Change of plans: Restaurateur Chris Douglass, known for Dorchester’s Ashmont Grill and Tavolo, has announced that he won’t open a highly anticipated restaurant at the renovated Roslindale Substation (4228 Washington St. at Cummins Highway) after all. He had planned to serve “rustic small plates; street food,” he said, with wood-fired items.
Douglass says that he was approached about a restaurant approximately five years ago, before a developer was identified. (The Peregrine Group LLC, Historic Boston Inc., and Roslindale Village Main Streets partnered on the development project in 2012.) In the time it took for plans to progress, Douglass says, his perspective changed — and he got older.
“Back when the community was trying to put it to use, someone had identified me through a friend. I was grateful for the opportunity. But so much time has passed that the timing is bad. This was maybe five years ago, before I turned 61. I still thought that maybe I had it in me to open a restaurant. It’s a long-term commitment that, at 61, I wasn’t willing to make,” Douglass said. “It’s a little bit like getting to the altar.”
It’s the second culinary blow to the neighborhood in recent weeks: Exodus Bagels also announced plans to open in Jamaica Plain instead of in Roslindale as planned. Is there a hex on the neighborhood?
“I don’t think this is something endemic to Roslindale,” Douglass said. “I was excited about it, and the space is amazing.”
The historic 8,000-square-foot building was constructed in 1911 and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It was operational until 1971 and was vacant thereafter.
Still, all is not lost: The space is currently home to a Craft Beer Cellar, and Historic Boston’s Kathy Kottaridis says that the search is on for a replacement restaurant.
New beginnings: Chef Stacy Cogswell has joined Lexington’s Inn at Hastings Park as executive chef at its restaurant, Artistry on the Green (2027 Massachusetts Ave. at Worthen Road). Cogswell, who appeared on “Top Chef,” has worked at Boston’s Liquid Art House and at Needham’s RFK Kitchen. Meanwhile, RFK’s Rachel Klein is no longer involved in that restaurant’s day-to-day operations. Now she’s working with Rhode Island-based Encore Hospitality Group, known for East Greenwich and Providence’s Red Stripe restaurants.
Coming soon: Honeygrow will open its second Boston location on Oct. 13 in the Seaport (100 Northern Ave. at Pier Four Boulevard). The Philadelphia-based chain, known for its customizable stir-fries and salads, also has a branch in the Fenway.