Tag Archives: South End

Las Ventas and Stella Cafe in South End close

South End Las Ventas and Stella CafeLas Ventas, a Spanish deli located at 700 Harrison Avenue, and Stella Cafe, a breakfast and luncheon cafe located next to Stella Restaurant & Bar at 1525 Washington Street have both closed.  Las Ventas closed earlier this month and according to their website the space will be remodeled for private dining and function space for Estragon. Stella Cafe closed last week but there has been no word on what will become of the space.

Buy local this holiday season: visit 460 Harrison Ave in the South End

Photographer: Ali Horeanopoulos

Photographer: Ali Horeanopoulos

The South End has an eclectic mix of retail space and nowhere is that more evident than at 460 Harrison Avenue along the pedestrian walkway, Thayer Street. Cate McQuaid from The Boston Globe wrote a great article talking about the 21 new galleries that opened last month, but her article only tells part of the story because joining these new galleries are 90 artist studios and 40 boutiques.

While Newbury Street has more shops, even Back Bay’s pride and joy can’t rival the South End’s 460 Harrison Avenue and Thayer Street for those looking for unique gift items or those who want to support local businesses. Not a single retail chain can be found here and many of the products sold are unique expressions from the local arts community – meaning your purchases go back into this community – not a corporate headquarters based somewhere far away.

As we approach the holiday season, I’d like to offer a plug for these new galleries, boutiques and artist studios. Shop here first. You may be surprised by the quality and variety. It’s like nothing you’ve seen at any shopping mall.

700 new apartments proposed in the South End

Leggat McCall Properties, Boston, South End, real estate

Leggat McCall Properties 700 unit residential complex would rehab 575 Albany Street

The Boston Globe reported this week that Leggat McCall Properties filed plans to build 700 new apartments; mostly one bedroom and studios in the South End. The plan suggests it would rehab the building shown above at 575 Albany, and demolish three smaller buildings on East Dedham and East Canton streets.

The Leggat plan joins a list of large residential developments in recent years that include the Ink Block (300+ residential units), Troy (375+ residential units), the yet to be named 345 Harrison project (550+ residential units) and 600 Harrison (150+ residential units) – and with the recent sale of the Boston Flower Exchange and Quinzani’s Bakery one should expect more announcements to follow.

According to the Globe, construction could begin in early 2017.  If you’d like to read more read the full article in The Boston Globe here.

New Greek restaurant Kava to open in South End

Restaurant, Boston, GreekLast week my post New Greek restaurant coming to South End caught a lot of readers by surprise.  The restaurant’s over sized windows overlooking Shawmut Avenue in the South End now proudly proclaim that the name of the restaurant, targeting an early 2016 opening will be called, Kava Neo-Taverna.

According to my friend Michael C who grew up in Greece, Kava means ‘wine cellar’, which sounds wonderful to my ear. The more I learn about this space the happier and more excited I am that this previously empty restaurant will be opening soon to serve the South End.

La Motta’s opens in the South End, Tuesday, Oct. 27

The Aquitaine Restaurant GroupThe Aquitaine Group’s fifth restaurant in Boston’s South End, La Motta’s, will open to the public on Tuesday, October 27th in the space formerly occupied by Union Bar and Grille at 1357 Washington Street.

The Aquitaine Restaurant GroupLa Motta’s is described as a “Bronx-style” Italian-American restaurant, and their menu will focus on classic red sauce staples like baked clams, mozzarella sticks, meatballs, chicken parm, lasagna, shrimp scampi, and thin crust pizza.

The former home of Union is so completely redesigned you would never know it was the same space. The entrance on Washington Street was moved about 15 feet to the right and the restaurant includes a cozy 12-seat bar, 70-seat dining room and eventually a 30-seat outdoor back alley patio, which conjures images for yours truly from the Walt Disney cartoon, Lady and the Tramp.

1357 Washington St
Boston, Ma 02118

Boston’s South End by Russ Lopez

South End by Russ LopezMy friend and neighbor, Russ Lopez has a new book some of you may be interested in reading, Boston’s South End: The Clash of Ideas in a Historic Neighborhood.

This is the first book written about the history of the South End in more than 100 years and it covers the neighborhood from the time of the retreat of the glaciers and the coming of the first people to the region to the explosion of development since 2000.

To celebrate, he is hosting a party on Monday, November 9th from 6:00 – 8:00 PM at Cathedral Station.  There will be a reading, light refreshments, and the book will be available for purchase.

South End Book Signing & Reading Party
Monday, Nov. 9 from 6:00-8:00 PM
At Cathedral Station in the South End

You can pre-order Russ’ book online at South End Bookstore. Alternatively, the book will be available for purchase at the launch party on Monday, November 9, 2015.  For more information on other book readings visit, russlopez.com.

Who makes the best croissants in Boston’s South End

Photo Credit: Frenchie and The Yankee

Photo Credit: Frenchie and The Yankee

This past weekend I arranged for a blind croissant tasting to identify which coffee shop in the South End serves the very best.  To help me, I enlisted three friends from France who now live here in the US to sample and critique croissants from five South End cafes.

Photo Credit: Frenchie and The Yankee

Photo Credit: Frenchie and The Yankee

Cafe Madeleine (above) wins in blind tasting for best croissant in South End

Photo Credit: Frenchie and The Yankee

Photo Credit: Frenchie and The Yankee

Croissants were judged on three criteria: size, texture and taste.  Each category was weighted differently with taste being the most important. While none of the selected cafes achieved a perfect score; Cafe Madeleine was the clear winner – consistently achieving the highest scores from everyone.

Flour in the South End finished with a respectable second place but the remaining three cafes; Wholy Grain, South End Buttery and Appleton Cafe scored very low, suggesting there is a lot of opportunity to improve.

Thank you to Sergio, David, Mark, Frederic and Olivier for all your help.