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The owner of Newton’s popular Sycamore restaurant will open a 700-square-foot restaurant in Newton Centre this summer. David Punch calls his unnamed concept at 1247 Centre St. an “east Asian soul food diner meets izakaya.” The restaurant will be small (just 20 seats), “with a tiny micro kitchen in the middle,” Punch says. Expect small plates, dumplings, buns, noodle soups, and rice bowls. “We’re going for fun, healthy, and flavorful,” Punch says, with food sourced from nearby Drumlin and Allandale farms.

He’ll run the restaurant with longtime friend and collaborator Alison Hearn, with whom he cooked at Jamaica Plain’s Ten Tables several years ago. Hearn was the opening executive chef at the South End’s Myers & Chang and had been running pop-up restaurant Hustle Cat until recently.

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In diner tradition, the new spot will be open late — Punch aims for a 1 a.m. close time — and will also serve cocktails on draft, he says. Sycamore sous chef Daniel Scott will be executive chef. Scott was instrumental in bringing late-night Asian pop-up menus to Sycamore, “so it was a natural progression,” Hearn says.

“Like Ten Tables, this is going to be another tiny, dynamic place where we can really interact with customers and talk to people,” she says.


Kara Baskin can be reached at kcbaskin@gmail.com.