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Boston (and Beyond) Restaurateur Michael Schlow’s Going Fast-Casual

Plus, a bunch of chef shuffles, and more news

A vegetable bowl at Prima in Bethesda, Michael Schlow’s first fast-casual restaurant
A vegetable bowl at Prima in Bethesda, Michael Schlow’s first fast-casual restaurant
Prima [Official Photo]

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

Schlow Goes Fast-Casual

Boston-and-beyond chef and restaurateur Michael Schlow — who was behind Boston’s now-defunct Radius, Via Matta, and Doretta Taverna — has mainly been opening restaurants down in the D.C. area these past few years. His latest addition to his growing D.C. presence is his first foray into the world of fast-casual: Prima, featuring Italian-leaning salads and grain bowls, now open in Bethesda, Maryland.

Back here in Boston, he still operates the Latin American-inspired Tico in Back Bay, as well as Alta Strada in Wellesley — both full-service restaurants — but hasn’t opened anything new in a while. But that’s about to change, and the fast-casual Prima is a good warm-up: He’ll have two counter-service spots at the forthcoming Time Out Market Boston, set to open later this month. One will focus on Roman-style pizza; the other will focus on pasta and marinated vegetables.

Chef Shuffles

A bit of movement to report on the local chef front: Spoke Wine Bar in Somerville’s Davis Square has announced a new team of co-chefs, Kelcey Rusch and Paul Butler. Rusch was part of the Spoke opening team and has also worked at Bergamot and Fat Hen; Butler has been Spoke’s chef de cuisine for the past year and previously worked at Shepard and Cafe Artscience. “Together, Paul and Kelcey make up a dream team of passion, kindness, humor, and insane talent,” wrote Spoke in the announcement. “They make Spoke a better place, and we’re giddy with excitement to have them leading the way!”

Meanwhile, Spoke’s chef for the past couple of years, Eric Frier, is moving on to North End mainstay Neptune Oyster. His Boston-area resume also includes stints at Toro, Ribelle, and Uni.

Neptune’s chef, John Ross, is headed over to the soon-to-open Encore Boston Harbor casino in Everett, where he’ll be at the helm of two seafood-focused restaurants: Waterfront (which will serve a BLT lobster roll, among other items) and the Oyster Bar (ceviches, crudos, mini lobster roll trios, and more).

And that ends this connected chain of chef shuffles — or perhaps not, since Encore is trying to gobble up 5,500 employees from the Boston area’s already over-stretched hospitality pool.

In Other News...

  • Texas-based sandwich chain Which Wich has expanded to Boston’s Back Bay, its third Boston-area location. It’s now open at 324a Newbury St.
  • A new Salvadoran restaurant, Recino’s Cafe, is now open in East Somerville at 85 Broadway, serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner. There are pupusas, pastries, and lots more.
  • Friendly’s Ice Cream co-founder Curtis L. Blake has died at 102. He and his brother Peter founded the company in Springfield, Massachusetts, in 1935, calling it Friendly. After they sold it in the 1980s, it became Friendly’s.
  • Got about $9 million to spare? The Duxbury home that once belonged to the woman who invented chocolate chip cookies, Ruth Wakefield, is on the market.

Got a news tip for the Eater Boston team? Email boston@eater.com.

Spoke Wine Bar

89 Holland Street, , MA 02144 (617) 718-9463 Visit Website

Neptune Oyster

63 Salem Street, , MA 02113 (617) 742-3474 Visit Website

Time Out Market Boston

401 Park Drive, , MA 02215 (978) 393-8088 Visit Website

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