Weekly News Bites (July 8-15): Not Your Basic Breakfast, New Ames is Already Gone and Holy Happy Hour?!
On Ames St., it was over before it began. Could cereal once again become breakfast of champions? And could Boston be getting it's drink specials back?
Let's start with the bad news: It was a sad week for Kendall Square scientists and techies, who can no longer get their creative cocktails and marvelous macaron on Ames Street.
It was a good week for grownups who have never forgotten the thrill of picking out their favorite box from an endless cereal aisle — just in case Pokémon GO didn't have you feeling nostalgic enough.
And depending on your stance on the avalability of cheap drinks, it was either a week of foreboding, or keeping the faith — that happy hour might once again exist in Boston.
Here are the weekly news bites to whet your palate:
C’mon Get Happy! (or not?)
Coffee culture, craft beer, ice cream — Boston can run with the big dogs on most factors that contribute to a city’s overall ranking as a dining destination, but one thing we don’t have? Happy hour. Since 1986 — when legislation put the kibosh on discounted drinks to try and curb drunk driving — bars haven’t been able to sling specials after work, or any other time.
“We’ve seen the debate and heard complaints from people about Massachusetts being a little bit stiff and uptight and having some outdated Puritan drinking laws,” said Davidson. “We thought maybe it’s time to bring back happy hour.”
Some say it's too risky to offer discounted drinks, others say it would be a huge boon to the hospitality business. It's too soon to say if City Hall will approve bottomless brunches and maragrita Monday's. But we are getting thirsy at the prospect.
All over on Ames Street
On a Tuesday coffee run, one of our best reporters (my husband, a scientist in Kendall who works neither in journalism nor food) was aghast to find Study at Ames — formerly known as the restaurant Ames St. Deli — was presently, closed. With no explanation.
On Wednesday we got the sad scoop from Eater: There will be no more afternoon cocktails or tiny sandwiches. Despite winning a bunch of awards and a rebrand just a few weeks ago, the team just wasn’t able to make the numbers work. You can read their letter to customers here.
They're bringing breakfast back (yeah!)
Kellogg's is trying to bring cereal back into fashion with a cereal bar (think cocktail, not granola) and the help of pastry maven Christina Tosci, of Milk Bar fame. If you’ve tried the alchemy that is her cereal-milk soft-serve, you might not be so surprised by the partnership. According to NPR’s The Salt, the most popular dish so far has been Cornflakes topped with pistachio, sprigs of thyme and lemon zest.
The Times Square spot has won lots of media attention — really the point here. Cereal sales have been slipping for years and people are wary of sugar/carbs/gluten/processed food. Protein, rather than fiber is emphasized as the key to the ‘most important meal’.
Could nostalgia get people to buy more frosted flakes? Kellogg's NYC partner Sandra Di Capua sure hopes so, telling NPR “‘We're constantly looking for experiences. It's the reason why we go to a bar for beer, to a coffee shop ... with friends, to dinner to have a bowl of pasta,’ she says. ‘It's because we're looking for something beyond just nourishment — we're looking for an experience. That's what we're doing here.’”
Could a cereal bar, serving discount drinks, fill the void on Ames Street? Only time will tell. (But probably not).
Have safe, happy and delicious weekend everybody!