Old School vs. New School: West Newton Restaurants

In the past Borderline has posted about West Newton square in the pre-Pike days, when businesses were thriving, and in the seventies when there seemed to be a stronger community spirit. But there's one aspect of the "squayah" that has greatly improved since those times, and that's the food situation. Don't believe me? Let's compare.

Here's the West Newton restaurant rundown, circa 1980:

Brighams (sandwiches and ice cream)
Tee Gees (bad pizza and OK grinders)
That pub near Tee Gees (Cherry Tree? Papa's I? Can't remember the name -- too young to go in!)
Captain Mardens (Fish monger, plus take away fish and chips)

There were also an Italian restaurant on Elm Street, and Keltic Krust and Shogun on Washington St., but those didn't open until the mid-1980s, according to my recollection.

Anyway, here's the West Newton restaurant rundown, circa 2005:

Shin Yee (Chinese)
Sweet Tomatoes (Good pizza, even if a little pricey)
Lumiere (gourmet, high Zagat rating)
Coney Island Ice Cream
That Italian cafe next to the movie theater (sorry, can't remember the name)
Asian Taste (take out Chinese)
Shogun (Japanese food by Taiwanese owners)
Paddy's (Awesome pub food!)
Keltic Krust (Soda bread, other Irish bakery stuff)
Blue Ribbon BBQ (Best BBQ I've had anywhere)
That new Chinese restaurant on Elm Street
That other pub further down Washington
... plus one or two others that I can't remember right now.

While I miss Brighams and Captain Mardens, if I were able to take a time machine back to 1980 I'd probably pack a lunch to bring along with me.

Interestingly, the West Newton Cinema was around in 1980, yet restauranteurs back then couldn't seem to figure out how well movies and meals compliment each other. It wasn't until the 1990s that they "got it." I believe the presence of a movie theater has really helped the food situation, not to mention the economy, in West Newton. In Moody Street in Waltham I believe the same thing has happened -- the theater on Pine St. helps draw people in as well. This "anchor" has helped save Moody Street from the grim future predicted back in 1990 when the Grover Cronin's department store shut down.


Blogger Kristine said...

The Chinese restaurant on Elm is called Oriental Great Chow. I live right around the corner from it and chuckle to myself whenever I pass by it because the name is pretty funny. I do agree, though, there are some great restaurants in West Newton Square.

RJCrowley's is the other pub on Washington and they have great shepherd's pie :-)

4:33 PM  

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