Restaurant Opening in Former New Yorker Diner Spot

The former New Yorker Diner spot will be home to Halva. (Courtesy of Teddy Kokoros)

A restaurant that will serve a variety of dishes, including Turkish food, appears to be headed to the former New Yorker Diner location near Watertown Square. A Watertown News reader sent a photo of the building at 39 Mt Auburn St. has banners hanging on it saying “Halva, Coming Soon!” The banners also mentions barbecue, burgers, and kunefe — a Turkish pastry made with cheese.

Arsenal Yards’ New Additions Include Donuts, Skin Care, a Tea House and More

See what’s just arrived and what’s coming soon in this announcement from Arsenal Yards:

Arsenal Yards, the thriving new neighborhood in Watertown’s historic East End from Boylston Properties and Wilder, is pleased to welcome exciting new dining, health, and wellness offerings to the neighborhood this summer, in addition to gearing up for additional highly–anticipated openings over the coming months. 

Coming soon to the Arsenal Yard’s robust roster of restaurants, retailers, fitness, service, and entertainment destinations, is fan–favorite Blackbird Doughnuts, as well as Chip City and Medium Rare.  The most recent openings include specialty food venue dining venue Ten One Tea House, and health and wellness options like Skin Laundry, Restore Hyper Wellness, and GNC. “Summer is one of the best times to visit Arsenal Yards, and all of the new and diverse additions to the neighborhood this summer truly represent what makes our community so unique,” said Kerry Dowling, Wilder’s Managing Director, Leasing. “Whether you are looking to kickstart your wellness journey, sample delectable and exotic teas, or enjoy the outdoors while exploring the neighborhood, there is something for everyone to be excited about. It’s our goal to make sure everyone who comes to Arsenal Yards, whether to live, work, or play, finds everything they need and everything they want.”

A sampling of recent and upcoming openings at Arsenal Yards includes:

Coming Soon

Blackbird Doughnuts To Debut Seventh Location

Known for its delicious, made–from–scratch doughnuts, Blackbird Doughnuts will open its seventh Massachusetts location at 116 Bond St. in Fall 2023.

Watertown Restaurant Using GoFundMe to Try to Stay Open

Watertown’s Ritcey East has struggled since the pandemic, and owner Max Ritcey has started a GoFundMe campaign to raise enough money to keep the doors open at the Waverley Avenue restaurant. Ritcey said the restaurant has been down tens of thousand dollars behind each month, in part due to paying back COVID loans. The goal is to reach $30,000 by September, and fans have already stepped up to donate more than $22,000 in the first four days. See more information about the campaign at the Ritcey East GoFundMe page. Ritcey posted the following letter on the campaign page:

It’s very hard for me to share this but Ritceys is down on average 20k a month since the pandemic.

New Italian Restaurant Opens in Center of Watertown

Bar ‘Cino has opened in Watertown Square. (Photo courtesy of Bar ‘Cino)

The following piece was provided by the Newport Restaurant Group:

Newport Restaurant Group, the Rhode-Island based and 100 percent employee-owned hospitality group that operates a collection of restaurants and properties across New England, today opens Bar ‘Cino in Watertown. Derived from vicino, the Italian word for “neighbor”, the new Bar ‘Cino is nestled in the heart of Watertown Square and is the third location of the Italian-inspired dining concept which first opened in Newport, Rhode Island in 2019 followed by Brookline 2020. “We are thrilled that our latest Bar ‘Cino opening will be in the vibrant and historic city of Watertown,” said Paul O’Reilly, CEO of Newport Restaurant Group. “Over the past several years, we’ve enjoyed bringing our passion for delicious Italian food and drink to our guests in Newport and Brookline and are excited to foster that same spirit right on Watertown’s Main Street.

New Eatery Serving Pizza & More Has Opened on Pleasant Street

CT Pizzeria has opened in the former Pleasant Pizza & Subs, and is serving pizza, burgers and sandwiches. According to the restaurants’ Instagram page, the CT Pizzeria is the brainchild of Christian Tapia, who was born in Chile and moved to the United States at the age of 21. “He aspired to achieve the American dream. He worked very hard and found a home with Ford Motor Company before deciding to become self employed,” the post reads. “He has been a successful business owner for over 30 years now.

Bagel Shop & Deli Expected to Open in Former Porcini’s Location

The former Porcini’s spot could be occupied by a new restaurant run by the owners of Wicked Bagel. The owners of bagel store with locations in Lexington and Woburn have been linked to the former Porcini’s restaurant location on School Street. A post on Boston Restaurant Talk reports that the owners of Wicked Bagel will be opening a restaurant in Watertown, and it is said to be in the space that had been the Italian restaurant for more than two decades. Wicked Bagel has a variety of bagel sandwiches, coffee and other drinks on the menu on its website. According to Boston Restaurant Talk, the Watertown location would serve brunch, would have a liquor license, and would use the back patio.

Restaurant Closing After More Than 2 Decades Serving Italian Dishes in Watertown

Porcini’s restaurant will close in mid-January after over 20 years serving diners in Watertown. The owners for the restaurant on School Street put up a “Closing Letter” on the restaurant’s website announcing the decision. They cited difficulties of doing business during the COVID-19 pandemic as one of the reasons for the decision, in which they thanked their loyal customers and dedicated staff. The letter reads: “It saddens us to have to announce today that Porcini’s Italian Restaurant will be permanently closing our doors after 23 years of service on Saturday, January 14, 2023.” The past 3 years have been devastating to our business, as we have struggled through the results of the COVID pandemic.

Kura Sushi Offering Tetris Inspired Sushi Boxes & Prizes

The following announcement was provided by Kura Sushi:

Kura Sushi USA, Inc., a leading technology-enabled Japanese restaurant concept serving authentic Japanese cuisine through an engaging revolving sushi service model, is thrilled to announce its newest Bikkura Pon collaboration with one of the most popular electronic games of all time, Tetris®. Joining forces once again with the Tetris brand after a highly successful collaboration in late 2021, The Tetris Company and Kura Sushi USA are proud to unveil the reimagined “Tetris™ x Kura Sushi Bikkura Pon Series 2 Collaboration” featuring all new prizes and brightly colored Tetris-inspired sushi boxes. Available exclusively at Kura Revolving Sushi Bar U.S. restaurants, including at Arsenal Yards in Watertown, through December 31, 2022, the Tetris x Kura Sushi Bikkura Pon prize collection includes a lanyard, temporary tattoos and can badges. The unique collectibles are dispensed from the Bikkura Pon Prize System, an integral part of Kura Sushi USA’s interactive and tech-driven dining experience. The system is comprised of a prize machine, touch panel and plate disposal slot located at every table in the restaurant.