mini bundts, and bite-sized bundts. There are other Nothing Bundt Cakes locations spread out across the country.
SALEM — Cookie pop-up Goodnight Fatty has been working to build out a permanent home for itself in Salem. Founders Jen and Erik Sayce partnered with the Peabody Essex Museum to rent a space within the Andrew-Safford Carriage House that was previously home to Sweet Scoops ice cream shop.
SHARON — Chef Avi Shemtov of the Chubby Chickpea food truck is about to open his pop-up-turned-brick-and-mortar in Sharon. Simcha (370 South Main St.) opens on March 5, with a menu of what Shemtov calls “Israeli soul food with a New England accent.” Boston pastry chef Kate Holowchik is involved in the opening. Shemtov will offer dishes like bumble bee bean hummus, shawarma, shakshuka, and wood-fired pita, among many others. The restaurant will seat 38 people, with an eight-person bar and will operate Tuesday through Saturday from 5 to 10 p.m. and for Sunday brunch from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
WALTHAM — Aries Noodle and Dumpling (617 Main St.) is now open in the former Sushi Box space. The restaurant serves a variety of dishes, including steamed fish, vegetable dumplings, and hand-pulled noodle soup.
February 20, 2019
BELMONT — Lisa’s Family Pizzeria (368 Trapelo Rd.) is now open in the former Thyago’s Pizza space. The new Belmont location joins several others in Dracut, Medford, Woburn, and elsewhere, all of which serve a menu of pizzas, calzones, subs, pasta dishes, and more.
DEDHAM — Roadworthy (125 Washington St.) closed over the weekend. First opened in 2016, Roadworthy served a well-rounded menu of “soul fuel,” including biscuits, sandwiches, Sicilian pan pizza, salads, and chicken parm.
SALEM — A restaurant in Boston’s South End plans to expand to Salem. Lobstah on a Roll will reportedly open at 135 Lafayette St. as early as March. The restaurant is known for its lobster-laden dishes, including massive three-, four-, and five-foot-long rolls. Lobstah on a Roll also operates in Dennisport.
WEST ROXBURY — The Red-Eyed Pig (1753 Centre St.) in West Roxbury has closed. The Southern-style restaurant served assorted barbecue dishes, from hush puppies and meat and bean chili to smoked meats, sandwiches, and hot dogs.
WORCESTER — The team behind Lock 50 plans to open an Italian restaurant called Russo just across the street at 65 Water St. The restaurant is named for owner Ed Russo and will serve house-made pastas and meats smoked in-house. There will be other Italian-American dishes as well, like chicken marsala and pasta bolognese. Russo will incorporate antique tables purchased from the recently shuttered Durgin-Park in Boston, bringing a bit of history to the new restaurant.
February 13, 2019
MELROSE — Rising Eagle Publick House (505 Main St.) aims to restore a revolutionary spirit to Melrose. Named for a tavern from that era, Rising Eagle will take over the former Stearns & Hill’s space, offering a rotating seasonal menu. It’s reportedly run by the same folks behind Turner’s Seafood across the street and is expected to open this spring.
NEWTON — The Landing (223 Adams St.) is now open and serving Neapolitan pizzas, as well as focaccia, salads, calzones, and more. Owner Massimo Ottani is originally from Latina, Italy, on the coast between Rome and Naples.
WATERTOWN — A casual California-based chain with two locations in the Boston area will add a third in Watertown. Tender Greens joins a growing list of restaurants headed for Arsenal Yards (485 Arsenal St.), including Shake Shack, Pokeworks, Condesa Restaurante Mexicano, and City Works Eatery & Pour House. Tender Greens serves a wide-ranging menu focused on seasonal, local ingredients.
WORCESTER — Chef Jay Midwood (of Seatown in Seattle, the Catered Affair, and more) is crowdfunding for a business in Worcester. Midwood, who runs pop-ups under the name Oni Gastronomy, aims to fund equipment purchases and start-up costs for his business. Though the operation’s name is not yet known, the space will likely be near Kelly Square. Midwood will offer house-made pasta daily.
Mexicali Mexican Grill (225 Shrewsbury St.) is now open in the former British Beer Company space in Worcester. This is the eighth location of Mexicali, which serves a selection of enchiladas, tacos, burritos, and more.
February 6, 2019
FOXBOROUGH — Toby Keith’s I Love This Bar & Grill (275 Patriot Pl.) closed at the end of January. Patriot Place suggested to the Boston Globe that both parties mutually decided to terminate the restaurant’s lease, while Debbie Corvo, a representative for the restaurant, suggested Patriot Place had forced the issue and that rents were unreasonable. But the story hardly ends there — the businessman who opened 20 Toby Keith’s restaurants around the country is Frank Capri (who Corvo says is her son), who reportedly had a history of involvement in a New York crime family before entering Witness Protection and reinventing himself as a businessman. Read more from the Globe on Capri’s wild story.
LINCOLN — A replacement for Lincoln Kitchen/AKA Bistro is lined up for Lincoln: Tom Fosnot, Ruth-Anne Adams, and Lindsey Parker plan to open Real (145 Lincoln Rd.), where they will serve contemporary American. Fosnot, who will be chef, is an alum of Gibbet Hill Grill in Groton and Rialto in Cambridge, while Adams worked at Casablanca in Cambridge. They both worked at Clio and Hamersley’s Bistro, too.
MARLBOROUGH — Allora Ristorante (139 Lakeside Ave.) has closed in Marlborough, posting a message on its website thanking guests “for their support over the past 12 years.” The restaurant, which served Italian and Mediterranean food and featured lake views, did not provide a reason for the closure.
NEWTON — Inna’s Kitchen (547 Commonwealth Ave.) has made its return to Newton with a new takeout shop for its Jewish and Mediterranean foods. Founded by mother-and-son team Inna and Alex Khitrik, Inna’s Kitchen previously operated in Newton for six years but closed in 2017. The Khitriks have operated Inna’s within Boston Public Market in the time since. The menu is known for its avoidance of common allergens (including dairy, tree nuts, and gluten), and the new takeout spot offers prepared foods and items to stock the freezer.
WALTHAM — The Local Kitchen + Drinks now has five locations thanks to a new opening in Waltham (99 3rd Ave.). The restaurant seats 200 in about 6,000 square feet, with another 20 seats on a seasonal patio. It is serving weekday lunch and dinner seven days a week, with weekend brunch. Menu items include roasted corn chowder, ricotta and spinach ravioli, meatloaf, Hong Kong noodles, Buffalo wings, and tacos.
January 30, 2019
BELMONT — Sweet Heart (386 Trapelo Rd.) is now open and serving bubble tea in Belmont. The cafe, run by Shunying Li, specializes in milk teas as well as smoothies, ice cream, cake, and a handful of other items.
CHELSEA — A fire destroyed Pollo Campero (115 Park St.) early Monday morning. The restaurant had operated there since 2009. One firefighter suffered minor injuries while containing the blaze, and ultimately firefighters deemed the building a “total loss.”
DEDHAM — Providence’s Massimo has expanded to Dedham’s Legacy Place (400 Legacy Pl.), taking over the former Met Bar & Grill space. The new location is dubbed Il Massimo and serves dishes like porchetta stuffed with herbs, a grilled pork chop with caramelized figs, lobster, various pasta options, and more.
LOWELL — Powerhouse Juice (120 Merrimack St.) is getting ready to open in Lowell. The new cafe will hold a grand opening on February 7, offering a free eight-ounce juice with any purchase. Powerhouse will offer bottled juices, in addition to museli bowls, toast, smoothies, flatbreads, and sandwiches.
January 23, 2019
ANDOVER — Smythe & Dove Steak (89 Main St.), a “modern American steakhouse,” will aim to open in Andover this spring. The restaurant comes from Marcus Palmer, who is also behind Great Road Kitchen in Littleton. Smythe & Dove Steak will be built into a historic barn and will seat 150.
ARLINGTON — Butternut Bakehouse is crowdfunding to open a permanent bakery. Suzana Samad has appeared with her baked goods at farmers markets in the area and now aims to build a bakery in a portion of the building at 789 Massachusetts Ave., the former Bagels by Us space.
And in Arlington Heights, Yassou (1323 Massachusetts Ave.) will reportedly open on January 25, serving Greek dishes, including gyros and souvlaki, along with 15-inch pizzas. The restaurant is set to operate from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily.
BEDFORD — Davis Square’s Posto (187 Elm St., Somerville) and Osteria Posto (99 Third Ave., Waltham) may welcome another sibling to the mix. Posto has applied to take over the Comella’s space at the Bedford Marketplace on Great Road. Posto is a member of the Alpine Group, which also runs the Painted Burro and Rosebud in Davis Square and two locations of Burro Bar in Brookline and Boston.
BROOKLINE — Peet’s Coffee & Tea (285 Harvard St.) in Coolidge Corner will close for good on January 25. This is the latest in a series of Peet’s closures around the Boston area, including in Newton Centre and the North End.
DEDHAM — A Providence restaurant will expand to Dedham’s Legacy Place shortly. Il Massimo (400 Legacy Pl.) is taking reservations starting January 26. The Italian restaurant serves dishes like grilled pork chop with caramelized figs, pan-seared scallops with sweet corn risotto, and various pastas.
NEWTON CENTRE — House of Tandoor (81 Union St.) is now open, from Ram Dhital of West Roxbury’s Himalayan Bistro. The restaurant serves a wide selection of dishes, including Nepali momo, vegan curries and daal, meat specialties, and more.
January 3, 2019
FOXBOROUGH — Union Straw (8 Mechanic St.) is now open, serving a menu of flatbreads, snacks, sandwiches, pastas, and burgers, plus a full bar.
LYNN — Revere Beach’s famous Bianchi’s Pizza — which is currently operating out of Renzo’s Pizzeria as its original space is being redeveloped — will expand to Lynn, while retaining a shop in Revere. The restaurant will take over the former O’Brien’s space at 829 Boston St. The owners of the Lynn space include Julius Sokol, who’s also part of a group that owns several establishments in Boston, including, as of recently, the Tam, Sullivan’s Tap, and Beacon Hill Pub.
LYNNFIELD — An old restaurant in Lynnfield known for its Polynesian and Chinese menu has closed its doors after over 40 years. Bali Hai (93 Moulton Dr.) owners James and Lillie Yee sold the property and shut down the restaurant, and the new owners are working on getting approvals for a plan to build residences on the site. If they can’t get approval for that plan, they will consider demolishing Bali Hai and building a new restaurant.
MALDEN — Emone Tofu (184 Salem St.) is now open in the former Wow BBQ space in Malden. The Korean restaurant serves a menu of tofu soup, bibimbap, Korean barbecue (including pork, chicken, and eel), gyoza, and more. Emone Tofu operates Monday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.
QUINCY — Downton Boston’s Crush Pizza will expand a bit south, opening a second location in Quincy (1250 Hancock St.). The wood-fired pizza place cooks its pies in just 90 seconds in an oven that reaches 900 degrees.
SAUGUS — Santoro’s Sub-Villa (259 Essex St. Route 1) will close after more than 60 years in business. The restaurant has a message posted on its website that the owners will be retiring this year, and the restaurant is closing in February. The Santoro family has run the restaurant since its founding in 1958, first in Lowell and then at a few different locations in Saugus.
In other Route 1 news, Kane’s Donuts will open its third location by January 15, and this location will have the added convenience of drive-thru service. It’s located on the site of the former Saugus mini-golf course, where the orange dinosaur still stands.
STOUGHTON — Angelo’s Famous Roast Beef will expand from Plymouth to Stoughton. Owner Richard Monsini will take up the mantle of serving classic roast beef sandwiches to Stoughton — a role previously filled by the highly praised but long-closed Mur-Mac’s (it’s been gone for about a decade.) He expects to open the restaurant in March.
WELLESLEY — Door No. 7 (165 Linden St.) is now open near its sister restaurant, the Cottage. Its menu includes raw bar items, small plates like goat cheese en croute and glazed Brussels sprouts, and entrees, including half-roasted chicken and Scottish salmon. There are also desserts and a full bar.
December 26, 2018
BROOKLINE — Porto Maltese (1634 Beacon St.) in Washington Square has closed temporarily, and it plans to reopen January 11. The restaurant took over the former Fireplace space earlier this year, opening in March. A note on the restaurant’s website indicates it will be undergoing renovations.
CANTON — C.F. McCarthy’s (614 Washington St.) will open in the former Pete’s Place space in Canton Center. Renovations are underway to transform the space into an Irish pub with 20 draft lines, cocktails, wine, and food with local ingredients.
WINCHESTER — Mitho Restaurant (831 Main St.) is now open in the former Cafe Piazza Dolce space. The restaurant serves Nepali dishes, including momos (steamed dumplings), pan-seared seafood, tarkari, curry, meats, and more; there are lots of vegetarian and vegan options. The restaurant also received a license to serve beer and wine.