Welcome to Eater Boston’s new roundup of “coming attractions” news. Updated most Wednesdays, this roundup will include notes on exciting restaurants in the works in and around Boston. You’ll always find the most recent updates at the top of the page. Know of something that should be on our radar? Email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Looking for restaurants that have already opened? Find that roundup here, usually updated on Fridays. And our closures roundup, updated most Thursdays, details recent closings (and restaurants that have announced that they will close but haven’t yet).
March 4, 2020 — Lots of Things for Central Square, Guy Fieri Times Two, and More
On the heels of his Boston debut in late 2019, television personality and restaurateur Guy Fieri now has two more Boston restaurants up his sleeve, replacing Explorateur (186 Tremont St., across from Boston Common) with Guy Fieri’s Boston Kitchen + Bar and a fast-casual chicken shop, Chicken Guy. Read more.
In other downtown Boston news, the city’s unstoppable wave of poke shops will continue with the opening of Poke City in the former Wheelhouse space at 63 Broad St. (Wheelhouse, a popular burger shop, closed recently in preparation for its move to the forthcoming food hall High Street Place nearby.) Poke City has an older location near Porter Square in Cambridge.
A few more details are out regarding Cambridge’s forthcoming boutique hotel 907 Main and its dining options, which will include Blue Owl, a rooftop bar; the Dial, a restaurant; the return of ice cream shop Toscanini’s, which was previously located at the site of the hotel; and Belmont bakery Praliné. The hotel itself, along with Blue Owl and the Dial, should open in May 2020, with the other two businesses following soon after. Here’s a sneak peek at Blue Owl’s menu, and here’s the Dial’s.
In other Central Square news, mixed-use development Market Central announced the first two of its ground-floor retail tenants today. Muku — a ramen shop from chef Toru Oga, who is also behind Oga’s Japanese Cuisine in Natick, a nearly two-decade-year-old restaurant — will open in May 2020, serving lunch and dinner. Jaho Coffee Roaster & Wine Bar — which has several locations in Boston, Salem, and Tokyo — will open in August 2020, serving coffee, pastries, small bites, and more, not to mention natural wines and other alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages. The development, which includes three different residential buildings, will include an outdoor covered walkway and marketplace with 15,000 square feet of retail space, so keep an eye out for further announcements as these are just the first two.
Joining the recently announced forthcoming Fogo de Chão at the Burlington Mall will be salad chain Sweetgreen, which could open this summer. Sweetgreen is slated for the Village at Burlington Mall, a portion of the redevelopment of the Burlington Mall that will also include Japanese barbecue chain Gyu-Kaku.
O Ya’s Tim and Nancy Cushman are getting closer to opening their new family-friendly, wood-fired restaurant Bianca at Chestnut Hill development the Street, and now they’ve announced that it will include a Roman pizzeria with its own identity: Mr. Roni Cups will open at 33 Boylston St. inside Bianca in late March, serving Roman-style pizza by the slice and pan, along with wood-fired rotisserie chicken, shawarma, and more.
Latin American-inspired cocktail bar Pearl & Lime, a sequel to the Townshend, could open later this month at 32 Chestnut St. in Quincy Center. Owners Palmer Matthews and Devin Adams have brought on Jennifer O’Neil as executive chef; the Cape Cod native has been cooking in Southern California for the last few years, including as executive chef at Leona on Venice Beach. Pearl & Lime sous chef Alex Galvis is an alum of Alden & Harlow and Naco Taco. Expect a rum- and tequila-filled cocktail list from Matthews.
Prepare for a lot more Kelly’s Roast Beef, maybe. The popular local chain announced this week that it is opening itself up to franchising opportunities in hopes of adding as many as six new restaurants across Greater Boston and elsewhere in New England over the next two years. The company has its sights set on Natick, Quincy, Worcester, and Providence, as well as express locations in mall food courts and at schools. The ultimate goal: 50 total location operating within the next five years. Got between $900,000 and $1.7 million available? One of those locations could be yours.
Here comes another Shake Shack, as well as the Broadway Rooftop Bar and Restaurant, Surf Seafood, grain bowl chain Cava, ubiquitous cafe chain Caffe Nero, and Panera. They’re all slated to open at Woburn Village, an open-air development replacing the Woburn Mall.
February 26, 2020 — Barbecue, Macarons, and More
Local chefs Kate (Toro, Craigie) and Trevor Smith (Little Donkey, Coppa) are working on opening their own restaurant, Thistle & Leek, at a yet-to-be-disclosed location. The gastropub will reportedly lean Spanish and Italian. At a recent preview event at the Formaggio Kitchen Annex, the Smiths served dishes such as pork and veal terrine with lentils and pickles; rye cavatelli with maitake and chicken liver; and salt-baked rutabaga with cider-glazed beef cheek.
Speaking of Spanish-inspired food, chef Michael Serpa — who is behind Select Oyster Bar and the very recently opened Grand Tour — will bring a taste of the Iberian Peninsula to Boston later this year, opening Atlántico at 600 Harrison Ave. (the former Southern Proper space). Read more about the restaurant (and daytime cafe).
Updates continue to trickle out on Ivory Pearl, the exciting new seafood and cocktail project from Ran Duan and his Baldwin Bar/Blossom Bar team, which is slated for 1704 Beacon St. in Washington Square. Now heading for a late spring or early summer 2020 opening, Ivory Pearl has announced a key hire: Bar Mezzana and Eventide Fenway alum Ian Maschal will be heading up the kitchen team, serving grilled whole fish, crudos, and other seafood dishes, along with a burger and a variety of vegetarian and vegan options.
Miam Miam Macaronerie, a macaron shop that used to operate out of a South Boston storefront, will open in Quincy Center this spring, selling more than just macarons. Customers will also find chocolates and French pastries, such as kouign-ammans, at the shop, which is owned by Blue Dragon and Bin 26 Enoteca alum Jennifer Turner. Miam Miam has been around in one form or another since 2014, and the Quincy storefront could open in March or April this year, located at Munroe Place (1205 Hancock St.) — right by the Quincy Center MBTA station.
It’ll have a little bit of seating inside, and beverages such as herbal teas will be available. There will always be around a dozen macaron flavors available, such as red velvet and orange blossom.
When Miam Miam opens, it’ll join several other dining options at the Munroe Place apartment building, including local breakfast chain Gunther Tooties, Indian restaurant Sher-a-Punjab, and more.
Remember that Waltham location of Dosa Factory that has been in the works since, uh, a decade ago? Yeah, that’s not happening. Instead, a different dosa restaurant will open at the 434 Moody St. space, Peppino’s Dosa, serving vegetarian and vegan Indian food. It could open within the next few weeks.
One of Boston’s best barbecue restaurants is...not actually very close to Boston. But barbecue-hungry Bostonians are willing to drive 60 miles west of the city to reach Sturbridge’s acclaimed B.T.’s Smokehouse. Soon, that distance could be a tiny bit shorter: B.T.’s is expanding to Worcester (318 Park Ave.).
Named for chef and owner Brian Treitman, the original B.T.’s is a casual, small restaurant that features dry-rubbed meats slow-smoked on apple and hickory woods. There are sandwiches and platters featuring brisket, pulled pork, and more, not to mention other treats like bison burgers and catfish po’ boys.
Operations director Billy Nemeroff will be the co-owner and operator of the forthcoming Worcester location, which will have a slightly different name: B.T.’s Fried Chicken and BBQ. The Sturbridge location serves fried chicken once a month, but the Worcester location will feature it daily. Like the Sturbridge location, Worcester will smoke meat onsite. The team is not announcing an opening timeline yet.
February 12, 2020 — Southern Soul Food and Asian Fusion, Brazilian Steakhouse Fare, and More
Chef and owner Anthony Caldwell debuted his Fields Corner restaurant, called 50Kitchen (1450 Dorchester Ave.), with a limited menu and limited hours in late January, and he plans to open with a full menu and regular hours on February 23. Caldwell overcame a past that included addiction and incarceration to achieve his ultimate goal of operating his own restaurant. 50Kitchen’s menu will feature a fusion of Southern soul food and Asian cuisine, according to Caldwell.
“I looked around the neighborhood and knew I had to make food that spoke to everyone,” Caldwell told Eater. “I needed to find something that speaks to the black community and to the Vietnamese community.”
Some examples of that fusion include banh mi made with smoked brisket, jambalaya egg rolls, and kimchi made with collard greens. Keep an eye out on Dorchester Avenue for 50Kitchen.
Jamaica Plain is getting a nose-to-tail butcher: Meadowlark Butcher and Grocer will open at 579 Centre St. in the fall of 2020. Along with locally-sourced, grass-fed meat, Meadowlark will feature produce, dairy products, groceries, and a selection of prepared foods.
Confirmed: Brazilian steakhouse chain Fogo de Chão will open at the Burlington Mall this coming fall, with seating for over 360 (plus almost 100 more outside, when the season permits). The chain’s staff carves meat off skewers tableside. There’s also a Boston (Back Bay) location that’s nearly eight years old.
A Michigan-based coffee and tea chain is coming to Natick (and not without some degree of consternation from local business owners). Sweetwaters Coffee and Tea, which opened its first shop in 1993 in Ann Arbor and has grown to include more than 40 locations in 12 states, plans to open its first New England outpost at 19 South Main St. in the Boston suburb. Along with coffee and tea, the Sweetwaters menu includes sandwiches, salads, and various pastries.
West Newton is getting a wine bar in the space formerly occupied by Coney Island Ice Cream. Flora’s Wine Bar hopes to open this weekend. The wine bar is the brainchild of Andrew Li (co-founder of Mei Mei) and Corey Fletcher, two Boston restaurant industry veterans who met while working together at Legal Sea Foods. Flora’s will feature mostly old world wines, as well as small bites such as charcuterie and pickles.
February 4, 2020 — Beermosa Brunch, Noodles Galore, and More
A wine and meze bar with a creative Greek wine selection is on the verge of opening in the former Cafe Jaffa space in Back Bay (48 Gloucester St.). Krasi could open on February 10, pending final inspections. Get a sneak peek at the food and learn more here.
The Brighton space formerly occupied by a beloved Irish bar called the Green Briar (304 Washington St.) is getting a replacement called Peka. It will serve tapas, arepas, and other Latin cuisine, according to the restaurant’s Instagram account. Katiuska Valiente is behind the project, per paperwork filed with the city’s licensing board. Valiente has reportedly also worked as a television news anchor for Las Americas Media Group and Telemundo. Peka’s space will include two bars, seating for a whopping 360 diners and drinkers, and a seasonal patio that will expand the seating capacity by 42.
There’s a new delivery-only “ghost restaurant” in town: Wing Squad, an Orlando-based company rapidly expanding around the country. Customers in and around Boston can find Wing Squad on four delivery platforms — GrubHub, DoorDash, Uber Eats, and Postmates — and order a variety of wings, sides, and sweet treats.
There are six flavors of wings (Buffalo, sweet chile, Cajun, and more); sides such as mac and cheese and salads; and desserts such as chocolate cake and cookies.
Korean restaurant Sojuba is making a tiny move to get a big upgrade: It’s moving from 1260 to 1265 Boylston St., into the former Tony C’s space, as noted by Twitter user @teddyballgame83.
The deal has been in the works for “quite some time,” per a Facebook post from the restaurant, and it will allow the restaurant to triple its space (which includes a snazzy rooftop). “This super upgrade means that we will have 3X the space ... 3X the lights, 3X the sound, 3X the TV & 10X more SOJU!” The restaurant will also add lunch hours and expand the food and cocktail menus. Closing and opening dates still to come.
Roslindale is getting a new West African restaurant. Folks have reportedly been working on the buildout for a restaurant called Obosa at 146 Belgrade Ave. Gloria Omoregbee will be the proprietor of the restaurant, which will have seating for around 50 patrons. This won’t be Rozzie’s first West African restaurant; Suya Joint initially operated in the neighborhood before relocating to Roxbury in the beginning of 2015.
CENTRAL SQUARE, CAMBRIDGE
Noodle-focused restaurant Nu Do Society will open around February or March 2020 in the former River Gods space (123 River St.), drawing inspiration from multiple Asian cuisines. One dish, for example, will be a tom yum ramen. Learn more here.
The Arsenal Yards development is getting its next restaurant (of several) soon: City Works Eatery & Pour House (91 Arsenal Yards Blvd.) has set an opening date of March 13. It’s the 10th location for the chain of beer-focused restaurants. This location will seat over 200 and feature 15 televisions, an 80-seat patio, and 90 beers, including 12 rotating taps for rare and limited selections and 30-40 taps for local beers. There will be six-ounce tastings and full pours available, as well as pre-selected and build-your-own flights. There will also be eight wines on draft and a couple flavors of White Claw hard seltzer.
To eat, there’ll be dishes like kung pao cauliflower, duck nachos, Nashville hot chicken wraps, the Impossible Burger, several mac and cheese options, and more, and weekends will feature a beermosa-drenched, rock and roll-themed brunch until 3 p.m.
January 29, 2020 — A Suburban Brunch Smash Hit, an Offal Lot of Korean Barbecue, and More
Allston bar T’s Pub (973 Commonwealth Ave.), popular with Boston University students and folks headed to and from the Paradise Rock Club, will apparently be replaced by a Korean barbecue chain, Gopchang Story BBQ. The website for Gopchang Story — which is based in South Korea and has outposts in New York City — lists the address for T’s Pub as “under construction” on its locations listing. The chain specializes in Korean barbecue, with a particular focus on offal. (In fact, the Korean word “gopchang” refers to the small intestines of animals such as cattle and pigs or a grilled dish made with them.)
Neither T’s Pub or Gopchang Story has replied to Eater’s requests for comment; stay tuned for further details on T’s Pub fate and Gopchang Story’s potential arrival.
Flour Bakery & Cafe, which had a burst of expansion a few years back, is at it again, planning its ninth location, this one in Boston’s Beacon Hill neighborhood (209 Cambridge St.). Owner Joanne Chang announced the news on Instagram, indicating that she had looked at almost that exact space over 20 years ago when planning Flour’s very first location. “FINALLY we are going to make it ours,” she writes. The new location could open in spring 2020.
UNION SQUARE, SOMERVILLE
One of 2020’s most anticipated openings, the Mexico City-inspired Barra is on the verge of debuting in Union Square (23A Bow St.) — it could appear within the next week or so. Read last week’s preview to learn all about it.
Easton’s smash-hit brunch destination of seven years, the Farmer’s Daughter, is finally adding a second location, expanding to Sudbury’s Meadow Walk development (534 Boston Post Rd. [Rte. 20]) later this year. The new location will seat 100 and serve breakfast, brunch, and lunch, with the space available for private events at night.
In mid-2018, Farmer’s Daughter owner Chandra Gouldrup opened up a massive Easton restaurant called Towneship in a 150-year-old Swedish church; unfortunately it closed a little over a year later, but the Farmer’s Daughter remains in operation, popular as ever, serving farm-to-table, over-the-top brunch dishes like a New England Benedict with poached lobster and slab bacon; a “croissant-y Cristo”; and a French toast sundae.
Framingham’s Nzuko — a casual restaurant that opened in late 2016, serving a menu that draws influences from the Caribbean, the Mediterranean, and beyond — is expanding to Watertown, with “coming soon” signage up at 60 Howard St. Nzuko caters to a variety of diets, especially offering choices for gluten-free, vegetarian, or vegan diners. The menu includes dishes like jerk tofu; ginger and garlic salmon; a lamb kebab plate; falafel pockets; and more. Hint: If there’s ginger coconut cornbread available, be sure to try it.
January 22, 2020 — An Alewife Beer Hall, Boba Everywhere, and More
Tiger Sugar, a Taiwan-based boba chain with photogenic drinks that have become an obsession for Instagrammers, is plotting Boston expansion, with an Allston location and a Cambridge location reportedly in the works. Read more here.
It’s boozy milkshake time. The Capital Burger, a full-service, burger-focused restaurant that’s affiliated with upscale steakhouse chain the Capital Grille, is expanding to Boston’s Back Bay, taking over the former Papa Razzi space at 159 Newbury St. The Capital Burger currently has one location in Washington, D.C., with a second about to open in Reston, Virginia, and it serves burgers, sandwiches, fries and other burger-appropriate sides and snacks, and spiked milkshakes, along with a few other items.
Those who need cellphone accessories may be out of luck as a Chinatown phone shop, Timezone Wireless at 64 Kneeland St., will turn into a takeout shop featuring matcha ice cream instead.
Construction has officially begun at Mothership, a long-in-the-works project from Steve “Nookie” Postal (Commonwealth, Revival Cafe & Kitchen) and Liza Shirazi (Revival); Postal shared a peek inside the giant space at 125 Cambridgepark Dr. on Instagram, noting that it will be “an amazing bar space to hang out in.” It will be located by the first Revival location (Alewife); the cafe has since added a location in Somerville’s Davis Square and will also open on Boston’s Newbury Street.
When Postal first introduced the idea of Mothership two years ago, he described it as a 7,000-square-foot beer hall with a tightly curated tap list, food, televisions, and lots of games — but not pinball. Postal does not like pinball. (There may be, however, Skee-Ball, shuffleboard, Golden Tee, and the like.)
“A great food program,” he said later that month. “We aren’t talking next-level cuisine here; food is going to be solid, not groundbreaking. Sausages, pretzels. I think we need a smoker. Now I’m stressing out: We totally need a smoker.”
Given that two years have passed, the Mothership plans may have evolved a bit, so stay tuned for more details, but they will almost definitely include plenty of beer and plenty of fun.
HARVARD SQUARE, CAMBRIDGE
The forthcoming Cambridge location of Tiger Sugar (see Allston section above) might be coming to Harvard Square. Stay tuned for more details.
A 30-seat, casual Vietnamese restaurant called Viet Citron is slated to open in February 2020 at 47 Middlesex Turnpike in Burlington. Owner Ngoc Tran, who grew up in Reading, is new to the restaurant industry. She plans to serve a small menu with dishes such as this grilled sirloin with egg rolls and rice noodles; pho ga (pho with chicken); and more.
Later in the year, possibly in the fall, a location of Brazilian steakhouse chain Fogo de Chão could open at the Burlington Mall, with seating for over 360 (and nearly 100 more outside, seasonally). The chain serves diners an endless parade of meat, carved tableside from skewer to plate. Fogo de Chão also has a location in Boston’s Back Bay; it opened in late 2012.
Time Out Market Boston’s gelato vendor Gelato & Chill is adding another location, taking over a former Cold Stone Creamery space at Hingham’s Derby Street Shops in spring 2020. Owners Vincent and Sandra Turco spent nearly three years in Italy; while there, Vincent Turco studied gelato-making in Milan.
The Hingham expansion is convenient as the Turcos have been working out of a commercial kitchen in Hingham. While that will continue, they’ll also do a bit of production onsite at the forthcoming storefront.
At Time Out Market Boston, Gelato & Chill has been serving flavors such as stracciatella and ricotta with fig. The lineup includes a lot of gluten-free options and some vegan sorbets, and the vegan options will increase at the new location.
The Waltham location of popular Cuban restaurant Gustazo (whose nearly year-old sibling in Cambridge was one of the most exciting openings of 2019) is temporarily closed as it prepares to move into a bigger space a couple blocks away and onto the notoriously food-filled Moody Street; stay tuned for a reopening date. The new address will be 240 Moody St., the former site of Mexican-Irish restaurant Garcia Brogan’s, and it will have space for two bars and over 300 diners.
Meanwhile, there’s already a new restaurant slated for Gustazo’s old space at 663 Main St.: Revelry, from Coppersmith owner Gerry Curtin, reportedly serving New Orleans-inspired cuisine.
January 9, 2020 — Acclaimed Cocktails at a Mystery Location, Nepali Food in Cambridge, and More
El Jefe’s Taqueria is expanding from Harvard Square to the Emerson-owned “Little Building” on Boylston Street, opening this spring and operating from morning to late at night if all goes according to plan. Also coming to the Little Building, possibly opening this month, is Mediterranean restaurant Garbanzo.
Popular and seemingly ever-growing taqueria chain Chilacates is expanding again, but there’s something a little bit different on the horizon this time. Founder Socrates Abreu has closed his burger restaurant the Joint (605 Centre St.) — the revamp of Grass Fed, which he took over last year — to turn it into Chilacates Cantina, a sit-down, boozy version of his successful fast-casual restaurants. (Plus, the long-in-the-works Roslindale location of Chilacates is coming along, and it will feature a counter-service side and a sit-down, boozy side.)
Chilacates Cantina could open in January 2020 in Jamaica Plain, while the Roslindale location could partially open in the late winter (the counter-service part), with the sit-down part opening at a later date.
An acclaimed Irish pub in New York City known as much for its comic book menus and merchandise as it is for its cocktails could be expanding to Boston (eventually). Dead Rabbit announced on its Facebook page this week that it plans to expand its brand to New Orleans, while also noting that other expansions could follow “over the next few years,” including bars in D.C., Nashville, and here in Boston.
Representatives with Dead Rabbit confirmed to Eater that a Boston location is in the works but couldn’t share any specific details yet. Keep an eye out for updates as more information becomes available.
KENDALL SQUARE, CAMBRIDGE
Five-year-old Cafe Artscience closed in late December, with founder David Edwards announcing that he’d revamp it into a restaurant called Senses, what he described as “the fruit of a conversation between [himself] and chef Jody Adams.”
He later told the Globe that Adams would be a “thought collaborator” in the process, consulting and perhaps getting involved in “programming.” The restaurant will be “a casual fine-dining Mediterranean restaurant” that serves lunch and dinner.
UNION SQUARE, SOMERVILLE
Fortissimo Coffeehouse closed up shop on Somerville Avenue a few months back in order to move to a bigger space right around the corner (75 Bow St., a former salon space). Renovations are moving right along, and a reopening is approaching quickly.
New signage is finally up at the tiny space at the corner of Hampshire Street and Columbia Street (119 Hampshire St.) that housed Cafe Kiraz for nearly a decade before a quick succession of two other cafes. When Kantipur Cafe opens there, it will serve Indian and Nepali food, as well as subs and pizza, per its signage.
Beloved decades-old bookstore Brookline Booksmith is busting into a soon-to-be-vacant adjacent space and turning it into additional retail space — but also a cafe with a liquor license. Stay tuned for more details as a planned summer 2020 debut approaches.
Also in Brookline, there’s now an announced location for Ran Duan’s planned seafood-and-cocktail venue Ivory Pearl. (See previous coverage for the background info, and get excited, because Duan and his team are cocktail experts.) It’ll be taking over the Grassona’s Italian space at 1704 Beacon St. in Washington Square.
Prolific Portsmouth (and beyond) restaurateur Jay McSharry is working with his Vida Cantina colleagues chef de cuisine Linda Theth and chef/co-owner David Vargas to open a new restaurant at 24 Pleasant St. in Newburyport, the previous space of McSharry’s Dos Amigos Burritos. The as-yet-unnamed restaurant could open in March 2020, and it will feature Southeast Asian and Mexican food, reflecting Theth and Vargas’ roots.
“It won’t be so much of a fusion,” Theth told Seacoast Online. “It’s better described as the evolution of my culinary experiences with influences from my Southeast Asian background [her parents are from Laos and Cambodia] and my almost five years working in a Mexican restaurant.”
On the menu: tacos, eggrolls, pork-filled tapioca dumplings, beef pho, green papaya salad, and more.
England-born chef Aaron Chambers is opening a new restaurant called Settler at 2 Lynde St. in Salem, the former Firenze Trattoria space. It will be an intimate restaurant (35 seats) that is “named to encompass Aaron’s journey from his hometown in the farmlands of Yorkshire, England, to the seashores of North Shore Massachusetts,” Chambers’ wife and business partner Shanna Chambers told Eater.
Settler’s menu will feature new American cuisine and focus on “ingredients local to the region inspired by flavors, spices, and techniques explored along his way,” said Shanna Chambers. There will be bread, pastas, various braises, and a wine list focused on small vineyards.
Chambers is perhaps known best for his time spent working for celebrity chef Daniel Boulud, first at Boulud Sud in New York City and then at Bar Boulud in Boston. He also spent time working as the chef de cuisine at Craigie on Main before moving into the corporate restaurant world to work as the culinary vice president at locally headquartered chain Not Your Average Joe’s.
Settler could open toward the end of January 2020.
Casual Israeli burger chain Burgerim, which is headquartered in California, will open a location in the former Worcester Girl Scout Center (79-81 Gold Star Blvd.), serving burgers made of beef as well as lamb, salmon, falafel, and more. (“-im” is a plural suffix in the Hebrew language.) It will share the building with an urgent care facility and another yet-to-be-announced retail tenant.
There’s lots more in the works for Worcester as well. Check out this 2020 preview from MassLive, which includes details on Japanese restaurant and bar Chashu Ramen & Izakaya; brewery Bay State Brewing Co.; Worcester Public Market, including a Wachusett Brewing Co. taproom, pasta shop Pasta Mani, allergen-free bakery Jennifer Lee’s, and more; international steakhouse chain Ruth’s Chris Steak House; Luci’s Taco Shop and Margarita Bar (see details in the December 18 update below); bubble tea shop One Zo; street food restaurant El Torero; Om Indian Grill & Bar; Suzette Creperie & Cafe, taking over the historic Weintraub’s space; the Woo Bar & Grill; and a giant restaurant from the group behind Tavern in the Square, the Broadway, and Tavitas in and around Boston.
December 18, 2019 — Tacos in the South End, Ramen in Chinatown, and More
Salt Bae? Salt Bae. Well, maybe. Here’s the evidence that Boston is probably getting a Nusr-et Steakhouse in the former Nahita location (100 Arlington St., Boston).
One of Chinatown’s somewhat hidden gems, the subterranean Tora Japanese Restaurant (20B Tyler St., Boston), has a ramen-focused sibling in the works: Tora Ramen, which will open at 99 Harrison Ave. (Paperwork filed in Massachusetts’ corporate database confirms that the two restaurants are connected, both owned by Patrick Zhong.) The original Tora features kaisen don, rice bowls topped with sashimi. In 2018, a story on Tora in Boston College’s Heights noted that Zhong hopes to open at least two more restaurants in Boston under the Tora brand.
Not exactly a new opening, but Dorchester Brewing Company (1250 Massachusetts Ave., Boston) is set to debut its highly anticipated expanded space on New Year’s Eve, introducing its “hopservatory,” a year-round rooftop greenhouse with a view; a restaurant, M & M BBQ, from the team behind the acclaimed M & M Ribs food truck; a game room; and more taproom space.
In other Dorchester news, plans for Comfort Kitchen are moving along at 611 Columbia Rd., the historic Upham’s Corner comfort station space, including a fundraising campaign welcoming investments as low as $100. Learn more here.
As Boston’s obsession with food halls continues, one of the forthcoming ones has announced more vendors. High Street Place, opening early next year, will welcome Bad Doughnut, Gorgeous Gelato, Gracenote Coffee, Hum’Oveh, and Newburyport Brewing to its already stacked lineup. Bay Village sandwich shop Mike & Patty’s, which already indicated its involvement at High Street Place a few months back, was also confirmed in this week’s announcement.
Dorchester’s Yellow Door Taqueria is expanding to Boston’s South End, taking over the space of its sibling spot Lion’s Tail, which is closing December 30. The second Yellow Door could open as soon as January, after renovations that’ll leave it looking much like the first Yellow Door, although it’ll be larger and have a seasonal patio and possibly space for live music and DJs. When it opens, it will serve tacos, crudos, cocktails, and more. There could be more locations in the future, too.
Tuscan Brands founder Joe Faro — who is behind Tuscan Kitchen and Tuscan Market locations in Massachusetts and New Hampshire — has a lot going on these days. In addition to working on a mixed-use development called Tuscan Village in Salem, New Hampshire (see December 10 update here for more details), which will include the relocation of the existing Salem Tuscan Market, he’s also opening a new restaurant in Newburyport. While it will be part of the Tuscan Brands family, it’ll be something entirely new, not a Tuscan Kitchen or Market location (but still very much Italian, with a focus on coastal cuisine).
Slated for 54 Merrimac St., the forthcoming restaurant will include pasta and breads made in-house, locally sourced seafood, raw bar items, Neapolitan-style pizza, gelato, and more. The as-yet-unnamed restaurant will overlook the Merrimack River and feature seasonal outdoor seating. It could open in spring 2020.
A 20-seat restaurant called Flora’s Wine Bar is coming to West Newton (1284 Washington St.) from owners who have worked at Boston restaurants such as Mei Mei, Towne, and Liquid Art House. It will feature a “unique” wine list (as well as beer and cocktails) and a cheese and charcuterie menu, according to a job posting.
In other Newton news, Boston’s growing Blackbird Doughnuts chain is expanding to Newton Centre, opening soon at 55F Union St. This is in addition to an already announced expansion to Watertown in conjunction with its sibling the Gallows. (With all of this growth on the horizon, Gallows Group owner Rebecca Roth Gullo was a finalist for Eater Boston’s 2019 Empire Builder of the Year award. She also opened a new Brighton location of Blackbird Doughnuts in 2019 as well as a shop called Sally’s Sandwiches, which is inside the original Blackbird in Boston’s South End.)
There’s going to be a bit of a shuffle within a popular restaurant group in Worcester. Simjang, the Korean-American restaurant from the Deadhorse Hill team, is currently located at 72 Shrewsbury St., where it’s been since opening in early 2018, but it will move to a new location next year (timeline and address to be announced at a later date) to make way for a new sibling spot at 72 Shrewsbury St.: Luci’s Taco Shop and Margarita Bar, which could open in January. (Simjang will keep operating through December in the original location.) The name of the new restaurant gives a pretty good indication of what it’ll serve, and as co-owner Jared Forman noted to Worcester’s Telegram, the team is enthusiastic about barbacoa — “We have access to a wood-burning grill, we can get really great lamb,” he said — and making tortillas in-house “with the best masa.” Diners can expect a casual vibe and late-night hours.