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An East Cambridge Cafe and Wine Bar Is Celebrating ’90s Junk Food Nostalgia

Plus, restaurants can start seating people at bars again (distanced and eating food), and more news

A hand holds a McRib-style sandwich on a white background
Curio Wine’s take on the McRib, available on September 25 as the first installment of a special Friday night series of “Shit We Ate in the ’90s”
Curio Wine/Facebook

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

’90s Junk Food Nostalgia

What better way to take a little mental break from the stress of the world falling apart than by turning to nostalgia? East Cambridge’s Curio Wine, the wine and snack bar that takes over Curio Coffee on Friday nights, is introducing a new weekly series called “Shit We Ate in the ’90s,” featuring “nostalgic guilty pleasure foods ... recreated for grownup tastes.”

The debut item tomorrow, September 25, is an homage to the McRib, featuring a riblet made from ground Berkshire pork from Somerville butcher M.F. Dulock, slathered with house-made barbecue sauce, served on a challah bun from Cambridge’s Hi-Rise Bread Company, and finished with local Grillo’s pickles. Also available on the menu every Friday: natural wines by the bottle and a few other snacks, like hot dogs and grilled cheese.

Order online for pickup on Fridays between 4 and 6:30 p.m. (preordering opens on Tuesday evenings.) Curio Wine and Curio Coffee are currently offering takeout only — no dining onsite. Keep an eye on Instagram for updates on future Friday night specials.

Massachusetts Coronavirus Updates

A couple small updates on the restaurant front with regards to state COVID-19 regulations: Gov. Charlie Baker announced this week that restaurants can resume seating people at bars — but only with proper distancing between parties, and food continues to be required for anyone ordering alcohol. (Restaurants were already permitted to reconfigure their bar areas to contain regular tables, spaced appropriately, but now they can seat customers at the actual bar.) He also increased the allowed group size per table at restaurants from six to 10. However, within the city of Boston, Mayor Marty Walsh is keeping that limit at six for now.

Bars and clubs that don’t have food service must continue to wait for the eventual fourth phase of the state’s reopening plan, which depends on the availability of a vaccine or effective treatment.

Also within the city of Boston, temporary sidewalk and parking space patios that have been allowed during the pandemic can now stay open until December 1 instead of the original deadline of November 1; further extensions may be considered later. Restaurants that already had their own permanent patios can keep them open as long as weather allows. The city is also waiving the usual permitting fees for propane heaters (but restaurants must still apply for the permit).

In Other News...

  • A 54-year-old Massachusetts man has reportedly died from heart complications following the consumption of a large amount of black licorice over several weeks.
  • A plan is afoot to potentially revive Jamaica Plain bar Doyle’s, which closed in 2019 after 137 years.
  • The Massachusetts Conference for Women is providing $5,000 grants to 50 women-owned Massachusetts restaurants, and the Massachusetts Restaurant Association is running the application and selection process. Apply by October 22.
  • Seafood restaurant group Summer Shack is now popping up outdoors behind the Charles Hotel (1 Bennett St., Harvard Square, Cambridge) with a distanced patio for 60 diners, serving lunch and dinner daily (no reservations required). The pop-up will be around through the end of October.

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Curio Coffee

441 Cambridge Street, , MA 02141 (857) 242-3018 Visit Website

Doyle's Cafe

3484 Washington Street, , MA 02130 (617) 524-2345 Visit Website