Deluxe Town Diner was one of several Watertown restaurants approved to have outdoor seating in 2020. Restaurants can apply again in 2021. Diners may have more outdoor dining opportunities in 2021 as the Town of Watertown is allowing restaurants to apply for additional outdoor space for temporary seating. Last year, the Town allowed some restaurants to have seating on the sidewalk in front of their business, or other places on their property, and 15 did so. The temporary permits were given to allow for increased capacity during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Watertown’s Donohue’s Bar & Grill received the first grant from the Step Up to the Table Foundation, a group looking to save local restaurants during COVID-19. Donohue’s was nominated by Josh Vernon, who sent in a letter talking about how much the restaurant has given back to the community since it opened in 1998, particularly to the Watertown Boys & Girls Club. “When you mention Donohue’s to anyone from the Watertown area, they think of family and a wonderful place to gather together for all reasons JD would never ask for help, so as a friend and customer I felt he deserved this nomination so he can continue giving back to his community and supporting his staff,” Vernon wrote in his nomination. Like restaurants across Massachusetts, Donohue’s has faced many hurdles during the pandemic, from being closed in the early days of COVID, to continued reduction of capacity and other restrictions. See a video, below, posted by the Step Up to the Table Foundation when it told owner JD Donohue about the grant:
Several Watertown restaurants have special menus planned to ring in 2021. City Works & Pour House will host a Brew Year’s Eve event on Dec. 31, 2020 with a special menu, including filet medallions, short rib and Cajun linguine. See more details here. Branch Line will be cooking up special meals to take home to celebrate New Year’s Eve, including entrees of prime rib or lobster thermidor.
Garbanzo Mediterranean Fresh has opened at Watertown’s Arsenal Yards. The following information was provided by Arsenal Yards:
Garbanzo Mediterranean Fresh, the leading fast casual Mediterranean franchise concept best known for its preservative-free, nutrient-rich menu, today officially opened the doors of its newest location at Arsenal Yards in Watertown. The new eatery is now welcoming guests at its location at 41 Bond Street, offering a modern twist to Old World cuisine, breaking down the traditional paradigm of the Mediterranean diet. “Bostonians are loving the delicious, healthy food that Garbanzo offers, and we are very excited to officially open our doors in Watertown today,” said Derek St. George, co-owner of Garbanzo Mediterranean Fresh in Watertown and Boston.
The Licensing Board voted to waive fees for liquor licenses and other fees charged to do business in the Town of Watertown for all of 2021 in an effort to help them endure the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. On Thursday night, the Board heard a proposal to eliminate the annual fees for liquor licenses for restaurants, which is $2,700 for most. After a discussion, Licensing Board members decided that not just those, but also fees for other businesses should be removed for 2021. Other communities have already made changes to their liquor license fees, said David Doneski, the attorney that works with the Licensing Board. Newton and Needham approved a 50 percent reduction in fees, and Malden and Quincy waived the entire fee.
The following announcement was provided by Arsenal Yards:
Boylston Properties and Wilder proudly announced today that they’ve leased 3,000 square feet at Watertown’s Arsenal Yards to local celebrity chef and restaurateur, Jason Santos. Following the success of Buttermilk & Bourbon in Boston’s Back Bay, the nationally-recognized chef will open his second location of the popular restaurant in the new neighborhood in 2021, bringing a taste of Southern hospitality to Watertown. The New Orleans’ inspired restaurant will be an exciting addition to the eclectic mix of offerings at Arsenal Yards, which will offer a true neighborhood experience with its more than one million square feet of retail shops, residential apartments, life science space, and a 146-room hotel when construction is completed in Fall 2021.
“For a chef of Jason Santos’ caliber to open his next restaurant at Arsenal Yards only adds to the incredible level of buzz that Arsenal Yards and the town of Watertown is currently receiving,” said Bill McQuillan, Principal at Boylston Properties. “And while COVID-19 continues to greatly impact our communities and neighborhoods, we couldn’t be more grateful to share some positive news about one of the best chefs and restaurant groups in Boston. Our team is committed as ever to creating a unique place for people to work, live, and simply just enjoy, and Jason and Buttermilk & Bourbon are the perfect complement to this lasting, energized experience that we’re creating at Arsenal Yards.”
Number 1 Taste opened on in Watertown recently, and boast 30 years of experience. The Chinese restaurant opened at 39 Galen Street. The restaurant also has locations in Belmont, Arlington and Melrose. The Number 1 Taste Watertown website says:
“With over 30 years of experience cooking in the best restaurants, our chefs is excited to bring Watertown/Newton Area what we do best. We are committed to prepare each meal to order.
Gigi’s Pizza Co. has opened on the westside of Watertown, featuring and extensive menu which also includes sandwiches, burgers, salads and wings. The restaurant is located at 129 Waltham Street, the former location of Cugini’s (and Bemis Market before that). The grand opening was held on Sept. 25, according to the Gigi’s Pizza Co.