December 2018, Boston and surrounding areas. Openings and closings…

Last month of the year can’t come fast enough! Per @passing_thru’s directive, please report any opening/closings in December here.

Only one thing from my end to report, IQ Kitchen in Newton is now under new ownership (not sure if it’s still running on the same menu), but the previous owner is heading to Hakata Ramen near Berklee to run her rice noodle soup offerings from there. It’s going to be a joint ramen/rice noodle soup shop, supposedly.


IQ Kitchen move - first I was sad, then I was happy, now I’m sad again . . . . .

Sad - IQ was closing/changing - we didn’t go all the time but very much enjoyed the tiny place

Happy - she was going to Hakata Ramen near Berklee - Hakata just opened an outlet in Waltham (near me) maybe they will offer it there too

Sad - I went to Hakata’s site and they no longer are listing the Waltham location as a location (though I think it is still there), so maybe they aren’t associated anymore and now I’ll never have IQ again :frowning: (rarely in the Berklee area for food)

My hope is that whoever takes over got her recipes - I was skeptical about MDM Noodle after the original owner left but they are still doing pretty good. So don’t despair (just yet)!

When I was chatting with the owner before her move, she said that the stall in Kam Man’s food court was an experiment but people complained that the quality isn’t as good, despite the same product being used in both places. She very much wanted to expand, but don’t want to take a quality cut for it. Hopefully the Hakata space will give her a little more space and she’ll open another post down the road.

Is Hakata turning into the Dumpling House/Kingdom/Planet/Galaxy situation where all the menus are same but owners at different?

Panera Bread at Fresh Pond Mall has closed.


Well, Mighty Squirrel brewery opened in Waltham yesterday. I’m not a big beer drinker but they apparently came to fame from brewing a beer with protein in it (sounds awful but . . . .they make other beers now too).

They opened in a huge strip mall on Waverley Oaks. It is a huge space and the mall has tons of parking - none of that mattered on opening night (friday). We tried to check it out but the parking lot was overflowing with people circling for spots - the inside was wall to wall people and there was a waiting line to get in the door (it is floor to ceiling glass so the crowed was easy to see). They had a live band playing inside.

We turned around and left without getting out of the car - just too insanely busy for me. But happy for them.

From online articles, they are planning on having ipads around that you can order food through - apparently City Streets (at the other end of the small) is supporting their food service. I hope they weren’t doing food opening night but I don’t know - no one would have been eating in either space with a crowd that size.

I would like to get in and see the space. I’m always happy when my neck of the woods gets something new and different (not that brew houses are new or different at this point but they are for our little area).


emone tofu is opening in the old wow barbecue location on salem street in malden


eat pho is opening in the old pho mai location on beach street in chinatown


This is not about a December opening, as apparently Olivia’s Bistro in Newton (Adam’s St) opened last January. However we just discovered it and I haven’t seen any prior postings. Short synopsis: very decent Italian with just a few inexplicable lapses. Overall a welcome addition to the neighborhood. I posted a longer description on the main Boston thread.

the Harvard Crimson is reporting that another Harvard Square place has bought the farm. Tealuxe is shuttering on the 23rd.

I know there was some back and forth about Golden Garden in Belmont (although in my early morning state of being I can’t find it) but I thought it was still in business but no.
I swung by there last night and it was dark. So sad! I was fully primed for some of their pork and celery dumplings…

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Does anyone have any intel on Gustazo’s new Cambridge location (old Elephant Walk space on Mass Ave near Porter)? There seemed to be signage when I drive by today but no hint on their website.

I’ve been waiting for them to open for ages. The signs in the window say they are opening in Fall 2018, but that’s clearly not going to happen. Still, I am encouraged that they now have “Now hiring” signs up.

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the golden garden on highland ave in malden is still open

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up tea hub is opening on pleasant street in malden


the pasta market on ferry street in malden is closing at the end of the year


According to Eater L’Espalier will close end of this year


Reported in the Globe now too. Sad, I’ve had a few really great meals here. I’m very curious as to what the chef will do next.

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That’s too bad, but I have already mourned L’Espalier. I tried the new location only once, I was so saddened by the loss of the ambiance and character from the Gloucester Street space. Moving was a disastrous mistake IMO.

I will be curious what the Mandarin does with the space. I do hope they will open another restaurant in the space and not follow the route of the Four Seasons when the beancounters decided to convert Aujourd’hui into an event space. It is still mind boggling to me that the Bristol is the only dining option at the Four Seasons. The state of hotel dining in Boston at the high end is very poor.


Shepard in Cambridge is also closing by the end of the year quotes Rene Becker as saying that he will open a new restaurant in the same space in January.