A Giant New Development Will Bring a New Greek Restaurant (and More) to Back Bay

Lyrik Back Bay will include at least four restaurants and cafés among its tenants—not to mention an elevated plaza above the Pike.

Rendering of a multi-story city development with green space, a hotel, restaurants, and stores.

Lyrik Back Bay. / Rendering by Elkus Manfredi Architects

A massive development is aiming to reinvent the intersection between Newbury Street and Massachusetts Avenue—complete with an elevated public plaza stretching across the Pike—and a quartet of restaurants and cafés will be among the retail tenants. Developer Samuel & Associates shared details on Lyrik Back Bay this week, noting that 65% of the retail space has now been leased, with tenants slated to open this year and next. Among those: Greek restaurant Avra Estiatorio, smoothie and juice bar Pink Carrot, tea shop ChiCha San Chen, and local favorite George Howell Coffee.

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Avra Estiatorio, an upscale Greek destination with locations in New York City, Miami, and Los Angeles, will surely have competition from Boston’s own acclaimed Greek wine bar and restaurant Krasi just a few blocks away. Still, the plans sound intriguing, particularly private balcony seating and a seafood-rich menu inspired by cofounder Nick Tsoulos’ upbringing in Nafpaktos, a coastal village in Greece. Avra is currently slated for a spring 2025 opening at the Lyrik Back Bay development. Also coming from out of town: boba chain ChiCha San Chen, founded in Taiwan 26 years ago. Since then, it has developed an enthusiastic following worldwide, thanks to its careful tea sourcing and freshly brewed drinks. Boston won’t have to wait too long for a taste, with the opening planned for fall 2024.

On the local side, Pink Carrot is expanding from Boston’s North End. The casual spot offers smoothies and juices, wraps, salads, toasts, loaded baked sweet potatoes, and more, including plenty of vegetarian and vegan options. (Pink Carrot also has a Chestnut Hill location in the works.) And George Howell Coffee, which has cafés in Downtown Boston and Newtonville, plus a roasting facility in Acton, will open a new café at the development. Its continued expansion is probably no surprise: Founder George Howell, a coffee industry veteran, spent 1974 to 1994 growing the Coffee Connection, his first café chain, to two dozen locations before selling to Starbucks. (No opening timelines have been announced for Pink Carrot and George Howell.)

See also: George Howell Coffee: Back to the Grind 

Overall, the development—a decade in the making; see “Parcel 12”—will include 35,000 square feet of shops and restaurants, plus a CitizenM Hotel and a 450,000-square-foot office and life sciences building (uh oh) that will be home to CarGurus and the LEGO Group, among other companies. The most eye-catching piece from a neighborhood-transformation standpoint will likely be the multi-level plaza that includes programming such as public art and live music. (Music also provides inspiration for Lyrik’s name, a nod to its proximity to Berklee College of Music and Symphony Hall.) Further good news: The MBTA bus station and subway headhouse at the intersection will get a much-needed overhaul.

Various openings expected in 2024 and 2025. Newbury Street at Massachusetts Avenue, Back Bay, Boston.