March 2022 Openings and Closings [Boston and New England]

In the much lamented and hopefully short-lived absence of @passing_thru here is this month’s openings and closings thread.

I found the Globe article about the new High Street Place mildly interesting (paywall). Anyone been?

ETA: another article about High Street Place, no paywall.


Though I haven’t been, I am thrilled to see that Portland’s Gorgeous Gelato will offer its delights at High Street Place. We haven’t found any other gelato in the US that makes us as happy.


That’s quite an endorsement!


Sorry to report Brewer’s Coalition in Newtonville has closed, a victim of Covid-19. Scrolling through old CH posts in light of its looming shutdown I saw I posted about Brewer’s Coalition hitting it’s stride 9 years ago.


Very sad. Amazing you posted about it so long ago, I guess that means they had a pretty good run, but a loss nevertheless.

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iQ kitchen in Newton closed a few weeks ago

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How sad! Never got there although it was on my list.

No idea when this actually opened, but driving by yesterday, I noticed that the former Strip-T’s location in Watertown is now a Texas BBQ joint called “The Don’s BBQ”, with the subheading of “The Godfather of Brisket”. Not sure what to make of that metaphor, exactly (hopefully no race horses are involved), but the pictures on their website look good. Will report back once we’ve actually tried the food.

The Don’s BBQ - Barbecue Restaurant in Watertown, MA (

[Edit: Here’s an explanation from The Globe: At The Don’s BBQ in Watertown, many meaty delights - The Boston Globe]


Wouldn’t it be awesome to have some good Texas-style BBQ here?? Fingers crossed! Thanks for the intel, can’t wait to hear reports.


It’s kind of incredible that higher-volume, pubby places like this made it for 2 years honestly. The Local in West Newton, similar in many ways to BC, also closed recently. Their space is being taken over by “Burke’s Alewerks”, out of Hanover:
(20+) Burke’s Alewerks - Posts | Facebook

A friend reports that The Don’s collards and beans were good and the ribs were “super-tender if under-salted”. Sadly the brisket “was too dry”, “like it was cooked well but not finished well” (in terms of resting before slicing “way too thin”). However, “there was a fat cap and the bark was tasty” so there’s hope they’llimprove with time.

Other reports say the burnt ends are good. If I get there I’ll try those (a/o the pulled pork) but for now I’ll source my BBQ brisket elsewhere (Rusty Can, B.T.'s, Up in Smoke).

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Be still my heart. No signs yet of seasonal reawakening.

Newtowne Grill in Porter Square is closing. Had a few decent pizzas there and saw a few good fights in the basement. Local spots continue to disappear. Cambridge continues to be sterilized.


My heart sinks when local texture is lost. :disappointed:


NO! I love that place. Bar pizza and pitchers of cheap beer? If that can’t survive, what can?!

I’m going to try to go this weekend if they are still open.

Damn. F$&@


Question to Hungry Onion: Has poster anon6418899 removed all of his previous posts? I was hoping to review a couple and ask him a question. Please let us know.

I don’t believe so, although some of his last posts were “flagged:” and are now hidden. You should be able to find the posts you seek.

For the record, I’m anti-flagging unless it’s something morally outrageous.


anon6418899‘s posts are there, just scroll down to find them.

In somewhat mundane Cambridge restaurant news, it looks like the Friendly Toast is coming to Harvard Square. They’ll be taking over the old Grafton Street space, with Grafton Street reopening on JFK in the Park space.

For me Park was the better of the Grafton Group establishments, but I haven’t eaten at any of them since before the pandemic. Grafton Street was OK for a drink and to watch a game when the bar windows were open.

I only ate at the Friendly Toast in Kendall a few times and wasn’t a fan. That is one place that certainly did not translate well from the original Portsmouth location. I have seen more locations pop up in the past several years, so maybe they have new investors or something. It will likely hurt Zoe’s business a bit. However Zoe’s has had breakfast in this neighborhood locked up for some time without doing much to earn it. I always thought they could improve ingredients a bit and make a few more things in house. Shame that Johnny’s Luncheonette didn’t stick in that space years ago.


To anyone hoping that the bygone Stella on Blackstone Square in the South End might be replaced by another restaurant, I’m sorry to report that a private pre-school is going into the space instead.

Parm, from Major Food Group (see the excellent Carbone in Manhattan and other places, the rather good but impossibly tough table Contessa in the Back Bay), has opened its first local outlet at the Burlington Mall. It’s aiming for an elevated version of Italian-American cuisine: garlic bread, spaghetti and meatballs, fried calamari, steak pizzaiola, three kinds of parm subs, etc. It has a full liquor license. If you ever got to this group’s first restaurant at lunch, the long-gone Torrisi Italian Specialties, you get the idea.

Kind of a sterile, all-white room that I imagine is meant to evoke an old-timey, casual storefront kind of place on Mulberry Street, serving a pretty respectable eggplant parm plate with a rather fine, very bright sugo and a nice side salad. $23 felt a bit steep given the mall location and ambiance, but not a bad first impression.