Opening Lines

Several buzzy restaurant openings from the past year came from chefs running their own spot for the first time. We asked about their ups and downs from Year One.


Tracy Chang

Chef/owner at PAGU

On time constraints of the job: “I wish I could have more time… and not just time, but quality, meaningful time. I don’t like to be, to act or to feel superficial. It is certainly a challenge to try to make guests and team members feel like I give them quality time, when oftentimes, it can be five minutes here and 10 minutes there. It means I have to be concise and effective with my words.”


Colin Lynch

Chef/co-owner at Bar Mezzana

On the biggest challenge since opening: “I would say the biggest challenge would be not having anything to compare to. Every night is the first. The first Saturday. The first Halloween. The first holiday season. The first New Year’s Eve. It’s been great, but I am also excited to see what next year will bring and how we can better plan [now that we have] some history and experience in the space.”

0215ChefsExtra_Michael Bergin

Michael Bergin

Chef at Fat Hen

On the highlight to date: “Serving my longtime mentor and friend chef Frank McClelland and his family was a pretty big moment for me. I had butterflies that entire prep day and throughout dinner service. It felt as if my father was coming over for dinner to my family’s first house. He has offered me so much in my career that it was nice to appreciate and give back.”


Carl Dooley

Chef at the Table at Season to Taste

On the most unexpected part of his first year: “[I’m surprised] how well we’ve been received by the neighborhood in North Cambridge. They’ve totally embraced us, and many have become our regulars and our friends, coming back every month to try the new menu and stopping in for snacks and drinks at the standing bar.”

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