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These are some of the most-antici

These are some of the most-anticipated restaurants coming to Mass in 2024

Massachusetts is set to be a feast for food enthusiasts this year, with a wave of new restaurants opening their doors, promising new, exciting flavors and innovative dining experiences.

From upscale eateries in Back Bay to cozy neighborhood joints in Fairhaven, each establishment hopes to bring a special flair to its patrons.

Stephen Clark, president and CEO of the Massachusetts Restaurant Association, told MassLive that a couple hundred restaurants are expected to open this year throughout the state. Clark said many new restaurants are opening to replace others that have closed.

“Restaurant owners that survived the pandemic made it through, and they’re starting to realize that maybe it’s time to retire,” Clark said. “Maybe the next generation in their family doesn’t want to take over the restaurant, and so they’re selling their location. So in that situation, you have a closing, but you also have an opening at the same time because you have a new owner coming in.”

As the curtain rises on the restaurant scene this year, here’s a sneak peek at what your taste buds can look forward to, with some of the most-anticipated restaurant openings of 2024.

China Pearl, 9 Tyler St., Boston

China Pearl, a banquet hall and dim sum house in Chinatown, will make a comeback in winter, according to The restaurant temporarily shut down the Chinese eatery in February 2020. The owners, the Moy family, used the downtime to renovate the establishment.

The once dimly lit restaurant will be flooded with light thanks to the installation of new windows, reported. Other renovations include revealing the restaurant’s old brick walls and hardwood floors from the 19th century.

Although the restaurant will have a new look, patrons of China Pearl can still enjoy the classics such as shu mai, pork buns and steamed dumplings, according to

Jacob Wirth, 131 Stuart St., Boston

After a fire in 2018 forced the restaurant to shutter, Jacob Wirth, a nearly 150-year-old joint, will reopen in the spring.

For several years, two real estate companies – City Realty Group and the Royale Entertainment Group – have been renovating Jacob Wirth in preparation for its grand reopening, according to Jamison LaGuardia, vice president of sales and operations at Royale Entertainment Group.

The management companies are trying to keep Jacob Wirth “true to what it was,” by restoring “salvageable” items inside the damaged restaurant while also rebuilding lost parts, LaGuardia recently told MassLive.

The tables and chairs at the restaurant famed for its schnitzel will remain the same, along with a lot of the decor, artwork and memorabilia, LaGuardia said.

Some of the improvements include moving the kitchen from the basement to the bar and creating more stalls in the women’s restroom, reported.

LaGuardia also said they are looking to upgrade the restaurant’s menu, “dabbling” with Jacob Wirth’s German roots.

La Padrona, 40 Trinity Place, Boston

La Padrona, a new Italian eatery, is set to open up in the Back Bay in winter 2024, according to the Columbus and Over Group, a Boston real estate agency. The restaurant will be located inside Raffles, a newly built luxury hotel and residences. La Padrona will offer a bar on the ground floor and a second-floor restaurant.

The restaurant will serve traditional Italian cuisines and regional classics with ingredients from Italy and New England, according to Raffles’ website.

Meals will include housemade pastas, fresh seafood, local proteins, cured Italian meats and artisan cheeses, according to Raffles.

Merai, Brookline Village

Merai, a Thai fusion restaurant, is set to open in Brookline Village “within a couple of months,” the restaurant told MassLive in an email.

The restaurant uses Thai flavors as a way to celebrate different cuisines, with creativity and fun in their dive bar, the owners wrote in the email.

A staple of the restaurant will be its “high dive,” an upscale version of a dive bar, but without the pretentious energy, the email said. The restaurant will serve sophisticated drinks, including beers, wines, cocktails and mocktails.

Its menu will be under the theme of “elevated bar food/snacks,” according to Merai. Those will come in the form of small sharable plates made from ingredients that are locally sourced and seasonal.

Some of their menu offerings include Khao Soi Fettuccini, which is a blend of Thai noodles and Italian pasta, and Hung Lay Bao, pork belly braised in Thai curry, placed in bao buns, reported.

XOXO Bar, 1154 Boylston St., Chestnut Hill

XOXO Bar, a new sushi restaurant, will open in March, according to a press release from the restaurant’s public relations agency, Regan Communications Group.

The cuisine is a contemporary new American-Japanese concept, featuring a rotating omakase menu, a chef’s-choice meal. XOXO Bar will also have a la carte recreated sushi and robatayaki cuisine, which is food on skewers slowly grilled over hot charcoal, according to the press release.

The restaurant will also have a cocktail program, which includes smoke bubbles and exotic garnishes, according to the press release.

Keegan Stritchko, the chef of XOXO Bar, will use “timeless” Japanese cooking techniques and infuse American influences into his food. He will also use in-house dry-aging and curing techniques to prepare his meals.

The design of XOXO Bar will be sleek and modern, highlighting intricate and luxurious materials, according to the press release. The space is built around a 15-seat bar.

Seamark Seafood and Cocktails, 1 Broadway, Everett

Seamark Seafood and Cocktails will open at Encore Boston Harbor this April, according to a press release from Carver Road Hospitality, a restaurant consulting firm.

Seamark aims to blend tradition with innovation, according to its website. Its menu will feature New England seafood favorites such as pier-to-plate cold-water fish, lobster and shellfish.

The restaurant will be located next to Encore’s Garden Lobby, across from the Ferris wheel, according to the press release.

The restaurant will include an 82-seat main dining room, a 30-seat alcove dining room, a 41-seat showcase bar and lounge, a 34-seat outdoor terrace, a 21-seat corridor terrace and a 16-seat private dining room.

For Sean Christie, Carver Road Hospitality’s co-founder and CEO, the opening of Seamark Seafood and Cocktails is personal, according to the press release.

“As a Boston native, I got my start and worked in the food and beverage industry in the area for years before moving to Las Vegas,” Christie said in a statement. “And, during my time as a Wynn executive, I saw the Encore Boston Harbor site secured and watched the property develop and evolve, so it’s all come full circle.”

Mikiya, 21 Hudson St., Boston

Mikiya Wagyu Shabu House is an all-you-can-eat Japanese hot pot restaurant with locations in Las Vegas and California. But, this spring, Mikiya is set to open a new location in Boston’s Chinatown, according to ChubbyGroup, a public relations agency.

Depending on your palate and your wallet, the restaurant serves several tiers of meals, such as JIDORI organic chicken, sweet shrimp sashimi, and a seafood platter at a range of prices – $45, $55, $78 and $98.

Olivia’s Restaurant, 1 Middle St., Fairhaven

Olivia’s Restaurant, a neighborhood bar and eatery, is opening in Fairhaven in mid-March, owner Brandon Roderick, told MassLive.

The restaurant will specialize in new American cuisines, which Roderick described as a “melting pot” of influences across the world, from European cuisines to Southern-style meals.

But, with Fairhaven being close to New Bedford’s fishing port, Roderick said he plans to emphasize coastal cuisines.

Olivia’s will also serve specialty cocktails – both alcoholic and non-alcoholic – with wine and spirits produced in Massachusetts and Rhode Island, Roderick said.

Roderick worked with Lauren Grant Designs, a local interior designer, to help remodel the restaurant with a “timeless, classic New England neighborhood feel,” he said. Some of the design features include an open kitchen concept and an extended bar.

Roderick, who also owns The Baker, a bakery in New Bedford, said he created Olivia’s to bring a more intimate dining experience back to Fairhaven.

“In The Baker, we’re quick service,” he said. “People come and grab and go. But I, really miss welcoming people into the space, having them sit down for a nice meal and experience.”

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