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All the Boston Food News That Mattered in June 2018: From Burgers to Barbecue

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

A burger sits on a blue plate, piled high with shredded lettuce, sauce, and a crispy disc of cheese
The Alden & Harlow burger, one of the essential burgers in the Boston area
Rachel Leah Blumenthal/Eater

As we said goodbye to spring and hello to summer during June 2018, plenty of restaurants opened around the Boston area, including several food vendors at Somerville’s growing Bow Market, a Thai restaurant in Somerville, a bagel shop in Cambridge, a rooftop bar in Salem, and more.

Unfortunately there were more closures than usual this month, including a few very old spots, such as Strip-T’s in Watertown, Ryles Jazz Club in Cambridge, and Sully’s in Quincy.

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

Thick cut pastrami on rye bread, wrapped in brown paper and served on a white plate on a white background.
Our Fathers pastrami sandwich
Our Fathers
  1. News From the Boston-Area Beer and Liquor Scene: This round-up is updated most Thursdays to highlight booze news around the region, including brewery openings and more.
  2. Stephi’s in Southie Has Closed: The sibling to Stephanie’s on Newbury and several other restaurants had opened nearly five years ago.
  3. Dining News From Boston’s Suburbs and Beyond: This round-up is updated weekly with restaurant openings, closings, and more from the Greater Boston region.
  4. Amesbury Is the North Shore’s Hidden Gem: Newburyport and Salem hog all the attention, but don’t sleep on Carriagetown.
  5. North End Restaurant Dynasties Collaborate on New Venture at Everett Casino: Frank DePasquale and Nick Varano are teaming up for Fratelli.
  6. Acclaimed Brookline Bakery Starts Slinging Pints of Ice Cream Soon: Clear Flour Bread is also adding a seasonal parklet for outdoor seating.
  7. Everything You Need to Know About Boston’s Minimum Wage Battle: A primer on the Fight for $15 in Massachusetts.
  8. Our Fathers’ Pastrami Sandwich Almost Measures up to the One at Katz’s Deli, Says Critic: Meanwhile, another critic visits Talulla in Cambridge.
  9. Porter Square Has Already Lost Two Restaurants This Month: Wok N’ Roll and Potbelly both closed up shop in Cambridge.
  10. Aristocratically Named ‘Glamorous’ Venue Will Replace a Fun Hotel Bar Downtown: Highball Lounge closes this weekend, and Better Sorts Social Club will open in its place this fall.

On top of a red and white checkered tablecloth, a cardboard tray is stacked high with fried onion rings, clams, and fries, with little paper cups of red ketchup to the side.
“Chubby’s Original” fried clam plate at Woodman’s of Essex on Cape Ann
Rachel Leah Blumenthal/Eater
  1. The Hottest Restaurants in Boston Right Now, May 2018: Updated monthly, the Eater Boston Heatmap tracks a dozen hot new spots to check out.
  2. Around Massachusetts in 20 Ice Creams: Start planning your summer road trips.
  3. 30 Essential Boston-Area Burgers: A meaty to-do list.
  4. Outstanding Breakfast Sandwiches Around Boston: Behold, some of the Boston area’s most mouth-watering, all-in-one breakfasts: on croissants, on biscuits, on point.
  5. The Food Events Guide: All the local food and drink events you’ll actually want to attend, updated weekly.
  6. 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.
  7. Where to Watch the World Cup in Boston: At long last, the World Cup returns; here’s where to watch it in the Hub.
  8. Where to Eat on Cape Ann: First go to Singing Beach, and then eat a box of fried clams at J.T. Farnham’s or Woodman’s.
  9. 16 of Boston’s Most Kid-Friendly Dining Options: Where to eat with families around Greater Boston.
  10. A Handy Map of Boston-Area Barbecue Joints: So much meat.

Amorino gelato
Macaron-topped gelato from Amorino
  • Amorino (50 JFK St., Harvard Square, Cambridge): This international gelato chain now has two Boston-area locations.
  • Black Sheep Bagel Cafe (56 JFK St., Harvard Square, Cambridge): Bagels and bagel sandwiches.
  • Buenas (1 Bow Market Way, Somerville): Empanadas, hot dogs, empanada wrapper-wrapped hot dogs, and more at Somerville’s Bow Market.
  • Cafe Juiceup (1290 Blue Hill Ave., Mattapan, Boston): Juices, smoothies, and more.
  • Cava (669 Boylston St., Back Bay, Boston): This is the fourth local outpost for the DC-based fast-casual Mediterranean chain. Next, it’ll open in Cambridge’s Kendall Square.
  • Dakzen (195 Elm St., Davis Square, Somerville): This Thai restaurant features street food and soups like boat noodles, yen ta fo, and other dishes that aren’t always available at other local Thai restaurants.
  • The Dapper Doughnut (Natick Mall, 1245 Worcester St., Natick): A mall kiosk with cake doughnuts with various toppings and flavors.
  • Gypsy Place Coffee and Juice Bar (90 Hampshire St., Cambridge): A 20-seat cafe with juice, smoothies, breakfast sandwiches, and more.
  • Hook & Reel (151 VFW Pkwy., Revere): The latest addition to the Boston-area Cajun seafood boil scene.
  • Jaju Pierogi (1 Bow Market Way, Somerville): A little takeout pierogi shop (with kielbasa, too) at Somerville’s Bow Market.
  • Legal Fish Bowl (4 S. Market St., Quincy Market, Downtown Boston): The second location for Legal Sea Foods’ poke bowl-inspired offshoot.
  • Legal Sea Foods (55 Boylston St., Chestnut Hill): One of the oldest Legal locations relocated slightly down the street into a larger space that features a fish market and an all-day sushi menu.
  • Life Alive (888 Commonwealth Ave., Brookline): With locations in Cambridge, Salem, and Lowell, this vegetarian group has expanded to the Boston University campus.
  • Maca (1 Bow Market Way, Somerville): Macarons, including ones that look like cartoon characters and animals, at Somerville’s Bow Market.
  • Pavement Coffeehouse (415 Western Ave., Brighton, Boston): The seventh location for the local cafe chain is also home to a coffee roasting facility and commissary kitchen.
  • Rabottini’s Pizza (182 Western Ave., Lower Allston, Boston): What started as a one-day-a-week pop-up inside of a Cambridge bagel shop is now a free-standing, five-day-a-week pop-up (expected to last through the fall), serving pizza, salads, and a few flavors of Gracie’s Ice Cream.
  • Revival Cafe & Kitchen (125 Cambridgepark Dr., Alewife, Cambridge): This is the first of three new projects — two Revivals and one beer hall called Mothership — from Steve “Nookie” Postal (Commonwealth, Crema Cafe) and Liza Shirazi (Crema Cafe). Coffee, sandwiches, and more.
  • The Roof (Hotel Salem, 209 Essex St., Salem): A hotel rooftop bar serving tacos, oysters, and more.
  • Sassafras (688 Broadway, Ball Square, Somerville): Eat at Jumbo’s has been reborn into a fully vegetarian (and mostly vegan) operation.
  • Soleil (2306 Washington St., Roxbury, Boston): Southern-influenced dining, with counter-service breakfast and lunch (lots of sandwiches) and full-service dinner.
  • Soup Shack (779 Centre St., Jamaica Plain, Boston): A pan-Asian soup shop, featuring everything from pho to ramen.
  • Sushi Today (1562 Tremont St., Mission Hill, Boston): Sushi and sashimi, with plenty of combos available.
  • The Wellington (75 Leonard St., Belmont): Short rib French onion soup, roast chicken, wedge salad, boozy milkshakes, and more from the crew behind Dante and Il Casale.

The “mother and daughter” sandwich at Strip-T’s
The “mother and daughter” sandwich at Strip-T’s
Brian Samuels/Strip-T’s

June 2018 Closures

  • Barrel House American Bar (252 Cabot St., Beverly): Barrel House will be replaced by Ellis Square Social, from Jay Murray (Grill 23, Avenue), Todd Maul (Clio, Cafe ArtScience), and the team behind Beverly’s Soma.
  • Centre Street Cafe (669 Centre St., Jamaica Plain, Boston): The Centre Street team is revamping the Italian restaurant into a space-themed diner called Little Dipper, which could reopen in July.
  • Highball Lounge (90 Tremont St., Boston): The Kimpton Nine Zero Hotel has shuttered its bar to make way for a new venue, Better Sorts Social Club, part of a multimillion dollar renovation to the hotel.
  • In House Cafe (194 Harvard Ave., Allston, Boston): Around for about a decade, this cafe plans to relocate. In its place, a new hot pot restaurant is expected to open.
  • Paul Bakery (201 Washington St., Downtown Crossing, Boston): While this sizable location of French cafe chain Paul has closed, the one at Somerville’s Assembly Row remains open.
  • Potbelly Sandwich Shop (1 Porter Rd.): The Chicago-based sandwich chain has other local locations, including one in Downtown Boston.
  • Refuge Cafe (155 Brighton Ave., Allston, Boston): There was a false alarm a couple years ago, but now Refuge Cafe is really gone, leaving behind only a series of bizarre Facebook posts, as was its style.
  • Roost Bistro (259 Newbury St., Back Bay): This New American bistro closed after four years, but its sibling bakery next door, Patisserie on Newbury, remains open.
  • Roxy’s Grilled Cheese (1205 Market St., Lynnfield): Roxy’s remains open in Allston and Cambridge.
  • Ryles Jazz Club (212 Hampshire St., Inman Square, Cambridge): After over 40 years, the Inman Square music venue and restaurant has shut down. The owners are focusing on their almost century-old deli across the street, S&S.
  • Sillari’s Pizza (97 Medford St., Malden): The takeout-focused two-year-old pizza shop also served chicken fingers.
  • Stephi’s in Southie (130 Dorchester Ave., South Boston): In the wake of the joining of the hospitality groups behind the Stephanie’s restaurants, Met Back Bay, and others, one member of the Stephanie’s family, the five-year-old Stephi’s in Southie, has shut its doors.
  • Strip-T’s (93 School St., Watertown): This cozy-neighborhood-joint-turned-acclaimed-dining-destination has said farewell after more than 30 years in business.
  • Sully’s (28 Chestnut St., Quincy): Another dive bar — this one open for the better part of a century — is gone.
  • The Wholy Grain (275 Shawmut Ave., South End, Boston): The neighborhood bakery and cafe, which had been open for eight years, will be replaced by a new Chilacates location.
  • Wok N’ Roll (1908 Massachusetts Ave., Porter Square, Cambridge): The Chinese restaurant had been around for over two decades.

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

  • Cappy’s Tavern (11 Wolcott Ct., Hyde Park, Boston): After eight decades, this classic dive bar will shut down in late July.
  • Intermission Tavern (228 Tremont St., Downtown Boston): This Theater District pub will shut down at some point in the near future, to be replaced by the Fourth Wall.
  • Owen O’Leary’s (1280 Belmont St., Brockton): Nearly 30 years old, this Irish pub will say farewell in early July.
  • Redd’s in Rozzie (4257 Washington St., Roslindale, Boston): This Roslindale hotspot will close in July, with owner Charlie Redd citing changes in Boston’s liquor licensing system that would devalue his license.

A dish at Cultivar
A dish at Cultivar
Huge Galdones/Cultivar

Looking back at June 2017, it was quite a busy month for restaurant openings, including Cultivar in Downtown Boston, Ledger in Salem, Mastro’s Ocean Club in the Seaport District, Cunard Tavern in East Boston, and more. Only a few restaurants closed, but some old-timers were among them, including Blue Ginger in Wellesley and Journeyman in Somerville.

In other news that month, our international big sister debuted a guide to New England’s 38 essential restaurants, including plenty of Boston picks; local chefs weighed in on whether lobster rolls are better with butter or mayo; Tim Maslow reflected on the closure of Ribelle and foreshadowed what would come next; and more.