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New businesses open in Allston, Brighton, while some mainstays close, make changes

Posted by Matt Rocheleau  October 25, 2012 12:45 PM

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(Matt Rocheleau for

Among the recent changes, Big City, a popular bar, restaurant and pool hall, has been renamed Patron's Mexican Kitchen and Watering Hole.

Several new businesses hope to open soon in Allston and Brighton, while others recently set up shop or are undergoing changes.

The list of new and proposed establishments includes: four frozen yogurt shops, two convenience stores, a liquor store, a French-Asian bakery, Mexican restaurant, two Korean eateries, a Subway restaurant, a children’s party center, a flower shop, and a store selling books and old prints.

(To see other recent business changes in Allston and Brighton, click here.)

Big City, a bar, restaurant and pool hall, recently changed its named to Patron’s Mexican Kitchen and Watering Hole as it has taken on a new, Mexican-cuisine-focused concept. Before the changes were made, Marc Kadish, the location’s owner who also runs the adjacent Sunset Grill and Tap, discussed his plans with Boston Magazine.

Joshua Tree, a popular bar and restaurant at 1316 Commonwealth Ave., is seeking city permission to increase its overall allowed capacity by about 30 percent, according to city records. The request filed by the bar this month asks increase the first-floor capacity from 240 to 300 people and the basement capacity from 100 to 146.

After 32 years in Allston, retail store College Furniture & Rug is closing its shop at 137 Harvard Ave. in Allston, according to signs posted in the storefront. The store is run by Salvatore Barone, state records show. It opened in a small, 1,500 square foot space in 1980 before expanding after a decade of heavy demand from local residents looking for affordable apartment and home furnishings, according to the company's former website. Many customers were college students or recent graduates. About a decade ago, the company began offering "slightly higher end product lines for apartment living," the website said.

Sweet Frog Premium Frozen Yogurt, a chain of self-serve frozen yogurt shops, is seeking city permission to open at 433 Washington St., according to a meeting agenda from the Brighton Allston Improvement Association. The site was formerly a Naked Pizza restaurant, which closed in January.

Another frozen yogurt chain, Froyo World, is preparing to open at 157 Harvard Ave., according to signs on the storefront.

The opening of those two shops would bring the total of recently-opened self-serve frozen yogurt shops in the Allston and Brighton neighborhoods to four. Dante’s Frozen Yogurt opened this summer at 1236 Commonwealth Ave., and YoYo City Premium Frozen Yogurt opened in September at 169 Brighton Ave. in Allston.

A store that buys and sells old books and print collections recently opened at 187 Harvard Ave. The shop, called Tom Sawer Old Books and Prints replaces space formerly occupied by Lola’s Urban Vintage, which, according to the clothing store’s website, now operates online and out of a traveling box truck.

French-Asian bakery chain Tous Les Jours is expected to open in the spring its first-ever Boston location in the former Kelly’s Roast Beef restaurant space at the busy intersection of Harvard and Commonwealth avenues in Allston, according to officials who brokered the deal.

According to signs on the storefront, The Real Deal restaurant plans to open in Cleveland Circle at 1936 Beacon St., the former home of Presto Pizzeria, a popular restaurant that closed in May after 30 years. The Real Deal also operates locations in West Roxbury and Jamaica Plain.

A Mexican restaurant, La Catrina, is seeking city permits to open soon at 1620 Commonwealth Ave., near the roadway’s intersection with Washington Street, according to city records.

In June, Dolce Vita Cafe opened nearby at 1698 Commonwealth Ave.

A few blocks away, the owner of a gas station at 1550 Commonwealth Ave. is seeking city permission to open a liquor store in adjacent space he owns, according to an agenda from the Brighton Allston Improvement Association.

A Subway restaurant opened in early October at 1438 Commonwealth Ave. near the roadway’s intersection with Warren and Kelton streets, according to the store’s franchisee Navin Patel. The store operates daily from 7 a.m. to midnight, with seating for about 35 people. The location plans to staff about four full-time and five-part time employees, Patel said. It offers delivery on catering orders.

Next door, a Cozomo Market grocery and convenience store recently opened at 1436 Commonwealth Ave. Several weeks after opening that store, the owner opened another Cozomo shop at 205 Harvard Ave. near the intersection with Commonwealth Avenue.

At the intersection of Harvard and Commonwealth avenues, a TD Bank branch recently opened. Formerly an Uno Chicago Grill, the site at 1230 Commonwealth Ave. had undergone several months of renovations.

Renovations are recently finished at another prominent space, a shopping plaza at 181 Brighton Ave., where a CVS Pharmacy has opened. The pharmacy took over space occupied previously by competitor Rite-Aid.

Mt. Washington Bank has said it plans to soon open in the plaza that also includes a Dunkin’ Donuts.

Lowell-based company Jump On In opened a children’s party center in September at 100 Holton St. The facility, which houses more than 11,000 square feet of slides, obstacle courses, table games and bouncing equipment, is the seven-year-old company’s fourth location in Massachusetts and the ninth overall.

This past summer, a pair of Korean restaurants opened in Allston Village: Kaju Tofu House opened at 58 Harvard Ave. and Bethlehem To Go opened at 136 Harvard Ave.

In the spring, Centre Pieces Design took over a space at 425 Washington St. that used to house Minihane’s Flower Shop.

To see other recent business changes in Allston and Brighton, click here.

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