Celebrity-Owned Restaurants Are Popping Up Around Town

August 23, 2017

It’s the legitimately good food and cool vibes that draw people to these places. They just happen to be owned by local celebrities. 

By 
Danielle DeSiato
Surprising Celebrity-Owned Restaurants Around Town | WGBH | CRAVING BOSTON

In the case of Wahlburgers, the connection is obvious. The growing burger chain was founded by the Wahlberg family, whose famous members need no introduction.

But did you know that the chain is actually run by another of the Wahlberg brothers, Chef Paul Wahlberg, who also runs a gorgeous waterfront restaurant in Hingham? Sure, Mark and Donnie are still cited as co-owners of Alma Nove, which is named after the Wahlberg family matriarch of 9 children, but Chef Paul is the driving force behind the thriving family restaurant business. Alma Nove might not have the instant name recognition of Wahlburgers, but it does have a stellar menu and picturesque location in the Hingham Shipyard (pictured above).

A little further up the shore, there’s Novara in East Milton, where Massachusetts native and New Kid on the Block, Jordan Knight, also resides.

Novara is already one of Craving Boston’s favorite South Shore restaurants, but not just because of its celebrity connection. The cinema-turned-restaurant is a welcoming, modern space with an eclectic Italian menu that brings a city vibe to the suburbs. These are some of the qualities Knight was drawn to back in 2015 when the team that operates nearby Abby Park was renovating the old Milton Theater for their new restaurant project. It piqued Knight’s interest and he became an investor shortly before the restaurant opened in January 2016. Although he readily admits he’s no foodie, he believed in the project, its location, the team, and their vision.

The intriguing Italian menu and surprisingly hip space will have you believing too — and you might even catch a glimpse of Knight. When he’s not out on tour with NKOTB, he can often be found participating in charity events at the restaurant or dining on his favorite menu item, the chicken parmesan meatballs.

Another Milton native and Dropkick Murphys frontman, Ken Casey, is heavily entrenched in the local restaurant scene. He got the restaurant bug after opening McGreevy’s in Back Bay in 2008.

Casey, who’s a die-hard Red Sox fan, said, "McGreevy's was a huge passion due to the historical baseball significance.” In case you’re not familiar with that history, McGreevy’s ia a recreation of the 1890’s “3rd Base Saloon,” which gave birth to Red Sox nation. “Through that journey I realized how much I enjoy the process of helping to design and open new places,” said Casey.

Those places now also include Lower Mills Tavern and Yellow Door Taqueria in Dorchester, Lion’s Tail in the South End’s Ink Block complex, and Whiskey Republic in Providence, RI.

Each place has its own distinct personality, and when he’s not on tour Casey enjoys spending time at each. These days, he's especially enjoying the tacos at Yellow Door Taqueria, the most recent of his collection to open.

“It's definitely become a passion of mine...and thanks to the amazing team of partners I have, once the doors are open, the majority of my work is done and I just get to hang out and enjoy the places we've created together." 

Musicians aren’t the only local celebrities in the restaurant biz. Former Boston Bruin, Ray Bourque, is a part-owner in the North End’s Tresca Restaurant, which underwent a physical and conceptual  renovation earlier this year, complete with new executive chef, Rich Ansara. Bourque has become more involved in the restaurant operations, and can even be found greeting guests occasionally.

You really never know who you’ll bump into when you're dining out in Boston. 

 

Topic 
  • August 23, 2017