Welcome back to AM Intel, a round-up of mini news bites to kick off the day.
A year ago, Massachusetts-based coffee empire Dunkin’ Donuts began testing out a shorter name — Dunkin’ — at a few locations in the state and beyond, followed by a more widespread paring-down of the menu and addition of nitro cold brew coffee. Now, the name change is inexplicably rolling out to 30 more Boston locations (and about 20 more nationwide), and as Boston Magazine’s Spencer Buell says: “there is absolutely nothing you or I or anyone else can do about it.” The new branding and other changes will take place by the end of the year.
Per an announcement from Dunkin’ Donuts (while we can still call it that), customers can expect a brighter, more open design; all cold beverages on tap, “allowing crew members to act as bartenders”; a pick-up station specifically for mobile orders; and new staff uniforms designed in collaboration with the ubiquitous vacation-y brand Life Is Good. And yes, there are still doughnuts, even though they’re not getting top billing on the signage.
One good thing came out of yesterday’s event announcing these changes: a $100,000 donation to the Greater Boston Food Bank.
And in Other Name Change News...
Eater “Name of Groans” alum Thelonious Monkfish (524 Massachusetts Ave., Central Square, Cambridge) has sadly changed its perfectly punny name to the Mad Monkfish. Owner Jamme Chantler sort of explains why in a jokey blog post that (sarcastically?) denies that it was due to the threat of a lawsuit by “the Monk Estate’s fancy lawyer.”
It wouldn’t be out of character for the estate, which recently went after a brewery, alleging that although there was a verbal agreement allowing the brewery to sell Brother Thelonious Belgian Style Abbey Ale (in exchange for the donation of some profits to the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz), the brewery took it too far by selling a variety of other Thelonious-branded merch that was not authorized.
Closed since a February 28 fire that caused extensive water damage (but no injuries), Trident Booksellers and Cafe (338 Newbury St., Back Bay, Boston) has reopened and is operating from 8 a.m. to midnight daily. The bookstore/restaurant has been around since 1984 and serves a lengthy diner-style menu full of eggs, giant cheese-stuffed tater tots, sandwiches, beer and wine, and more.
Best Meatball Contest
A contest to find the North End’s best meatball was held over the weekend at the Fisherman’s Feast, and the winning restaurant doesn’t even exist yet: the tentatively named Tony & Elaine’s, slated for the former Amici space at 111 North Washington St. The team isn’t new, though — the forthcoming Italian restaurant will be a sibling to Ward 8, North Square Oyster, and Bodega Canal. Stay tuned for more details as its opening gets closer.
Formaggio Kitchen is celebrating its 40th anniversary next month, and it’s also gearing up to open its fourth location. While the new space at 94 Hampshire St. in Cambridge (next to Lord Hobo) is primarily aimed at growing the cheese-and-more shop’s catering capabilities, it’ll have a small retail space as well. Look for an opening around September or October.
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