Business, News

New restaurants popping up this summer on Swampscott’s Humphrey Street

Pomona, a restaurant which replaced Ocean House Surf & Skate on Humphrey Street in Swampscott, will open soon.

SWAMPSCOTT — Humphrey Street will soon offer residents several new places to try a variety of foods.  

While two town hotspots, Thai Thani and Nguyen’s, closed during the pandemic, new establishments will open in their places.

In the building that used to house Nguyen’s, a new bakery, bar and small plates restaurant will be opening under the name Zestfriendz.

“Zest has big flavor and big energy and friends is all about pairing,” said co-owner and Swampscott resident Margie Peterson, who is opening the business with her friend, Trudi Fagerlund of Marblehead. “Our tagline is ‘pairing unique flavors and local people.’”

Peterson said that they will offer baked goods like scones, muffins, cakes and savory hand pies during the day, as well as to-go “beach boxes” with charcuterie and other snacks, which customers can grab for a beach trip. At night, they will pivot to drinks and small plates, and they hope to encourage community connections among their customers by offering trivia and games for people to play while they eat.

“You come in and you may not have known the person sitting next to you, but next time you come with the friend you met here,” Peterson said.

Nguyen’s closed earlier this month after its owners made the decision to relocate their restaurant to Fort Myers, Fla. 

“Thank you for an amazing seven years in Swampscott,” said owner Kevin Nguyen in a Facebook post. “We especially want to thank you, during the pandemic, for your continuing support. And please extend your support to the new owners with a new, exciting concept.”

Peterson said she hopes the restaurant will open mid-June.

In place of Thai Thani, longtime corporate chef Don Golden plans to open a new restaurant called Njord Haven and serve food from around the world.

“Njord Haven is the ancient god who protected the Scandinavian sailors, so (he’s) a god of the ocean and wind,” Golden told the town’s Select Board last month. “When I saw the location in Swampscott, I wanted to go that way.”

Golden explained that in his work he has traveled around Europe, Asia and other parts of the world and been exposed to a variety of cuisines, and says he hopes to bring his experience to the North Shore. 

The restaurant will have a constantly-changing menu, he said, giving it a “supper club” feel.

“I want to tell the story of a chef who’s been traveling and what I can do, and bring some smiles to people at the same time,” he said.

Golden said Njord Haven will most likely open in June.

Along with the other additions to Humphrey Street’s dining scene, the owners of Lynn’s Antique Table restaurant will soon open Pomona Cafe in the space that used to house a surf shop.

The cafe will be a “new freshness- and wellness-driven dining experience for the greater Boston area,” according to its website. “Our goal is to serve you delicious and healthy food, juices and smoothies. We also want to include values and aspects from our culture in our concept, like our high-quality coffee tradition.”

Fine-dining restaurant G Bar and Kitchen will soon open a new casual dining room and gourmet market as well, rounding out the updates to Swampscott’s beachfront street.

“I like to think of it as a ‘food resort,’” owner and chef Gregg Brackman said of the restaurant’s new complex. “You can have your fine dining, with the white tablecloth and bottle of wine, or go next door and have a pizza and a craft beer, and on your way out pick up a couple prepared meals.”

More Stories From Swampscott