April 2021, Openings and Closings (Boston & New England)

Seems like tumbleweeds are blowing through this board, but here’s a open/close post for posterity.

I’ve sadly got no more to report on anything. The pandemic has pretty much changed my habits to the point where I hardly even get takeout anymore. And given that I’m still not going to restaurants to sit down and that registering for a vaccine has thus far just resulted in our incompetent state sending me weekly messages that there are no open slots, I won’t be going anywhere until summer at the earliest. So I’ve got nothing.

But maybe you do?


As the weather warms, more restaurants will (re)open their decks and patios for outdoor dining.

I hope to get to an outdoor spot or two and post, after our turn for vaccination rolls around.


Should we add restaurants that will open sidewalk dining again? I know Nappi in Medford just applied for sidewalk/street dining.


I would be in favor. Count me as a “yes, please.”


yes, definitely! I’m far more likely to go to some outside place before dining inside. I didn’t know about Nappi’s, so that’s helpful.


After @honkman posted on another thread that Benedetto will not reopen as planned the coverage by Eater Boston caught my eye. Ouch.


yeah, I found this one a little odd. Wonder what the landlord has planned for the space, strange to just pull the rug out from what seems (from the outside) like a good tenant.


Very odd. They were taking reservations and then the landlord just canceled the lease??? That’s really awful for them and all their employees.


I know it’s not often popular, but it’s been a staple in my life for 25 years, and I didn’t see any comments about it reopening after having been closed from mid-December '20 to end of March '21.

Dali Restaurant & Tapas Bar in Somerville reopened on April 7th; however, they’re still in limited 25% capacity, due to Somerville’s Mayor Curtatone refusing to change to a 50% capacity like the rest of the Boston area (I don’t believe that’s changed recently, based on info on the City of Somerville’s website).

I visited on April 16th with two other fully vaxed friends. No bar seating, tables lining the walls in all three rooms. Service as attentive as ever. It was good to see old friends (both my friends and the staff!), enjoy sangria and tapas - all of which are old friends by now as well. :smiley: We sat indoors on that rainy night, but they do have some outdoor patio seating behind the restaurant, weather permitting.

Note - they have added a 4% COVID surcharge, per below.


I love Dali as well; lovely people. Their surcharge explanation is a bit of a head scratcher though. “It does, however keep us from raising prices”? Raising prices is exactly what it does.

I can’t speak to Dali, however portions have shrunk while prices have gone up at most restaurants. During the pandemic, I (as were many) was glad to pay these surcharges, tip excessively and straight out donate to restaurants. However, even though I am vaccinated now, I will be eating out a bit less. It has gotten very expensive as have many other things.

1 Like

I’m assuming this is a temporary surcharge to go away once they get back to normal. I’m fine with it. 4% on a $100 bill (which ours was) is $4.00. I can manage that if it helps them stay open.

I saw no difference in portion sizes of the tapas we ordered. And while I did not go out at all during the pandemic, I did donate to Dali before they closed in December, and I’ve always tipped extra. I feel like they’re family to me. Pre-pandemic, I didn’t go out anywhere near as much as many others do…rarely, in fact. So I’m OK with helping in any way I can to keep a favorite restaurant open.


I think the thought might be (at least what I have heard from other people in restaurants) that the 4% surcharge can be subtracted from your “normal” tip. So if you normally pay 20% tip the expectation is that you now pay 16% (and overall no price increase for you but since the 4% are not longer considered tip the restaurant can handle it differently than regular tip)

I don’t think it should be considered this way. If you do, the staff ends up paying the surcharge.


yeah. as someone who loosely follows markets, things are pretty crazy out there especially for the sorts of things that restaurants depend on. grains are at highs that haven’t been seen for years, which puts pressure on meat markets because of feed costs. at the same time, there’s really rapid rises in costs for packaging and freight that have really impacted everything that gets shipped to restaurants. and if you need to quickly build out a pandemic streetfront dine in spot that takes a whole bunch of wood? good luck with that.

it’s rough. usually you don’t get all these things going up at the same time. These days i only buy takeout lunch once a week and even my go to bargain lunch special at Cilantro has gone up some 15% or so recently. I bought a sandwich at Dave’s Fresh Pasta yesterday and with my tipping on takeout it topped out over fifteen bucks. It’s enough to make me think hard about dropping the one day a week I indulge myself in an outside meal.


Wow, when you put it that way it’s easy to see how rising prices and additional costs could add up.

It is and will continue to get worth. Political pressures well beyond the pandemic are pushing interest rates up and people are making planting and infrastructure choices now based on the expectation that fuel and utility costs will spiral up. Food prices, eating in or out, will continue to outpace inflation.

Completely agree but it is the reality that not the restaurant owners will pay for it

Now we know what’s going to happen in the former Benedetto space. Eater Boston reports that Bar Enza (tentative name), helmed by the well-regarded Mark Ladner will open in the space. I remember Mark Ladner’s name from the days when he was acclaimed for his work at Lupa and Del Posto in NYC. That’s some serious cred in Italian cuisine.


I saw this news–it’s actually pretty promising!