Kendall hungry for Abigails, Rib Shack openings
Kendall Square residents, foodies and city officials will soon be able to enjoy Abigails, but will have to keep salivating over ribs for the next couple of weeks.
Abigails Restaurant is to open today at 291 Third St., serving new American and vegetarian cuisine by chef and owner James Ludwig and chef de cuisine Jason Lord. Redbones’ Rib Shack was expected to open Monday at 300 Athenaeum St., serving a menu culled from the gut-busting offerings at the Davis Square restaurant to courtyard diners, but workers at Redbones said Sunday that the opening looks delayed by “a couple of weeks.”
While the square awaits the opening of Catalyst and Fireplace Saints, the openings this month are more than enough to whet the appetite. Abigails is described by its founders, including owner and general manager Sarah Murnane, as “a full-service neighborhood restaurant serving ingredient-inspired cuisine, craft beer and cocktails,” as well as “the realization of a long-held dream.” (Even longer-held than the founders expected; the 3,300-square-f00t space in the prominent 303 Third St. complex, intended to have 114 seats and seasonal patio dining, was targeted to open in May.)
Gus Rancatore of Toscanini’s ice cream, itself just named by Food + Wine magazine as one of the 25 top ice cream shops in the country, said Friday he looked forward to Abigails as being a “blue-collar gastropub.”
And Redbones, of course, has won so many “best of” awards for its barbecue that it could be forgiven for becoming complacent. Instead, it launched a truck last month to sell barbecue in Boston and hoped to open Rib Shack on Thursday before hitting a permitting snag with the city.
But it won’t be city councillors standing in the way. Lackluster nightlife of Kendall Square, in stark contrast to the understood wishes of the entrepreneurial community occupying it, has been a powerful theme for councillors such as Ken Reeves, who has led a commission to re-imagine the area and helped bring in the consultant Goody Clancy — the second such consultant in the panel’s current term — to formalize the effort.
“Kendall has many strong points. It is the foremost [area] of the tech world, it is easily accessible via public transportation and is it in the same city as two of the greatest research universities in the world,” councillor Leland Cheung said last summer. “Kendall Square’s great vitality of innovation needs to be matched by vitality of life.”
There is no website for Rib Shack; Abigails’ site is here.
This story was updated Aug. 14, 2011, to reflect estimates Rib Shack would open in late August instead of on Aug. 15.