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South Shore restaurant news and notes

Restaurants everywhere come and go, and some just have facelifts. Cooks, too, do a lot of moving around as a way to move up the ladder and learn from other chefs in a business that sees more action than most.

But even by industry standards, the South Shore restaurant scene is busy right now. To give you a taste:

Alma Nove, the much-anticipated new restaurant from area chef Paul Wahlberg and brothers Mark (movie guy) and Donnie Wahlberg (music and movie guy), should open by Memorial Day or the first week of June at the Launch at Hingham Shipyard.
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The chef has snagged old friend Jim Caputo to be his sous chef. “This is the third restaurant we’ve opened together,” said Wahlberg, who worked with Caputo at Bridgeman’s and Tosca. Caputo moved back east from California to take the job, said Wahlberg, who has managed to fit in personal cheffing for three of Mark’s movies, including “The Lovely Bones.”
The restaurant, named after the brothers’ mother, Alma, and the Italian word for the number of children she had, nine (nove), will have 119 indoor seats and 20 to 25 on the waterfront patio [shown above]. “I’m blown away by how beautiful it’s coming out,” said Wahlberg.

I’m totally thrilled that Boston-area natives Jon Olinto and Anthony Ackil are opening their seventh amazing b.good burgers and real food/fast food place at the Derby Street Shoppes sometime in late June.
B.good is unique in the world of fast food: The partners use only all natural beef that they grind daily, and are passionate about raising awareness about humanely raised, local beef and other foods. A sign in each store identifies the farm where the day’s beef was raised.
B.good serves veggie burgers, chicken burgers, and lots of other good simple food, too. “The b.good we opened last fall at Legacy Place is going good, so we’re ready for Derby Street,” said Olinto. The restaurant will have 60 seats, and the partners are currently hiring. (More on these guys and their work with food in schools later.)

The beautiful old Sun Tavern in Duxbury reopened on April 27 after having been closed since 2008. Duxbury resident Larry Friedman bought the 148-seat, four-acre property last November – for the second time. Friedman first bought the restaurant in 1996, ran it for five years, and sold it in 2001.
Friedman’s renovated the space — opening the kitchen and updating a 50-seat private function room – and put together an eclectic menu with the help of Chef Ken Wisneski, whom Friedman snatched away from Pembroke’s future former Winery on 53. Let me explain.
The Winery on 53 opened nearly two years ago at the site of the former long-running and well-loved Bobby Hackett’s Restaurant. Although Winery on 53 did well enough to survive, its main customers were the old Bobby Hackett crowd who would jam into its large bar to eat, but rarely its new dining room.
So, rather than buck the tide, management closed on May 9 to turn the place into one big tavern, said manager Doug Kazorek. They’re also changing the menu and the name: Winery on 53, they’ve heard, conveys an upscale vibe that is off-putting to a crowd that seems to want the place to be more like Bobby Hackett’s.
It will reopen as Brimstone Tavern on May 26 or 27, with tavern and comfort food and Gil Baretto stepping in as chef to replace Wisneski. Among Barreto’s previous experience was a stint at Cohasset’s Red Lion Inn.

After a great run of 12 years, chef-owner Bernie O’Neil has closed his popular downtown Cohasset restaurant, Bernard’s. In April, Annette and Vincent Agostino, a husband and wife team, bought the building and will open their first restaurant, Ava Cucina, on June 13, with Annette running front of house and Vincent cooking.
Annette has spent the last eight years working at Cohasset’s Red Lion Inn. Vincent worked for years in his father’s Hull restaurant, Mezzo Mare. The Agostino’s are making several renovations to the space – including a rebuilding of the restroom so customers don’t have to go through the kitchen to get to it.

Scituate native Robin King has opened his first restaurant, Oro, in a renovated space in the Welsh Building that used to be the Flounder Inn – that odd place that served both breakfast and Chinese food. Chef King and his wife, Jill, have worked back and front of house, respectively, at many restaurants in Colorado, California, and Boston, including Kevin Costner’s restaurant, Epiphany, in Santa Barbara. The 62-seat Oro is a gorgeous little spot. (See Boston Globe South this Sunday for more.)

Boston restaurateurs Frank DePasquale and Nick Varano have put more than $500,000 into renovating the Marina Bay Beach Club (formerly Waterworks) and plan to open their new Ocean Club at Marina Bay on Memorial Day. The outdoor nightclub is considered the largest venue of its kind in the region. (See Sunday’s Boston Globe South for a story on the club.)

Meanwhile, in chronological order, here’s what all’s up for eats (aside from Alma Nove) at the Launch at the Hingham Shipyard: Panera has been open for a few months and seems busy every time I pass or stop in.
Pizzapalooza opened on May 15, with 60 seats and an outdoor patio. The restaurant is the second from owners Stephen and Elyse Yanoff, who opened their first in Newton 10 years ago. Their large menu features both Sicilian (a thicker style) and Neapolitan-style pizza. “We also have a 100 percent whole wheat pie,” said Yanoff.
Danny Phan plans to have a soft opening of his 195-seat Typhoon Asian Bistro & Lounge in June “if construction goes according to schedule.” Phan has owned Typhoon Asian Bistro on Boylston Street in Boston’s Back Bay since 2000. He has two partners in this new Hingham venture – college friends from MIT. The menu will be similar to the Boston restaurant, he said, with dishes from Japan, Thailand, Vietnam, and China. It will also have chefs cooking on hibachis tableside, a patio, and a full liquor license.
Joe Slesar is scheduled to open Hingham Beer Works at the shipyard sometime in late summer. This will be Slesar’s fifth brew pub, according to Finni McWilliam, manager of the first Boston Beer Works, near Fenway Park, which Slesar opened in 1992. The new brew pub will be 9,000 square feet and employ about 75 people. The pub will serve wine and its own beer.
Please drop us a line with any newsy bits, opinions, or comments on anything food related. In the meantime – enjoy!
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