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Cafeteria on Newbury Street could re-open, but with a new name, more seats

Cafeteria, which shut last December, hopes to re-open soon, its attorney told the Boston Licensing Board yesterday.

"The general concept will be remaining the same," attorney Marci Costa said of the 279A Newbury St. restaurant.

But owner George Aboujaoude will be changing the name - Costa said to what is still undecided. She added he will be adding 22 more seats to the restaurant, which is why she was before the licensing board - it needs to approve changing the restaurant's license to show the extra seats.

"He's just really excited to gt this operation back up and running," she said. She did not give a specific date for re-opening.

The board agreed to defer any action until after Nov. 12, when Aboujaoude is scheduled to meet with the Neighborhood Association of the Back Bay on the proposal.


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"really terrible Boston restaurant names" piece an age ago when it was new, though as an aside to its even worse-named predecessor in the Stupid and Bygone category:

"INQ -- An awful Newbury Street restaurant with an equally-awful name, though not as gobsmackingly imbecilic as its successor, Luigi and Roscoe's @ INQ (also mercifully closed.) The legacy of naming inanity in this location continues to this day with Cafeteria, which reflects the owners' mistaken impression that putting air quotes around the name of a would-be chic hangout serving $12 Pineapple Cosmos* is ever-so-fascinatingly droll."

* an eye-popping price in 2010

I hope they up their food and cocktail game. Newbury Street and nearby has gotten some much better dining/drinking options since the days when nearly every spot on Newbury (including Cafeteria) sucked except for the fabulousness of the patios.

Voting closed 15

Cafeteria was a successful restaurant in NYC. I admittedly liked the NYC version and hated the Boson version. Same owners and concept, just bad execution here.

Voting closed 11

nothing could beat it

Voting closed 7

Not here in the City that Always Sleeps.

Voting closed 15

the NYC one other than the copied name.

That Newbury Street location is owned by a local restaurant group that includes Committee in The Seaport, Krasi in Back Bay, and the four Gre.co fast-casual gyros joints.

The Cafeteria in Manhattan's Chelsea neighborhood has NYC-based ownership, and is a very different concept.

Voting closed 9

Yeah, the headline made me think it was an actual cafeteria. That would be awesome: a place for cheap comfort food, which you pick up yourself at a counter with no waiting, and ample seating. How long has it been since a place like this existed downtown?

I have a rule against restaurants with one-word names.

Voting closed 14

its now a poggenpohl and i think it closed around '99-'00. the name escapes me right now but they had fantastic hangover food and breakfast sandwiches to go. if it stuck around a little longer it may have ended up being "cool" again but who knows?

Voting closed 8

I haven't really seen Back Bay's restaurant scene bloom since Cafeteria's opening but I otherwise agree with you that Cafeteria is a terrible name (I'll take it over the horrible trend of "something story-book sounding & some other nonsense" convention, though). I also really love the notion of "keeping the concept" like it isn't just a super generic restaurant in a city (and by and large, a society) that favors maybe, like, maybe three or so concepts (in this case, what? "elevated comfort food", which was just the replacement term for gastropub when that term went out of favor... at least it's not the dreaded "coastal Italian" that has become the de facto restaurant concept for the last five or so years).

Voting closed 10

I love the idea for the article and I'd be interested to reading it if you have a link. I know most places are probably closed by now but it's fun to remember long shuttered places I've forgotten.

Voting closed 7