In our last “Restaurant Openings and Closings” column, we highlighted Menotomy Grill and Tavern, a historically named tavern set for the old Hollywood Video site in East Arlington. Well, this time around, we’re highlighting another new historically named tavern, Cooper’s Tavern, which is going to replace the recently closed Gemma Ristorante at 319 Broadway in Arlington Center.
Gemma’s owners, Ilir and Melaiza Velagoshti, are behind Cooper’s Tavern, which will be a “casual American style restaurant,” they told the Board of Selectmen. “It is more appropriate and needed in [the] business district,” they said of the change. Read more.
If you’re planning to do a little shopping before dinner, Davis Squared, a “fun and funky” gift shop in, well, Somerville’s Davis Square, recently announced that it’s opening a second location in Arlington Center. The new boutique, Arlington Centered (or “aC” for short), looks like it’ll be open relatively soon at the recently vacated Main Event Tuxedo spot at 487 Mass. Ave. Read more.
In other news, one of Arlington Heights’ more colorful storefronts, I Chef, recently changed its name to Napoli Kitchen. The pizza house also remains under the same ownership. Read more.
In the always busy Somerville restaurant scene, a new wine and antipasto bar, Spoke Wine Bar, is coming to 89 Holland St. just outside Davis Square. The bar will be next to and run by the folks behind Dave’s Fresh Pasta. Read more.
The national frozen yogurt (or “froyo”) chain Orange Leaf is also moving into Davis Square. It’s set for the Davis Square Plaza complex that houses Starbucks (it’ll replace the old martial arts studio, School of Oom Yung Doe). Another frozen yogurt place, iYo Cafe, recently moved in about a block away at 234 Elm St. Read more.
And in more Davis Square news, Suneri, a women’s clothing boutique at 67 Holland St., has closed and will become Whats-Nü, which will also sell women’s clothing and accessories, along with some gender neutral items, artwork, cards, candles, leather goods and other stuff. Read more.
Somerville’s own Q’s Nuts, which sells small-batch roasted nuts with flavors like “Mexican chocolate pecans” and “cayenne mango and rosemary sea salt almonds,” recently opened its first storefront at 346 Highland Ave. in Davis Square. Stellabella Toys, a local favorite that has drawn customers to its Inman and Porter square locations in Cambridge, also came to the square, at 196 Elm St., as did Dellaria Salon, at 267 Elm St., while Do Wee & Rice, a fusion test kitchen, opened up shop in nearby Powderhouse Circle. Read more.
On the other side of the city, Legal C (a Legal Seafood restaurant), Papagayo Mexican Kitchen & Tequila Bar and Burger Dive were the first three restaurants announced for Assembly Row, the large Assembly Square development that’s currently under construction. Read more.
More recently, J.P. Licks, the ice cream chain that has 10 locations in the Boston area, including Davis Square, announced that it’ll join them. Read more.
Vine Brook Tavern, which will serve American cuisine, is expected to open late this month at 20 Waltham St. in Lexington Center, the former home of Buca di Beppo and its predecessor, Vinny T’s. Read more.