New Restaurants in Downtown Boston: The Painted Burro Is Coming

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Posted March 13, 2013 by Rachel Leah Blumenthal in Eat & Drink
Burro Bar

An exciting Mexican eatery will soon be joining the ranks of new restaurants in downtown Boston, and it will be taking the place of a Downtown Crossing landmark. Seventy-seven-year-old sewing and craft store Windsor Button is in the process of selling off its inventory and shutting its doors. (No official closing date has been announced yet.) In a note to customers, the store explains: “We have lost our lease, as our landlord plans to renovate our space.” While it’s sad to see the beloved store go, the Temple Place address won’t be empty for long.

The Painted Burro, which already has a popular location in Somerville, is slated to take over, continuing the street’s conversion into a restaurant mecca.

Painted Burro "Cholo" Corn Cob

This delicious Mexican-style corn cob is a mainstay on the Painted Burro’s menu. Photo Credit: Rachel Leah Blumenthal

The original Painted Burro opened in Somerville’s Davis Square one year ago, and it has enjoyed a steady stream of customers ever since. From the lengthy tequila and mezcal list to the outstanding Mexican cuisine, all served up in a lively atmosphere accented by Día de Muertos-style skulls and gorgeous paintings by local artist Raúl Gonzalez III. A rep for the restaurant was unable to confirm yet whether the menu would be the same at both locations. If so, Downtown Crossing diners can expect dishes such as short rib barbacoa tacos, Yucatan meatloaf, and local squash enchiladas. On several visits, I’ve found the pork “cochinita” tacos and kale and plantain side dish to be the perfect meal, finished off with a dish of corn ice cream—yes, you read that correctly—and washed down with a margarita or three.

The Painted Burro has already had some practice expanding. Just last month, the restaurant took over the adjacent space, previously home to Spike’s Junkyard Dogs, and opened a new attached lounge space to accommodate tequila drinking. Not to mention, the Painted Burro itself is the younger sibling of owner Joe Cassinelli’s other venture, Posto, an upscale Italian restaurant and pizzeria located a short walk away in Davis Square.

No timeline for the new opening has been announced yet, but according to a rep for the Painted Burro, there will be more information in the next few weeks. Meanwhile, it’s likely that there will be news about more new restaurants in downtown Boston soon. A few key spaces have opened up recently, most notably the historic Locke-Ober, which closed in October 2012 after a 137-year run. Rumors have been swirling that the new owners of the space (Jay Hajj of Mike’s City Diner and Michael Fallman of the British Beer Company chain) are considering possibilities like a high-end steakhouse or a seafood restaurant for the first floor.

One thing is clear, Temple Place is quickly becoming a major dining destination.

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