Sunday, July 14, 2024

ABC Pizza is approved to get late-night hours in Cambridge’s Central Square. (Photo: Marc Levy)

The Bon Me chain is expanding, an Italian restaurant is coming to East Cambridge with Charles River views and two eateries are expanding their hours in Cambridge License Commission approvals Thursday.

Bon Me, a Vietnamese-inspired chain with four Cambridge locations and a food truck (matched by four Boston locations and a food truck), has two locations under construction, one of which will become Cambridge location No. 5: At 222 Jacobs St., North Point, where “there’s a lot of housing and offices but not a lot of food options,” said the chain’s business development specialist, Michael Feeney. (We wrote about the move originally in January.)

The 1,578-square-foot location with an indoor occupancy of 48 is expected to be done with construction and ready to open in late March or early April, when it would inherit the beer license from the Bon Me at 60 Binney St. Because it will be open 10:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. all days, North Point diners can enjoy a drink with lunch and dinner and the Kendall Square location can focus on alcohol-free daytime service. The menu would be largely the same as at other Bon Me locations, with sandwiches, salads, snacks such as fried chicken and bowls.

The chain’s first bricks-and-mortar location at One Kendall Square, meanwhile, is expected to close as soon as construction is done at the nearby 600 Technology Square, a slightly larger space than the original at around 1,400 square feet and able to hold 42 people. It’s the same landlord for each: Alexandria Real Estate. “It’s an exciting opportunity to have a slightly better location, but we’ll be we expect to serve a similar population,” Feeney said. “We’re in an area close to MIT and some more residential areas to do a little more business.”


The Royal Sonesta Boston hotel in East Cambridge finally has a replacement for Dante, the restaurant famed for its patio and river views that closed in May 2020, toward the start of the Covid pandemic. It was open for 15 years at 40 Edwin H. Land Blvd. – and soon diners can return for more Italian with the same views at Monteverdi Restaurant. Manager Jared Hall said the space is getting a facelift from Petra Hausberger of Somerton Park Interiors but no major restructuring, which should allow for a May 15 opening for inside occupancy of 194 and patio occupancy of 90 – over a sprawling 6,300 square feet with a mezzanine level and indoor terrace – for hours of 8 a.m. to 2 a.m. Monday through Saturday and 10 a.m. to 2 a.m. Sunday.

“There needs to be a restaurant at the hotel,” Monteverdi lawyer Walter Sullivan said. “There’s only two real restaurants that are actually on the Charles River – this being the best one.”

Behind the business is Seth Greenberg of Mistral, Mooo, Serafina and others, with a publicist on Wednesday calling the timing for Monteverdi’s opening “perfect for the spring and summer months ahead with its fabulous view and soon-to-be patio (and raw bar) along the Charles River.”


La Saison Bakery, which became an instant favorite upon its 2020 opening at 407 Concord Ave. in Neighborhood 9 near Fresh Pond, is expanding a little – and then a little more, if owner Soheil Fathi has his way. They first step, which the License Commission approved after the Board of Zoning Appeal’s okay, is for an expansion of hours to 7 p.m. daily and six outdoor seats. Fathi hopes to bump that up to 20 with a further request to the board, he said.

“Seven o’clock we open every day doing coffee and pastries. Around noon, we have some pizzas and sandwiches coming out. And around 2 or 3 p.m. we start wrapping up – but we wanted to extend to 7 p.m. every day,” Fathi said.


There’s even later-night slices coming to ABC Pizza at 744 Massachusetts Ave., a neighbor to the Cantab Lounge in Central Square that’s under new ownership. The idea is to be the place people come when the bars let out, a manager told commission chair Nicole Murati Ferrer. The 18-seat eatery will now be open from 10 a.m. to 3 a.m. Monday through Wednesday and 10 a.m. to 4 a.m. Thursday through Sunday serving its traditional menu.