Luke’s Lobster Is Headed for Downtown Crossing

The New York-based company's second Boston location is coming later this summer.

Luke's Lobster in Back Bay

Luke’s Lobster in Back Bay. / Photo provided

Downtown Crossing’s casual restaurant scene is about to get a little sweeter—with Maine lobster meat, that is.

Almost a year to the day after Luke’s Lobster debuted in Back Bay, the growing fast-casual chain just announced it will open a second Boston location at 290 Washington St. “late this summer.” In the spring, Boston Restaurant Talk noted the company was eyeing that storefront, which most recently housed Cakeology.

Luke Holden, a Cape Elizabeth, Maine, native, opened the first Luke’s Lobster in East Village in 2009. The lobsterman-turned-investment banker had moved to New York a couple years before, and was displeased with $30 sandwiches served on white tablecloths, he describes in a company video.

With familial connections—his father is a longtime lobsterman—Holden began to bring casual, Maine-style lobster shacks to city dwellers. Luke’s now has more than 20 locations in New York, greater Washington, D.C., Philadelphia, New Jersey, Chicago, Las Vegas, and Boston. It also recently debuted its first full-service restaurant in Tenants Harbor, Maine, on Millers Wharf.

In 2012, Luke’s got a sister company in the sustainable, traceable Cape Seafood. The partnership helps the company meet demand for Atlantic seafood, grow its number of storefronts, and keep its costs low. Earlier this year, Holden helped establish the Tenants Harbor Fisherman’s Co-op, the source for the expanded menu offerings at the Maine location, which shares 50 percent of the restaurant profits.

In addition to a $17, Maine-style lobster roll—with a little mayo, lemon butter, a secret seasonings, on a buttered, griddled split-top bun—Luke’s Boston location offers a Massachusetts Jonah crab roll, clam chowder, the signature Wild Blue salad with Maine blueberries and a chilled lobster tail, and more. It also partners with South End Buttery and Gifford’s (Maine) Ice Cream for its cookies and ice cream sandwiches.

“We knew coming into [Boston] that we would be met by our biggest critics, and have been thrilled by the overwhelmingly positive response from locals, and tourists alike in the Back Bay area,” Holden says. “We love Boston as it’s a market that not only knows good seafood, but has a refined appreciation for only the best lobster rolls.”

Stay tuned for an opening date for Luke’s Lobster in Downtown Crossing.

Luke’s Lobster, 75 Exeter St., Boston, 857-350-4626, coming to 290 Washington St., Boston, summer 2016,