The lot left vacant when Johnny D’s was demolished in November 2017 after shuttering in early 2016 (17 Holland St., Davis Square, Somerville) may finally be getting developed, with the replacement — a four-story mixed-use development — slated to include a ground-floor sushi, poke, and raw juice bar called Waikiki. (People in Boston have been going nuts for poke lately.)
Blueprints on Somerville’s website show a glimpse at the planned interior and window-filled exterior of the restaurant. Waikiki’s operator is Wei Zhang, per paperwork filed with the city, while Carla DeLellis remains the owner of the property. DeLellis’ family owned and operated Johnny D’s from its opening in 1969 until its closure in 2016.
DeLellis has been planning to redevelop the property for several years. When she shuttered Johnny D’s, she was open about the decision, saying that it was personal, not financial — she was looking for more stability and time with family. She noted at the time that she wasn’t ruling out opening a smaller club at the redeveloped lot, which would also include several levels of residential space.
When Waikiki opens, it will join numerous other raw seafood options in and around Davis Square, including Pokeworks, Sugidama, OGinger, and the soon-to-open Genki Ya. Plus, Manoa Poke Shop isn’t far, located just outside of Porter Square. Waikiki will also be part of the ever-growing juice wave that is engulfing the Boston area.
Eater has reached out to DeLellis for more details on the redevelopment of the lot and will update this story if new information becomes available.
• Waikiki Could be Opening in Former Johnny D’s Space in Somerville’s Davis Square [BRT]
• Boston Poke Watch [EBOS]
• Johnny D’s Former Home in Somerville Has Been Torn Down [BG]
• Johnny D’s Uptown Restaurant & Music Club Will Shutter Next Year [EBOS]
• Somerville Fixture Johnny D’s to Close in Early 2016 [BG]