Coming soon: As promised, the team behind Cambridge’s Shepard (1 Shepard St. at Massachusetts Avenue) will reopen in the same space with a new concept, hopefully this month. The restaurant will be called Luce and focus on Italian food, says owner Rene Becker. (Luce is his young daughter.) Look for a handful of pastas, veggie-driven starters, and “some surprises,” Becker says. “It will be cozier and warmer than Shepard, and we’ll make room for kids. We want people to drop in a couple of times per week. It will be more family-friendly.”
Becker also runs the Hi-Rise Bread Company, which has opened at the Boston Public Market (100 Hanover St. at Congress Street). It replaces George Howell Coffee, which has moved across the aisle for expansion. For now, get pastries and baked goods; soon, they’ll sell soups and sandwiches.
Over in Union Square, Tim and Bronwyn Wiechmann will open a pizza parlor this spring, two doors down from their German restaurant, Bronwyn (255 Washington St. at Sanborn Court). The 50-ish-seat spot will serve wood-fired pies and cocktails. “It won’t be all the classics. I’m going to have fun with the menu,” Wiechmann says. “Union Square is really developing. There’s no awesome pizza joint in the square, and I love to bake.”
And there’s some good news in the Faneuil Hall area, despite the closure of landmarkDurgin-Park. The Trio Restaurant Group (Casa Cana, Publico Street Bistro) will openMercato Kitchen + Bar in the forthcoming Hyatt Centric Faneuil Hall (68 Devonshire St.). Mercato will be inspired by the European food halls that owners Teodora Bakardzhieva and Jairo Dominguez love to visit, serving a cross-section of charcuterie, mezze, fried foods, and seafood snacks, from Spanish friedanchovies to skewers of souvlaki.
Milestones: Cambridge’s Craigie on Main (853 Main St. at Bishop Allen Drive) celebrates 10 years at its Main Street location. To celebrate, owner Tony Maws has turned his bar into a separate space called COMB (which stands for “Craigie on Main Bar,” of course). The bar has its own a la carte menu, with rotating burger specials and a Buffalo-sauce-themed event series every Sunday — including Buffalo takeout specials on Super Bowl Sunday. Over in the dining room, find a new, $85 four-course menu.
Meat: Michael’s Deli in Brookline (256 Harvard St. at Longwood Avenue) celebrates National Pastrami Day on Jan. 14. Ten percent of pastrami sales benefit the Greg Hill Foundation, which provides assistance to local families affected by tragedy, so go get a sandwich.