In 2014 the Boston restaurant industry seemed to finally hit its stride with more openings than I can recall in recent years. An improving economy and some interesting local legislative initiatives – notably the addition of 75 new liquor licenses – all helped to contribute to this. While some restaurants closed their doors in 2014 it seems like there was twice that number opening. Here are five trends that I believe you can expect to see in Boston in 2015. Let me know your thoughts and feel free to share your own predictions.
Celebrity Chefs: More big name, nationally recognized chefs will open restaurants in Boston. Mario Batali’s Babbo Pizzeria which is expected to open in the Seaport is just one example. Expect announcements from local chefs of note to announce new restaurants (hint: think Ink) in the first half of 2015.
Seaport, South End & Southie: Developments in the Seaport will keep the neighborhood in the news with more high profile restaurant openings. However, Southie and the South End will continue to see more restaurant openings as well.
Shared Plates: Dining trends continue to point to small / shared plate options. I will admit this trend confounds me but recent and soon-to-be openings continue to show an appetite on the part of chefs to build these menus.
Bigger: Restaurants in Boston will get bigger and build even larger bars that are prominently featured in an open dining space that encourages a more social dining experience.
Late Night Dining: More restaurants in Boston’s downtown neighborhoods will experiment with staying open and serving food later as millennials look for more options after Midnight and the city becomes more accustomed to the Late Night T service.
Once again EaterBoston has pulled together a solid list of local restaurants that are open and serving dinner on Christmas Eve. While this is not a complete list, it does give you some great options.
Have a happy and safe Christmas no matter where you may find yourself and for those of you who don’t observe this holiday, may your week pass quickly so you too can enjoy some time away from work with friends and family.
Restaurants open on Christmas Eve via Eater Boston
Despite the fact that I’m currently in Brazil, friendly tips from readers continue to help me keep you posted about life in the South End. Just as I was the first to share with you news about BoMA’s closing earlier this year, I’m happy to be the first to let you know the Elephant Walk South End quietly opened their doors for business this past Sunday evening. News of their opening came to me from two readers, Dave & Owings, who happened to be walking by the restaurant Sunday evening.
While the restaurant has not noted the opening on their website or facebook, and they are not taking reservations on Opentable.com yet, look for these updates in the days that follow. I will be in Brazil through the holidays so at this point I have no further details to offer, but if you do check out Elephant Walk let me know your thoughts about the décor, menu and food.
Congratulations to the owners of Elephant Walk. I want to welcome them to the neighborhood and wish them much success.
Elephant Walk – 1415 Washington Street – (617) 247-1500
Earlier this month UniversalHub and EaterBoston shared news about the new restaurant that Rebecca Roth and Seth Yeffe (from Gallows South End) will open in the space that was formerly occupied by Hamersley’s Bistro.
According to information learned from a licensing board hearing the new restaurant will serve small plates and shared dishes that have Asian and Mediterranean flavors. Sounds delicious but it will need to be with the new Barcelona South End tapas restaurant only steps away. While I think most miss seeing Gordon working behind his kitchen, Rebecca is as savvy as she is sweet and one can assume the restaurant will be a popular destination for South End residents when it opens in 2015.
Barcelona South End quietly opened their doors last night and flipped the on switch to their new Facebook page which you can like here. Sergio and I visited the invite only soft opening earlier this week, which I wrote about in my post, ¡Hola! Barcelona Wine (South End).
Barcelona South End opens at 3 pm 7-days a week but check back after they have been up and running for a bit because Jason Boske told me that he loves brunch.
EaterBoston has pulled together a solid list of local restaurants who are open and serving dinner so whether you want to eat out or take home food you have a list of options. While this isn’t a complete list it does give you some great options.
Have a happy and safe Thanksgiving no matter where you may find yourself on this holiday and for those outside of the US who don’t observe the holiday, may your week pass quickly so you too can enjoy some time away from work.
Thanksgiving in Boston: What’s open, what’s closed and what you can take home
Big changes are in store for one of Aquitaine Group’s signature south end restaurants. Effective January 1, 2015 Union Bar & Grille, which first opened eleven years ago in the autumn of 2003 will close. Aquitaine Group, which owns Union will retain the space and reopen a new restaurant under a new name with a targeted opening for April 2015. There is no information about the new concept, menu or who will help run the re-branded space. However, the Aquitaine Group understands the competitive South End restaurant industry better than most and have an impressive track record.
A lot has changed since October 2013 when Union opened. They were one of the first restaurants in the emerging SoWa district of the South End. Despite the fact that earlier that year Wilkes Passage and Rollins Square had opened, the restaurant scene in the South End didn’t cross over Tremont Street with but a few exceptions. Union’s presence with their gourmet, house ground burger and 10k Tuna changed all that and shortly after more restaurants followed.
I have a lot of fond memories of Union but the restaurant has lost its way and newer restaurants nearby like The Gallows and Boston Chops have proven to be tough competition for a restaurant that has not been updated in over a decade. I look forward to the new space when it reopens in the spring of 2015 and wish them all the best.