Welcome back to AM Intel, a round-up of mini news bites to kick off the day.
Cambridge Boozy Milkshake News
Somerville favorite Gracie’s Ice Cream (22 Union Sq., Union Square) is expanding to 399 Binney St. in Cambridge’s Kendall Square neighborhood, where it plans to serve boozy milkshakes at the new location. Gracie’s first announced the news in March, but the coronavirus pandemic forced the ice cream shop to put its expansion plans on hold.
The second location will feature Gracie’s beloved ice cream — the Binney Street outpost will feature a larger production space, so customers can expect more flavors than are available at the original shop in Union Square — along with an all-day cafe and bar called Earnest Drinks, which will serve espresso, beer, wine, cocktails, and, yes, the aforementioned boozy milkshakes. Customers will also be able to pick up pints of ice cream to go, as well as Gracie’s ice cream pies, which currently make special appearances on the menu in Union Square.
The team has not yet set an opening date for Gracie’s second location and Earnest Drinks, but the company did re-promote the expansion in its most recent newsletter. Keep an eye on Kendall Square — boozy milkshakes are en route.
In Other News...
- Two Davis Square businesses have joined forces to open a combination pizza patio/beer garden in the Grove Street parking lot, which is situated behind their Elm Street storefronts. Dragon Pizza (237 Elm St., Somerville) and Sligo Pub (233 Elm St., Somerville) are operating in tandem Tuesday through Saturday from 6 p.m. onward. The collaboration is mutually beneficial: Dragon Pizza doesn’t have a liquor license, and Sligo Pub (one of Greater Boston’s best Irish pubs) doesn’t have a kitchen, which means it would not have been able to open until phase four of the state’s reopening plan (which depends on effective treatment or a vaccine for the coronavirus). Now, Dragon Pizza can serve beer with its pizza, and Sligo Pub can open its doors — or, rather, its makeshift beer garden — sooner than expected. Dragon Pizza posted about the collaboration on Instagram, stating, “It is not the prettiest beer garden in Boston, but with the Sligo Pub as our partner, it’s definitely the coolest.”
- An Italian restaurant in Waltham that was forced to close in early August when a fire ripped through its kitchen has launched a fundraiser to help pay its hourly employees. Stazione di Federal first opened its doors on March 12, just days before Gov. Charlie Baker ordered all restaurants to cease operations (except for takeout and delivery) due to the coronavirus pandemic. It reopened for indoor and outdoor dining on July 7, but the fire struck less than a month later. “My team has been employed for five weeks in the last four months,” said managing partner Richard Brackett in a press release. Stazione di Federal’s fundraising goal is set at $50,000, and 100 percent of the funds raised will be distributed to its hourly employees.
- New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu recently announced that all restaurants can operate at 100 percent capacity, provided they continue to follow the state’s reopening guidelines, which include maintaining at least six feet of distance between parties. Previously, restaurants in six of the state’s northern counties were allowed to operate at 100 percent capacity, while restaurants in counties in the southern part of the state — harder hit by the coronavirus pandemic — were restricted to operating at 50 percent capacity.
- The James Beard Foundation recently announced that it will not announce 2020 winners. A number of New England chefs and restaurants were nominated for awards this year, including Oleana’s Ana Sortun (Outstanding Chef nominee), Mei Mei’s Irene Li (Rising Star Chef of the Year nominee), and Fox & the Knife (Best New Restaurant nominee). The James Beard Foundation also announced that it will forgo its 2021 awards.
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