More than 20 years in the making, preparations for construction began on Assembly Row in June. Styled as the “largest new neighborhood since the Back Bay was created,” Assembly Row is intended as an addition upon the already existing Assembly Square Mall. When completed, the row is expected to provide more than 40 acres of residential, commercial and recreational space, including an Ikea store, a luxury hotel and a block of office buildings. No projections of how long the project will take have been released.
The Book Shop (694 Broadway, ) opened June 1 on the corner of Broadway and Josephine Ave. It is a used bookstore but it offers a small selection of new books, mostly bestsellers. Hours are 9am–7pm Mon–Fri and 9am–5pm Sat and Sun. Owner Gil Barbosa, 47, a Somerville High School graduate and lifelong resident, learned the business from his aunt, who owned Annie’s Book Stop in Belmont. The Book Shop buys used books for store credit. Barbosa is interested in hosting readings and other events and urges local authors to contact him.
Boston Burger (37 Davis Sq, 617- 440-7361, bostonburgerco.com) is adding 400 square feet of new space. “It will give us two bathrooms upstairs, some draft beer options and about 18 more seats,” owner Paul Malvone told Scout in an e-mail. “We are waiting for our occupancy permit and our walk-in to be installed.” Malvone hopes the expansion will be complete by the end of July.
Dave’s Fresh Pasta (81 Holland St, , davesfreshpasta.com) is in the early stages of planning a 45-seat wine and antipasto bar, to be located where Black & Blues (89 Holland St) used to be. The new restaurant, which is as yet untitled, is a joint venture between Dave’s owner Dave Jick and Dave’s wine buyer, Felisha Foster. Jick and Foster have a five-year lease on the new space, but Jick says the lease is contingent on his getting a serving license (to serve alcoholic beverages) from the city.
Flatbread (45 Day St, 617-776- 0552, flatbreadcompany.com) has a new website and will soon offer delivery via bike during lunch hours (11:30am–4pm). Managing Partner Evan Fetras did not know exactly when the delivery services would begin but emphasized they would be “coming soon.”
Since April, the scaffolding has been down at Mudflat Studio’s new space (81 Broadway, , mudflat.org). Occupancy of the 16,000-sq-ft new building, which used to be the Broadway Theatre, began in May. The new space has room for both Mudflat’s work area and a gallery which was formerly in Porter Square.
On June 18, Mystic Market (530 Mystic Ave, , ) opened for business. A farmer’s market selling fresh produce from Enterprise Farm, it will run on Sats through Oct, 11am–3pm. The Mystic Market is a collaborative effort among Shape Up Somerville, the Welcome Project, Enterprise Farm and the Somerville Housing Authority.
On May 5, Phase II of the construction of Saint Polycarp Village (corner of Temple and Mystic) began. Led by Somerville Community Corporation (337 Somerville Ave, , somervillecdc.org), the project aims to redevelop the former Saint Polycarp Parish into a 3.5 acre site with new affordable housing, commercial space, a church, a playground and a community room.
Potato Freak (102 Washington St, ) opened in early May. Owner Leonico DaSilva’s restaurant-cafe offers an incredible array of potato dishes, not to mention a selection of salads, sandwiches, soups and desserts. French fries, for example, are available with five types of dipping sauces, categorized by nation: USA (ketchup), Netherlands (seasoned mayo), Italy (tomato sauce with garlic and basil), Mexico (seasoned tomato sauce) and Great Britain (an English version of barbecue sauce). Hours are 7:30am–10pm, Mon–Sat and 8:30am–10pm Sun.
Lil Vinny’s Ristorante (525 Medford St, ) reopened June 22 with a new executive chef and a new seasonal menu. The chef is Billy Gaskill, a graduate of Le Cordon Bleu. The menu features lighter fare for the summer as well as expanded vegetarian options.
Mass Metta Massage (862 Broadway, , massmettamassage.com) is now offering yoga classes — 75-minute Vinyasa flow — on Monday evenings at 5:45pm. The cost is $11 ($8 for students) and you’re encouraged to call to reserve a space — only nine students per class!
On June 1, a new Subway sandwich shop (860 Broadway, ) opened in the former location of Spün, the frozen yogurt place. Christopher Cho, owner of the new Subway, also has Subways in Sturbridge and Hudson. Manager Judi Dwyer, a Somerville resident who lives on Atherton St, says business is picking up, slowly but surely. “Summer’s a hard time to open a business,” she says. Though this particular Subway opens at 9am weekdays and 10am weekends, it does not serve breakfast. It is, however, open until midnight Fri and Sat nights and 10pm other nights.
O’Brian’s Liquors (158 Highland Ave, ) is under new ownership and management.
Somerville Scout (235E Highland Ave, , somervillescout.com) is now bimonthly!
Casa B (253 Washington St, casabrestaurant.com), a new Spanish tasca restaurant, pegs September 14 as an opening date on its web site. Landlord Henry Patterson does not believe that date is realistic. “They haven’t even started demolition yet,” he says. The husband-wife team of Alberto Cabré, from San Juan, Puerto Rico and Angelina Jockovich from Barranquilla, Colombia are Casa B’s owners and operators. In 2005 they started a personal chef catering business specializing in Latin American fusion. In 2008 they began testing and refining the recipes that would ultimately launch Casa B.
Corpbasics Fitness & Training (73 Bow St, , corpbasics.com) opened in February. Owner Andrew Haynes, who has a 6th-degree black belt in Kenpo, is an inductee in the World Martial Arts Hall of Fame. Personal training is available by appointment, and anyone is welcome to attend classes. Check the web site for the class schedule.
Ebi Sushi (290 Somerville Ave, , ebisushi.com) opened in late May in the former location of Wu Chon House. Jose Garcia Vidal, 27, the majority owner – - the minority owner is his younger brother, Carlos — worked as a chef at Blue Fin in the Porter Exchange mall for seven years. He first realized he wanted to run his own sushi place three years ago. “I was waiting for the right location,” he says. He lives in Revere, and often drove down Somerville Ave en route to Blue Fin. One day he saw the vacant spot for rent; the rest is history. His biggest surprise is how many familiar faces he’s seen; he estimates 40 percent of his customers know him from his Blue Fin days. “I didn’t know they lived in this area,” he says.
Journeyman (9 Sanborn Ct, , journeymanrestaurant.com) is temporarily closed after a vehicle “rammed right into the side of the building, where the herb garden is,” says Henry Patterson, the restaurant’s landlord. “It compromised the pillar that supported the roof.” The incident occurred June 18, at 11pm. The extent of the damage was still being assessed at press time, and Patterson was not sure when Journeyman would reopen. “I’d hope for the end of summer,” he says. On a brighter note, the restaurant is planning to expand when it reopens, doubling in size.
Open Space Community Acupuncture (66–70 Union Sq #102, , openspaceacupuncture.com) opened in early May. Open Space offers community-style acupuncture, where multiple treatments take place in one shared space. Patients appreciate the option of scheduling treatments together with their spouse, family and friends. Owner Daphne Jochnick offers treatments for a sliding scale of $15–$40.
Somerville Grooves (26 Union Sq, ), a record store, will open “around August 1” in the former location of Moda Brasil, according to owner David Plunkett. “I definitely want to hear from people with music collections to sell,” he told Scout. The store will specialize in vinyl records but will also buy and sell cassettes and CDs.
Two Little Monkeys (77 Bow St, ), a children’s consignment and specialty boutique carrying new and gently used clothing for children up to age seven, opened in Union Square on April 16. Owner Sarah Bettencourt, 32, is the mother of two herself, a one-year-old boy and a four-year-old girl. With a background in corporate retail — stints at Best Buy, Circuit City and a national bank she didn’t name — Bettencourt is thrilled to be putting her own creative spin on the skills she honed at large companies. Hours are 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Wednesday to Friday, 12noon–7pm Sat and 12noon–5 Sun. Two Little Monkeys is closed Mon and Tues.