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Boston Restaurant Blog -- December, 2015

Monday, December 28, 2015

10 Restaurant and Food "Predictions" for 2016

photo of Pepe's Pizza sign, New Haven, CTOver the past three years, a number of "predictions" have been made here at the end of each year as to what might happen within the Boston-area restaurant scene over the coming 12 months, and approximately zero percent of the predictions have come true (though the predictions for 2015 had maybe one or two that perhaps came close). Well, now it's time for more restaurant and food predictions with these being for 2016, and we shall see what happens this time around.

1) Eataly Opens at the Pru, Gets $2 Million Offer for Liquor License from proposed Dive Bar, Promptly Closes
A massive Italian emporium in the Back Bay which had been looking to purchase a liquor license from a neighborhood bar gets its license and opens in the fall of 2016, but an upcoming dive in Dorchester offers Mario Batali and his partners all the winnings from his lottery ticket in return for the license. Batali says yes (in a very loud voice) and a new food court decides to move into the Eataly space.

2) Malden Becomes the Next Malden
Taking a cue from its wonderful dining scene, the city of Malden decides to develop a new restaurant row downtown that includes all of the already-existing restaurants in the downtown area, in the hopes that this time, more people will realize how good the restaurant scene is there.

3) A Cat Cafe and Beer Joint Called Heathcliff Bar Opens in South Boston
There has been much talk of cat cafes coming to the Boston area, but all seem to have fallen through, possibly because alcohol isn't involved. This will lead a restaurant group to open a bar in Southie that will be loaded with beer, cats, and maybe some chocolate treats pending city approval.

4) David Ortiz Plans to Open a Restaurant Inside the Citgo Sign in Kenmore Square
The beloved Red Sox superstar takes his "Big Papi's Grille" concept (which had once been open in Framingham) and proposes reopening the eatery within one of Boston's great landmarks. The plans get delayed, however, as the city nixes plans for an outdoor patio, the neighborhood association complains that the lighting is overly bright, and no one knows how to get the chairs and tables into the place.

5) Ken Oringer, Jason Santos Team Up to Open Jazz Club Called Clio Lane
After closing Clio at the end of 2015 and expanding Uni into the Back Bay space, Oringer reaches out to Santos to partner on a new concept, combining the food of Clio and Santos's Abby Lane while offering jazz and pop music on weekends. When asked about the reasoning behind the concept, both of the owners say "I don't know why."

6) A Food Truck Goes Brick-and Mortar...Literally
Seeing how so many food truck owners have been successful in opening permanent restaurants, a well-known food truck owner takes it up a notch, hiring a mason to build a brick wall around his truck. The new concept lasts exactly three weeks, which is the amount of time it takes to find a way to open the front door of the truck.

7) Pepe's Pizza Slowly and Methodically Opens 500 Locations in the Boston Area
Known for its cautious and careful planning, the New Haven-based pizzeria decides after much deliberation to have its new Chestnut Hill joined by other new shops, including outlets in Boston, Boston, Boston, Boston, Boston, Boston, Cambridge, Cambridge, Cambridge, Cambridge, Brookline, Brookline, Brookline, Brookline, Brookline....

8) Plans for a Library Cafe in the Seaport District Fall Through
A prominent local businessperson proposes a new spot on Seaport Boulevard that would be part public library, part independent cafe, and part social center with art exhibits and live acoustic music, but scraps the idea after getting too much resistance. (The city notes that it would create too much of a community feel within the immediate area.)

9) An Ice Rink and Restaurant/Bar Come to Boston's City Hall Plaza
See last year. [Ed Note: With a little luck, the new project could be ready in time for the July 4 celebrations.]

10) "Southeast Expressway Farms Bridge Deck Garden" Opens, Closes
Seeing the success of the Fenway Farms Rooftop Garden behind the Green Monster at Fenway Park, a local businessperson opens a garden in the right lane of the Expressway between Columbia Road and Neponset Circle, but is forced to shut it down when a truck carrying onions loses control and plows into a tomato field and a row of cilantro, creating a mile-long patch of salsa that shuts down the road for three days.



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