Welcome back to AM Intel, a Monday morning round-up of mini news bites to kick off the week.
New York’s Broken Coconut Chain Will Expand to Boston’s Seaport District
As more and more out-of-town chains come to Boston’s rapidly expanding Seaport District, another joins the mix: Broken Coconut, which first opened in New York City a couple years ago before adding a second location there, will open at 39 Northern Ave. in spring 2020, the company announced last week.
Founded by a celebrity-courting group of owners known for nightclubs and clubstaraunts, Broken Coconut apparently attracts Leonardo DiCaprio, Jonah Hill, and the like, and it has an Instagram-bait vibe with photogenic decor and colorful food. The name refers to one of its main items, coconut-based vegan yogurt, available with various toppings. There are also acai bowls, grain bowls, salads, toasts (including the requisite avocado), juices, matcha, and other light cafe fare. Broken Coconut isn’t vegan — there are egg dishes and chicken and shrimp toppings for bowls — but it has a lot of vegan- and vegetarian-friendly options.
Todd English Plans to Franchise His Pizza Chain
Restaurateur Todd English, whose Boston roots go back decades, now only operates two restaurants here (two locations of Figs, a pizzeria), mostly focusing on his other brands in other cities (and several other Figs locations in the United States and abroad). English — whose career has been the subject of less-than-glowing press over the years, from lawsuits over back rent on restaurants (and another) to showing Boston restaurateur Barbara Lynch how not to run a restaurant to that hot tub photo — has been a bit less in the public eye for the past couple of years. There was, however, a 2017 sexual harassment complaint against the Plaza Hotel in New York that was amended to include sexual harassment charges specifically against English, who owns a food hall in the hotel.
Now English is planning to franchise Figs with Fransmart, aiming to bring its oblong pizzas worldwide (in addition to the existing international locations in Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates). Fransmart is also behind the expansion of brands such as the Halal Guys, Qdoba, and Five Guys.
In Other News...
- The igloos are back up and running at Lookout, the rooftop bar at the Envoy Hotel in the Seaport District. New this year: a heated enclosure and a small bites menu.
- The Popeyes chain is still trying to open in Codman Square, a drama-filled process that began back in 2016. The company has a 20-year lease.
- With South Boston’s Cambria Hotel now up and running, plans for a Cambria location in Somerville are moving along; it received over $50 million in financing this month and could open in February 2021. It is slated to have a 150-seat restaurant with outdoor seating (but no rooftop restaurant like its South Boston counterpart).
- Last week, a tragic chemical accident in the Burlington location of Buffalo Wild Wings killed 32-year-old general manager Ryan Baldera, who recently married and had a newborn. A GoFundMe campaign on behalf of his family has currently raised nearly $75,000.
- Hundreds of episodes of 10 Eater video series are now available for free streaming on Roku.
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