Spring is a couple weeks away, despite what this week’s heavy dose of winter storms may lead you to believe, and with spring comes a brand new crop of exciting restaurant openings in and around Boston. Well, mostly in Somerville, thanks to Bow Market. More on that in a second.
Here’s a sneak preview at what’s on the horizon:
A Market Full of Food Vendors
Construction is well underway at the hotly anticipated Bow Market (337-341 Somerville Ave., Somerville) in Union Square, and it’s heading toward a spring opening, jam-packed with over 30 vendors selling food, art, and more. It’s a two-story, almost horseshoe-shaped structure with small shops throughout (not to mention a brewery and a theater) and an open courtyard in the center.
Here’s the rundown on food and beverage options so far (buckle up — it’s going to be a wild ride): Remnant Brewing will have a taproom, outdoor beer garden, and a daytime cafe; Jaju Pierogi will serve hot pierogi in a variety of flavors, as well as frozen pierogi customers can cook at home; Maca will sell adorably decorated macarons, from corgis to unicorns and beyond; a Mike & Patty’s sequel that may be named North South (or perhaps Fat Unicorn?) will pit the North Shore and South Shore against each other with roast beef sandwiches and bar pizzas; Buenas will sell empanadas, sauces (get the spicy pebre and put it on everything), and more; food entrepreneurs from Somerville’s immigrant communities will rotate through Nibble Kitchen, serving a variety of cuisines; Tanám will serve Filipino food and host regular kamayan-style (utensil-free) feasts; Hooked Fish Shop, featuring products from Red’s Best and Boston Smoked Fish Company, will serve fish tacos, poke bowls, and other seafood; Gâté Comme des Filles will sell beautiful chocolates, chocolate cones full of chocolate mousse, and chocolate beverages; downtown fry-and-waffle shop Saus will open a vegetarian outpost at the market; and In Season Food Shop will serve bowls, salads, and more, along with local food products and produce.
Lots of New Vegetarian and Vegan Dining Options
Along with the aforementioned vegetarian version of Saus opening at Bow Market, spring 2018 may see the opening of a few other spots tailored to meat-free diners.
Quincy’s getting a vegan beer hall called Rewild, the first of its kind in the region, featuring vegan pastries and more (think “bacon-wrapped scallops” made with oyster mushrooms wrapped in rice paper; tofu tacos; and Impossible Burger sliders). Rewild will also serve lots of local beers, and it’ll have a cafe vibe during the day. It could open in late May or early June.
Plus, a seitan-focused vegan food truck, Bartleby’s Seitan Stand, is set to hit Boston streets on April 1, serving seitan nuggets, sandwiches, and more.
Life Alive is expanding to the Boston University campus in April with its veggie-packed, feel-good grain and salad bowls, and Allston’s Whole Heart Provisions is expanding to both Central Square and Harvard Square in Cambridge, with the Central location possibly opening in the late spring. (Harvard will be in the fall.)
And this one’s looking more like summer 2018, but New York-based vegan chain By Chloe has a third Boston location in the works at 399 Boylston St. in Back Bay, right by the Public Garden. There are also locations in Boston’s Seaport and Fenway.
Remnant Brewing and Rewild could open in the spring, as mentioned above, but that’s not all.
Democracy Brewing — a worker-owned brewpub — is slated to open in April in Boston’s Downtown Crossing, featuring a full kitchen, event space, and 32-ounce crowlers to go. (The brewery also plans to distribute kegs to restaurants and bars around town.) The core beer lineup includes the “medium bodied and hop forward” Suffragette Pale Ale, the “light and refreshing” Fighting 54th Saison, and the “full flavored” 1919 Strike Stout, among others.
And in Roslindale, Distraction Brewing might hit a spring opening in a skinny building that once housed an Emack & Bolio’s ice cream shop.
Malden’s also got a couple of breweries in the works, but opening timelines have not yet been announced.
More Locations of Everything
Lots of expansions of existing restaurants are in the works for spring 2018. Aside from probably 20 more Caffe Neros because that’s the world we live in now, and the aforementioned Life Alive and Whole Heart Provisions expansions, keep an eye out for new outposts of Boston Chops, Cafe Landwer, Pikalo, and more, not to mention the arrival of out-of-town chains &Pizza and Milk Bar, taking over a Harvard Square space together.
Industry Vets Striking Out on Their Own
Spring will also bring with it a couple new restaurants from industry vets who are opening their own places for the first time.
Alcove will open around the North End/West End border at Lovejoy Wharf, courtesy of Tom Schlesinger-Guidelli, perhaps best known for his five years as general manager of Island Creek Oyster Bar. He’s also an alum of the now-defunct East Coast Grill (founded by his uncle, Chris Schlesinger), Craigie on Main, Eastern Standard, and more. He’s been keeping quiet about what Alcove will actually serve, so stay tuned for more.
Over in Cambridge, a husband-and-wife duo has taken over a space where they’ve both worked. Conor Dennehy and Danielle Ayer purchased the former T.W. Food space, where they will open a restaurant called Talulla this spring, focusing on elegant tasting menus that draw inspiration from France, Spain, Italy, and Japan.
And later this year, Ted Kilpatrick and John DaSilva — both alums of No. 9 Park, among other respected spots — will open Chickadee in the Seaport District.
Miscellaneous Good Stuff
Tim Maslow (Ribelle, Strip-T’s) is making his return to Boston with a Japanese brasserie tentatively called Whaling in Oklahoma, opening in the South End as early as June.
Also in Davis, Steve “Nookie” Postal is working on one of three forthcoming projects, a cafe called Revival, with Crema Cafe’s Liza Shirazi. (Postal is now a partner in Crema as well.) The Davis Revival will probably come later in the year, but an Alewife location of Revival might open as soon as April. Nookie is sharing a no-holds-barred look into the process with his biweekly column here on Eater Boston, On the House.
Boston’s five-year-old Bacon Truck — which is pretty much what it sounds like — will open a bacon-filled brick-and-mortar location in Charlestown this spring. The space will serve as a commissary kitchen for the truck as well as a cafe-style breakfast and lunch spot.
Founded by MIT graduates (with famed chef Daniel Boulud advising), the futuristic Spyce will open in Boston’s Downtown Crossing this year with a robotic kitchen that only really needs human intervention when it comes to restocking. That’s one way to deal with Boston’s ever-present restaurant industry labor shortage...
And in the Theatre District, a less robotic spot called the Ghost Walks will open under Bijou this spring, featuring theatrically themed cocktails (think glassware that looks like a camera lens and a drink disguised as a bag of popcorn) and “elevated bar snacks” — as well as a champagne vending machine. It adds an extra step or two to the process of getting champagne — buy a token at the bar, insert it into the machine, and pop your own six-ounce bottle of bubbly — but it adds a fun bit of novelty, sure.