Harvard Square’s already extensive menu of restaurants will get some new main courses in the coming months with an influx of eateries serving everything from burgers to traditional Japanese fare.
The corner of JFK and Mount Auburn streets will become the third outpost of Tasty Burger, the fast- food burger joint from the Franklin Restaurant Group. The two-level, 180-seat restaurant is slated to open in September at the former 7-Eleven location at 40 JFK St.
“I’m from Cambridge, so I’ve been trying to get back home for a while,” said co-owner David Dubois, whose other restaurants include three Franklin Cafes and Citizen Public House. “One of the inspirations for the ‘Tasty’ was the original Tasty that was a little diner right on that same block. And my first cooking job was actually in that building — in the Garage — so it’s kind of like full circle.”
The largest of the Tasty Burgers — the second is set to open in Southie in a few weeks with take-away only — the Harvard Square restaurant will include a pool table and sell beer and wine.
A block away, the partners behind Osushi, a Japanese sushi restaurant in Boston’s Westin Copley Place, will open a larger 80-seat location at 1 Eliot St. within a month in the former Conga Tapas Bar space.
“Harvard Square is a great market for us,” said co-owner Timothy Panagopoulos, who runs Osushi with managing partner and chef Ken Iwaoka. “There’s a great exposure to students and tourists, and there was nothing really of Osushi’s caliber (there).”
While the nearly 10-year-old Back Bay location’s bar service includes beer, wine, sake and cordials only, and the menu is limited due to venting issues, the Cambridge Osushi will feature a full bar and more expansive traditional Japanese offerings, including a full range of cooked dinner entrees.
The owners of Toscano on Boston’s Charles Street, meanwhile, are building out a second Italian restaurant set to open this fall at 52 Brattle St., which formerly housed Cafe of India.
And Dante de Magistris, chef/owner of Dante in Cambridge and Il Casale in Belmont, has been in talks to open a restaurant in place of Casablanca once the landmark Brattle Street restaurant closes next month after four-plus decades. But no deal has been inked, according to de Magistris.
“We’re going through negotiations with the landlord,” he said. “We’re looking at other places as well. If we took it over … we’re going to stick to Italian. There are all different ways to create Italian food and an Italian experience.”
Another vacant space already claimed is the below-street-level 13 Brattle St., where the owners of Boston’s Beehive restaurant and music den plan to open a 328-seat brasserie with live jazz music next year.
By Donna Goodison, Re-posted from BostonHerald.com