Monday, July 24, 2017

Chez Henri's Cuban Sandwiches to Start Being Offered at The Automatic in Cambridge

A legendary sandwich is returning to Cambridge, as the people behind a neighborhood spot now have its recipe.

The Tables section of The Boston Globe mentions that The Automatic will start offering Chez Henri's Cuban sandwiches, with chef Paul O'Connell of that now-closed restaurant sharing the recipe with the Hampshire Street dining and drinking place. The post says that the sandwich will start being offered at The Automatic on July 31 and will be available every night from that point on, while a Boston Magazine article points out that it will be on the late-night menu for now, but it could become a permanent food item on the regular dinner menu as well at some point.

Chez Henri, which had been located on Shepard Street between Porter Square and Harvard Square, closed in late 2013 after nearly 20 years in business. The Automatic opened its doors last November, with Dave Cagle (B-Side Lounge, Green Street, Lone Star Taco Bar, Deep Ellum, Trina's Starlite Lounge, the ONCE Lounge) and Chris Schlesinger (East Coast Grill, Back Eddy, Jake and Earl's Dixie BBQ, The Blue Room) being behind it.

The address for The Automatic is 50 Hampshire Street, Cambridge, MA, 02139. Its website is at

Thanks to The Passionate Foodie for initially bringing this to our attention.

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[Related article from our sister site (Boston's Hidden Restaurants): Slideshow--Twelve Sandwiches from Boston-Area Dining Spots]

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Aquitaine in Chestnut Hill to Close for a Few Months for Renovations

One of a trio of upscale French bistros is following in the footsteps of its original location, shutting down for awhile while it undergoes renovations.

According to a press release, Aquitaine at Legacy Place in Chestnut Hill has closed for upgrades, and it will remain shuttered until sometime this fall while its other two locations in Boston's South End and Dedham's Legacy Place remain open for business as usual. The flagship location of Aquitaine in the South End shut down for similar reasons in February of 2016, with the Tremont Street restaurant reopening in June; some of the changes made to that eatery included a larger bar, a new heating, ventilation, and air conditioning system, a second bathroom, and some additions to the menu.

The Chestnut Hill location of Aquitaine first opened in 2000, two years after the South End restaurant opened its doors. In addition to the three Aquitaine locations, The Aquitaine Group also operates Cafe Green Light, Cinquecento, Gaslight, La Motta's, and Metropolis Cafe in the South End, and another location of Gaslight in Lynnfield.

The address for Aquitaine in Chestnut Hill is 11 Boylston Street, Chestnut Hill, MA, 02467. The website for The Aquitaine Group can be found at

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[A related post from our sister site (Boston's Hidden Restaurants): List of Restaurant Closings and Openings in the Boston Area]

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Union Street Restaurant in Newton Centre Is Reopening Under New Ownership

Last week, we reported that a decades-old Newton spot that was known in part for its spacious outdoor patio had closed. Now we have learned that it has new owners and will reopen.

According to a Facebook post, Union Street in Newton Centre has been sold and will open back up again, confirming what a few sources told us over the weekend. The note says the following:

"We do [apologize] for the abrupt closing of our doors and wish we could have notified everyone sooner. But have no fear! We will be reopening under new ownership very shortly. They are a great group of gentleman, who own many successful Boston bars and cannot wait to expand into Newton to get to know you all."

As stated in an earlier article, Raji Pine of The Draft in Allston is one of the new owners of Union Street, but no other names have come up as of yet.

The original incarnation of Union Street, which first opened in the late 1980s, focused mostly on pub grub and comfort food as well as beer, wine, and cocktails, and it also had a large patio and a space for functions, while the upstairs section used to feature local bands. It is not known what types of changes might be coming to the revamped Union Street, so stay tuned for updates.

The address for Union Street is 107 Union Street, Newton Centre, MA, 02459.

[Earlier Article]
Union Street Restaurant in Newton Centre Closed, Has Been Sold

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[A related post from our sister site (Boston's Hidden Restaurants): List of Restaurant Closings and Openings in the Boston Area]

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Friday, July 21, 2017

Evergreen Eatery May Open in Former La Rana Rossa Space in Jamaica Plain

A new dining spot could be opening where a Jamaica Plain pizzeria had been until closing last month, and the person behind it is also the owner of a nearby Asian restaurant.

Based on a Facebook thread on the Jamaica Plain Facebook group page, Evergreen Eatery is planning to open on Green Street in the former La Rana Rossa space, with a couple of posters saying that the new spot may be an American-style diner (though this concept has not yet been confirmed). A Facebook post from the Jamaica Plain Business & Professional Association page mentions that a request for a license to operate a restaurant at that address is indeed being looked at, with Phil Paik of JP Seafood being named as the manager, while another post on the page mentions the Evergreen Eatery name. As soon as more information comes out on the proposed spot, we will post an update here.

La Rana Rossa shut down on June 16 after only a few months in operation, though the owner's other business--the  Blue Frog Bakery, also on Green Street--remains in operation.

The address for the proposed Evergreen Eatery is 154 Green Street, Jamaica Plain, MA, 02130.

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[A related post from our sister site (Boston's Hidden Restaurants): List of Restaurant Closings and Openings in the Boston Area]

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Pokeworks to Open in Cambridge's Harvard Square

A group of dining spots with one location in Somerville is expanding to Cambridge, and it will feature a couple of increasingly-trendy food items.

Eater Boston is reporting that Pokeworks is looking to open somewhere in Harvard Square, joining another shop on Elm Street in Davis Square, along with others in four states--California, New York, Washington, and Virginia--and more on the way to such states as Illinois, Georgia, and New Jersey. The chain of eateries offers a Hawaiian raw fish salad known as "poke" and it also serves "pokirritos," which are a type of sushi burrito. Both items have increased in popularity in and around Boston of late, with Manoa and OGinger in Somerville, Poke City in Cambridge, Yoki Express in Boston's Seaport District, Love Art Sushi in the Fenway/Back Bay area, and New Sushi in Beacon Hill serving one or both dishes.

The website for Pokeworks can be found at

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[A related post from our sister site (Boston's Hidden Restaurants): List of Restaurant Closings and Openings in the Boston Area]

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Kantipur Cafe Plans to Open in Cambridge

It looks like a new dining spot may be coming to a storefront between Cambridge's Inman Square and Kendall Square, and it would be opening in a space that has seen its share of restaurant--and name--changes of late.

 According to a License Commission General Hearing page, Kantipur Cafe is seeking to open on Hampshire Street, with the address given indicating that it would open in the space that has been home to Cafe Kiraz, then a dining spot with no name before it became Cafe 135, and finally The Taste, which appears to be basically the same spot as Cafe 135. Very little is known about the proposed Kantipur Cafe, so stay tuned for updates.

Cafe Kiraz closed in March of 2015 after being in business for approximately a decade; the unnamed spot eventually moved in before becoming Cafe 135, then The Taste.

The address for the proposed Kantipur Cafe is 119 Hampshire Street, Cambridge, MA, 02139.

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[A related post from our sister site (Boston's Hidden Restaurants): List of Restaurant Closings and Openings in the Boston Area]

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