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Longtime North African Gem in Cambridge Finally Gets Liquor License

Plus, the Wagamama at the Pru is temporarily closed, and more news

Baraka Cafe in Porter Square
Baraka Cafe in Porter Square
Baraka Cafe/Facebook

Welcome back to AM Intel, a round-up of mini news bites to kick off the day.

Booze News

Cambridge gem Baraka Cafe — a Mediterranean and North African restaurant that relocated from its longtime Central Square home to Porter Square in late 2016 (1728 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge) — has obtained a beer and wine license after over two decades in business. Owner Alia Meddeb tells Eater that the restaurant is now serving a “very attractive wine and beer menu with apéritifs” so that customers “can finally enjoy Baraka the way they always wished.” (But don’t forget about the non-alcoholic cherbet, a spectacular rose lemonade.)

Temporary Shutter

The Prudential Center location of noodle chain Wagamama is currently closed — but it’s not disappearing. An employee at the Faneuil Hall location tells Eater that the one at the Pru is undergoing renovations and will reopen in about three weeks. The chain also has a location in Boston’s Seaport District. A year ago, the decade-old Harvard Square location closed.

Another Bathroom Camera Story

Unfortunately this isn’t the first of its kind (see also: Zaftigs, 2015; Taam China, 2015-2018); hopefully it’ll be the last. A bartender at Rigoletto (115A Salem St., North End, Boston) was fired (and could face criminal charges) after allegedly planting a phone, set to record video, in a potted plant in a restroom.

Dorchester Restaurant Space Won’t Become a Pot Shop After All

A recreational pot shop had been eyeing the current site of Uphams Corner restaurant Kriola (33-37 Hancock St.), but following community concerns about operating in that particular space, the shop is now slated for a different nearby address, 8-12 Hancock St. Kriola, a Cape Verdean restaurant, remains in operation.

Cheesecake, Delivered

A new delivery-only bakery, Donnell’s Bakery, has opened in Jamaica Plain, out of the commercial kitchen in a church. Husband-and-wife duo Wendell and Nicole Donnell are baking up cheesecakes, cinnamon rolls, bundt cakes, cupcakes, and cookies. The Donnells do hope to eventually open a brick-and-mortar storefront in Jamaica Plain.

Is the Restaurant Bubble Bursting?

In the wake of several recent high-profile restaurant closures, including Les Sablons and Townsman, Globe columnist Shirley Leung explores whether there are simply too many restaurants and too few diners to go around. Discussing the topic with some industry folks, Leung writes that if the restaurant scene were the stock market, we’re in a “mild correction” where “the bottom isn’t falling out,” but “some of the froth is coming off the top.”

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Baraka Cafe

1728 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, MA 02138 617.868.3951 Visit Website

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