It was an eventful summer for Boston-area restaurant openings: seafood towers galore, several new vegan dining options, fancy desserts, big steaks, and lots more. But fall 2021 is now underway, and the Boston area is poised to see quite a few exciting openings this season as well.
Read on for a preview of some of the most interesting restaurants on the verge of opening in and near Boston — and not just restaurants but bars, food halls, and even a few particularly hip convenience stores. As usual, there are quite a few Italian spots on the way, but there are also a couple French restaurants, a handful of Israeli options, and more. Watch for everything from roasted duck to mochi doughnuts to chicken parm to so much sake.
Note that the estimated timelines are subject to change; construction delays, staffing troubles, and other hurdles often stretch out openings, even in non-COVID times but especially now. Even though this guide will be updated periodically, it’s best to take any opening dates below with the necessary grain of salt. Follow Eater Boston on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter — and sign up for the newsletter below — for the latest news.
Health experts consider dining out to be a high-risk activity for the unvaccinated; the latest data about the delta variant indicates that it may pose a low-to-moderate risk for the vaccinated, especially in areas with substantial transmission. The latest CDC guidance is here; find a COVID-19 vaccination site here.
This guide was originally published on September 13, 2021; it is updated periodically throughout the season to reflect ever-changing opening timelines and other new information. Check below the headline for the date of the most recent update.
It seems like a new Italian restaurant opens almost daily in Boston, and fall 2021 will be no exception: There’s plenty of Italian and Italian-American food on the horizon, including a couple pizza-focused spots. (Did you miss summer 2021’s Italian openings? To name a few, there’s Contessa in Back Bay, serving northern Italian on a glamorous Newbury Street rooftop; Grana at the newly renovated Langham downtown; and Premiere on Broadway, an Italian-American restaurant and music venue in Somerville where one can eat gnocchi topped with beef hearts, sausage stuffed with Fontina, and more.)
Here’s what’s expected to open over the next few months, serving everything from 100-layer lasagna to a Sardinian stuffed pasta to amaro gelato to quite a few chicken parm subs.
Mida Apizza (NOW OPEN)
Hub Hall, 80 Causeway St., West End, Boston
Mida sibling Mida Apizza opened at the forthcoming Hub Hall food hall on September 14 (learn more in the “Food Halls and Marketplaces” section below), serving chef Douglass Williams’s take on New Haven-style pizza (dubbed “apizza” in Connecticut parlance) as well as Roman-style pizza al taglio. (The restaurant is included in this fall roundup even though it was technically a summer opening because it opened the day after this guide was initially published.) Mida Apizza isn’t making its pizzas in a coal-fired oven, which is typical of New Haven pizza, but Williams promises that signature char from his electric deck oven, which can reach 1000 degrees. (The pizzas cook closer to 800 degrees, for just three minutes.) The menu includes an “Uncle Pepe” pizza — a nod to one of New Haven’s famous spots, Frank Pepe Pizzeria Napoletana, which has expanded around the Boston area in recent years — topped with clams and roasted garlic. The team has been testing out pizzas at Mida’s new Newton location, too; take a look.
Bar Enza (NOW OPEN)
Charles Hotel, 1 Bennett St., Harvard Square, Cambridge
The Charles Hotel loves Italian food: The former Benedetto space, which was home to Rialto before that, has become Bar Enza, with Belmont native Mark Ladner at the helm in collaboration with the Lyons Group (Sonsie, Scampo, Rochambeau, and more). The restaurant opened with an abbreviated menu in late September and will ramp up in the coming weeks. Ladner is well-known for his culinary work in New York City, where he gained acclaim as executive chef of Del Posto. Billed as a “neo-trattoria,” Bar Enza will feature Ladner’s 100-layer lasagna, steaks and chops, and plenty of cured meats, imported cheeses, and breads. Keep an eye out for a chicken parm sub, too, and lots of snack-y bar food. Here’s an inside look at the new restaurant.
170 W. Broadway, South Boston
Karen Akunowicz, chef and owner of Italian restaurant Fox & the Knife in South Boston, will open a second Italian restaurant in South Boston, Bar Volpe, this fall. While the Fox & the Knife highlights the cuisines of the Emilia-Romagna region of Northern Italy, Bar Volpe will feature the south, from Rome down, with a greater focus on seafood and vegetables, pastas such as orecchiette, and all things wood-fired. The menu isn’t quite finalized yet but will likely include mozzarella en carrozza, black truffle roast chicken, Sardinian paella, and culurgiones, to name a few dishes. Bar Volpe will also include a pasta shop.
Cambridge Crossing, 100 N. 1st St., East Cambridge
Puritan & Co.’s Will Gilson and his team will complete their trifecta of restaurants at the East Cambridge development Cambridge Crossing in early October 2021, opening Geppetto at the Lexington, which also includes a restaurant and rooftop bar under the Lexington moniker as well as a cafe and bakery, Cafe Beatrice. The Lexington and Cafe Beatrice have already been up and running for a while now. While Geppetto popped up a bit for takeout and delivery earlier in 2021, it’ll open for real this fall, featuring pastas made in-house, raw seafood, and more. Expect dishes like chicken parm polpette, wild boar Bolognese with pappardelle, mushroom agnolotti, and smoked short rib carpaccio. Longtime Boston chef Tony Susi (Olives, Sage, Capo) will be the restaurant’s “pasta consigliere.” Watch for an amaro cart and amaro gelato.
825 Washington St., Newton
First announced in fall 2019, Da LaPosta — from former Babbo Pizzeria e Enoteca pizzaiolo Mario LaPosta — was slated to open in Boston’s Fort Point neighborhood. Since then, the location has changed; Da LaPosta will open around mid-October 2021 in the former Cook space in Newton instead. The menu will feature “rustic Italian food with a focus on artisan wood-fired pizza and a commitment to local and sustainable ingredients,” LaPosta previously told Eater.
Burlington Mall, 75 Middlesex Tpke., Burlington
New York-based Major Food Group, which opened the glitzy Contessa on Newbury Street earlier this year, will expand its Italian-American comfort food mini-chain, Parm, to the Burlington Mall; the opening date is currently set for November 1, 2021. There’ll be plenty of meatballs, chicken parm subs, wings, and more.
Hyatt Centric Faneuil Hall Boston, 54 Devonshire St., downtown Boston
From restaurateur and television personality Fabio Viviani, Bar Cicchetti appears to be opening imminently at the Hyatt Centric, although Viviani’s team hasn’t confirmed an opening timeline as of publication time. There’s also a location of Bar Cicchetti in Oklahoma City. The Boston location has been teasing dishes such as squid ink pasta with seafood; truffle gnocchi; bacon and brie Roman-style pizza; and wagyu with black garlic and herbs on Instagram — so, not strictly the namesake cicchetti, small snacks that are popular in Venice. Bar Cicchetti’s social media profiles describe the restaurant as providing a “bold and fresh perspective on northern Mediterranean flavors.”
The North End’s Parla — a quirky, intimate spot known for its small but mighty cocktail bar — is expanding to Somerville’s Assembly Row development. Per an Assembly Row rep in early September 2021, its opening is still “months out,” so stay tuned for updates or head to the original location at 230 Hanover St., Boston. It’s currently offering both indoor and outdoor dining, as well as takeout (including cocktails) — order in person or by phone.
For those who enjoy drinking, there are a few openings to watch, including two spots specializing in sake, an American Chinese restaurant featuring a tiki bar, a couple beer taprooms, and a natural wine bar.
Castle Island Brewing (NOW OPEN)
10 Old Colony Ave., South Boston
With roots in Norwood but a name that refers to South Boston, Castle Island Brewing has finally put down roots in South Boston as of late September. (The original Norwood brewery and taproom remains in operation, too.) The new brewery and taproom serves core Castle Island brews as well as special releases and more, and there’s South Shore-style bar pizza onsite from Bardo’s Bar Pizza, from the team behind Randolph event space Lombardo’s.
The Koji Club
The Speedway, 525 Western Ave., Brighton, Boston
The Koji Club, a sake bar, could open around October 2021 at the Speedway in Brighton, a marketplace with various food, beverage, and retail vendors that began to open in summer 2021. (Learn more in the “Food Halls and Marketplaces” section below.) From sake expert Alyssa Mikiko DiPasquale, who worked at Boston sushi destination O Ya for many years, the Koji Club already exists as a virtual sake pop-up, a pandemic-era series of Zoom tastings and discussions. When it comes to life in this brick-and-mortar space, the Koji Club will give DiPasquale “the opportunity to share sake in a new way with Boston,” she previously told Eater. “This is really my dream come true.” She describes the ambiance as just like “an old Japanese tavern in Kyoto,” thanks to the Speedway’s preservation of a lot of the original materials in the space, including dark wood natural beams and a stone wall. “This one little corner of [the Speedway] just felt so right to me,” she previously said.
112 Mt. Auburn St., Harvard Square, Cambridge
This intricately decorated tiki bar and American Chinese restaurant will open in Cambridge’s architecturally unique Conductor’s Building — the former home of Les Sablons — around November; it comes from Menton alum Jason Doo and Felipe’s Taqueria owner Thomas Brush. Expect roasted ducks, affordable dishes like Hong Kong-style barbecue rice plates under $10, and plenty of tiki. Sneak a peek inside the very cool space on Instagram.
1741 Massachusetts Ave., near Porter Square, Cambridge
This dream-team collaboration between Lauren Friel of wine bar Rebel Rebel at Bow Market and Andrew Brady and Sara Markey of Union Square’s Field & Vine will result in a pub-style neighborhood bar that showcases natural wines and a pescatarian menu. The team previously mentioned potential dishes such as toasts featuring bread made in-house; cheese plates; dips and salad; and seafood such as oysters, ceviche, and caviar. “We plan to be a wine bar, it’s true — but if we do this thing right we’ll really be a center for community,” the team wrote in a GoFundMe campaign. As of publication time, the Dear Annie team did not provide an update on an estimated opening timeline, but recent Instagram posts point to an opening in the not-too-distant future.
Cambridge Crossing, 110 North First St., East Cambridge
The sequel to Cambridge’s Lamplighter Brewing Co. could open around December 2021, says cofounder Cayla Marvil. Known as Lamplighter CX, the new spot will open alongside Geppetto (see above), Cafe Beatrice, and the Lexington in a building called the Shed at the Cambridge Crossing development near the Lechmere MBTA station. At the new location — a 7,000-square-foot taproom and production space — the team will focus on producing barrel-aged beers.
While the Koji Club prepares to open, there’s another sake business in the works: Farthest Star Sake, a sake brewery and taproom in Medfield. Founder Todd Bellomy, who was the brewer and cofounder of Waltham’s now-defunct Dovetail Sake, plans to produce traditional filtered and cloudy sake styles for consumption at the taproom and distribution to restaurants and stores. Per Farthest Star’s now-complete investment campaign on Mainvest, other eventual goals for the space include hosting events; providing space for a food truck to be stationed at the brewery; distilling shochu; creating carbonated, rice-based, non-alcoholic beverages; and brewing sake-influenced beers offsite. Bellomy tells Eater that “construction woes due to COVID and other issues” have set back the timeline a bit, but things are back on track and construction should be complete around mid-October 2021, with brewing beginning sometime in November 2021 and the first batch of sake ready around January or February 2022.
A spacious new French restaurant snuck onto the scene in the final days of summer: Coquette, from the COJE Management Group (Lolita, Mariel, Yvonne’s, Ruka), opened at the new Omni Boston Hotel in the Seaport District on September 9, serving coastal French cuisine with some Basque influences. Coming up in the fall, there’s another new addition to Boston’s French dining options, as well as the big expansion of one existing restaurant that is partially inspired by French cuisine.
25 Massachusetts Ave., Back Bay, Boston
Wife-and-husband duo Anaïs and Antoine Lambert, who met while working at Boston restaurant Petit Robert Bistro and were both born and raised in France, will open Parisian-style bistro Café Sauvage in the early fall. (Antoine is also an alum of local French restaurants Frenchie and its sibling spot Colette Wine Bistro.) “Paris is a multicultural place, and as a mixed couple — and now as a mixed family — it is important to reflect that on our plates,” Anaïs previously told Eater. “We want our guests to understand that there is more to Parisian food than just beef bourguignon and escargots.” That means influences from Portugal, Ethiopia, Vietnam, and beyond will factor into the menu at the all-day cafe. “You can come in at 7:30 a.m. just for a cup of coffee and a chocolate croissant,” Anaïs said, “but also have a nice lunch with our jambon-beurre sandwich or a more intimate dinner.” Bastille Kitchen alum Kendall DaCosta will be in the kitchen. (Bastille Kitchen, meanwhile, has closed, making way for a new location of Boston steakhouse Mooo.)
An expanded Juliet
263 Washington St., Union Square, Somerville
Somerville award winner Juliet has expansion in the works, aiming for a late fall 2021 debut. It’s not a sibling restaurant — it’s a move to a much bigger space one door down the street. In its current, intimate home, Juliet has been “an experiment ... essentially [serving] a tasting menu in a shoe store.” The new space will allow Juliet to evolve into its next phase with a more focused menu. Think of it as a Niçoise-style bistro, influenced by “that part of France where it’s half France, half Italy.” Juliet’s popular prix fixe menu “productions” will continue in their own special dining room with ever-changing decor and multimedia components. And there will be private dining space, too.
There’s a good deal of food coming down the pipeline from Israeli chefs and restaurant groups, featuring cuisine from Israel as well as broader Middle Eastern and Mediterranean cuisines. Here’s a look at what’s opening soon.
Bakey (NOW OPEN)
151 Tremont St., downtown Boston
This downtown bakery from Uri Scheft, the founder of Israel’s Lehamim bakery chain, ended up opening its doors the day after this guide was initially published, before summer was technically over, but plan on eating babka all fall (and beyond). Scheft, a baker and cookbook author, also cofounded New York’s Breads Bakery. He’s no longer involved, but his time there was marked by his famous chocolate babka, which will also star at Bakey. Scheft and Bakey cofounder and CEO Or Ohana (who worked his way up from salesperson to co-owner and CEO at Lehamim) are selling a variety of babkas, burekas, breads, and more; they’re obsessed with freshness and only sell ultra-fresh goods produced all throughout the day. (Extra items that are still good but not just-out-of-the-oven fresh are donated to Women’s Lunch Place.) The bakery also features coffee from Seattle-based Caffe Umbria. Here’s an inside look at some of Bakey’s baked goods.
The Speedway, 525 Western Ave., Brighton, Boston
From chef and restaurateur Avi Shemtov — behind modern Israeli restaurant Simcha and Israeli-inspired Southern barbecue restaurant A La Esh, both in Sharon, as well as food truck the Chubby Chickpea — comes a “hummuseria,” opening at the Speedway (see “Food Halls and Marketplaces” section below) around early October. In addition to hummus and such, Shemtov says that there will be a deli case with some classic Israeli salads and bites — “My dad has started making some of his food again, and I thought it would be cool to include him in the spot,” he says.
655 Boylston St., Back Bay, Boston
The Israel-based Mediterranean chain with Boston locations in Audubon Circle and Cleveland Circle will open its third in the city this fall, right across from the Boston Public Library in Copley Square. The all-day restaurants serve a wide-ranging menu that includes shakshuka, halloumi sticks, schnitzel, shawarma, vegan burgers, Nutella milkshakes, and lots more. This new location will feature a brand new bar program.
In addition to the Hummus v’Hummus opening at the Speedway in the fall, there’ll be a similar concept by the same name in Chestnut Hill, opening in early winter, says Shemtov.
And in other news, fast-casual Israeli street food chain Miznon will expand to Boston in the not-too-distant future. (When first announced in June, it was slated to open by the end of 2021, but as of early September, a rep is unable to confirm the current timeline.) The decade-old chain, with Israeli chef Eyal Shani at the helm, was founded in Tel Aviv and has since expanded to Paris, Vienna, Melbourne, Singapore, and New York City. Most of the menu centers around dishes served on pitas, although there are some non-pita dishes as well, including a whole roasted cauliflower. There are a variety of vegetarian options, most of which can be made vegan. The forthcoming Boston location (107 Seaport Blvd. in Boston’s Seaport District) will serve beer and wine.
In addition to forthcoming openings like Miznon and Cafe Landwer, which offer ample vegan options, several completely vegan restaurants are opening this fall. (Last season, too, saw the openings of a couple exclusively vegan establishments — Littleburg and Double Zero.)
PlantPub (NOW OPEN)
675 West Kendall St., Kendall Square, Cambridge
PlantPub opened in late September 2021, featuring vegan versions “of your favorite pub foods” as well as local craft beers. (Cofounder Pat McAuley was also one of the founders of Quincy’s former vegan beer hall pop-up Rewild.) PlantPub’s other partners are chef Mary Dumont, who was the longtime executive chef of Harvest in Harvard Square before opening the now-closed Cultivar downtown, and vegan investor Sebastiano Cossia Castiglioni. PlantPub’s mission is “to provide Boston with food that’s a little better for us and better for the world in a way that’s approachable and fun for all,” McAuley previously told Eater. “To us that means juicy IPAs and plant-based versions of our favorite pub foods, like burgers, pizzas, and wings.” PlantPub offers takeout, as well as fast-casual service with seating for about 30, with indoor and outdoor options available.
585 Somerville Ave., Somerville
Vegan Egyptian restaurant Koshari Mama, which specializes in the classic Egyptian dish koshari, is moving from its Bow Market residency into a permanent location nearby, the former Moroccan Hospitality Restaurant space on Somerville Avenue. Mother-and-daughter duo Sahar Ahmed and Dina Fahim plan to open around the second or third week of October, with a grand opening celebration early in November, if all goes as planned. “Having the restaurant will truly allow us to expand our menu to offer many more Egyptian dishes with some of our own twists of course,” the duo tells Eater. “At our restaurant you’ll be able to come with friends, family, coworkers, etc. and you’ll leave knowing you tried something new, had a great time, and [are] full with deliciously nutritious food.”
Food Halls and Marketplaces
2019 was supposed to be the year of the food hall, but the usual delays hit construction on several planned projects — and then, of course, 2020 impacted timelines even more. It looks like a few big openings will sneak in before the end of 2021, though. These food halls and marketplaces feature numerous food and drink vendors, communal seating, and other highlights, and they showcase a mix of veteran local chefs and up-and-comers. Stay tuned as the full lineups are announced leading up to opening dates.
The Speedway (NOW PARTIALLY OPEN)
525 Western Ave., Brighton, Boston
This new Brighton marketplace began opening in summer 2021 (Salem-based Notch Brewing already has a taproom up and running there), but most of its food and beverage storefronts will debut around fall 2021, such as the Koji Club (see “Booze” section above), Hummus v’Hummus (see “Israeli” section above), and Super Bien (see “Grocery and Convenience Stores” section below.) Somerville-based ice cream shop Tipping Cow will also open an outpost there, and the Speedway is reportedly hoping to find someone to operate a speakeasy-style basement cocktail bar. The Speedway is located on the site of the former Charles River Speedway Headquarters administration buildings, and quite a lot of the historic elements of the buildings have been preserved amid the rehabilitation and renovation of the site. There’s an 8,000-square-foot courtyard and a number of food and retail vendors, plus event and office space.
Hub Hall at the Hub on Causeway (NOW MOSTLY OPEN)
80 Causeway St., West End, Boston
The TD Garden-adjacent Hub on Causeway development, which opened in late 2019, features three towers full of retail, office, hotel, and residential space. Hub Hall, an onsite food hall, has long been in the works and finally debuted September 14 (the day after this guide was initially published, hence its inclusion here even though it’s technically a summer opening), featuring 18 different dining options. Mida Apizza — see “Italian” section above — is one of them. Also on the roster: offshoots of existing local spots Cusser’s Roast Beef, Greco, Lily P’s, Mike’s Pastry, Naco Taco, the Smoke Shop, Sullivan’s, and more, plus some new spots. Monica’s Mercato and Momosan haven’t opened yet, but the other 16 vendors are up and running.
High Street Place
100 High St., downtown Boston
Reps for downtown food hall High Street Place, in the works since mid-2018, are being coy about an opening date, although individual vendors have been quietly gearing up for a fall 2021 opening. Some changes have been made to the initial roster since the reveals throughout 2019, but diners are likely to see multiple restaurants from restaurateur Tiffani Faison, who operates Sweet Cheeks, Tiger Mama, Fool’s Errand, and Orfano in Fenway, as well as new locations from Somerville-based porchetta masters Pennypacker’s, Bay Village sandwich shop Mike & Patty’s, downtown Boston’s Gracenote Coffee, and lots more, totaling 20 food and drink vendors. (One of those drink vendors will be Daiquiris & Daisies, a cocktail bar from Hojoko alums Daren Swisher and Joseph Cammarata.) When it opens, High Street Place will have an open-air atrium feel, featuring a green wall; an enormous LED video entertainment wall that can display, for example, up to four sports games at once; and seating for about 500.
Foundation Kitchen may actually end up opening at the Graphic Lofts apartment building in Charlestown in the “very, very late fall,” per a rep, but “sometime in winter” is more likely. Husband-and-wife duo Ciaran Nagle and Tara Novak are behind Somerville-based shared culinary workspace Foundation Kitchen and will soon open a new production space, food hall, beer and wine bar, cafe, and event space steps from the Sullivan Square MBTA station in Charlestown. The new location will offer a lot of takeout-friendly options, as well as a mix of indoor and outdoor seating for onsite dining, with breakfast, lunch, and dinner available daily.
Grocery and Convenience Stores
A golden age of funky, modern grocery and convenience stores is about to begin, thanks to a few local food industry vets who want to bring all the essentials — and some fun extras — to their neighborhoods. Here’s what’s coming up.
EBO & Co. Grocery
110 Meridian St., East Boston
Alexis Cervasio — founder of the popular yet mysterious East Boston Oysters pop-up, which hosts events in surprise locations around the city, dripping with caviar, oysters, and booze — will open EBO & Co. around early fall 2021. “I want this store to be the centerpiece of East Boston and accessible to everyone,” Cervasio previously told Eater. While there will be plenty of everyday essentials (milk, bread, eggs, tampons, etc.), there will also be caviar and oysters, of course, as well as cheese, produce, natural wine, plants, and vinyl, not to mention a sake selection curated by Alyssa Mikiko DiPasquale of the Koji Club (see “Booze” section above.) Also on deck: Keno nights — yep, with caviar. “Our entire mission is to make things like oysters and caviar more approachable, so I think it will be fun to have some old-timers in there trying caviar for maybe the first time,” Cervasio said previously. East Boston Oysters fans shouldn’t worry; the pop-up events will continue as well.
The Speedway, 525 Western Ave., Brighton, Boston
Another addition to the Speedway (see “Food Halls and Marketplaces” section above), Super Bien will be a wine bar and grocery shop — aka a “grocerybar,” per owner Melissa Stefanini — with South American vibes. It’s a sibling to Buenas at Somerville’s Bow Market, which features empanadas, condiments such as pebre and chimichurri, and more. Stefanini says that Super Bien will have the Buenas empanadas, plus space to dedicate to “fun grab-n-go dishes and rotating heartier specials for folks hanging out with wine.” The dishes will feature products by Buenas and friends. For fall dishes, for example, think cheesy chimichurri polenta or surf ‘n’ turf pebre skewers. “It’s like if Goya were cool enough to open a bar,” Stefanini previously told Eater. “It’s going to let us tell a broader story, the Buenas story, [showcasing] everything you could do with our products. What makes the new place different than the other grocery stores opening is that Buenas is the house brand. You’re getting our full product line in ways you don’t expect.” In terms of an opening timeline, Stefanini is “very hopeful for fall, in at least some capacity.”
Momma’s Grocery + Wine
75 Dudley St., North Cambridge
Billing itself as “your neighborhood convenience store,” Momma’s will sell wine, beer, and snacks, with Danielle Pattavina, owner of Seaweed’s on Martha’s Vineyard, at the helm. In August 2021, Pattavina provided an “anticlimactic update” on Instagram, noting that the store is “definitely still opening,” but there’s a ton of work to be done on the space in order to maximize accessibility and energy efficiency. Pattavina tells Eater that they hope to open by the end of the year, adding, “We’re looking forward to a full renovation of the storefront to restore it as a neighborhood centerpiece.”
Sin City Superette
71 Exchange St., Lynn
Sibling and neighbor to chef Rachel Miller’s Nightshade Noodle Bar, Sin City Superette will offer grocery staples, household essentials, prepared foods, lottery tickets, and lots more (and “yes we will have a hot dog roller,” Miller posted in the initial announcement a year ago). The neighborhood market has been “almost ready to go for months,” per an August 2021 update, so look for a debut soon. (Earlier in the pandemic, customers got a sneak preview of some of the shop’s offerings with a breakfast pop-up that operated out of Nightshade — mango cream doughnuts, yogurt parfaits, biscuits, scones, Vietnamese iced coffee, and more made appearances.) Watch Sin City Superette’s Instagram account for updates.
Miscellaneous Good Stuff
Sahel Restuarant & Lounge (NOW OPEN)
135 Central St., Lowell
This sizable Afro-Caribbean restaurant and lounge — “with a touch of French and Cameroonian influence” — opened in downtown Lowell in late September, adding to the not-so-big African dining scene in the Boston area. On the menu: suya beef, a Cameroonian stew called ndole, oxtail stew, and more. Owners Emile Christian Kamadeu and Peter Tamajong are both from Cameroon; their families owned restaurants there.
279 Broadway, Cambridge
Wife-and-husband duo Kim Vo and Lukas Dow have been popping up around the Boston area serving Asian-inspired barbecue for the past several years, but around October 2021 they’ll open a brick-and-mortar restaurant in the former Bondir space, serving New England-inspired izakaya cuisine highlighting local seafood. Diners will find Japanese-inspired takes on classics like clams casino, stuffed quahogs, and baked, stuffed lobster. “I’m very excited to be working with and sharing my love of the products that come out of our local ports,” Dow previously told Eater; he’s been fishing since a very early age thanks to his grandparents. (The restaurant is named for his grandmother, Judy.) Judy’s Bay will feature sake and soju, and a full liquor license will allow for plenty of other options, too.
Kimchipapi Korndogs and Pon De Joy
Super 88, 1 Brighton Ave., Allston, Boston
From the Kimchipapi Kitchen team comes a duo of businesses that will inhabit the former Pho Viet’s kiosk at the Super 88 Asian market and food hall: Kimchipapi Korndogs, a pared-down version of Kimchipapi Kitchen focusing on corndogs and tteokbokki (stir-fried rice cakes in a spicy sauce), and Pon De Joy, focusing on mochi doughnuts. (The latter — made of a glutinous rice flour — have become popular elsewhere in the world and the country but are scarce in the Boston area.) The businesses could open around October 2021.
Shirley at Bow Market
1 Bow Market Way, Union Square, Somerville
A farm-to-table pop-up called Shirley (formerly known as Blueberries for Sal) will settle down at Somerville’s Bow Market on October 16 for a long-term residency, taking over the Koshari Mama space. (Koshari Mama is moving into its own permanent space nearby; see more details above.) Shirley founder Kat Bayle, a Field & Vine alum, is particularly enthusiastic about naturally leavened breads and all things fermented; expect house-made pickles and breads, locally sourced cheeses and meats, and such.
1220 Cambridge St., Inman Square, Cambridge
It’s been operating as a pop-up for several years now, but Hot Chix — specializing in Nashville hot chicken and traditional Southern sides — will finally open its own storefront in the coming months. The team is aiming for a fall 2021 opening, says cofounder Alex Kim. “Boston has a lot of great Korean fried chicken, but it’s lacking in the Nashville hot style,” cofounder Alex Nystedt previously told Eater, noting that while some restaurants are offering sit-down, full-service versions, he and his partners want to offer the area a fast-casual version.
What Da Chick
1 Crawford St., Watertown
In other chicken news, What Da Chick will open in the early fall, featuring khao man gai, the Thai take on popular Southeast Asian dish Hainanese chicken rice. (Co-owner Sacharun “Cara” Manvicha is also behind Thai Bar Shi, a Thai and sushi restaurant in Weymouth.) Prepare your stomach: There’s a yet-to-be-determined food challenge in the works at What Da Chick. The casual spot will offer takeout and delivery, as well as indoor seating for about 30 diners.
The team behind Somerville’s acclaimed Peruvian restaurant Celeste is hoping to open sibling spot La Royal by Christmas 2021, if not a little sooner, in founders Maria Rondeau and JuanMa Calderón’s own neighborhood of Huron Village (221 Concord Ave., Cambridge), steps from the Royal Avenue home where they started throwing the dinner parties years ago that led to the opening of Celeste. La Royal will have a bigger space than its tiny older sibling, which will allow for “a whole new range of flavors and dishes” — think anticuchos (grilled pinchos), jalea (breaded, deep-fried seafood platters), and an extensive raw bar.
In Dorchester, in the works for a couple years, Comfort Kitchen is now aiming for an early 2022 opening in a historic comfort station space in the Upham’s Corner neighborhood (611 Columbia Rd.). Cafe by day and restaurant by night, Comfort Kitchen “celebrat[es] the flavors and ingredients of the African diaspora — global comfort food — connected from Asia to the Americas.” The restaurant’s team includes chef partner Kwasi Kwaa, who founded Ghanaian pop-up the Chop Bar; managing partner Biplaw Rai, who cofounded Dudley Cafe in Roxbury and sits on the board of Commonwealth Kitchen, a local nonprofit food incubator; and organization development partner Nyacko Pearl Perry, who founded Yin Consulting. The goal is for the restaurant to also serve as a community meeting space and affordable pop-up space for local food entrepreneurs. Leading up to the opening, the team has been popping up regularly around the Boston area; it’s currently residing at Little Dipper in Jamaica Plain several nights a week. Watch social media for event updates.
In other Jamaica Plain news, Jason Waddleton, owner of Scottish restaurant the Haven, is teaming up with the group behind the now-defunct Bella Luna & the Milky Way to bring a new location of the Haven to the Bella Luna & the Milky Way space (284 Amory St., Jamaica Plain, Boston) around late winter 2022. Dubbed the Haven at the Brewery (since it’s located in the Brewery Complex), the new spot will feature Scottish gastropub fare — as well as “a fresh and fun take” on the pizza for which Bella Luna was popular — not to mention a big focus on whisky and live music.