Welcome back to AM Intel, a Monday morning round-up of mini news bites to kick off the week.
Charles Draghi’s New Digs
Longtime Erbaluce fans are still mourning the late 2018 closure of the Bay Village restaurant, one of Boston’s best Italian dining options. But now they can find a bit of consolation at Cinquecento, a Roman trattoria in the South End (500 Harrison Ave., Boston): Erbaluce chef and co-owner Charles Draghi is currently spending at least a year running the kitchen at Cinquecento, and while he’s not changing too much on the menu, there are certainly hints of his old ingredients, dishes, and techniques. He’s amping up Cinquecento’s carbonara, for example, with guanciale cured in-house, reminiscent of one of his most memorable Erbaluce dishes, and he plans to add his spaghettoni all’amatriciana to the menu as well.
Lizzo, a Lobster Roll, and a Lawsuit
Singer Lizzo is facing a lawsuit regarding a September 2019 incident in Boston: Tiffany Wells, who formerly delivered food for Postmates, is reportedly suing Lizzo for libel, intentional infliction of emotional distress, and invasion of privacy because Lizzo posted her first name, last initial, and photo on Twitter — where Lizzo has over a million followers — accusing her of stealing Lizzo’s Luke’s Lobster delivery. The singer was staying at the Revere Hotel at the time.
Wells apparently attempted to make the delivery, couldn’t get in touch, and eventually left. Lizzo later deleted the tweet and apologized, but the damage was done, with fans reportedly threatening violence against Wells. She no longer works as a courier for Postmates.
New Developments Around Town
A bookstore and cafe is proposed for the building that formerly housed the Hungry I; the restaurant closed in September after nearly 40 years. Beacon Hill Books will span several floors — including one entirely for children’s books — and offer events, cozy seating near fireplaces, and a garden-level cafe in the Hungry I space, serving baked goods, soups and salads, and afternoon tea. The former restaurant’s covetable courtyard will be maintained as a backyard garden, open for outdoor dining when the weather permits.
A few other developments to keep an eye on: Haymarket Hotel has received a building permit and $75 million in financing for a vacant parcel on the Greenway; it will have nearly 10,000 square feet of restaurant and retail space. Over in Allston, the 40 Rugg Road mixed-use development has also been issued a building permit and will ultimately include 2,500 square feet of ground-floor retail and/or restaurant space alongside its apartments and artists’ gallery and work spaces. On Newbury Street, the zoning board has approved of changing the use of the space at 222-224 Newbury St. from retail to restaurant to allow a bubble tea shop called April 23 Cafe to open. And in South Boston, the Playwright has received approval to increase its size and capacity (partly by demolishing an adjoining building) with the caveat that it takes serious steps to control noise.
In Other News...
- The family behind Cambridge’s century-old S&S Restaurant has opened a time capsule that was buried 25 years ago.
- Hallelujah, the Sky Bar — a former Necco candy — is back in production.
- Toro’s three-year-old Bangkok location is undergoing a rebranding, becoming a new location of sister spot Little Donkey.
- Boston-based restaurant management platform Toast is spinning off a subsidiary called Toast Capital, aimed at loaning restaurants the capital they need for expansion.
- Eater’s PBS show No Passport Required will return for a second season on December 13, with a Boston-area episode airing on February 17 and featuring the region’s Portuguese-speaking cultures and food traditions from Brazil, Cape Verde, and Portugal.
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