News and reviews
3 June, 2021 -
The Waltham Channel said a newly renovated and rebranded Mad Raven hopes to open in July as Tessie's Bar & Kitchen. The pub and restaurant at 841 Main Street stayed closed during COVID. The concept resembles Tessie's Bar & Kitchen, a like-named sister business in Walpole. Rebooting their business has been an emotional journey for longtime owners Mark and Maura McAuliffe.
"Over 20 years ago we opened The Mad Raven before Mark and I were even married, when we were young and broke," Maura said.
"Now we have three teenagers and we think we are bit nuts for doing this, but the pandemic taught us lots of lessons and we all became a little nostalgic, so I think this new chapter will be great for the city," she explained.
Like other restaurant owners emerging from COVID, the McAuliffes are dealing with a changed industry facing widespread staffing shortages and other challenges.
5 March, 2020 - Patch reported that a new restaurant called The Painted Burro is planned to open in April. The place will
open in the plaza at 99 Third Avenue. This is the site of Osteria Posto, which went into hibernation during the pandemic,
but never woke up. Owner Joe Cassinelli, who owns several other restaurants in the area, said he's looking forward to opening and hosting people out on the patio with a frozen margarita bar there during the warmer months.
26 February, 2020 - Bonfire Indian Grill is now open at 1093 Lexington Street. This is the building where Boston Market and Macys Liquors is located.
10 February, 2021 - Patch reported that Emma's Macarons is planning to open at 248 Moody Street.
The shop's owner said she hopes to open sometime this spring, in the space where Alba Mediterranean Market once was, between Gustazo and Kung Fu Tea. Owner Jeane Hoang specializes in small batch French macarons. Every batch is made to order, and she is known to combine unique flavors and customize macarons for special occasions, making macaron towers, cakes and special themed cookies.
4 February, 2021 - Peshawri
Kebab opened at 603 Main Street in the space that was once home to
the Common Cafe. Owner and manager
of the halal, Pakistani establishment Mahboob Ali Khan said he and his two
partners own another restaurant in Worcester together. The restaurant features
kebab, fresh naan and tandoori curry and chicken tika masala.
29 January, 2021 - Patch reports that there's a new pizza shop coming to Waltham, thanks to the owner of Domenic's Italian Bakery & Deli.
Ciro Maione plans to open Enzina Pizzeria in the space where Peter's Greek Kitchen sat at 1056 Main St. Domenic's Italian Bakery & Deli first opened in 1979.
27 January, 2021 - There is now a Waltham Waiters COVID Relief Fund. You can donate to it at
this GoFundMe page.
22 January, 2021 - RoyalTea opened at 331 Moody Street.
11 January, 2021 - Indulgenza Desserts & Pastries opened at 346 Moody Street.
9 January, 2021 - There is a new restaurant at 11 Pine Street, location of The Grill. All I know is that it is called Shanghai cuisine and the phone number is 978-737-3515.
7 December, 2020 - The phone at Charcoal Guido's is out of service,
and apparently the restaurant is out of business.
4 December, 2020 - Penang, a Malaysian restaurant with another place in Boston's Chinatown, is planned for 569 Moody Street,
former home of Tiki House, which closed in 2018.
23 November, 2020 - I received an email saying Vinotta has opened at 361 Moody Street, former address of
Red Bird, for takeout only. I could not find a website.
30 October, 2020 - The Waltham Channel
BISON COUNTY NOT COMING BACK
After closing due to COVID and not reopening, Bison County at 275 Moody is gone.
A young couple will transform the space into a spicy Sichuan restaurant called Taste House Restaurant.
Yi Yong Lin and his wife Tina bought the business and the property.
Lin and his attorney appeared before the city's license commission on Thursday to transfer Bison County's common victualer license and a 7-day all-alcohol license.
A chef for 20 years, Lin described the restaurant concept as "more cozy" Chinese, not quick take out.
There's no open date yet as the couple finalize their proposal for the 63-seat restaurant.
For Bison County, it's the end of an era for "one of the city's oldest, most celebrated and award-winning dining destinations."
Founded back in 1995 and serving "southern inspired comfort food," Bison County was one of two BBQ meccas on Moody Street. The other, Jake's Dixie Roadhouse, closed nearby in 2010.
When COVID hit, Bison County closed its doors in March and never reopened.
In August, a curious SEIZED sign, apparently from the Department of Revenue, appeared on the front door.
Two misspellings on the sign caused some to doubt its authenticity.
Bison County owner Adam Rubin reportedly denied that state revenue officials had taken action against his restaurant and bar.
23 September, 2020 - The Waltham Channel reported that
The Mad Raven, a popular pub and restaurant at 841 Main Street, has been closed since March 17 due to the coronavirus.
To reinvigorate the business, it will have a new name when it reopens.
Owner Mark McAuliffe told the city's license commission Tuesday that "We decided to rebrand and refresh" with a new name, Tessie's West.
Mark explained that his sister pub, The Raven's Nest in Walpole, has thrived with a take-out-only model while his Waltham pub has been closed.
"That place kept us alive during COVID," he said. "We're selling more food than we ever did pre-COVID."
The Mad Raven pub has been in Waltham for 20 years. Mark did not give an opening date for Tessie's West.
During the coronavirus pandemic, some Waltham bars with restaurant service have reopened outdoors, with mandatory food requirements and other restrictions.
25 August, 2020 - The Patch reported that Sweet Basil Restaurant and Provisions has taken over the former Balani space on Moody Street.
The new restaurant has taken over the former Balani space on Moody Street, after several successful "pop-ups" there.
"The pop up ... was so much more successful than Balani was," a spokesperson for the restaurant told Patch. "People really wanted this restaurant."
On Friday, owner Dave Becker made the switch officially. The Waltham location is now listed on the original Sweet Basil's website in addition to the Needham original spot.
Becker is set to convert the space in the coming weeks.
The outside space, complete with faux cherry blossom trees, greenery and outdoor lighting, has been a popular spot on the closed off section of Moody Street for the past few weeks.
The more Asian-inspired restaurant that was Balani opened in fall of 2018, taking over the space that was once Raffaele's Ristorante. After an involved remodeling it introduced a number of special events to get people in the door, from happy hour to live music.
Becker has two other restaurants in the Greater Boston area. He opened Juniper in Wellesley in 2014 following success with Sweet Basil in Needham. Sweet Basil is decidedly an Italian restaurant and Juniper is Eastern Mediterranean restaurant, and both focus on sustainability and local sourcing.
3 August, 2020 -
A story from The Waltham Channel says that
acclaimed restaurateur Dante Bellucci plans to open a new Italian restaurant called Vinotta in the former Red Bird space.
"Very simple food made with beautiful organic ingredients," Chef Bellucci said Monday.
Produce will be sourced locally. Wild-caught seafood will come from Gloucester, and Dante plans an oyster bar on the weekends.
The city's license commission recently approved the transfer of Red Bird's seven-day all-alcohol license to Dante's company for use at Vinotta Restaurant at 361 Moody Street.
He hopes to open the new place this fall.
Dante is the co-owner and executive chef at the award-winning Tartufo Restaurant in Newton Center, serving authentic Abruzzese seafood and homemade pasta.
A native of Pescara on Italy's Adriatic coast, he has 34 years experience in the restaurant industry worldwide, including 20 in America. He cut his teeth stateside at Marino in Cambridge.
Vinotta will look similar to Red Bird. Dante's Waltham attorney Mike Connors told the license commission that "The changes are cosmetic in nature."
Commission chair Wayne Brasco, aware of Dante's culinary reputation, said, "This is going to be quite a restaurant."
In September 2019, Red Bird owner and chef Dan Stokes closed his restaurant after roughly five years. It occupied the former Tuscan Grill space.
24 July, 2020 -
Boston Restaurant Talk reported that
Il Capriccio will reopen in The Merc at Moody and Main.
An award-winning suburban Italian restaurant that shut down this spring is being reborn in a new location nearby.
According to an email sent this afternoon, Il Capriccio is opening back up in The Merc, a luxury apartment building that is a few blocks away from its old home on Main Street. The new location of the restaurant will be slightly larger than the old space and will have a total of 124 seats along with two outdoor patios, while the team involved remains the same, minus former owner and executive chef Richie Barron and with the addition of Executive Chef Nathan Allen, who comes from Glenville Stops in Allston, and who has trained in Michelin-starred French restaurants in the past.
Il Capriccio first opened in 1981, with the place being known for its Northern Italian fare and its wine list; last month, it was reported that the restaurant had shuttered, though the hope had been to open back up in a new location.
If all goes well, Il Capriccio could be opening in its new home by the middle of November.
The address for the new location of Il Capriccio is 704 Main Street, Waltham, MA, 02453.
June 11, 2020 - According to a report on Boston Restaurants Talk, Il Capriccio announced that they vacated their site at 888 Main Street the week before. The owner left the restaurant business, but workers at the restaurant are looking into re-opening at a new location sometime in the future.
June 11, 2020 - Peppino's Dosa opened at 434 Moody Street.