New tenants announced for overhaul of CambridgeSide food hall

New tenants announced for overhaul of CambridgeSide food hall

New tenants announced for overhaul of CambridgeSide food hall

By Grant Welker 

An overhaul of the CambridgeSide mall’s former food court into a new concept is slated to open this fall, and the future tenants are now being unveiled.

What will soon be called CanalSide Food + Drink will include anoush’ella, Caffé Nero, Chilacates, DalMoros Fresh Pasta to Go, the sandwiches and salads restaurant Fresh, the Asian eatery InChu, Lala’s Neapolitan-ish Pizza, Nu Burger, Sapporo Ramen and Teazzi Tea Shop. CambridgeSide also announced this week there will also be a bar run by local restaurateurs Ran Duan, Jon Rosse and Brahm Callahan.

Other tenants will be named later, with 14 tenants in all. A soft opening is planned for October.

CanalSide Food + Drink will offer local and unique options, replacing the national chains that made up the food court in the past, said Issie Shait, the executive vice president for property management at CambridgeSide owner New England Development. Burger King is gone, for example, and options like Taco Bell or Chipotle were passed over in favor of the Mexican restaurant Chilacates.

“That wasn’t going to work for what we were trying to accomplish,” Shait said of the national brands.

The remake of the mall’s food court is part of a broader overhaul of CambridgeSide that also includes two new office buildings and a planned residential building. Retail mainstays like Apple, Sephora and Victoria’s Secret remain, but shopping will be complemented by new uses.

The third floor of shops is being remade into lab space for SmartLabs, which offers flexible lab space. A former Macy’s department store has been eliminated for a 10-story office and lab building, and the former Sears space opened this spring as a five-story office and lab building. Improvements to Lechmere Canal Park are also planned to be completed in July.

Two more buildings are planned: a 14-story residential building with 160 units at a corner of the property that once included a Best Buy and a third office and lab building totaling nine stories where CambridgeSide’s above-ground parking garage stands today. Both buildings are permitted but construction isn’t imminent, Shait said.

New England Development renovated the entirety of CambridgeSide’s interior in 2018 but didn’t touch the food court, knowing a bigger change was in mind, Shait said. CanalSide Food + Drink is aimed at taking advantage of the new office uses as well as growth in the neighborhood, including new life sciences and technology offices around Kendall Square and the mixed-use Cambridge Crossing development, both blocks away.

The food hall will add to others in and around Boston that have opened in the last five or so years, including Bow Market in Somerville and Time Out Market, High Street Place and Hub Hall in Boston.

The announcement of the CambridgeSide food hall tenants comes roughly a week after a similar a similar venue just across the street, First Street Market, said it would be anchored by a restaurant from Cambridge Street Hospitality Group, whose portfolio includes Puritan & Co. and Puritan Oyster Bar in Inman Square and The Lexington, Geppetto and Cafe Beatrice at Cambridge Crossing.

Many of the soon-to-come eateries at CambridgeSide are already quickly expanding across the Boston area.

Caffe Nero, a British chain that picked Boston for its first United States locations, has dozens of cafes across the region. Anoush’ella has a South End location as well as one in Time Out Market. Chilacates has 11 locations across the area, while CambridgeSide will be the first DalMoros Fresh Pasta To Go location in the area.