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144 Palmer Street Unit 1, Arlington $549,000

Beautiful 2-bedroom, 1-bathroom condo with in-unit laundry, 2 parking spaces, private yard, central air, and large basement storage area. Walk to the shops, cinema, and eateries on Mass. Ave. as well as the bike path and the Red Line station at Alewife.

If you’re going to pay a mortgage, shouldn’t it be your own? You have to pay to live somewhere, but with rents high and mortgage rates so low, this may be the right time to own instead of rent. Find out how much mortgage your rent payment is worth. Look at online mortgage calculators, talk to a mortgage officer, or call us—we’ll help you do the math. As you plan for 2020 and reflect on the past year, please remember to donate to those causes that need our help to survive. Whether you focus on the environment, hunger, homelessness, education, animal welfare, the arts, healthcare, or other causes, your donations are the most valuable gifts you’ll make over the holiday season.

We wish you a healthy and peaceful new year.

Best Real Estate Agency

Best Real Estate Agent

156 Ivy Street, Brookline $5,125,000

Walk to downtown Boston, the hospitals, Fenway Park, and Cambridge from this stunning Early Gothic Revival (c. 1851) single family on 8/10 acre abutting conservation land in the Cottage Farm neighborhood. The house offers 5 bedrooms, 4 1/2 baths, 3 studies, library, dining room, living room, 5 fireplaces, finished basement with media room, high ceilings, central air, beautiful architectural details, and 3-car garage with electric car outlet. Historic home originally owned by the co-founder of Mass Audubon. Walk to Green Line B, C, and D trains, major hospitals, Coolidge Corner, and BU campus.






348 Norfolk Street, Cambridge $1,750,000

Beautifully renovated, condo-quality, owner occupied 3-family between Inman Square and East Cambridge. First floor unit has open concept living, 1 bedroom, and 1 bath on the first level and finished lower level with study, media room, and laundry room. Second floor has 2 bedrooms, 1 bath, private w/d hook-ups in basement, rented for $2,700/mo through 8/31/20. Top floor has 3 beds, 1 bath, private w/d in back hall and is rented for $3,000/mo through 5/31/20. Rear patio and small front yard. Unit 1 delivered vacant. Residents with cars registered at this address are entitled to free parking in cityowned lot across the street.

Coming Soon East Cambridge condo Attached two-family in East Somerville Davis Square two-family Porter Square two-family

Jennifer Rose

Residential Sales Specialist, Realtor ® 617.943.9581 cell/text Jennifer@ThaliaTringoRealEstate.com

Lynn C. Graham

Residential Sales Specialist, Realtor ® 617.216.5244 cell/text Lynn@ThaliaTringoRealEstate.com

Residential Sales Specialist, Realtor ® 617.895.6267 cell/text Brendon@ThaliaTringoRealEstate.com

Seth Kangley

First Time Home Buyers:

Wednesday, January 22nd or Tuesday, February 11th

President, Realtor ® 617.513.1967 cell/text Thalia@ThaliaTringoRealEstate.com

Brendon Edwards

Free Classes an overview of the buying process

Thalia Tringo

6:30 – 7:45 pm

Residential Sales Specialist, Realtor ® 315.382.2507 cell/text Seth@ThaliaTringoRealEstate.com

If you’re considering buying your first home and want to understand what’s in store, this is a quick and helpful overview. Led by our agents and a loan officer from a local bank, it includes a 45-min presentation and 1/2 hour Q&A session. Handouts and refreshments provided.

Sarasvati Lynn

How to Buy and Sell at the Same Time: for homeowners contemplating a move Tuesday, January 14th or Thursday, February 20th

6:30 – 7:45 pm

If trying to figure out the logistics of selling your home and buying a new one makes your head spin, this workshop will help make the process & your choices understandable. This workshop, led by our agents and a loan officer from a local bank, includes a 45-min presentation and 1/2 hour Q&A session. Handouts and refreshments provided.

How Individuals Can Buy Property Together as a Group Wednesday, February 5th

6:30 – 8:30 pm

When two or more people, whether or not they are related, buy property together, what are their options for taking title? How do you determine each one’s financial contributions, percentage legal interest in the property, and expense allocation? What kind of arrangements can be made in the event one or more parties want to move on but others want to keep the property? What type of financing is available? We will address these and other questions, followed by a Q&A session. Lead by our team and a local real estate attorney. If you are a first-time homebuyer, please attend the First Time Home Buyers class (January 22nd) or make an appointment with one of our agents so you’ll have your prerequisites for this class.

Basic Home Maintenance:

Protecting Your Most Important Investment Tuesday, January 28th or Monday, February 10th

6:30 – 7:45 pm

Do you worry about pipes bursting? Ice dams? Clogged gutters? Broken downspouts? Heat loss? Damage from broken tree limbs? Heating system failure? Routine maintenance is the best way to prevent damage to your most important investment: your home. Come to this class to get a checklist and explanation of the things you need to do to maintain your home—and sanity.

To reserve space in any class, please email Adaria@ThaliaTringoRealEstate.com. Admission is free, but we appreciate donations of canned goods for the Somerville Homeless Coalition.

Residential Sales Specialist, Realtor ® 617.702.4751 cell/text Sarasvati@ThaliaTringoRealEstate.com

Adaria Brooks

Executive Assistant to the President, Realtor ® 617.308.0064 cell/text Adaria@ThaliaTringoRealEstate.com

About our company... We are dedicated to representing our buyer and seller clients with integrity and professionalism. We are also commied to giving back to our community. Our agents donate $250 to a non-profit in honor of each transaction and Thalia Tringo & Associates Real Estate Inc. also gives $250 to a pre-selected group of local charities for each transaction. Visit our office, 128 Willow Avenue, on the bike path in Davis Square, Somerville.


contents 6 // EDITOR’S NOTE

30 THEN & NOW 20 // A CITY UPON PROSPECT HILL The first United States flag raising in the nation’s history happened right on Prospect Hill in Somerville. The city continues to celebrate its rich history with an annual reenactment. 22 // THE MAKER’S MARK Newer doesn’t always mean better. What was once a manufacturing zone has now become a community for makers, who have decided to make the most out of their buildings’ classic architecture. 24 // SHOUTS FROM SCOUT Scout has been serving Somerville for 11 years and Cambridge for 7. Current editor Lilly sits down with some key players from the magazine’s early days for this oral history.

26 // DESTINATION: SOMERVILLE The number of hotels in Somerville is doubling, with construction happening as early as this year. 28 // EVERYTHING’S THE SAME, EVERYTHING’S DIFFERENT Incumbent Mayor Joe Curtatone and Mayor Emeritus Gene Brune reflect on what changed and what stayed the same since the year they entered office, touching on campaigning, climate change, and more.

8 // WINNERS & LOSERS Union Square’s Juliet selfpublishes a cookbook, the city wins more green space, and Tufts students rally against climate change; meanwhile, the Sackler’s family name is removed from Tufts campus facilities and a student art show calls out gentrification. 10 // WHAT’S NEW? Rebel Rebel is serving lunch, two recreational marijuana dispensaries have been approved to open in the city, the city begins construction on new “life sciences” building in Union Square, and more.


30 // DRINKS BEFORE DINNER Somerville didn’t always have the booming nightlife scene it does now—thanks to a fight for more liquor licenses for boutique restaurants, it’s now a dining center of the city.

Photo, top: The interior of the Row Hotel in Somerville. Photo by Adrianne Mathiowetz. Photo, bottom: Poet Laureate Lloyd Schwartz brings poetry to the public. Photo by Adrianne Mathiowetz. On the cover: The first issue of Scout Somerville (left) was released in 2009, in which first-ever editor-in-chief Ilan Mochari (top, left) covered—believe it or not—the GLX. Current editor Lilly Milman (top, right) sat down with Ilan and more key Scout players to learn about the magazine’s 11 years in the biz. Photo by Sasha Pedro.

14 // NEWS: DEFENDING DAVIS SQUARE When the British developer Scape purchased a large property in Davis Square, threatening the character of the square, the community fought back. Now, they’re celebrating a small victory. 43 // CALENDAR 45 // DO-GOODERS, KEY PLAYERS, AND GAME CHANGERS: LLOYD SCHWARTZ The city’s Poet Laureate is a longtime resident who has not only succeeded in putting Somerville on the poetry map, but has also made it more accessible to the community at large. 46 // MEET THE SCOUT TEAM

Somerville is more grassroots. It’s so lively. You could say [there is] something wilder about it.”



n a Sunday in December, I sat down with Scout’s first ever editorin-chief Ilan Mochari at Forge Baking Company to ask him some questions about his time at the magazine. Back then, it was just Scout Somerville. At the time, print was going digital, paywalls were going up, and “hyperlocal” was a hardly used term. And yet, Scout Somerville was still created. A few years later, against all odds, it expanded into a second free print magazine— Scout Cambridge. My favorite thing about Scout is that it is an anomaly. If you were to walk into any journalism class or newsroom and begin speaking about Photo by Sasha Pedro. a free, independent, hyperlocal news magazine created and run by a woman, with a mostly women writing team, you could easily be laughed out of the room. But Scout persists. At a certain point during my conversation with Ilan, I became very emotional listening to him explain why he loved his time at Scout. Specifically, when he said that at Scout, he did not speak to companies through public relations professionals—he spoke to people. This continues to be one of our priorities, despite all of the time that has passed. Amplifying the voices of the community by focusing our reporting on local issues is still Scout’s mission. So much has changed in the past decade. This issue, we decided to talk about some of those changes. The developer Scape moved into Davis Square, leaving many wondering about the future of their businesses (p. 14); the restaurant scene experienced a complete overhaul (p. 30); Scout’s operation became something entirely new (p. 28). Others have delightfully stayed the same. For example, the reenactment of the first flag raising of Somerville still happens every year on New Year’s day (p. 20). One of the most rewarding parts of my job is telling people where I work, and being met with the response, “I love Scout! I read every issue.” It’s not the recognition that excites me. It’s the confirmation that we are making good on our promise to be a part of the conversation. I would like to extend my personal thank you to all of our supporters. In an uncertain media landscape where publications are closing their doors every day, you are what makes this possible. We still have a lot to figure out if we’re going to stick around, but as long as you are here, so are we. Here’s to another ten years.

Lilly Milman Lilly Milman, Managing Editor lmilman@scoutmagazines.com

6 Then & Now | scoutsomerville.com

PUBLISHER Holli Banks hbanks@scoutmagazines.com MANAGING EDITOR Lilly Milman lmilman@scoutmagazines.com ART DIRECTOR Nicolle Renick design@scoutmagazines.com renickdesign.com CIRCULATION DIRECTOR Jerry Allien jallien@scoutmagazines.com SCOUT FELLOW Abbie Gruskin agruskin@scoutmagazines.com STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER Adrianne Mathiowetz EDITORIAL INTERN Elie Levine CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Eric Francis, Shafaq Patel CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHER Sasha Pedro COPY EDITOR Nina Fisher BANKS PUBLICATIONS 519 Somerville Ave, #314 Somerville, MA 02143 FIND US ONLINE scoutsomerville.com somervillescout

scoutsomerville scoutmags

Office Phone: 617-996-2283 Advertising inquiries? Please contact hbanks@scoutmagazines.com. GET A COPY Scout Somerville is available for free at more than 220 drop spots throughout the city (and just beyond its borders). Additionally, thousands of Somerville homes receive a copy in their mailbox each edition, hitting every neighborhood in the city throughout the year ... sometimes twice! You can sign up for home delivery by visiting scoutsomerville.com/shop.






The dental office at 180 Highland Avenue has been serving Somerville patients since 1926. It was originally built by Dr. Lewis O. Card who had the visionary idea of a multi-chair dental practice. In 1973, the office building was purchased by Dr. Paul P. Talmo who relocated his Harvard Square practice to the English Tutor dental office. The practice has since been taken over by Dr. Paul Talmo’s daughter, Dr. Katie Talmo, who completed an extensive interior and exterior renovation of this charming building. It is a little known piece of Somerville trivia that the building has always served as a dental office since its original construction.









DR . KAT I E TALMO , D .M. D . • 6 1 7 . 8 6 4 . 6 1 1 1 • 1 8 0 HI G HL A ND AV E N U E




COOKING AT HOME Get ready to enjoy the taste of fine dining from the comfort of your own kitchen. Juliet, a funky Union Square cafe and restaurant that offers both a-la-carte and prix-fixe menus, is helping you whip up something good this winter with the release of its first “cookbook(let),” which came out in November. The book, titled “Our Market Season,” is self-published and is a collaboration between multiple members of the restaurant’s staff. And, most of the money from each cookbook sale is going to its makers—80 percent of profits will be “distributed to its creators” with the remainder put to use toward “future creative opportunities for the restaurant’s staff, and community,” Juliet announced.

SACKLER FAMILY Tufts University scrapped all remaining traces of the Sackler family’s contributions to the school this December after commissioning a report investigating the university’s ties with the family and Purdue Pharma. University president Anthony Monaco announced on Dec. 5 that the Sackler name would be removed from schools, centers, and funds. The five entities previously bearing the name are now named after the university, and Tufts has devoted $3 million to “support education, research, and civic engagement programs aimed at the prevention and treatment of addiction and substance abuse.” Monaco explained that he wishes not to “erase” evidence of the school’s long relationship with the Sackler family, but instead to remain true to the Tufts University School of Medicine mission statement and respect the students, faculty, and alumni who spoke out about the “negative impact” of the controversial relationship.

GREEN SPACE IN THE CITY The city won a little bit more green space. The 5 Palmer Ave. parcel is now being “perpetually conserved” as “open space” thanks to funding from the Community Preservation Act and a conservation restriction from the city. Moving forward, local nonprofit Groundwork Somerville has partnered with the city to “hold the restrictions for this and all future parcels acquired with CPA funding.” The city will host public meetings to discuss design prospects, though a date has yet to be announced. “Groundwork Somerville is very excited to enter into this partnership with the City of Somerville in creating and protecting this new parcel for the city, in one of our most densely populated neighborhoods where green, open space is at a premium,” Groundwork Executive Director Kat Rutkin told Somerville Patch. ENVIRONMENTAL ACTIVISM Two hundred Tufts University students united against climate change (and ditched their classes) during a daylong strike that led them from campus to downtown Boston this December, according to Somerville Patch. The strike was sponsored by a total of 25 Tufts organizations and participants called for the university to “declare a climate emergency, divest from fossil fuels, and publish an indegenous land acknowledgement.” And, Tufts students were far from alone—the event was coordinated to coincide with the Boston Climate Strike at Boston Common and other events “around the world.”

GENTRIFICATION A new art exhibit titled “Whose Somerville?” opened this December in City Hall and targets gentrification across the city, according to The Somerville Times. The show features 10 “photo essays” created by students in a class on activism at Full Circle Alternative High School, “a school for students who have experienced academic setbacks.” Pieces include images of the over-crowded McGrath Highway and the Lego giraffe sculpture at Assembly Row, written work on the redevelopment of houses into condo buildings, and more. CITY PARKING SPACES Finding street parking in Somerville is difficult enough, and some locals are fighting against new bus lanes that make it even more of a nightmare. City officials reported this December that new bus lanes on Broadway have kept traffic at bay and allowed for “an increase in bus service,” but not without a cost—the city’s now short 43 parking spaces, according to the Somerville Media Center. The new bus lane was introduced on Broadway in August as part of the larger “Winter Hill in Motion” plan. A local petition, titled “Restore Broadway,” has garnered more than 2,100 signatures from locals who agree that the city should “remove the lanes and restore parking.”

SCOUT TO THE SOUTH Here’s just some of what you’ll find in the Then & Now Issue of our sibling publication, Scout Cambridge.

THE CREATION OF A NEIGHBORHOOD Developers are coming into the mostly uninhabited North Point area, renaming it “Cambridge Crossing,” and creating a new “transit-oriented” community. But what could that mean for the existing community in East Cambridge?

CAMBRIDGE DANCE IN ‘CRISIS MODE’ Green Street Studios closed despite reporting the dance studio reporting that it was doing well financially, leaving the rest of the Cambridge dance community shaken and looking for answers.

SNAPSHOT OF A CHANGING CITY Cambridge-based photographer Karl Baden has taken a photo of himself every day since 1987. His latest endeavor? Turning the camera lens around to focus on the changes taking place across Mass. Ave.

Someone rustle your jimmies or tickle your fancy?

Let us know at scoutsomerville.com/contact-us, and we just might crown them a winner or loser. 8 Then & Now | scoutsomerville.com


Sell your home faster and for more money with Compass Concierge. From painting to flooring and everything in between, Compass Concierge helps you easily prepare your home for market by advancing the funds for home improvement services. No upfront costs, no interest — ever. Get in touch with me today to learn how Compass Concierge could help you sell for more. Erik Hook erik.hook@compass.com 617.461.4691 erikhook.com Compass is a licensed real estate broker and abides by equal housing opportunity laws.

scoutsomerville.com | Then & Now




NEW AND IMPROVED EATS selection of snacks like popcorn, cereal, and Cup Noodles.

TACO PARTY EXPANDS WITH A BAR NEXT DOOR Taco Party—Ball Square’s very own vegan taqueria—is planning to expand into the nextdoor retail space by May 2020, according to Eater Boston. The larger Taco Party will feature a bigger kitchen, room for 30 diners, and a full service bar with a selection of local beers, mezcal, tequila, and much more.



inter Hill Brewing Company is expanding its palate. The popular brewery now also serves brunch, lunch, and dinner thanks to a partnership with catering company Scott Brothers that began this November, according to Eater Boston. Brunch is served on Sundays from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and includes dishes like breakfast tacos and shakshuka. WINTER HILL



Deep Cuts Deli and Brewery is coming soon to Winter Hill with small-batch craft beer, hard seltzer, and an array of sandwiches and snacks, according to co-founder Ian McGregor. The brewery-deli combo will also serve up vegan options, including one sandwich called “The King” with BBQ king oyster mushrooms, slaw, and fried onions all on a potato bun. In addition to the food and drink, McGregor intends to use the 10 Then & Now | scoutsomerville.com

space to support local artists by hosting live performances, art shows, markets, and more. MOVED


T&B Pizza tried something new this November and December by offering woodfired bagels from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. on Saturdays, and has plans to continue on a weekly basis, according to

Eater Boston. Chef and co-owner Tim Wiechmann told Eater Boston that the menu is likely to expand to include options like burrata pizza bagels and more.


Local bartender Naomi Levy brought her talents to the Variety Bar in Bow Market beginning at the end of November and will stay for a stint of six months, according to Eater Boston. Levy has helped to craft a new menu, which now includes a “Yoohoo espresso martini, a deliinspired Old Fashioned with pastrami spice, canned wines, beer, and more,” not to mention a


Winter Hill Brewing Company isn’t the only beverage joint venturing into food. Rebel Rebel began serving lunch from 11:30 a.m. on Mondays through Thursdays this November, according to Eater Boston. The Bow Market wine bar offers only one lunch entree: a Frenchfavorite ham and butter sandwich between slices of baguette, paired with a side of Bonillas potato chips. The ham will change based on what’s available at Formaggio, Rebel Rebel owner Lauren Friel told Boston Eater.


You might have noticed that Fortissimo Coffeehouse officially closed its doors on Halloween, but fear not—the coffee shop is planning to return nearby at 75 Bow St., according to Eater Boston. A reopening date has yet to be announced.

Photo, top left, courtesy of Winter Hill Brewing. Naomi Levy photo, circle, by Caitlin Cunningham. Photo, center, courtesy of Rebel Rebel. Photo, top right, courtesy of Aeronaut.


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In November, Aeronaut kicked off the “Braille & Brew” event series, benefitting Boston-based nonprofit the National Braille Press (NBP). The November event was the first of four, which will span through August 2020, and required that participants enjoy a flight of Aeronaut beer while blindfolded, according to the Somerville Journal. Aeronaut charges a $35 “suggested ticket donation” which covers the flight of beer and a side of arepas, and also goes toward helping the NBP “offset the cost of producing braille books.”


Locals fear that a long awaited ArtFarm project that includes a public park, an art and urban architecture lab, and a space for “community creativity and engagement” might not be realized anytime soon, according to The Somerville Journal. The “community engagement process” began back in 2014 and Mayor Joe Curtatone designated a 2.1 acre space (which was formerly the Waste Transfer Station in Brickbottom) for the project in 2017, but construction still hasn’t started. “The people of Brickbottom and Somerville deserve better than the treatment they’ve gotten for decades and delivering on this long overdue project is important to keeping our word,” Councilor J.T. Scott told the journal.

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oe Cutatone took to Facebook to announce that the city began construction on a “new life sciences building” in Boynton Yards this December. The building is part of a larger project to increase “extensive community benefits” in that part of the city, according to his post. An official groundbreaking ceremony was held on Dec. 2, though the project had already been underway for months, and is expected to be completed by the summer of 2021, according to Curbed Boston.


Transit officials held a meeting at the end of November to discuss the progress of the ongoing Green Line Extension Project (GLX), according to Somerville Patch. The meeting covered an overview of the project and benefits, a discussion of the project outlook, forecasts for upcoming work, locations, and hours of operation, and talk of the location for a new community path. The GLX team announced that the Washington Bridge will reopen permanently in April, but that they have encountered greater difficulty with their goal to reopen the Broadway Bridge by March, according to The Somerville Journal. 12 Then & Now | scoutsomerville.com

CITY PROPOSES INCREASED PARKING TICKET FINES A new Traffic Commission proposal put forward at the end of November aims to raise parking fines in the city, according to Somerville Patch. The current tiered fine system dictates a $25 ticket for parking over a meter limit; a $30 ticket for parking for over 48 hours, parking in a restricted area, or committing a parking zone infraction; and a $40 ticket for parking with an “unattached trailer” or failing to leave adequate space between cars or leading up to intersections. The new Traffic Commission proposal would leave the tiered system behind and increase all ticket fines to $50.


Nearly 700 locals signed a petition at the end of November demanding “protected bike lanes” on Powder House Boulevard and on any city roads undergoing construction, according to The Somerville Journal. Local group Somerville Bicycle Safety has been leading the initiative, and delivered the petition to Mayor Joe Curtatone. Currently, only “non-protected” bike lanes runs along Powder House Circle and Powder House Boulevard. “The city made the wrong decision on Powder House Boulevard, sacrificing the safety of people on bicycles,” Somerville Bicycle Safety member Arah

Schuur told the journal. “This is not an acceptable outcome for one of the city’s major connecting streets.”

SOMERVILLE OFFICIALS WANT TO MAKE CHILDCARE A LEGAL CAMPAIGN EXPENSE Somerville and Cambridge Representative Mike Connolly teamed up with Senator Pat Jehlen this November to propose legislation that would budget childcare as a legal campaign fund expenditure, according to The Somerville Journal. The push for this new legislature comes in response to Lee Erica Palmer’s run for School Committee in Ward 3, during which she “couldn’t canvas as much as she wanted to because it was difficult to find affordable childcare.”

Photo, top left, courtesy of City of Somerville.



Two recreational marijuana shops—Union Leaf at 71-72 Union Square and NorthEast Select Harvest at 378-380 Highland Ave.—received city licenses at the of November for “by-appointment-only” retail during their first six months of business, which might not be too far off, according to Somerville Patch. Though Union Leaf won’t be opening anytime soon, NorthEast Select Harvest is slated to open anytime before May 2020. TEELE SQUARE



Happy Crab, a new cajun seafood restaurant, is moving into the former home of Amelia’s Kitchen at 1137 Broadway, according to Somerville Patch. An opening date has yet to be announced, but the restaurant will feature options to dine in, take out, and grab a drink at the bar, according to Boston Restaurant Talk.

CAMBRIA HOTEL SOMERVILLE EXPECTED TO BE COMPLETED IN 2021 Cambria Hotel Somerville received $53.8 million in funding from UBS Realty Investors

this November and is slated to open in February 2021, according to Somerville Patch. CambridgeSeven, the architecture firm leading the project, plans for the six-story building to include a 164-key hotel, a 150-seat restaurant, meeting rooms, and a pool and fitness center. BALL SQUARE


Victor’s Deli, originally opened in 1982, is sadly no more as of November, COMING according to Boston Restaurant SOON Talk. Instead, Ball Square Cafe and Breakfast is expanding into Victor’s Deli’s storefront at 710 Broadway from its location nextdoor. MOVED




HEN Chicken Rice was unable to open this December as planned due to a slow moving renovation process and a few unexpected hiccups, according to co-founder Annie Suwimol. Suwimol doesn’t have an estimated opening date for the Thai street food restaurant, but says that she and her team are using the delay as an opportunity to investigate eco-friendly packaging for the restaurant’s food and beverages. “We would like to be responsible to the sustainability issues and also serve our food the way that customers would enjoy the most,” she says.





BRETT SILLARI REALTOR® 978-505-7634 Brett@Century21Avon.com Century 21 Avon serving Cambridge, Somerville and the surrounding area since 1992. CENTURY 21 AVON 1675 MASS AVE CAMBRIDGE, MA 02138

scoutsomerville.com | Then & Now 13




hen British developing firm Scape announced a plan last summer to construct a sixstory residential building along Grove Street—from The Burren to the intersection with Elm Street—around the same time the city released a draft of a zoning overhaul, locals weren’t pleased. Davis Square was changing, and they wanted to take back control. Today, the future of the project is muddled. Under the final zoning ordinance passed by the city in December, the type of building proposed by Scape wouldn’t be allowed in Davis Square without a special permit; but the developer hasn’t yet said if they will change or cancel their plan. And residents and business owners of Davis Square are still worried about the future of their community. 14 Then & Now | scoutsomerville.com



cape, a development company known for building non-university-affiliated student housing, announced plans in June to redevelop a major plot of land within the “heart” of Davis Square, signing a nearly $10 million lease for 99 years on the properties at 231-249 Elm St., 6-8 Grove St., and 12 Grove St. The property in question currently houses nine active retail tenants and one vacant space. Scape was planning to convert the area into a six-story, pre-furnished housing development “open to all residents,” with first-floor retail spaces. That announcement came just two months before a new zoning plan was proposed, alongside the Davis Square

Neighborhood Plan, that would allow for five- and six-story buildings in the square. Since the last zoning code was put into place 30 years ago, only fourstory buildings have been legal in the square. Scape representatives declined an interview request, offering instead a brief statement from Scape North America CEO Andrew Flynn who claimed that the company is “fully committed to a transparent process that engages all stakeholders.” However, in previous public statements they had repeatedly stated that The Burren, a popular Irish pub situated in a first-floor space of the existing building, would remain in business during construction and beyond. Other shops, restaurants, and bars in the building received 18-month eviction notices, according to

multiple sources. Local business owners elsewhere in the square had also expressed fears that construction would lead to a decrease in foot traffic. Paul Christie, co-owner of Davis Squared, says the plan struck a nerve with owners who feared being pushed out of their cozy first-floor storefronts. And while his local gift shop on Highland Avenue wasn’t in danger of closing because of the Scape project, Christie anticipates it’s those like himself who also live in the square that will be impacted the most. He recalls more gradual changes to the area over the years, but the Scape plan seems like a monumental and unprecedented attempt at reconfiguring the community and infrastructure of Davis Square. “It’s one thing to see pockets of the neighborhood change

over time,” says Christie, “but it’s another thing entirely to see such a huge piece of the neighborhood change all at once.”



hristie moved to Davis in 1996 and bought a fixer-upper house with one of his longtime friends, and in 2005 he opened Davis Squared with his wife, Mel, whom he met while working at the nowclosed restaurant Gargoyles on the Square. At the time, she was running the now-closed gift shop Pluto, which was just two doors down the same street. Aware of the pair’s plan to open a local gift shop of their own, their UPS carrier alerted them when he noticed a vacant retail space in Davis Square. “It was definitely kind of scary at first, doing something on your own,” Christie explains. “But we had a lot of friends in the area and we felt comfortable that we had a really good base of people that would support us starting out. I think when we opened up there was a lot more opportunity for local people to start businesses.” Christie feels that “animosity” between “old-school Somerville” and “new-school Somerville” over the changing landscape of Davis Square began in the 1990s as a result of the Red Line station being built in the mid-1980s. Before the arrival of the T stop, Davis Square had a reputation for being “dangerous,” according to Chris Iwerks, an architect and another Davis Square resident. He added that after the construction of the new T stop, the square boasted more space for events like Art Beat and hosted more visitors from elsewhere in the city. Both Alan Bingham, the chair of the Somerville Historic Preservation Commission, and Iwerks noted that while Davis Square gained a kind of charm after that period of “rebirth” in the ‘90s, in that same period other popular squares like Harvard and Kendall lost it to redevelopment and ongoing construction, which has put many small, local shops out of business.

“Davis today is like what Harvard was 25 or 30 years ago,” Bingham explains. “But Harvard has turned out to be full of banks and basically ‘formula retail stores.’ It’s sort of lost that kind of interesting funkyness that it had.” And preserving Davis Square’s current character was firmly in the minds of residents and business owners when they packed the multipurpose room of the First Unitarian Church on Oct. 23 for a community meeting held by Scape representatives to present their plans and field questions from the locals.



t the meeting, Scape’s Flynn said there would be approximately 250 units in the building, that they would likely be a mix of studios, one-bedroom, and two-bedroom apartments, and there would be no condos. He told attendees that studios could rent for $1,300 to $1,400 per month, while two-bedroom units could cost as much as $3,000 per month to rent for a minimum of one year. Flynn also said that the building would not offer city parking passes, which attendees of the meeting speculated would likely attract students. The information offered at the meeting appeared to do little to ease concerns. Councilor Lance Davis, whose ward includes Davis Square, was vocal about the city’s detachment from Scape’s plans from the beginning, even speaking out from the back of the room at the community meeting that the city would not be rezoning anything to satisfy a developer. After all, the zoning plan that Scape was using to make its renderings—version four, to be exact, which suggested the mid-rise six zoning for Davis Square—was only a draft. “The timing of that was really unfortunate,” Davis says, regarding the close release of the draft and Scape’s plan. “As I said at the (Oct. 23) meeting, it’s not a coincidence that those things happened together. As the Scape folks said … they were looking at the drafts and trying


scoutsomerville.com | Then & Now 15


“The one thing that I think gets lost too much in the conversation recently is that things aren’t working in Davis Square and haven’t been for years. ... Keeping the status quo won’t work because it’s not working now.” – Lance Davis

to plan ahead. When you do that, sometimes it doesn’t work out because things change.” He also took issue with some of the “commitments” the company said they were making on the project. “One of the things that bugged me (at the meeting) was that (Scape) said they are absolutely committed to making 20 percent affordable housing,” Davis says. “You’re not committed to that, you’re required by law to do that. That’s a threshold requirement. They also said, ‘We are committed to the accessibility requirements.’ That’s not a commitment you’re making. That’s the law.” Iwerks attended the meeting, as well, and feels that Scape offered no definitive response when asked about its backup plan should draft zoning ordinance they had based their plans on fell through. That draft, itself, had worried some residents like Iwerks.



hat was alarming when we saw that,” Iwerks explains of the proposed zoning changes that would have allowed for six-story buildings in the square. “There had been nothing in any of the neighborhood planning sessions that would justify it. There were some things leading sort of in that direction… but they didn’t have a real credible methodology to go between speculations and what I would call law.” Christie also feels that sixstory buildings are simply too tall for the square, and that the issue of maintaining the current feel of Davis comes down to regulating the zoning. Locals have also expressed concerns about the construction necessary for Scape’s plan to redevelop the building on Grove Street. Bingham, the chair of the Somerville Historic Preservation Commission, adds that the building Scape has acquired is more than 50 years old and thus would need to have changes approved by the Historic Preservation Commission. Iwerks also compared the 16 Then & Now | scoutsomerville.com

“upscale urban hip” style depicted in Scape’s renderings to an “invasive species,” claiming that while popular in Boston, buildings in that style wouldn’t fit in with the current feel of Davis Square. Christie fears that construction would make it more difficult for tourists and locals from other nearby squares to get into Davis, or that it might deter them all together. He estimated that a fifth of the square would be blocked by traffic as a result of ongoing construction. He thinks that Scape did little during their presentation to the community to address the true impact of their project on the surrounding streets. “They have their plan, and it’s a plan for profit,” Christie says. “With all that construction, I think you’ll have a lot of people that are just going to avoid the square all together.” But the opposition to Scape’s plan is not unanimous. Tommy McCarthy, the owner of The Burren, notes that he’s seen this kind of redevelopment all over the world while travelling with his band. He’s been impressed by the quick completion of other Scape projects in Galway, Ireland, and believes that Scape has been “diplomatic” thus far regarding its plans for Davis Square and its relationships with the existing businesses. “I suppose if Scape weren’t doing it, someone else would come along and do it,” McCarthy says. Flynn reached out to The Burren last March during the beginning stages of the project, according to McCarthy. He said that Flynn was familiar with The Burren and knew that the popular pub had to stay. McCarthy also adds that The Burren has a long lease for its space in the building that prevents Scape from removing the pub from the building. Christie is unimpressed by Scape’s promise to let The Burren stay—he thinks the gesture of saving one business out of many is more of a show than a solution. Scape offered that other businesses in the building could return after construction is completed, according to Christie, but he suspected that for many, eviction would mean going out of business. “Their proposal to let The

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Burren stay in there is meant to diffuse a lot of the resentment from all of the other displaced businesses,” Christie says. “But that would be similar to someone redeveloping an apartment building and picking one family and saying, ‘Well, we’re going to save this one family, even though we’re going to displace all of the other families.’”



n a public hearing held at City Hall on Dec. 10, the councilmembers fielded final comments from the community regarding changes to the zoning plan. Draft five, which ultimately passed in mid-December, had a few notable edits, including in Davis Square. The lot that Scape purchased would be zoned under the commercial core 4 category, which prohibits any sort of residential building, and requires special permission for buildings taller than four stories. “The point of zoning should be that we put our community 18 Then & Now | scoutsomerville.com

values first and plan from that perspective, and go backwards from there to decide what we allow and how we allow it,” Davis says. When asked about Scape’s future plans regarding their lot following the zoning overhaul, the company issued an almost identical statement from Flynn. “We remain excited to bring an innovative approach to urban living in Boston and beyond,” it says. “As we look to potential projects in Somerville, we are fully committed to a transparent process that engages all stakeholders as we move forward on specific plans over the next few years. We are currently focused on 1252-1270 Boylston Street in Boston. We look forward to working with the neighborhood, community stakeholders, and the Somerville Planning staff.” As for the city’s future plans for the square, Davis has some ideas. One is facilitating the construction of a public market hall—following a model often seen in Europe, where vendors

sell goods in small booths—in the square, to potentially serve as an incubator for the next generation of small businesses and to house displaced businesses. Another is increasing daytime traffic in Davis Square, which he thinks can be accomplished through commercial development. “Right now, we have a lot of capacity coming into Davis Square in the morning and going out in the evening,” he says. “So why not, at least in the short-term, focus some of the development that will necessitate people coming into the square in the morning to get to work?” Bingham and Iwerks agree that the center of Davis Square could benefit from more commercial space, which they believe aligns more closely with the city’s plan for the square. Bingham thinks that startups in particular might thrive in Davis and would add, rather than detract, from the tight-knit, creative community feel that has long been the foundation of the square. While Davis supported the

effort to create a commercial zone in the center of the square, rather than a residential one, he doesn’t want to give the impression that the square is perfect. He believes that the square does not need saving; it needs fixing. Davis feels that “zoning is the most powerful tool” that a municipality is given, and wants to leverage it to improve the square while maintaining its character—even if that means setting precedents in the city, and drafting new language for concepts like “designated affordable commercial working space” to foster small, independently owned businesses. “The one thing that I think gets lost too much in the conversation recently is that things aren’t working in Davis Square and haven’t been for years,” he says. “There are too many banks, chain restaurants, chain stores, and bars moving into the square and too few of the diverse, quirky businesses in the square that we love. Keeping the status quo won’t work because it’s not working now.” Not every store goes out of business because of high rent, he says, but that does seem to be the trend. Many of the buildings Davis Square are very old and getting very expensive to maintain, he points out. “The only way they can maintain these old buildings is to keep raising rent, which is not a sustainable model,” Davis says. One of his goals for the beginning of 2020 is to think more broadly about this issue and to work towards implementing some of his and his colleagues’ more ambitious ideas. An action the city has already taken to preserve the feel of Davis Square is requiring a special permit for a formula business—a business with at least nine locations, where all branches have common characteristics such as a uniform or a menu. While Davis says the city cannot ban any certain type of business, what they can do is create an extra hurdle which “gives the city a voice” and is “one less step that a small business would have to go through.” “We have to think long term on how to make this a place where this type of business thrives,” Davis says.

Then NOW






4 1. Assembly Row is shown on the left in 2000 before the monumental development on the property. On the right is a current photo. (Photo courtesy of Federal Realty Investment Trust.) 2.Sarah Murphy and Jon Olszewski, owners of Vinal Bakery, are pictured celebrating the one year anniversary of the day they took over the former Pizza Palace to turn it into Vinal Bakery. (Photo courtesy of Vinal Bakery.) 3.The building of Ebi Sushi, a Somerville joint that serves authentic Japanese fare, has gone through a major facelift since the operation opened. Check out the fresh exterior that puts Ebi’s personality in a front row seat. (Photos courtesy of Ebi Sushi.) 4. The Artisan’s Asylum is one of the largest makerspaces in the world. The Asylum grew exponentially once it expanded onto Tyler Street, and the construction process from eight years ago is pictured alongside the current space. (Photos courtesy of Artisan’s Asylum.) scoutsomerville.com | Then & Now 19




CITY UPON PROSPECT HILL 20 Then & Now | scoutsomerville.com

n a wintry New Year’s day in 1776, Somerville became the site of the first flag raising in the country. Back then, it was called the Grand Union flag—featuring a British Union Jack in the upper left corner where the 50 stars now reside, and thirteen red stripes. One day later, the words “United States of America” appeared in print for the first time in a letter written by George Washington’s Secretary and Aide, an Irish-American named Stephen Moylan, in Cambridge during the Siege of Boston. “Boston is inundated with sacred grounds for the foundation of our country,” says historian Byron DeLear, author of “The First American Flag—Revisiting The Grand Union at Prospect Hill.” “Prospect Hill is definitely one of them.” DeLear has devoted years of his career to meticulously researching the 30-day period between Dec. 3, 1775—the date that the Grand Union flag first debuted over the continental navy—and Jan. 2, 1776. And he’s not alone. Lawrence Willwerth—a third-generation Somerville resident, docent, Somerville Museum trustee, and Vietnam War veteran—is also a selfmotivated U.S. history buff. Willwerth relays facts about the nation as naturally as he does those about his own life, often remembering exact dates and times of events few have even heard of. He now co-organizes the First Flag Raising reenactment on Jan. 1 at Prospect Hill each year, alongside Executive Director

Photo, left, courtesy of Wikipedia Creative Commons. Photo, right, by Lilly Milman.

of the Somerville Historic Preservation Commission Brandon Wilson. Starting in 2000, Wilson planned the reenactment with help from the city’s preservation planner, Kristi Chase, and Somerville Museum’s executive director, Evelyn Battinelli. Turning the event into a community-wide staple sponsored by the city was enthusiastically supported by then-Mayor Dorothy Kelly Gay and Community Development Executive Director Stephen Post. In recent years, Chase has taken a backseat. Before the city and Wilson began hosting the event, residents Isobel Cheney and Fred Lund primarily got people out to Prospect Hill annually, every year since 1976, says Battinelli. Willwerth was inspired to get involved with the event about 11 years ago, when he realized that he was unsure who from The Ancient and Honorable Artillery Company of Massachusetts—the oldest chartered military organization in the western hemisphere, of

the day of the event. The day begins with a procession from City Hall to Prospect Hill, followed by a program that Willwerth personally fact-checks. He takes pride in the fact that the ceremony never exceeds an hour. Afterwards, all attendees are treated to a brunch at the Mt. Vernon restaurant in Winter Hill—one of Willwerth’s favorite spots. His involvement with the Artillery Company has led to a large number of reenactors participating in the event, which wasn’t the case before, says Wilson. Another staple of the reenactment is a speech performed by George Washington, played by John Koopman this year. Somervillians like Willwerth and Battinelli, as well as transplant Wilson, all take pride in reclaiming the city’s history. “Somerville’s history unfortunately gets kind of hidden because at the time of these events, we were part of Charlestown,” says Battinelli. “We didn’t separate

“Somerville’s history unfortunately gets kind of hidden because at the time of these events, we were part of Charlestown. We didn’t separate until 1842. So, that whole period gets celebrated as Charlestown. That’s why we always have to fight to get recognized.” – Evelyn Battinelli

which he is a member—was in attendance back in 1776. This sparked his love of independent research, and he was shocked to learn that, at the time, the majority of the members were loyalists. “That has been a historic ride that I’m still spending time on,” Willwerth says. “What a wonderful way for a citizen to get involved in their community, find out what their roots are.” Now, he has the planning down to a science. He begins during the summer, finalizing everything by November, and he always has a plan B ready to go in case something goes wrong on

until 1842. So, that whole period gets celebrated as Charlestown. That’s why we always have to fight to get recognized.” From a distance, the flag that had been flying on Prospect Hill before Jan. 1 was entirely red— historically, a sign of protest, DeLear says. According to the three primary sources available about the ceremony, one of which comes from George Washington himself, 13 gunshots were fired, followed by 13 hurrahs shouted in commemoration of the United States. And then, finally, the first flag of the United States was raised.

New decade,




scoutsomerville.com | Then & Now 21






s skyrocketing real estate prices cause rents to soar, maintaining space for the arts in Somerville is increasingly difficult. Still, arts and recreation thrive in a recently developed non-industrial complex—located in a historically industrial space. Along the abandoned B&M railroad line and within one of Somerville’s oldest industrial neighborhoods lies the Somernova business complex. It occupies several repurposed buildings that previously housed older manufacturing facilities, collectively known as the Ames Business Park. This 300,000-square-foot space once housed the former Ames Safety Envelope company that shuttered in 2010. It now includes several newer Somerville businesses, like Brooklyn Boulders Somerville, Artisan’s Asylum, Aeronaut Brewing Company, and the first Greentown Labs building off Park Street. Brandon Wilson, who has served as the executive director of Somerville’s Historic Preservation

22 Then & Now | scoutsomerville.com

Commission for two decades, refers to this stretch as Innovation Row. The zoning ordinance, adopted in December, has established this as a “Fabrication District” that supports the city’s creative economy, from individual artists to technology startups. “It has been encouraging to see how … Somerville, especially under the Curtatone administration, has come to appreciate its older building stock and ways to preserve its architectural craftsmanship and contribution to the streetscape,” she says. “The city’s always had these industrial spaces that have gone from manufacturing to the creative economy,” says Gregory Jenkins, executive director of the Somerville Arts Council. Wilson says the project developed out of two needs: to find new uses for the city’s aging industrial spaces, and to forge and maintain spaces for the arts. “So many spaces in the city have these interesting, cool buildings along the railroad tracks,” she says. “I as a planner want to preserve those buildings, [but] they need to be profitable enough to pay the rents. You can do that by making them attractive

features of the area.” The project has been years in the making—a 2009 report released jointly by the Mayor’s Office of Strategic Planning and Community Development (OSPCD) and the Somerville Arts Council calls for the rezoning of Union Square “from the perspective of artists and those seeking to create … space for arts-related uses.” The report pushed for the municipality to create studio space, demarcate a new Union Square Arts Overlay District and establish mandated arts spaces in transit-oriented districts close to Green Line stops. An initial proposal to turn the complex into housing set the arts community on edge. Wilson credits Bill Shea, the CEO of the Ames Safety Envelope company, with renting out the space and overseeing its re-leasing. He was willing to take a chance on renting Ames’ surplus space to a “bunch of unknown and young entrepreneurs,” Wilson says, putting the Somernova area on the map. “If it wasn’t for somebody with his vision and willingness to try things, none of this would have happened,” Wilson says. “It was his willingness to open it up to others that was the Ames tradition. Sadly, he passed away before he was able to see how successfully his risk turned out.” Wilson also credits Collin Yip, managing director of Rafi Properties, the developer that bought the firm in 2018, with remaining sensitive to the flavor of the area’s innovative manufacturing heritage. She says Yip wants to continue its sense of place and community partnership. Jenkins says that growth requires collaboration between developers and the community. “Can the developer build out space that attracts the creative community? That’s what the city’s seeking to [help accomplish]. The verdict’s still out—it’s going to take the focus and drive of the developer and the community,” he says. The needs of Somerville’s arts community are consistent historically, Jenkins explains, adding that artists are attracted

to adaptive and cheap spaces with reasonable rents. “They’re looking for stability and affordability,” he says. “That’s what attracts the creative community. I don’t think that’s changed in 20 to 40 years.” Lars Hasselblad Torres, executive director of Artisan’s Asylum, an artists’ community and makerspace, says his organization moved to Somernova in 2012 and has been expanding throughout that space for eight years, originally taking up an area of 10,000 square feet. The organization now occupies 40,000 square feet. A collaborative spirit infuses the building, influencing collaborations between Artisan’s Asylum and the other businesses housed there, as well as with Rafi Properties. “We definitely do a lot of cross-pollination,” he says. “A lot of what you see when you go to Somernova are pieces of art that have been made by makers at the Artisan’s Asylum. Artisan’s Asylum [ensures] that information and opportunities are flowing.” Artisan’s Asylum also works with the startups housed in Greentown Labs to build out their hardware and physical prototypes. Torres applauds the unique features of the Ames envelope factory’s industrial architecture. “Being in a one-level property makes life extremely easy for artists to move their material into our shops to build what they want to build it into. Being on a single-level building, at that scale, is tremendously unique and enormously valuable,” he says. Artisan’s Asylum has taken advantage of its location through partnerships with Union Square Main Streets to participate in community-wide events— everything from the annual Fluff Festival to various open studios— and through collaboration with Mayor Joe Curtatone’s office and the Office of Economic Development. Jenkins explains that despite the creative economy’s current flourishing in Union Square, its long-term security is not certain. Rents might increase, pushing artists away from the area. Finding ways to protect these spaces after they are created is key.

Then& NOW 5

6 5. Jennifer Park and Tucker Lewis, owners of Diesel Cafe, are pictured in 1999 and again in 2018. (Photos courtesy of Diesel Cafe.) 6. Dr. Katie Talmo’s dental office, then owned by Dr. Lewis O. Card, is pictured in 1927 and again in 2020. (Photos courtesy of Dr. Talmo.)

scoutsomerville.com | Then & Now 23



ILAN MOCHARI: I was waiting tables at a restaurant in Cambridge called Full Moon. I worked with a waitress named Jen Bates, who’s an actress. She has since moved to the Bay Area. Jen knew Holli. I don’t remember how they knew each other, but they were friends. When Holli moved up here and wanted to start a publication, she was just asking around if anyone knew any writers at all. I think Jen mentioned my name to Holli. At the time it wasn’t, “Scout needs an editor.” Holli just needed someone to write the main article, which was going to be—you’ll never believe this— but it was going to be about the extension of the Green Line. HOLLI BANKS: I had worked for a small newspaper in Selma, Alabama right out of high school, so from ‘94 until almost 2000. Then I went off to theater school. I had done an annual Chamber of Commerce guide that was more magazine style with a group of women in Texas to supplement my less-than-lucrative acting career. … I moved to Somerville because my best friend moved to Cambridge. I moved the week after the ‘08 election. When I got here, I had no job and no place to live. I started sending out my resume. … I couldn’t get a job, I came to the most educated city in the United States with a musical theater conservatory degree. 24 Then & Now | scoutsomerville.com

I saw all of these really cool, independently owned businesses. I was going to do a coupon book because I didn’t know how to put together editorial, and at the time I ran into Ilan and he was a writer and editor. ILAN: I don’t think I have the editor’s note until the third one. And that’s when it began. LILLY MILMAN: I was actually also waiting tables full-time when I interned at Scout, and then I spent a few months freelancing with our previous editor, Reena. I think it’s really interesting that you (Ilan and Holli) created something that I later inherited. Could talk about your initial vision for Scout? ILAN: It’s important to credit Holli with with the initial vision and the launching. Holli is the entrepreneur behind it. Holli had the fortitude to stake her life on this at a time when—that was nine years after Inc. magazine was beginning to go online. To think that there would be a market for a print edition of a hyperlocal publication before everyone was using the compound adjective “hyperlocal...” But Holli had a sense had a sense that this would work. HOLLI: When I first started, I was staying with a friend and using her dining room as an office. For

the second issue, I got an office space and I actually lived in the back. I used a hot plate for the first three years. Luckily, there was a shower in there. It wasn’t supposed to be an apartment, but I think they were trying to rezone it so that it could be. Every night I was scared the police were going to come in and kick me out. … Those were the good old days. ILAN: Once I became the editor, I think the way that we collaboratively shaped it was that with me at the helm, it became more devoted to serious journalism. Adam (Vaccarro) and Tom (Nash) were serious reporters. We wrote stories that I think people really liked. They might have even, in retrospect, been too serious. But I think that what was important about what we did was that it showed people that this wasn’t going to be a pennysaver. There were going to be real stories about their communities. ADAM VACCARRO: We did a story on Assembly Square that was really thorough and fair and told a really definitive history of all the fits and starts to get it to what it became. Assembly is obviously thriving at this point, but it took a lot of work to get it there. It was useful for us as reporters to understand the history to how it got there and it added a lot of context of how it turned it into

Ilan Mochari

the success that it’s become. ILAN: There’s still an expectation that because you’re not paying for it, because it seems to be focused on your town, that you’re not going to find articles that are well written, that are about topics that aren’t mindlessly flattering to local kinds of businesses. Every time I open Scout, I’m really excited to see how that continues. HOLLI: It’s not even just that there’s a new restaurant opening, but who started it and why and what are these recipes from? ADAM: Ilan definitely encouraged Tom and I to go hard at City Hall and have fun causing trouble and being skeptical about the direction of the city. Somerville was on the path to what it is today. It was, you could say, halfway through its generational makeover. ILAN: My favorite story was called “Look Homeward, Soldier.” I basically got to walk in Memorial Day Parade with a Vietnam veteran. He gave me incredible access. It captured a side of Somerville that is like real, dyed-in-the-wool, patriotic New England town and not the sort of glitz-glamour, “put bacon on your donut” bullshit that I think a lot of people now associate Somerville with. And of course the photos from the parade are incredible. LILLY: That’s another full circle moment, because one of the goals of this “Then and Now” issue is to shine some light on Old Somerville and Cambridge. We have a story in this issue featuring Lawrence Willwerth, a veteran who helps plan the first flag raising reenactment.

Lilly Milman

HOLLI: In 2012, people really started asking me to do a Cambridge publication. I had always envisioned multiple publications. That’s why the company is called Banks Publications and not Scout Magazines. I thought that Cambridge was too big and too diverse economically, but I had some advertisers. And Cambridge has been a bigger challenge. It’s remained a challenge to cover that

much ground and that many neighborhoods with that limited small team that we must maintain to be able to do this. ILAN: I still get every issue and read it. I think the magazine now basically resembles what the magazine looked like when I left it to Adam and Tom in 2012. I would say, though, right now the layout is much better, smoother. That’s been a wonderful improvement. And the other thing is that Scout still digs deeper to get a story that has not been told. My favorite thing about reporting for Scout was that I never ever had to deal with a public relations professional. You’re talking to the sources every time. And that’s not something to take for granted. ADAM: Local journalism has been devastated in the last 10 years. … So, to have had the opportunity to spend two months researching something, and writing a really thorough story that highlighted the issues in the city... There aren’t a lot of opportunities like that in journalism right now, especially at the local level. That was highly valuable to me. I’d done some freelancing before, but this was my first regular journalism job and Somerville was such an interesting training ground for that. ILAN: So many times in life, you deal with a publisher who just cares about money and Holli cares about the magazine. When you have a publisherowner, it’s really important. Many publishers throughout the world of journalism—they’re employees, and they’re judged by a singular single number: revenue. So when the owner, who’s also the publisher, is someone who’s also thinking, “I want a magazine that I can be proud of,” that’s rare. You don’t want the magazine that people just flip through for coupons. HOLLI: I think it’s really important to share these stories and keep this cities still neighborhoods and still communities—you know, people knowing their neighbors. That’s what Scout’s always been about and I feel really good about that mission. scoutsomerville.com | Then & Now 25




here’s a small park, colorful three-decker homes, community restaurants, and local and franchise stores on Somerville Avenue, near Central Street. It’s a sparse and quiet area. And in a couple of years, a six-story luxury hotel is expected to squeeze into this environment. 26 Then & Now | scoutsomerville.com

The city of Somerville currently has three hotels: La Quinta, Holiday Inn, and the Row Hotel in Assembly Row, which opened in August 2018 and is ranked in the top 100 hotels by Travel + Leisure. Several hotels are in the nearby areas of Cambridge and Boston. But as of late 2019, three

hotels have been approved and are in the works, doubling the amount of hotels in the city, according to Thomas Galligani, the director of economic development in the Mayor’s office. The Beacon Street Hotel, a four-story, 35-room hotel with a restaurant, was approved for

369-371 Beacon St. in 2012 after a public hearing. The area’s site, located near Porter Square between Beacon Street and the MBTA commuter rail tracks, has been under construction for several years now. Galligani is unsure of when it would open and the name of the hotel. And lastly, a six-story,

120-room extended-stay hotel adjacent to a proposed residential unit was approved for 0 & 20 Inner Belt Rd. and 56 Roland St.—right across from the Holiday Inn. The city Zoning Board of Appeals approved Cambria Hotel to be built on 515 Somerville Ave., according to Galligani. The hotel was permitted to include 163 rooms with a parking garage, and according to bldup.com, the project is slated for completion by February 2021. Brendan Haplin, a teacher and writer, who lived on Somerville Avenue near the soonto-be hotel in the early 1990s for a couple of years, was perplexed when he heard that a fancy hotel was to open in the location he considered “grungy.” “At the time, Bay State Smelting was across the street from me. It was kind of just a little bit grim and semi-industrial pretty much between Porter and Union. There were some business that had been there forever, like an old man bar,” he says. He moved to Somerville right after college because he could only afford something cheap. Haplin, 51, now resides in Jamaica Plain but has been a resident of the Greater Boston Area for about 28 years. He thinks the area has changed— Union Square is more established, newer stores have opened, and the city has overall become more gentrified, but Haplin is still shocked that the Cambria will be at that location. “When I think of a place where luxury hotels are, I think of downtown, Seaport, these sort of gleaming locations, which, even now, does not describe Somerville Ave., even though it’s much more

upscale than when I lived there,” he says. “It seems like a bad fit for the neighborhood. I feel like we’ve really had enough of building things for rich people.” Surrounding Somerville Avenue is a historic area that attracted many immigrant families, according to Kristi Chase, a preservation planner in the City’s Historic Preservation Commission. It was an industrial location, and 515 Somerville Ave. was previously a factory. Before approving a site, the Somerville Planning Board considers how easily accessible the hotel would be with public transportation, says Sarah Lewis, director of the Somerville planning division. The Board also discusses how the area of the city will be conserved, enhanced, and transformed. “For the existing neighborhoods, we’re trying to conserve and make sure that the character of Old Somerville remains,” Lewis says. “But we do have lots of areas, like Boynton Yards and Assembly Row, that transform areas. That land used to be industrial, but hasn’t been industrial for a while. And so, those are the areas where most of the significant changes are happening. From a planning perspective, we’re trying to balance those.” Galligani, the economic development director, says these hotels will help the Somerville’s budget as the city is able to collect a local hotel tax—the established hotels have definitely helped the budget as they’ve become more successful. He says that these hotels might attract people visiting for leisure, families for students in nearby universities, and people on business trips, as Cambria will be close to Greentown Labs. Business travel is the largest driver of roomstays in Somerville, which is also related to the city’s proximity to Kendall Square, Cambridge, and Boston, he says. “How these hotels will impact the area, I don’t know. We have all kinds of wonderful, small businesses that are struggling like crazy,” Chase says. “What I am hoping is that the people that stay there will spend some money in Somerville.”

Best Liquor Store

Best Liquor Store


We deliver through the Drizly and Minibar Apps! NO PANTS REQUIRED!


From 321 square feet at our first location in 2011 to 1500 square feet at our new one in 2019 – thank you to our community and our clients for joining us in our journey! BEST HAIR SALON: 2013–2019 BEST HAIR COLOR: 2016–2019 BEST HAIRCUT: 2016–2018


scoutsomerville.com | Then & Now 27


Everything’s the Same, Everything’s Different BY ERIC J. FRANCIS


here are some 81,000 people living in Somerville’s 4.2 square miles of real estate, but there’s really just one you’re going to blame if our trash isn’t picked up or the roads aren’t plowed: the mayor. Since 1872, 35 people have held that office. The current occupant, Mayor Joe Curtatone, is the city’s longest-serving mayor. The incumbent since 2004, he’s serving his eighth term. Gene Brune held the office for a decade, from 1980 to 1990. They each shared some insights on how being mayor has changed over the decades.

Incumbent Mayor Joe Curtatone PRIORITIZING ACCOUNTABILITY When he arrived in the mayor’s office in 1996, Curtatone says residents told him core city services weren’t being delivered efficiently or effectively. On top of that, “the Police Department was in disarray,” he says. So, one of his first priorities was leveling up the city’s responsiveness to its residents. “We wanted to develop and cultivate the most professional and accountable staff we could,” he says. “To bring that data and performance information out to the public, online.” THE NATIONAL POLITICAL CLIMATE Some priorities have changed gradually, but others were unpredictable, like the impact of the election of Donald Trump as president and the spiraling crisis of climate control, he says. 28 Then & Now | scoutsomerville.com

“There was a time when what was most important was a transactional relationship between us and the public: You elected me as mayor, I needed to balance the budget, improve the services, and so forth,” he says. “Now that means standing up and fighting for new immigrants in our communities when they’re being targeted with cruel and mean-spirited policies. To not only act locally but think globally as leaders, not just in our communities but for the greater region in the commonwealth and the country. That’s evolved and changed to a level beyond what I would ever have expected when I first got elected.” CONTINUOUS GROWTH For both mayors, the core issues haven’t changed a whole lot: transportation, housing, public safety. But the area of focus within those issues does tend to shift. Housing is another evergreen issue that must be addressed across decades. “We never want to become static,” says Curtatone. “The needs of the community, the demands, and the priorities are always changing.” CAMPAIGNING “On the campaign side, many things have changed in terms of the evolution of social media and different challenges and methods of engaging voters,” said Curtatone. “One thing that hasn’t changed is the value of engaging voters face-to-face.” Last summer alone, he rang 4,500 doorbells while out campaigning, a continuation of a practice that began with his first run in 1995, he says. But now there are so many sources where voters seek and share information—social media, online, via text—that running now requires a robust online outreach effort.

Mayor Emeritus Gene Brune THE RED LINE One of Brune’s biggest challenges in the 1980s was finding a way to lay the groundwork so Somerville could grow and increase its potential. For example, bringing the Red Line to Davis Square: That was a project that started in 1974 when he was still an alderman, and the ribbon was finally cut in the middle of his tenure, in 1984. It was a boon not just for commuters, but for economic development. Before then, he says, the square was all “shoe stores and barrooms, and the shoe stores were moving out.” ZONING Brune also felt it was critical to improve the quality of life in Somerville and one way to do that was to take on its reputation as “the billboard capital of the world.” His administration faced off with billboard giant Ackerley

Communications by changing the zoning ordinance to severely restrict where they could be placed, and Ackerley responded by filing a lawsuit to stop it. Eventually, the courts upheld the city’s modified zoning ordinance. “I took them on and we went to court a few times,” says Brune. “We won some, we lost some, but the end result is we took down 90 percent of the billboards.” CAMPAIGNING Brune’s most memorable mayoral race was the 1979 primary election. He knew two sons of influential families—Paul Haley and Michael Capuano, both aldermen—were planning to seek the nomination. Having run for mayor unsuccessfully before, Brune’s strategy this time around was not to tip his hand until both men had committed to the race, splitting the vote.

Photo, left, courtesy of City of Somerville. Photo, right, courtesy of Gene Brune.

But Capuano, it seemed, was of a similar mind. He kept trying to get Brune to commit as to whether he was getting in the race or not. Brune felt that if he announced, Capuano would hold off for a year, endorsing incumbent Mayor Thomas F. August in anticipation of a reciprocal endorsement after August served one final term. “Michael Capuano did everything he could to get me out, and I did everything I could to keep him in,” recalls Brune. “I kept on stalling him, even though we knew we were going to run.” Finally, as the filing deadline closed in, Capuano announced that he was filing to seek the mayor’s office, “and we drank Champagne,” says Brune. He went on to file his own candidacy, win the nomination, then defeat August in the general election to begin the first term of his 10-year tenure.

scoutsomerville.com | Then & Now 29



Somerville’s rise as a city of great restaurants was fueled by many factors, but among the most important was a loosening of how the city and state regulated liquor licenses.

30 Then & Now | scoutsomerville.com


hen Stephen Mackey became president and CEO of the Somerville Chamber of Commerce in 1995, the nation was in the midst of an urban resurgence and the city wanted a piece of it. As he saw it, Somerville had three big advantages: It was the most densely populated city in New England, it was closer to downtown Boston than most other parts of that city, and it was right in the middle of the “brainpower triangle” of Harvard, MIT, and Tufts. There were a lot of things Somerville needed to catch the rising wave of urban living, among them improved transit and building its commercial tax base. But first of all, says Mackey, the city needed a hook. “We looked at Boston and it was the political and economic capital; we looked at Cambridge and it was the life sciences capital,” says Mackey. “We decided we’re going to offer dining and night life.” The city had foundations to build upon, including the Somerville Theater, Johnny D’s, and Redbones. But once he started doing what chamber chiefs do—networking with his members, finding out the lay of the land—Mackey made an interesting discovery: A lot of the city’s restaurants were dry, and not by choice. “We had little boutique restaurants with food from all over the world,” he says. “Each of them seemed to have a wine or beer or something that goes with the cuisine, and they couldn’t really be taken seriously by food critics unless they could serve something to complement the food.” The problem was that many of those restaurants didn’t have a liquor license. That’s because the state Alcoholic Beverages Control Commission restricted the number of licenses that were issued in a city, and

they only became available if a restaurant holding one failed or its owner sold the license. “They were very rare and expensive, costing $50,000-plus at the time,” Mackey says. “We worked on it for a year to come up with a compromise.” So he did the other thing chamber chiefs do, and started working on public policy. The chamber’s Dining and Nightlife Group asked the city to take to the legislature a proposal for a new type of beer and wine license, one a boutique restaurant could pay for annually and that reverted to the city if it closed; that prevented the speculation and price gouging that was common with permanent licenses. It took a year for the city to get it to the legislature, but it did pass. Then, Mackey says, the city had to change its own stripes regarding late-night closing time. Somerville had a closing hour of midnight or 1 a.m., while Boston and Cambridge stayed open until 2 a.m. The city resisted the later closing time, arguing that, after one restaurant or bar closed, customers would go to another to have a few last drinks. The chamber had to convince city officials that drinking culture was changing—people weren’t going out until later at night, and they were staying in one spot for four or five hours instead of barhopping. The fact that Somerville restaurants closed earlier meant people who were making evening plans would simply opt for a Harvard Square or Boston restaurant, instead. “We also lobbied to allow full-service sidewalk cafes” and street events, says Mackey. “The argument was, ‘We don’t want public drinking,’ but people don’t go to sidewalk cafes to pound down the beers. It’s more genteel, a date or a business meeting, more casual.” Mackey’s foray into policyshaping back in the 1990s certainly laid the groundwork, but it’s not the only factor that helped grow Somerville’s restaurant scene. Evelyn Battinelli, executive director and trustee of the Somerville Museum, says the 1980s expansion of the Red

Line also deserves a good share of the credit for helping drive Somerville’s resurgence, in night life and otherwise. “That was the beginning of the change,” says Battinelli. “A lot of people thought the Red Line coming through was going to be adverse to the city. It turns out that businesses moved into Davis Square: One was Redbones, another was McIntyre and Moore, a bookstore that stayed open to 11 o’clock at night.” In addition, she says, you started seeing people with name tags for different conferences who were in the city on business. When The Burren opened, that drew in students. Both of those groups brought their appetites with them, and restaurants opened in response. Among those, she says, were Joey Crugnale’s Bertucci’s Pizza and Bocce (the original location of the chain,) Steve Herrell’s ice cream parlor, and The Foundry, an offshoot of The Independent in Union Square. “There are some others in Ball Square and of course Union Square has wonderful ethnic restaurants—Machu Picchu is one of them,” Battinelli says. “In East Somerville you have Mt. Vernon. I think they opened sometime in the 1930s. And you have another little hidden gem over there, Vinnie’s By Night. It started as a little sandwich shop in the front, then he went on to open the back room and started a little restaurant.” Mackey remains pleased with the extent to which the push to open up Somerville to more and better restaurants succeeded. And while he’s not of a mind to speculate on what might be missing—“I’m not in the industry,” he demurs—he does try to be aware of what local restaurateurs say they need to ensure continued success. “The thing that helps is complementary activity,” says Mackey. “A lot of people will think about going to a square with a couple of good restaurants, but if you have a theater, a place to bowl, to get ice cream or a cup of coffee—if you have these other things to do in addition to eating, it helps the dining scene.” We’ll drink to that!



Best Place to People Watch



(617) 628-2379





W NO WWW.RAZORSBARBERSHOP.COM scoutsomerville.com | Then & Now 31

Then& NOW 7

Introducing our new local menu section!





8 7. Hair by Christine’s very first location from 2011, only 321 square feet, is pictured on the left, alongside their current digs, which are 1500 square feet. Wow! (Photos courtesy of Hair by Christine.) 8. Nibble Kitchen, a restaurant known for its rotating menu, is pictured in the construction phase earlier this year, and in its current state. (Photos courtesy of Nibble Kitchen.) 32 Then & Now | scoutsomerville.com

enjoy Share a pic of your menu and your order on Instagram. Tag @scoutmags and you’ll be entered to WIN $25 toward any of this edition’s participating restaurants.

........... $0.99


.......................................... $3.99

cooked spinach w/ olive oil, lemon juice & arabic spices

SIDE OF TAHINI ...................................... $0.50 SIDE OF HOT SAUCE ......................... $0.50 SIDE OF PITA BREAD ........................ $0.50

cooked spinach w/ olive oil, lemon juice & arabic spices

SPINACH PIE .................................................... $4.50

MEAT PIE ............................................................. $4.50 Ground beef with arabic spices

............ $4.99 12 oz of olive hummus w/ a side of pita bread


............... $4.99 12 oz of beet hummus w/ a side of pita bread


SIDE OF SPICY HUMMUS ............. $4.99 12 oz of spicy hummus w/ a side of pita bread

4 OZ OF GARLIC MAYO ........................ $3.99

4 oz of garlic mayo


................................ $4.99 12 oz of parsely salad w/ a side of pita bread


... $4.99 12 oz of fava beans w/ a side of pita bread


............. $4.99 4 pieces of grape leaves over 12 oz of cucumber salad w/ a side of pita bread


................................ $4.99 2 pieces of falafels over a 12 oz of cucumber salad w/ a side of pita bread


.......... $4.99 12 oz of baba w/ a side of pita bread


............................... $4.99 12 oz of hummus w/ a side of pita bread


Side Orders

FALAFEL TRAY (25 PIECE MIN.) ........... $1.00/PC GRAPE LEAVES TRAY (25 PIECE MIN.) $1.00/PC KEBAB SKEWERS (10 SKEWER MIN.) .................. .......................................................................... $7/SKEWER DESERT TRAY (ONE SIZE) ............................... $80

L $115 $115 $85 $85 $85 $85 $85 $65

L = Serves 25 or More

M CHICKEN SHAWARMA TRAY ......... $85 LAMB SHAWARMA TRAY .................. $85 HUMMUS TRAY ......................................... $65 BABA-GANOUSH TRAY ....................... $65 CUCUMBER SALAD TRAY .................. $65 TABOULE TRAY .......................................... $65 FOUL MUDAMMAS TRAY .................... $65 RICE TRAY ...................................................... $45

M = Serves 15 – 25


BAKLAVA ............................................................... $1.75 CASHEW FINGER .......................................... $1.75 BASBOUSA .......................................................... $1.75 RICE PUDDING ............................................... $3.50 FRUIT CUP .......................................................... $3.50


(617) 764-2336

1 Main Street, Somerville

Falafel Place uses only the finest, freshest ingredients and Certified Halal Meats. Nothing Frozen!

Order online at myfalafelplace.com

Monday – Sunday: 11am – 11pm


Healthy and Delicious!


Salads & Soups

All Soups & Salads come with pita bread, side of tahini sauce and hot sauce.

CUCUMBER SALAD ................................... $7.99 Cucumber, tomatoes, parsley, red onions, feta cheese & mint, dressed w/house dressing over romaine lettuce. GREEK SALAD ....................................... $8.50 Romaine lettuce, green pepper, cucumber, black olives, tomatoes, onions & feta cheese, served w/Greek dressing. FATTOUSH SALAD ............................ $7.99 Cucumber salad w/pita chips. MEZZE SALAD ................................. $7.99 Tabouli salad w/pita chips, black olives and spicy sauce. YOGURT CUCUMBER SALAD $4.99 Home made Fat free yogurt w/ diced cucumbers, garlic & mint , served w/ pita bread. LENTIL SOUP 12OZ ............................. $3.50 Red lentils mashed up w/ garlic, Arabic spices & lemon juice.

Veggie Plates

All plates come with pita bread, side of tahini sauce and a side of hot sauce.

FALAFEL PLATE .................................... $8.99 Four balls of falafel, served over cucumber salad.

............... $8.99

HUMMUS PLATE .................................. $8.99 Hummus with cucumber salad. BABA GANOUSH PLATE Baba with cucumber salad.

GRAPE LEAVES PLATE .................. $8.99 Eight stuffed vine leaves over cucumber salad. FOUL MUDAMMAS PLATE .......... $8.99 Fava bean served with cucumber salad. TABOULI PLATE ..................................... $8.99 Parsley salad served with cucumber salad. VEGGIE COMBO PLATE ................. $8.99 Tabouli, hummus, baba, two balls of falafel, cucumber salad.

Veggie Rollup

All rollups served on a pita bread w/ lettuce, tomatoes, pickles, onions & tahini sauce.

TABOULI ROLLUP ....................................... $7.50 Parsley salad w/onions, tomato, crack wheat, lemon juice, olive oil & Arabic spices. FALAFEL ROLLUPS ............................ $7.50 Ground chic peas with vegetables & Arabic spices, deep fried. HUMMUS ROLLUP ...................................... $7.50 Cooked chic peas, mashed with tahini & Arabic spices. BABA GANOUSH ROLLUP ........... $7.50 Smoky eggplant mashed with tahini sauce & Arabic spices. GRAPE LEAVES ROLLUP ............... $7.50 Vegetarian vine leaves, stuffed with rice & Arabic spices. FOUL MUDAMMAS ROLLUP ..... $7.50 Fava beans w/parsley, onions, lemon juice, olive oil & Arabic spices.

Shawarma & Kabob Rollups

All rollups come wrapped on pita bread with garlic paste, tomatoes, pickles, onions & tahini sauce.

LAMB SHAWARMA ROLLUP $10.50 Authentic rotisserie (mixed lamb & beef), thinly sliced. CHICKEN SHAWARMA ROLLUP $9.50 Mix of chicken breast & thighs rotisserie, thinly sliced. SHAWRAMA ROLLUP MIX ....... $11.50 Mix of chicken shawarma & lamb shawarma. Skewer of grilled lamb.

LAMB KABOB ROLLUP ................ $11.50 CHICKEN KABOB ROLLUP ....... $9.99 Skewer of grilled chicken breast. KAFTA KABOB ROLLUP .............. $11.50 Skewer of grilled ground beef & vegetables. Skewer of grilled salmon.

FISH KABOB ROLLUP ................... $12.50 KABDA ROLL-UP ................................. $9.99 Beef liver thinly sliced marinated with vinegar & spices.

Shawarma & Kabob Plates

All plates served over rice and cucumber salad.

LAMB SHAWARMA PLATE ........... $13.50 Thinly sliced rotisserie lamb and beef mix over rice and cucumber salad.

CHICKEN SHAWARMA PLATE . $12.50 Thinly sliced rotisserie chicken over rice and cucumber salad.

SHAWRAMA MIX PLATE ................ $14.50 Mix of lamb shawarma & chicken shawarma over rice & cucumber salad.

LAMB KABOB PLATE ......................... $14.99 Two lamb skewers & a veggie skewer over rice, cucumber salad.

CHICKEN KABOB PLATE ................ $13.50 Two chicken skewers and a veggie skewer over rice & cucumber salad.

KAFTA KABOB PLATE ....................... $13.50 Two skewers of grilled ground beef over rice and cucumber salad.

FISH KABOB PLATE ............................ $14.99 Two skewers of grilled salmon over rice, and cucumber salad.

KABOB PARTY PLATTER MIX .. $44.99 Two skewer of chicken kabob, two skewer of kafta kabob, one skewer of fish kabob & one skewer of lamb kabob, served w/ side of hummus, side of tahini, side of garlic paste & extra pita bread.

KABDA PLATE ............................................. $11.99 Beef liver thinly sliced over rice pilaf & cucumber salad, it comes w/ pita bread, side of tahini sauce & side of hot sauce.

(Steamed or Fried)










Bangkok Beef

Steamed Steamed Steamed Steamed Steamed Steamed Steamed

Mixed Vegetables Mixed Vegetables with Tofu Mixed Vegetables with Chicken Mixed Vegetables with Shrimp Broccoli with Tofu Broccoli with Chicken Broccoli with Shrimp

9.00 10.00 10.00 12.00 10.00 10.00 12.00

(RECOMMENDED WITH BROWN RICE.) PERFECT FOR LOW CALORIE AND LOW FAT NEEDS. All dishes served with steamed white rice and side of homemade peanut dipping sauce. An additional $1 for substritution of brown rice or steamed rice noodle. An additional $2 for substritution of steamed flat rice noodle or steamed udon noodles.

Healthy Specials

Stir-fried slices of tender beef with bell peppers and mushrooms in a special oyster sauce, served with steamed broccoli.

Sautéed slices of tender beef with bell peppers, broccoli, carrots, snow peas, string beans, zucchini, mushrooms and baby corn in house spicy sauce.





Inferno Beef

Sautéed slices of tender beef with crispy string beans, snow peas, bell peppers in house special chili sauce.

Crispy Bean Beef

Sautéed slices of tender beef with carrots, bell peppers, mushrooms, onions in house special sauce.

Hot Beef

Marinated cubes of tender beef stir-fried with mushrooms, bell peppers, scallions on a bed of fresh watercress and topped with macadamia.

Beef Macadamia

All dishes served with steamed white rice. An additional $1 for substritution of brown rice or steamed rice noodle. An additional $2 for substritution of steamed flat rice noodle or steamed udon noodles. An additional $1 for substritution of virgin olive oil.

Beef Specials

onions, zucchini, carrots and bell peppers in Thai yellow curry.

Mango Fish

Lightly fried salmon steak with onions, carrots, mushrooms, snow peas, bell peppers, scallions and basil leaves in house special sauce.

Amazing Salmon

onions, mushrooms, bell peppers, carrots, baby corn and black mushrooms in house special brown sauce.

Salmon Ginger

Sautéed shrimp with eggs, onions, mushrooms, bell peppers, baby corn and scallions in house special curry sauce.

Golden Shrimp

Sautéed shrimp with roasted cashew nuts, onions, mushrooms, snow peas, pineapple chunks and scallions in house special honey lemon sauce.

Shrimp Himmaparn

Sautéed shrimp, squid, scallop and mussels with broccoli, carrots, snow peas, string beans, zucchini, mushrooms and baby corn in house special brown sauce.

Seafood Delight

Sautéed shrimp, squid, scallop and mussels with carrots, snow peas, zucchini, onions, mushrooms, bell peppers in house special chili sauce.

Seafood Kamikaze

Sautéed shrimp, squid, scallop and mussels in special curry sauce with pineapple chunks, snow peas, bell peppers, string beans and lime leaves.

Seafood Choo Chee












Chilled Lychee


3.50 3.00 1.50

95¢ 2.00 3.00 3.50 1.50 3.00 3.00 1.50 1.00 1.00 5.00

Hot & Spicy We can alter the spiciness according to your taste.

Fried Golden Banana


Coconut Juice Thai Iced Tea or Thai Iced Coffee Soda or Poland Spring Water


Shrimp (Each) Chicken or Tofu or Vegetables Beef or Scallop or Squid Crispy Chicken Rice Noodles Wide Noodles Udon Noodles Cashew Nut Peanut Substitution of Virgin Olive Oil Mixed Seafood

Add On

Steamed White Rice, Brown Rice or Rice Noodles 2.00 Steamed Wide Noodles or Udon Noodles 3.00 Steamed Thai Vermicelli Noodles 3.00 Steamed Mixed Vegetables or Tufu 4.95 Steamed Broccoli 4.50 Peanut Sauce 2.00

Side Orders

Sautéed minced chicken with chopped string beans, eggplants, onions, bell peppers, basil leaves and rhizome (lesser ginger) in Thai basil sauce.

Chicken Madness

Lightly fried chicken, stir-fried with homemade peanut sauce on a bed of fresh steamed mixed vegetables.

Chicken in Love

Sautéed minced chicken with onions, bell peppers and basil leaves in Thai style basil sauce.

Gra-Pow Chicken

Sautéed slices of chicken with carrots, onions, pineapple chunks, bell peppers, zucchini and fresh ginger in house special brown sauce topped with pine nuts.

Pine Nut Chicken

Crispy boneless roasted half-duck with ginger plum sauce, served with steamed mixed vegetables.

Crispy Duck

Crispy boneless roasted half-duck with steamed vegetables topped with delicious honey-lemon sauce.

Honey Duck

Crispy boneless roasted half-duck with carrots, bell peppers, baby corn, mushrooms, string beans, snow peas, zucchini and pineapple chunks in choo chee curry sauce.

Choo Chee Duck

Crispy boneless roasted half-duck with onions, carrots, bell peppers, mushrooms, snow peas, string beans and baby corn in spicy hot basil sauce.

Crispy Duck Basil

Crispy boneless roasted half-duck with snow peas, bell peppers, mushroom, peas and baby corn topped with Panang curry sauce.

Crispy Duck Panang

All dishes served with steamed white rice. An additional $1 for substritution of brown rice or steamed rice noodle. An additional $2 for substritution of steamed flat rice noodle or steamed udon noodles. An additional $1 for substritution of virgin olive oil.

Poultry Specials

•Spring Rolls (2pcs.) •Thai Dumplings (2 pcs.)

Option for Appetizer:

•Tofu soup •Tom Yum Chicken •Tom Yum Tufu

Option for Soup:

•Noodle Dishes •Fried Rice Dishes

•Subject to Massachusetts and local meals tax. •Price and ingredients are subject to change without notice.

•Before placing your order, please inform your server if a person in your party has a food allergy.

•Reminder: Consuming raw or undercooked meats, poultry, seafood,

•Vegetarian dishes are available upon request.

Although we make every effer to keep these items separated, we can not guarantee that our products will be free of

Peanuts, nuts and other food allergens are present at LEMON THAI CUISINE.

Highland Ave.

•Lemon Thai Wings (2 pcs.) •Golden Triangles (4pcs.)

•Tom Kha Chicken •Tom Kha Tofu

•Sauteed Dishes LUNCH ONLY •Curry Dishes LUNCH ONLY

Add $1 for SOUP or APPETIZER with any following Items:

Monday – Friday 11:30 AM. – 3:00 PM. (Not available on Holidays, Saturdays and Sundays)

Special Hours Combination

Lowell St.

All dishes served with steamed white rice. An additional $1 for substritution of brown rice or steamed rice noodle. An additional $2 for substritution of steamed flat rice noodle or steamed udon noodles. An additional $1 for substritution of virgin olive oil.

Belmont St.

Seafood Offerings

(1017) 三 星 彩 印 郵 寄 公司 • T R I – S TA R PR I N T I N G & MA I L I N G SERV I CES • 33 PA R K S T R EET, SOMERV I L L E, MA 02143• 617. 666. 4480


Monday – Saturday: 11:30 am – 10:00 pm Sunday: 11:30 pm – 9:30 pm



Follow Us @lemonsomerville



Personal checks are not accepted.


215 Highland Avenue Somerville, MA 02143

$2 delivery fee for Somerville area $3 delivery fee for limited areas in Cambridge, Medford and Tufts University.

We Deliver!

Dine In • Take Out • Catering

We keep you coming back!

Appetizers Chicken Saté 4PCS Chicken marinated with herbs and coconut milk. Then, grilled and served with peanut sauce and cucumber sauce.

Thai Rolls 4PCS Crispy spring rolls stuffed with vegetables, served with sweet and sour sauce.

Bangkok Golden 5PCS Homemade crabmeat mixed with onion, carrots and cream cheese.

Veggie Puff 8PCS Crispy spring roll stuffed with mixed vegetables & curry wrapped in triangle shape.

Thai Veggie Curry Puff 3PCS

Crispy dough skin stuffed with potato, onion, corn and carrots in mixed curry powder, served with sweet cucumber sauce.

Taro Puff 3PCS Crispy dough skin stuffed with slightly sweet taro (contains coconut milk & sugar).

Veggie Dumpling 6PCS (Steamed or Fried) Vegetable ravioli, served with ginger sauce.

Thai Dumpling 7PCS (Steamed or Fried) Thai ravioli with marinated meat and vegetables, served with ginger sauce.

Thai Pancake (Steamed or Fried) Chive dumpling, served with spicy ginger sauce.

6.95 5.95 5.95 5.95 5.95 6.95 6.95 6.95 6.50



Boiled green soybeans with salt.











Golden Triangles 8PCS Fried tofu served with sweet and sour sauce topped with crushed peanuts.

Lemon Thai Wings 7PCS

Marinated chicken wings with Thai herbs, s erved with sweet chili sauce.

Shumai 7PCS (Steamed or Fried) Shrimp and vegetables wrapped in wonton skin, served with ginger sauce.

Scallion Pancake Served with green curry sauce.

Lemon Thai Combo Platter A platter of Chicken Satay (2 pcs), Lemon Thai Wings (2 pcs), Bangkok Golden (3 pcs), Fried Thai Dumpling (3 pcs) and Thai Rolls (3 pcs). No substitution.

Salads Garden Salad Mixed green salad, served with carrot dressing.

Grilled Chicken Salad Mixed green salad topped with marinated grilled chicken, served with peanut sauce.

Seaweed Salad Fresh lettuce topped with marinated seaweed and tomato.

Spicy Beef Salad Slices of grilled beef mixed in Thai chili sauce with cucumbers, red onions, carrots, mushrooms, tomato and scallion on a bed of lettuce topped with chopped cilantro.

Plah Goong

Steamed shrimp mixed in yummy Thai chili sauce with cucumber, red onions, carrots, mushrooms, tomato, scallion and lemongrass on bed of lettuce, topped with cilantro.

• Vegetarian dishes are available upon request. • Reminder: Consuming raw or undercooked meats, poultry, seafood, • Before placing your order, please inform your server if a person in your party has a food allergy.

Soups Tom Yum (Hot & Sour Soup) Famous Thai hot & sour soup spiced with chili, lemongrass, mushroom & lime juice. Choice of chicken, shrimp or tofu & vegetables.

Tom Kha (Coconut Soup) Another famous Thai soup seasoned with galangal, lime juice and lemon grass. Choice of chicken, shrimp or tofu & vegetable.

Wonton Soup Thai style wonton soup in clear chicken broth with cilantro.

Tofu Soup Fresh soft tofu with mixed vegetables in clear broth with cilantro.

Noodles An additional $1.00 for substitution of virgin olive oil.

Pad Thai (America’s most famous Thai dish) Stir-fried Thai rice noodles with shrimp, chicken, eggs, bean sprouts, scallions and crushed peanuts in house special sauce.

Crystal Noodles (Woon Sen Noodles) Stir-fried jelly glass noodles with shrimp, chicken, eggs, onions, string bean, zucchini, carrots, baby corn, snow peas, broccoli and scallions. (Also available with crispy chicken $8.95)

Also available with: Chicken, Pork, Tofu or Vegetables Beef, Shrimp, Squid or Scallop Duck or Seafood (SHRIMP, SQUID, SCALLOP & MUSSELS)

No additional charge for substitution of tofu or vegetables.

Country Style Pad Thai

An authentic spicy version of stir-fried Thai rice noodles with shrimp, chicken, eggs, bean sprouts, scallions, crispy tofu, dried little shrimp and crushed peanuts in house special sauce.

Also available with: Chicken, Pork, Tofu or Vegetables Beef, Shrimp, Squid, Scallop or Crispy Chicken Duck or Seafood (SHRIMP, SQUID, SCALLOP & MUSSELS)

No additional charge for substitution of tofu or vegetables.

Crispy Chicken Pad Thai

Stir-fried Thai rice noodles with eggs, bean sprouts, scallions, and crushed peanuts with the lightly fried chicken on the top.

Crazy Noodles

4.95 4.95 4.95 4.95

9.95 9.95

9.95 10.95 12.95


10.95 11.95 13.95


Fresh wide noodles stir-fried with eggs, onions, string beans, bell peppers, bamboo shoots, carrots and basil leaves in house special spicy sauce. (Substitute with udon noodles for $1 extra)

Pad See You

Fresh wide noodles stir-fried with eggs, broccoli and carrots in house special soy sauce.

Your choice of: 9.95 10.95 12.95

Hot & Spicy We can alter the spiciness according to your taste.

Chicken, Pork, Tofu or Vegetables Beef, Shrimp, Squid, Scallop or Crispy Chicken Duck or Seafood (SHRIMP, SQUID, SCALLOP & MUSSELS)






Mango Curry

Eggplant Delight

Ocean Buddy

Young Coconut Curry


Chicken, Pork, Tofu or Vegetables 9.00 Beef or Crispy Chicken 10.00 Shrimp, Squid or Scallop 10.00 Duck or Seafood (SHRIMP, SQUID, SCALLOP & MUSSELS) –

Your choice of:


11.50 12.50 12.50 14.95

and fresh minced hot peppers in house special sauce.

Ginger and Scallion

Sautéed meat with fresh ginger, scallions, bell peppers, carrots, onions and black mushrooms in house special sauce.


Sautéed meat with broccoli, carrots, snow peas, string beans, zucchini, mushrooms and baby corn in house special sauce.

Sautéed meat with string beans, bell peppers and roasted cashew nuts in tangy chili paste sauce.

Volcano String Bean

Sautéed meat with fresh lemongrass, eggplants, string beans, snow peas, bell peppers and basil leaves in house special sauce.

Lemon Grass

Sautéed meat with fresh garlic, white peppers, baby corn, snow peas, mushroom, and carrots in house special sauce on a bed of lettuce.

Fresh Garlic







10.95 11.95 13.95

11.50 12.50 12.50 14.95

Sautéed meat with onions, carrots, baby corns, mushrooms, pineapple chunks, snow peas, bell peppers, scallions and roasted cashew nuts in house special sauce.

Cashew Nuts

Sautéed meat with broccoli, mushrooms and carrots in house special oyster sauce.



All dishes served with steamed white rice. An additional $1 for substritution of brown rice or steamed rice noodle. An additional $2 for substritution of steamed flat rice noodle or steamed udon noodles. An additional $1 for substritution of virgin olive oil.

Sautéed Dishes

Chicken, Pork, Tofu or Vegetables Beef, Shrimp, Squid, Scallop or Crispy Chicken Duck or Seafood (SHRIMP, SQUID, SCALLOP & MUSSELS)

Also available with:

Stir-fried rice with shrimp, chicken, eggs, carrots, peas, onions, tomato, scallions, mongo chunks & curry powder in house special soy sauce.

Mango Fried Rice

and pepper sauce on bed of seasonal mixed steamed vegetables.

Garlic Fish

snow peas, string beans, zucchini and bell peppers.

Sautéed chicken and shrimp in Thai red curry sauce

Sautéed fresh shrimp and scallop with pepper and garlic sauce, served with mixed steamed vegetables.

Sautéed minced chicken with onions, mushrooms, garlic, bell peppers, basil leaves and eggplants in light brown sauce.

Sautéed chicken and shrimp in Thai yellow curry with onions, bell peppers, zucchini, carrots, tomato and mango chunks.

All dishes served with steamed white rice. An additional $1 for substritution of brown rice or steamed rice noodle. An additional $2 for substritution of steamed flat rice noodle or steamed udon noodles. An additional $1 for substritution of virgin olive oil.

Lemon Thai’s Signature Avocado Curry Sautéed chicken in mild red curry sauce with broccoli, carrots, snow peas, string beans, zucchini, mushrooms, baby corn, bell peppers and avocado.

Imperial Couple

Sautéed chicken and beef with onions, carrots, bell peppers, string beans, snow peas, mushrooms, bamboo shoots in special Thai chili paste sauce.

Tofu King

This dish is sure to provide you with the best and healthiest ingredients. Lightly fried soft tofu topped with shiitake mushroom, fresh ginger, scallion and bell peppers in brown gravy sauce.

Highland Ave. Paradise

Sautéed sliced chicken and shrimp with carrots, snow peas, string beans, mushrooms, onions, bell peppers in house spicy sauce topped with cashew nuts.

Fried Rice


9.95 10.95 12.95




An additional $1.00 for substitution of brown rice or virgin olive oil.

Lemon Thai Fried Rice

Stir-fried rice with shrimp, chicken, eggs, peas, onions, scallions, tomato and baby corn in house special soy sauce.

Basil Fried Rice

Stir-fried rice with shrimp, chicken, eggs, carrots, bell peppers, onions and basil leaves in house special spicy sauce.

Pineapple Fried Rice

Stir-fried rice with shrimp, chicken, eggs, carrots, peas, onions, tomato, scallions, pineapple chunks & curry powder in house special soy sauce.

Also available with: Chicken, Pork, Tofu or Vegetables Beef, Shrimp, Squid, Scallop or Crispy Chicken Duck or Seafood (SHRIMP, SQUID, SCALLOP & MUSSELS)

Indonesia Fried Rice

Stir-fried jasmine rice with eggs, bell peppers, onions and carrots in

Curry Corner


All dishes served with steamed white rice. Spicy Hot Basil An additional $1 for substritution of brown rice or steamed rice noodle. Sautéed meat with fresh basil leaves, onions, carrots, bell peppers An additional $2 for substritution of steamed flat rice noodle or steamed udon noodles.

Your choice of:

Chicken, Pork, Tofu or Vegetables 9.00 Beef or Crispy Chicken 10.00 Shrimp, Squid or Scallop 10.00 Duck or Seafood (SHRIMP, SQUID, SCALLOP & MUSSELS) –

Green Curry

Green chili curry with coconut milk, peas, bamboo shoots, string beans, zucchini, bell peppers, mushrooms, eggplants and basil leaves.

Red Curry

Red chili curry with coconut milk, mushrooms, bamboo shoots, eggplants, carrots, bell peppers, string beans and basil leaves.

Yellow Curry

Yellow curry with coconut milk, carrots, zucchini, onions, pineapple chunks, bell pepper and tomato.

Massaman Curry

Spicy peanut curry with coconut milk, sweet potatoes, onions, carrots, bell peppers and roasted peanuts.

Panang Curry

Thai panang curry with coconut milk, string beans, bell peppers, mushrooms, baby corn and snow peas.

SAUSAGE, PEPPER & CHEESE $18.00 ITALIAN COLD CUTS...............$18.00 LEONE’S SPECIAL Turkey, ham and cheese........$18.00 LOUISE’S SPECIAL Meatballs, sausage, mushrooms, onions and cheese..................$18.00 SPINACH AND CHEESE...........$18.00 MEATBALL AND CHEESE........$18.00 STEAK AND CHEESE...............$21.00 EGGPLANT................................$21.00


GARDEN..................................... $7.25 ANTIPASTO............................... $8.25 CHEF.......................................... $8.25 GREEK........................................ $8.25 GRILLED CHICKEN................... $9.00


WITH MEATBALL.......................$8.50 WITHOUT MEATBALL...............$8.50

Available Fridays only








Leone’s Sub and Pizza


TRAY $16.00 $18.00 $19.00 $20.00 $21.00


PIZZA $32.00 $35.00 $37.00 $38.00 $39.00 TOPPINGS:

16” ROUND $14.00 $15.00 $16.00 $17.00 $17.50

Mushroom, Pepper, Onion, Garlic, *Eggplant, Extra Cheese, Pepperoni, Sausage, Meatball, Ham, Salami, *Chicken *priced as 2 toppings


ITALIAN.........................$8.00 $8.75 AMERICAN....................$8.00 $8.75 CHEESE.........................$8.00 $8.75 HAM & CHEESE............$8.00 $8.75 PEPPERONI & CHEESE $8.00 $8.75 ROAST BEEF.................$8.75 $9.50 TURKEY.........................$8.75 $9.50 TURKEY CLUB ................................... Turkey, ham & cheese $9.00 $9.75 TUNA..............................$8.00 $8.75 EGGPLANT & VEAL......$9.00 $9.75 EGGPLANT & MEATBALL................... ........................................$9.00 $9.75 EGGPLANT & ITALIAN $9.00 $9.75 EGGPLANT & STEAK...$9.00 $9.75 EGGPLANT & SAUSAGE$9.00 $9.75 SAUSAGE & PEPPER....$8.25 $9.00 ITALIAN SAUSAGE.......$8.25 $9.00 SAUSAGE & MEATBALL $9.00 $9.75 VEAL PARMIGIANA......$8.75 $9.50 MEATBALL....................$8.00 $8.75 MEATBALL & CHEESE $8.25 $9.00 CHICKEN PARMIGIANA$8.75 $9.50 FRIED MEATBALL & CHEESE............. ........................................$8.25 $9.00 STEAK AND CHEESE...$8.75 $9.50 STEAK BOMB Steak, cheese, mushrooms, onion, peppers & pepperoni.....$9.00 $9.75 PEPPER STEAK............$8.75 $9.50 HOT PASTRAMI............$8.75 $9.50


$8.25 $8.25 $8.50 $9.75 $9.50 $8.75 $8.75 $8.75 $9.50 $8.75 $8.75 $8.75 $8.75 $10.00


EGG SALAD...................$7.50 PLAIN EGG....................$7.50 EGG & CHEESE.............$7.75 EGG BOMB....................$9.00 PASTRAMI & EGG.........$8.75 BOLOGNA & EGG..........$8.00 HAM AND EGG .............$8.00 PEPPER & EGG.............$8.00 STEAK & EGG...............$8.75 SALAMI & EGG .............$8.00 SAUSAGE & EGG..........$8.00 MUSHROOM & EGG.....$8.00 PEPPERONI & EGG......$8.00 STEAK BOMB & EGG.....$9.25



TOMATO, PICKLE & ONION........................$7.75 $8.50 MUSHROOM, PEPPER, ONION & CHEESE........$8.00 $8.75 EGGPLANT SUB...........$8.75 $9.50

Add $0.50 for Extra Cheese on all Subs.

Even though yeeros are in the name, Opa offers so much more. The menu is a curated selection of Greek favorites from traditional Greek salads to spanakopita and “the best Greek yogurt” you’ll find outside of the Mediterranean. George will greet you with a smile, a friendly chat and delicious food that will keep you coming back for more.

It’s not only the menu that is steeped in tradition; Opa is a family affair. George’s mother has owned and run Sophia’s Greek Pantry for over 15 years and now she keeps Opa stocked with homemade fresh Greek yogurt, delicious desserts and pastries.

he flavors of Greece can be found in Davis Square at Opa Greek Yeeros. Traditional dishes are served up daily by George and his crew with ingredients imported straight from Greece to ensure the authenticity and quality of every item on the menu.


From roasted chicken and lamb to stuffed grape leaves and cheese platters, our comprehensive catering menu will wow your guests at any event.

Yes! We can cater your event!






Soup $2.50

Gluten Free Options

Chicken Avgolemono Soup


Yeero Salad Bowl $8.45 Served with tzatziki sauce, tomatoes, red onions, fries, and parsley on a bed of lettuce.

$3.50 $3.50 $3.50

Greek Horiatiki Salad $12.40 With tomatoes, cucumbers, red onions, green peppers, kalamata olives, feta cheese, and extra virgin olive oil.

Yeero Rice Bowl $8.45 Served with tzatziki sauce, tomatoes, red onions, fries, and parsley on a bed of rice.

Spanakopita Tyropita Fries

Garden Salad $9.90 With lettuce, tomatoes, red onions, green peppers, cucumbers, kalamata olives, and oil & vinegar.

Pork Yeero Pita $8.45 Your choice of yeero or souvlaki meat Wrapped in pita bread with tzatziki sauce, tomatoes, red onions, fries, and parsley.

Loukaniko (Pork & Leek Sausage) Yeero Pita $8.45 Wrapped in pita bread with tzatziki sauce, tomatoes, red onions, fries, and parsley.

Bifteki (Greek Burger Patty) Yeero Pita $8.45 Wrapped in pita bread with tzatziki sauce, tomatoes, red onions, fries, and parsley.

Yeero Pita

Chicken Yeero Pita $8.45 Your choice of yeero or souvlaki meat Wrapped in pita bread with tzatziki sauce, tomatoes, red onions, fries, and parsley.

Grilled Veggie Yeero Pita $8.45 Wrapped in pita bread with tzatziki sauce, tomatoes, red onions, fries, and parsley.

$2.00 $3.75 $3.00 $3.50 $2.99

Beef Yeero Pita $8.45 Wrapped in pita bread with tzatziki sauce, tomatoes, red onions, fries, and parsley. Lamb Yeero Pita $8.45 Wrapped in pita bread with tzatziki sauce, tomatoes, red onions, fries, and parsley.

Dinner Plate Dinner Plate $11.45 Served with tzatziki sauce, pita bread, your choice of fries or rice, and your choice of Greek or garden salad.


Baklava Greek Yogurt Galaktobouriko Nescafe Frappe Loukoumades







$3.74 $3.74 $2.80 $3.74 $3.74 $3.74

$2.80 $3.75 $2.80 $1.87 $2.80 $5.00 $3.74







Kids Menu

HUEVOS PICADOS Our style of scrambled eggs.

HUEVOS CON CHORIZO Our style of scrambled eggs mixed with chorizo. $9.35

HUEVOS RANCHEROS Two (2) eggs over easy topped with salsa.

All breakfast plates are served with refried beans, farmers cheese, sour cream, fried plantains and choice of thin or handmade tortillas.



$7.48 $7.48 $2.49 $7.48 $11.48 $2.99 $2.99 $1.99 $2.49 $2.80 $2.99 $2.80 $1.49 $1.25 $0.50 $0.50



Side Orders


breakfast buffet



617-776-9179 617-776-4179


All Day Delivery!


order online


soups salads

$13.08 $12.15 $14.95

$9.35 $10.28 $9.35 $9.35

A tortilla bowl served with beans, cheese, salad, sour cream and guacamole. CHICKEN TACO SALAD STEAK TACO SALAD VEGETARIAN TACO SALAD ADOBADA TACO SALAD Pork.


$10.29 $10.28 $10.28 $10.28 $10.28

A10 inch tortilla served with beans, rice, mild or hot sauce, cheese, pico de gallo, sour cream and guacamole. STEAK QUESADILLA CHICKEN QUESADILLA VEGETARIAN QUESADILLA ADOBADA QUESADILLA Pork. BEEF TONGUE QUESADILLA


$8.41 $9.35 $8.41 $8.41 $8.41

$9.35 $9.35 $9.35 $9.35 $9.35


All burritos are served with beans, rice, mild or hot sauce, cheese, pico de gallo, sour cream and guacamole. CHICKEN BURRITO STEAK BURRITO VEGETARIAN BURRITO ADOBADA BURRITO Pork. BEEF TONGUE BURRITO


$3.00 $3.00 $3.00 $3.00 $3.00

All tacos are served on soft 6 inch corn or flour tortilla. CHICKEN TACO STEAK TACO VEGETARIAN TACO ADOBADA TACO Pork. BEEF TONGUE TACO

Pupusas Made with corn tortilla and served with “Curtido” (our version of sauerkraut). REVUELTAS PUPUSAS Pork. $2.50 QUESO CON LOROCO PUPUSAS Cheese with organic flower imported from El Salvador or Guatemala. $2.50 FRIJOL Y QUESO PUPUSAS Beans with cheese. $2.50 QUESO PUPUSAS Cheese. $2.50

Mexican Meals

$15.89 $13.08 $14.09 $15.89 $16.00

$14.02 $13.08 $14.02

PLAIN NACHOS $8.41 CHICKEN NACHOS $10.28 STEAK NACHOS $11.22 FLAUTAS MEAL Choice of chicken, steak or pork wrapped in flat bread and served with rice, beans and salad. $13.08 ENCHILADAS MEAL Choice of chicken, steak or pork. Served flat or rolled. Made with corn tortillas and served with rice, beans and salad. $13.08 CHIMICHANGAS MEAL Choice of chicken, steak or pork wrapped in flat bread and served with rice, beans and salad. $13.08

Special Plates

Special plates are served with rice, beans and salad.

CARNE ASADA PLATE Charbroiled steak. POLLO ASADO PLATE Charbroiled chicken. FAJITAS PLATE Choice of charbroiled chicken or steak. PLATO MAYA With steak, chicken, beans, fried cassava, fried plantains. POLLO FRITO PLATE Fried chicken. MOJARRA FRITA PLATE Fried fish. CAMARONES A LA PLANCHA Grilled shrimp. SHRIMP FAJITAS PLATE



Photo by Dylan Ladds.

BOSTON CELTIC MUSIC FESTIVAL Varying times; $10 to $45 47 Palmer St., Cambridge The historic Club Passim is once again presenting the annual Boston Celtic Music Festival, taking place across Club Passim, The Sinclair, and The Atrium. Ticket prices vary based on which events are attended, and whether or not buyers are Club Passim members. For more information, visit passim.org.


Photo courtesy of Amy Stein.


ROBIN DIANGELO ON WHITE FRIGALITY 1 to 3 p.m.; Free 449 Broadway, Cambridge Join celebrated academic and author Robin DiAngelo in the lecture hall at Cambridge Public Library as she talks about her critically acclaimed book “White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard For White People To Talk About Racism.” According to the event listing at CPL, “This talk will … provide the perspectives and skills needed for white people to build their racial stamina and develop more equitable and just racial norms and practices.”


Photo courtesy of Somerville Public Library.

Photo courtesy of Lisa Cohen.

Photo courtesy of Art Battle Boston.

Photo by Nicolle Renick.


Photo courtesy of Board Game Speed Dating.

BOARD GAME SPEED DATING 7 to 9 p.m.; $25 1 Kendall Sq., Cambridge Kill two birds with one stone at The Friendly Toast: Play some of your favorite classic board games, while finding your perfect match just in time for Valentine’s Day. Every date a dud? At least you will be known as the best Monopoly player in Cambridge, and you’ve gotten to taste some great food.

HOME COFFEE BREWING SCIENCE 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.; $25 100 Kirkland St., Cambridge Coffee fanatics, rejoice! Taste three masterfully brewed cups of joe at Broadsheet Coffee Roasters, and then choose your favorite to practice brewing techniques with. Learn about common mistakes people make when brewing coffee at home, and how to avoid them.



ART BATTLE BOSTON 13 to 6 p.m.; $15 to $20 14 Tyler St., Somerville Watch colors fly at this fast-paced, threeround event in which artists battle it out to see who can paint with some serious speed. Help determine the winner, and maybe even walk home with a work of art after the auction happening at the end of the day. Get $5 off general admission price when you buy an early bird ticket online.

GETTING COZY @ THE LIBRARY 2 to 4 p.m.; Free 79 Highland Ave., Somerville Come craft at the Somerville Public Library’s hygge-inspired program that’s all about getting comfortable and relaxing during the colder months. Craft materials are provided, sipping cocoa is encouraged. This program is for adults only.



HEADSHOTS AT BOW MARKET 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; $80 1 Bow Market Way, Somerville Whether you need a new LinkedIn shot, an album cover, or something to tie your Etsy page together, The Canopy Room at Bow Market is the one-stop shop for all of your headshot needs. Props are encouraged. Sign up for a 30-minute time slot online, and you’ll leave with 6 of your favorite photos, which you can pick from a gallery of 30 to 60.

BACKYARD BUNDLES WORKSHOP 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.; $150 259 Highland Ave., Somerville The Craftwork event listing reads: “We are surrounded with dyestuff! Flowers, sticks, seeds, leaves, rusty bits and avocado pits.” Harness the beauty of the things that usually go to waste with this day-long workshop, which includes all materials and a midday lunch break. Students are encouraged to bring a textile or article of clothing to dye.

WINTER BIRD WALK 8 to 9:30 a.m.; $12 580 Mt. Auburn St., Cambridge While winter may not seem like the ideal time to go on a bird walk, it’s actually great for getting to know the year-round birds of the city. It’s also easier to catch glimpses of our feathered friends without the foliage on the trees. This guided program is free to members of Friends of Mount Auburn; otherwise, tickets are required. Preregistration required for all.


Flyer courtesy of SPL.

SCIENCE FICTION AND FANTASY BOOK CLUB 7 to 8 p.m.; Free 79 Highland Ave., Somerville New members are always welcome at the Somerville Public Library’s monthly book club for fans of speculative fiction. Participate in lively debates, get a recommendation for a new read, and maybe even make some friends who share your love of Lovecraft. Each month is devoted to a different book.

scoutsomerville.com | Then & Now 43

Please consider shopping with these and other Scout sponsors.






25 White St., Cambridge 617-491-2220, portersquarebooks.com Porter Square Books is your fiercely independent source for great books, magazines, fun gifts and more.


REAL ESTATE DIRECTORY Thalia Tringo & Associates Real Estate Lynn 617-216-5244, Jen 617-943-9581

292 Broadway, Somerville 617-776-2511, leonessubandpizza.com Pizza and subs fit for a king since 1954. Now being delivered by Dash!


Bringing our expertise and good humor to help you find a perfect home or say good-bye to your old one.



180 Highland Ave., Somerville 617-864-6111 Dr. Talmo provides a personalize approach to dental care. Come enjoy a comfortable dental experience in her newly renovated office space.


617-905-5232, irenebremis.com irenebremis@gmail.com Real Estate Consulting, Listing, Marketing, Sales & Rental Specialist. iBremis Realty, Inc. powered by LAER.

~ $1,495,000 This is a very rare opportunity to own a single family home with garage on one of the largest lots in Davis Square . The Victorian-era house has 4 bedrooms and one and a half baths on two levels. The detached garage


the Morrison Ave. and Grove St., is the very large, open, level yard. Owned by the same family since 1955, this unspoiled home is ready for a new family to make their own updates and memories.

378 Highland Ave., Somerville 617-718-2900, opayeeros.com Lovely Agassiz 2 bedroom/2 bath condo with private porch on a pleasant side street between Harvard and Porter Squares. Near great shops, restaurants, and Harvard campus. Authentic Greek cuisine and a lively ~ $349,000 Expanding soon! Roomy Ten Hills 2 bedroom/1 bath atmosphere. condo with charming details, reonvated kitchen, parking, ~ $519,000

and storage.

64 Union Square, Somerville 617-821-5560, bliss-brain.com Learn how to utilize your brain’s natural neuroplastic abilities to create the life you strive for through NeuroSculpting and meditation.


9Prices Davis Square, Somerville are already up quite a bit over 2013, which was the strongest market in years. More inventory has 617-628-2379, mikesondavis.com started to appear, but it is still not enough to satisfy demand. Consequently, prices should continue to Pizza, Pasta, Seafood, Burgers and rise in 2014. more! Dine in our casual Please call us for more information on thedining market, room or to get a sense of the current value of your home. open to~Thalia, DavisTodd,Square or watch Niké, Jennifer, and Lynn a Our New Listings game at the bar!

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Residential Sales Specialist, ealtor R ® cell/text Jennifer@ThaliaTringoRe alEstate .com

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Residential Sales Specialist, ealtor R ® cell/text Lynn@ThaliaTringoRe alEstate .com

~ $229,000

CambridgeRealEstate.com 617-733-8937, cc@compass.com Helping You Buy the Right Home and Sell for the Best Price in Cambridge and Somerville, MA.

Near Medford Sq., this 1 bedroom/ 1 1/2 bath condo is in an elevator building with parking.

Coming Soon


In the heart of Davis Sq., this 2 bedroom/1 bath condo in a brick building has a parking space.

505 Medford St., Somerville 617-776-2049, laposadasomerville.com Renovated 1 bedroom/1 bath near Prospect Hill with central air, in-unit laundry, private porch, Somerville’s spot for delicious, and shared yard. hand-crafted Latin American cuisine. Equidistant from Davis and Porter Squares, this 3 bedroom/1.5 bath condo on two levels has in-unit laundry, 2 porches, private yard, and exclusive driveway for 3 cars.


Dr. Pasquale Cancelliere 53 Main Street, Somerville 617-629-2806, candriafas.com Board Certified, Fellowship Trained Podiatrist



906 Mass. Ave., Cambridge 617-864-5301, massavediner.com Since 2010 Serving Killer Brunch and Diner Fare. Now Open Late and Serving Craft Beer and Wine!


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Our agents strive to make your experience of buying and selling as smooth as possible. From start to finish, we are here to help you. Free classes.


617-461-4691, erik.hook@compass.com Servicing Greater Somerville, Boston, and Cambridge, Erik is committed to trustworthy, personalized, and responsive service for his clients.

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44 Then & Now | scoutsomerville.com





he year was 1983. Lloyd Schwartz was living in Cambridge, working as classical music editor for The Boston Phoenix, an alternative weekly periodical with a nationally renowned music section. He was also teaching full-time at the University of Massachusetts Boston. At the time, Conde Nast Publications was reviving the magazine Vanity Fair, which had been popular in the 1920s and 1930s. Susan Sontag, a fan of Schwartz’s work, recommended him to the editors at the new magazine. He wrote a feature for the magazine on the state of modern conducting in the classical music world. This was the only time Schwartz had ever received a contract for his critical writing. Though the first editor of the new Vanity Fair was happy with the piece, the leadership of the magazine changed rapidly. Later editors characterized it as “[not] the sort of thing anyone would want to read at the beach,” Schwartz says. They decided to drop him—but he had a contract, so they bought him out of it. This gave Schwartz enough money to put a down payment on a house in East Somerville. He set out to navigate the literary life of his new home city. Josie Wrangham, the librarian at the small East Branch of the Somerville Public Library, asked him to do a reading. “It was a great introduction … between me and Somerville, but I still kind of felt like I was an exile and I no longer had my Cambridge parking sticker,” Schwartz says. Harvard Square was a hub of literary activity in bygone eras, Schwartz says.

“Moving here in 1984, I felt my literary center was still in Cambridge,” he says. “And in some way, it still is. Somerville is more grassroots. It’s so lively. You could say [there is] something wilder about it.” Schwartz, who has written his share of both music criticism and poetry, says that he has channeled his poetic sensibilities while writing music reviews. He received the Pulitzer Prize for his arts criticism in 1994. “There’s two ways to write about music,” he says. “And one is to write about music technically. You know, did this violinist play all the notes? Were they all in tune? Was it the right tempo? Or you can write about music in the sense of ... the experience. I’ve learned how to write prose in a way that conveys not only information, but feeling.” The City of Somerville named Schwartz its poet laureate, a twoyear appointment, in January 2019. “I feel very honored, and feel that my connection to the city and the city’s connection to me have been cemented by this,” he says. Schwartz co-hosted his first event with the Somerville Arts Council in April. It was a reading at the Armory entitled “Poems We Love.” Attendees were invited to read poems or song lyrics they had enjoyed. He says that 30 people read poems—including Cambridge Mayor Marc McGovern, Representative Denise Provost, former Representative Mike Capuano, a Somerville High School student, and members of the City Council. Schwartz says he organized the event around the mayor’s availability and was pleased to find that McGovern came early to set up the event and stayed until the very end.

LLOYD SCHWARTZ Readers were explicitly unpublished poets, with the exception of Provost, whose first book, “Curious Peach,” came out last summer. Schwartz also holds monthly poetry discussions at the same East Branch library where he held his first Somerville reading in the 1980s. On one Saturday morning each month, Somervillians are invited to the library to talk about their impressions of poems. “We’ll talk about … what you liked about this poem, and … did anything bother you? Or were you confused? It’s not like a class. I lead the conversation but it can go anywhere,” Schwartz says. Schwartz is currently the Frederick S. Troy Professor of English at the University of Massachusetts Boston, where he teaches in the MFA program in creative writing. He is retiring at the end of December 2019, though he hopes to return as a visiting writer someday. As a retiree, he will have more

time to invest in poet-laureate projects. For future events, he hopes to have poets read their original work in addition to poems they love. He also hopes to pursue a translation project with Somerville High School students. Last year, Schwartz was awarded a Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship for his poetry. “It’s the best award I’ve ever gotten in poetry,” he says. “It was a … wonderful, thrilling confirmation that my poems can reach other people.” An avid reader, Schwartz fills his life with prose. He recommends picking up Denise Provost’s “Curious Peach,” Somerville poet David Blair’s book of essays “Walk Around,” and Malden-born poet David Surrette’s “Malden.” Schwartz’s next book will include both previously published poems and selected newer works. It will also include the translated works of Brazilian writers. scoutsomerville.com | Then & Now 45 Photo by Adrianne Mathiowetz.





he first time future journalist Eric Francis conducted an interview, he was 7 years old. A natural inquisitiveness took over when he noticed a few firemen putting out a fire down the street from where he grew up in Little Rock, Arkansas, and he just happened to have a notepad in his pocket. Afterwards, he got to see the inside of the fire truck. Eric graduated from college in 1990 and cut his teeth at an alternative weekly newspaper called Spectrum, later going on to write for several community newspapers. Since 2008, he has been freelancing. You may recognize his name from all of the food articles he’s contributed to our magazines, given that he likes to appoint himself as “the official food writer” wherever he works. His favorite cuisine

is always changing and it’s usually dependent on the last really good meal he ate. (Right now, it’s regional Thai food.) When he’s not writing for Scout into shape at Industry Lab in Cambridge—one of his new favorite spots in the city, along with the Cambridge Public Library—Eric can be found designing board games with the Boston Game Makers Guild, a regional group that encourages up-and-coming creators to test out their games together. A self-proclaimed nerd, Eric loves a good science fiction novel. He’s also “a huge podcast addict,” and listens to everything from the longform journalism of RadioLab to the food podcast Gastropod, which started right here in the Somerville area. Eric has lived in the greater Boston area for three years, but he’s still getting to know Somerville and Cambridge—one meal at a time.

Top left: Eric with his first (and only) New England striper. Bottom left: “Is he still staring at me?” Right: An early prototype of Calligraphy, his current board game design project.

46 Then & Now | scoutsomerville.com

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Scout Somerville Jan/Feb 2020 Issue