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All the Boston Food News That Mattered in April 2018: From Robotic Kitchens to Fried Bacon Mac and Cheese Bites

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

Fried bacon mac and cheese bites at Bacon Truck Cafe
Fried bacon mac and cheese bites at Bacon Truck Cafe
Sarah Storrer/Eater

April 2018 saw the openings of lots of new restaurants in and around Boston, from a bacon-filled cafe in Charlestown to a Theater District club with, well, theatrical cocktails, not to mention a suburban stunner out in Easton, a couple ramen shops in Medford and Somerville, and new vegetarian spots in Cambridge and Brookline.

On the closure side, we said goodbye to a few old-timers, including Tremont 647, Sister Sorel, and Sonny Walker’s, as well as some younger spots, such as the Maiden in South Boston.

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

Towneship seafood potage with chowder broth (poured tableside), surf clam, uni, scallop boudin, and salmon roe
Towneship’s seafood potage
Rachel Leah Blumenthal/Eater
  1. A Suburban Hit Gets a Stunning Sequel: Towneship, sibling to the Farmer’s Daughter, finally debuts in Easton.
  2. Bertucci’s Files for Bankruptcy and Will Close Some Locations: The Somerville-born pizza company will close 15 restaurants, keeping 59 in business.
  3. Five Restaurants to Try This Weekend Around Boston: Updated most Fridays with weekend dining recommendations, including topically themed collections, Eater staff picks, and more.
  4. Go to Downtown Crossing for a Meal Cooked by a Robot: Spyce brings its MIT innovation across the river.
  5. Get ‘Tableside Wing Service’ at a Southie Restaurant With a ‘1970s Auto Garage’ Vibe: The folks behind Publico want to make cookout food a year-round thing at Backyard Betty’s, opening later this month.
  6. Somerville Pizza Shop Goes Totally Vegetarian: Eat at Jumbo’s will convert to Sassafras Somerville, under new management.
  7. The Eater Boston Beer and Liquor News Round-up: Updated most Thursdays with news of new breweries, beer gardens, and other boozy things.
  8. One of the Only Local Egyptian Restaurants Opens in Medford: Baity serves classics from Egypt and the wider Mediterranean region.
  9. Popular Ice Cream Shop That’s Hard to Reach From Boston Wants to Expand Closer to Boston: Here comes New City Microcreamery with summer pop-up plans — and hopefully a permanent location nearby.
  10. Talulla Fills Cambridge With Fine Wines and Global Flavors This Month: The Cambridge restaurant opens April 20 in the former T.W. Food space.

Partial view of a pepperoni pizza on a metal tray on a light-colored table
Armando's pizza, a Cambridge essential
Rachel Leah Blumenthal/Eater
  1. The 38 Essential Restaurants in Boston, Spring 2018: Boston’s greatest restaurants for any occasion, updated quarterly.
  2. The Hottest Restaurants in Boston Right Now, April 2018: Updated monthly, the Eater Boston Heatmap tracks a dozen hot new spots to check out.
  3. The Massachusetts Restaurant Opening Guide, Spring 2018: From Boston proper to the city’s suburbs and beyond, here’s what to expect from the Massachusetts dining scene this season.
  4. 18 Delightful Hidden Patios Around Boston: Dine outside in charmingly secluded spots.
  5. 26 Iconic Dishes Around Boston: Get to know the city and surrounding area with these essential eats.
  6. 28 Essential Pizzas in the Boston Area: From old-school classics to fancy wood-fired pies.
  7. The Spring 2018 Restaurant Opening Guide: Boston Proper: Boston cream pie banana pudding, champagne from a vending machine, steak at a table designed for Instagrammers, and more.
  8. 25 Boston-Area Tacos to Try: Hint: The CambridgeSide Galleria Taco Bell is not on the map.
  9. The Cocktail Heatmap: Where to Drink Right Now, Spring 2018: Spend spring with a cocktail (or several) in hand — here are some hot new cocktail destinations to try this season.
  10. The Spring 2018 Restaurant Opening Guide: Cambridge and Somerville: Pierogi and macarons and empanadas, oh my.

The Pork & Mindy at the Bacon Truck Cafe
The Pork & Mindy at the Bacon Truck Cafe
Sarah Storrer/Eater
  • Abbott’s Frozen Custard (1853 Massachusetts Ave., Lexington): This Rochester, New York-based frozen custard chain also has Massachusetts locations in Needham and Brighton.
  • The Bacon Truck Cafe (50 Terminal St., Charlestown, Boston): Boston’s bacon-themed food truck has put down roots with a casual breakfast-and-lunch brick-and-mortar location, serving bacon everything, including dessert.
  • Baity (84 Spring St., Medford): This casual Egyptian spot — one of only a few in the area — serves koshari, hawawshi, fateer, and more.
  • Bancroft & Co. (210 Andover St., Peabody): This sibling to Burlington’s Bancroft steakhouse is located at the Northshore Mall and serves New England cuisine, such as clam chowder, and more.
  • Charlestown Tea & Treats (1 Monument Ave., Charlestown, Boston): Teas, Levend bagels, and more in the former Evy Tea space.
  • District 118 Kitchen (118 Needham St., Newton): This replaced Grande Kitchen and serves dishes such as burgers, braised short ribs, smoked salmon flatbread, and seared ahi nachos.
  • The Ghost Walks (57 Stuart St., Theater District, Boston): A cocktail-oriented sibling to Committee, Cafeteria, and Bijou, located under Bijou, with showy drinks and a champagne vending machine.
  • Godavari Mini (23 Union Sq., Union Square, Somerville): Union Square’s longtime North Indian and Punjabi restaurant India Palace quietly converted to part of a national chain of South Indian restaurants, featuring dosas and more.
  • Howling Wolf Taqueria (550 Turnpike St., North Andover): This is the second fast-casual “express” location for Salem’s Howling Wolf Taqueria, which also has an express offshoot in Marblehead. Tacos, burritos, quesadillas, and more.
  • Johnny’s Takeaway (168 Spring St., West Roxbury, Boston): This takeout spot serves heat-and-eat meals from chef Johnny Burke, who has worked at places like Barbara Lynch’s Butcher Shop, Belly Wine Bar, and T.W. Food.
  • Kung Fu Tea (1 Brighton Ave., Allston, Boston): Located inside of Super 88, this is the seventh Massachusetts location for the international bubble tea chain.
  • Lucky Strike Social (325 Revolution Dr., Assembly Row, Somerville): One of several bowling alleys to open this year, Lucky Strike also has shuffleboard, cocktails, a comfort food menu, and more.
  • Minigrow (125 Summer St., Downtown Boston): Philly-based stir-fry chain Honeygrow now has a more streamlined sibling called Minigrow, which opened its first Boston location in April (follow by a second one in Back Bay on May 1).
  • Pikaichi (123 Boston Ave., Medford): This popular ramen shop got priced out of Allston and landed in Medford instead, taking over the former Emiliano’z Mexican Grill space.
  • Rapscallion Kitchen & Bar (208 Fitchburg Tpk., Concord): Sibling to Rapscallion Brewery in Sturbridge and Rapscallion Table & Tap in Acton.
  • Rebel’s Guild (200 Stuart St., Theater District, Boston): Located inside the Revere Hotel in the former Emerald Lounge space, this revolution-themed restaurant has a giant cannon right in the middle and serves a seafood-heavy New England-y menu.
  • Talulla (377 Walden St., Cambridge): Located in the former T.W. Food space and owned by T.W. Food alums, this small restaurant features fine dining with influences from around the world.
  • Tender Greens (49 Boylston St., Chestnut Hill): This fast-casual Californian chain is backed by Shake Shack’s Danny Meyer and serves salads, sandwiches, and plates that feature seasonal ingredients.
  • Towneship (140 Main St., Easton): The massive sequel to popular suburban spot the Farmer’s Daughter.
  • Tsurumen (420 Highland Ave., Davis Square, Somerville): Osaka-style ramen in two varieties — shoyu and paitan — in the former Snappy Ramen space. (Snappy Ramen moved to the other side of the square and became Snappy Kitchen.)
  • Veggie Crust (8 Cyprus St., Brookline): Somerville’s vegetarian pizzeria and “nice cream” place (aka dairy-free ice cream), which is from the same owners as Dosa N Curry, expanded to Brookline.
  • Whole Heart Provisions (298 Massachusetts Ave., Central Square, Cambridge): This is the second location for the Allston-based vegetarian spot; it’ll expand to Harvard next with its grain bowls, falafel dogs, and more.

Bertucci’s meatballs
Bertucci’s meatballs
  • Bertucci’s (Multiple locations): Bertucci’s closed 15 of its locations — including six in Massachusetts — in the wake of filing for bankruptcy. The company is restructuring and keeping nearly 60 locations open.
  • Bonefish Grill (99 Third Ave., Waltham): This was the final New England location of the Florida-based seafood chain.
  • British Beer Company (120 Worcester Rd., Framingham): This is the second recent closure for the small pub chain. This location had been open for a dozen years.
  • Clover Food Lab (6 Harvard St., Brookline): The ever-expanding Clover has closed its five-year-old Brookline location, which was a takeout-only spot.
  • Flank (74 Tower Rd., Waltham): WAAF radio personality Greg Hill’s Whole House Group sold Flank as well as 29 Sudbury; the latter will remain open, but the former has closed for renovations. It’ll reopen as something new under different ownership.
  • Hayward’s (125 Lynnfield St., Lynn): The waterfront restaurant will be replaced by Dock 125, which will serve some Hayward’s seafood dishes along with burgers, pasta, and more.
  • The Maiden (28 West Broadway, South Boston): Oysters, cheese, charcuterie, and more from Esti, Drew, and Jon Parsons, located right by the Broadway T stop. This was a sibling to the now-defunct Sam’s at Louis.
  • Salvatore’s (225 Northern Ave., Seaport District, Boston): This Italian restaurant still has sibling spots open in Boston’s Theater District and in a few suburbs, but the rent was reportedly much too high here.
  • Sonny Walker’s (380 Warren St., Roxbury, Boston): This decades-old Roxbury bar was a live music institution.
  • Tremont 647 and Sister Sorel (645-647 Tremont St., South End, Boston): Tremont 647 had been serving the neighborhood for 21 years, including taco Tuesdays and pajama brunches, joined a few years later by its sister next door. Both will be replaced by Whaling in Oklahoma from Tim Maslow.

A silver bowl on a metal stand is full of ice, shrimp, crab claws, and more. Dark blue restaurant booths are visible behind it.
A seafood tower at Reelhouse
Brian Samuels Photography

Looking back at April 2017, there were lots of openings, including Les Sablons in Harvard Square, a new location of Shaking Crab in Quincy, and Reelhouse in East Boston. But we also had to say some goodbyes — Chinatown lost both Chau Chow City and East Ocean City, for example. A few closures were also announced in April that didn’t take place until later in the year, including Ming Tsai’s Blue Ginger and Cambridge institution Lanes & Games.

In other news that month, Chicken & Rice Guys dealt with an E. coli outbreak, Spoke Wine Bar announced that it would reopen under new ownership, and Boston was full of patios.