The 9 Boston Openings We're Most Excited About This SummerBy Scott Kearnan
May 20, 2014
The early part of the year was packed with big openings, several more (like Fort Point behemoth Bastille Kitchen) are imminent and there are a host of rumored restaurants on the horizon that lack clear opening timelines. But it seems that summer will still see a number of newcomers - here are the ones we're most excited for.
For more stories about what to eat and drink this summer in Boston, check out our Best Summer Ever landing page.
In September, rumors (and licensing documents) emerged that a restaurant named Angel's Share would be opening in Inman Square from the team behind Bergamot. This week, Bergamot GM/owner Servio Garcia tells Zagat that the new spot will actually be called BISq (standing for Bergamot in Inman Square) and is slated to open toward the end of August. Details are still to come, but those earlier city docs suggest a 49-seat space with beer, wine, and daily hours from 11 AM-1 AM. The new name, meanwhile, suggests at least some of the Bergamot sensibility will carry over; we'll keep you posted on details as they roll in.
Yesterday we scooped up some fun details on this Union Square spot, opening in the former location of Precinct. You can find all the details here, but this is the short version: expect a dual-purpose space that boasts a historic tavern-style dining room with American small plates, craft beers and cocktails on draft, a game-filled "interactive lounge" filled with soul and funk music from live spinning DJs, a second, even larger bar with a vintage tabletop PAC-MAN, board games, a full-sized shuffleboard court and a patio with outdoor fun like cornhole.
The Brewer's Fork
Coming to Charlestown by late summer is this latest entry in the craft beer and wood-fired American cuisine scene. Behind it are Michael Cooney of Brookline's The Publick House, and chef John Paine of Les Zygomates. According to details the team offered to Boston magazine, you can expect to find 24 tap beers, focused largely on Belgian and local craft suds, plus a basement full of rarities. An emphasis on locally sourced ingredients will inform the small plates and wood-grilled pizza, charcuterie and artisanal cheeses.
Gunning to open in South Boston this summer is Coppersmith Hall, slated to offer American "farm to table cuisine that's affordable" according to Boston.com. (Many of the ingredients would be grown from a rooftop garden.) That it will be housed in a former machine shop with 30-foot high ceilings and room for 250 seats (plus a patio) is cool. Really fun: that it will also house a couple of fixed food trucks inside, used to "supplement the main menu and provide space for cooking competitions."
The Boston-based Legal Sea Foods brand is slated to open Legal Oysteria in Charlestown in late June, according to the latest update from a rep. The Italian seafood entry will inhabit the former home of Todd English's Olives, and it's not the only new Legal offshoot coming up. By the end of summer, expect to find Legal on the Mystic inhabiting Somerville's Assembly Row dining and retail development. (No details offered yet on what culinary tweaks that location will entail.) Lately Legal has been making a move toward opening distinct, conceptual restaurants: Legal Harborside allowed the brand to dabble in a multifloor approach that ranged from "downstairs fish market" to "buzzing rooftop bar," and most recently Legal Crossing (pictured here) brought a specifically upscale approach to Downtown Crossing.
MAST' Restaurant and Drinkery
It's looking like a June opening for MAST' Restaurant and Drinkery, an upcoming downtown Mediterranean with Mamma Maria chef Celio Pereira at the helm. (Actually, the name isn't a nautical reference: it's derived from the Neapolitan slang term "O'mast," which means "the master of one's craft.") The 4,000-sq.-ft. space will have 120 seats, seasonal alfresco seating on a 30-seat patio, a DJ booth and an interior designed by Restaurant: Impossible and HGTV personality Taniya Nayak that is expected to boast some "steampunk flourishes." (A recent rendering seen at the top of the page.) A nice offering that the team recently divulged to Eater: scotch lockers where guests can store their purchased bottles for return visits. (Or give friends permission to take a swig.)
Foodies mourned when Harvard Square stalwart UpStairs on the Square closed in January. But we're excited to see what the future brings when Parsnip takes over the space. Expected to open this summer, the restaurant won't radically invent the spot, manager Jeremiah Tracy told Cambridge Day: “We’re going to do a similar type and style of food, just tweaked a little.” (Read: farm-to-fork New American.)
Since opening Kendall Square's Commonwealth last fall, chef Steve "Nookie" Postal has been quiet about his other big concept on the way: Jewish-inspired barbecue spot Steinbones. But things are still moving forward, and a summer 2014 opening remains in the cards for your first fix of BBQ brisket, pastrami, latkes and fried matzo. We say "first" because at least one tweet from Steinbones suggests that its TBA Cambridge location will not be the only.
The Tap Trailhouse
Faneuil Hall beer bar The Tap closed in February, but this summer the space reopens as The Tap Trailhouse. Boston Nightlife Ventures, the same team behind spots like Forum and Wink & Nod, is debuting "extensive updates and renovations" that will accompany a newly elevated bar-food menu and upgraded beverage program: cocktails, beer cocktails, and 25 craft brew taps. Expect a "Colonial feel inspired by the nearby Freedom Trail." (Think warm woods and a history-steeped vibe.)