COVID-19 Boston Restaurant Temporary Closure and Change Tracker – Eater Boston

Restaurant News

As the novel coronavirus spreads, Massachusetts has been in an official state of emergency since March 10, but restaurants have already been seeing declining business for several weeks — especially in Chinatown, which bore the brunt of xenophobic panic in the early days of the crisis — thanks to school closures; conference and event cancellations; and large companies telling employees to work from home.

Restaurants in Boston and beyond are trying to find ways to stay afloat while giving customers the opportunity to dine while coming into contact with as few other people as possible — spacing out tables more, optimizing takeout and delivery options and procedures, encouraging gift card sales, and the like. Boston isn’t imposing any strict measures along the lines of curfews or lockdowns, but the phrase of the week is “social distancing” as local and national governmental and health organizations urge people to keep a distance.

Eater will be tracking pertinent Boston-area restaurant industry updates right here — restaurants that are closing temporarily, drastically altering their layout and/or service model, offering price reductions to customers or other restaurant industry workers, and more. If you own or represent a Boston-area restaurant, please get in touch via email ([email protected]) to share updates on your plans; this list will be updated.

This piece was originally published on March 13, 2020. The date of the most recent update appears above.

  • Atwood’s Tavern: Temporarily closed as of March 15. “While this is a hard reality to face, we know this is merely a temporary storm we must all weather together. So we’re battening down the hatches and will spend this time planning an amazing spring and summer season of music and patio bliss.” Gift cards available for purchase online. 877 Cambridge St., East Cambridge
  • Bar Mezzana: Temporarily closing after dinner service on March 14. “In solidarity with our employees whose health and well-being is our first priority, and in an effort to behave in a socially responsible way, we are temporarily closing our doors to the public for the foreseeable future.” Gift cards available for purchase online. Sibling restaurants Shore Leave, No Relation, and Black Lamb are also temporarily closed. 360 Harrison Ave., South End, Boston
  • Barracuda Tavern: The restaurant is closed as of March 12 “until further notice.” 15 Bosworth St., Downtown Crossing, Boston
  • Black Lamb: Temporarily closed following service on March 14; see statement from sister restaurant Bar Mezzana above. Gift cards available for purchase online. 571 Tremont St., South End, Boston
  • Brass Union: Closing for at least the weekend of March 14; stay tuned for updates on whether it will reopen during the week of March 16. “The CDC and public health officials are telling us that we should avoid public spaces and maintain safe social distance. While there has not been a clear directive to businesses like ours, we believe that closing is the only way for us to comply with the public health advisory.” Sister restaurants the Independent, Foundry on Elm, and the Saloon, all in Somerville, remain open, with groups seated at alternating tables (at least six feet apart). 70 Union Sq., Union Square, Somerville
  • Club Passim: The music venue is closed through April 1, including Sunday live music brunch. “We are working with the musicians affected by this decision to host their performances online instead so they can continue to generate income while we are closed. Passim will offer refunds to any ticket buyers who would like one. However, we will be encouraging ticket buyers to waive their refunds so we can pay artists and staff during this time of transition. Passim is also working on putting together a fundraising campaign to help support the music community at large. Stay tuned for more information on that.” 47 Palmer St., Harvard Square, Cambridge
  • Daddy Jones: Closed for at least one week, as of March 13, “while continuing to pay staff. We will only be doing drop offs to those requesting meals for families with children stuck at home. We love you but we want to lead the charge in employee care.” Gift cards available for purchase online; plus, see fundraising section below for information on Daddy Jones’ fundraising efforts to help feed local families. 525 Medford St., Magoun Square, Somerville
  • Encore Boston Harbor: The new casino (which includes 15 restaurants and bars) is closing for two weeks, starting March 15. “The company will pay all full-time employees during this period as it evaluates the impact of the temporary closure. A limited number of employees and management will remain at the resort to secure, sanitize and maintain the facility. 1 Broadway, Everett
  • Gracie’s Ice Cream: Closing until further notice after service on March 15. “We’ve been selling a good amount of ice cream, for which I’m grateful, but for the next week or ten days or two weeks or three weeks everyone really should be staying inside as much as possible. … I’m not doing everything I can to protect my community if I’m open trying to sell ice cream, so we’re going to close. I don’t know for how long. … Y’all have been very supportive the last few days of us, and all the local restaurants around, but here’s what we, our employees, and the employees of every other restaurant closing now needs: Please get in touch with your elected officials and advocate for tangible and immediate relief for the employees of small businesses. You can find your representative here: Please also get in touch with your local food bank and give them as much of your cash as you can. If you’ve done both of those things and you still really want to support us, buying our merch online is a good way and is much appreciated.” 22 Union Sq., Union Square, Somerville
  • Highland Fried and Highland Kitchen: Both restaurants are closing temporarily as of March 15. “We feel this is the right thing to do at this time to maintain the health and safety of our employees and guests along with not contributing to the spread of the COVID-19 virus.” Highland Fried, 1271 Cambridge St., Inman Square, Cambridge; Highland Kitchen, 150 Highland Ave., Somerville
  • Parlor Sports: Closed “until further notice” as of March 15. “We love and care about each and every one of you, and we’ll see you on the other side of this! We will continue to interact via social media, and will miss you all terribly!” Sister/neighbor spot Trina’s Starlite Lounge is also temporarily closed. 1 Beacon St., Somerville
  • Parsnip: Temporarily closing from March 16 through March 22 “in light of the encouragement to practice social distancing.” 91 Winthrop St., Harvard Square, Cambridge
  • Puritan & Company: Temporarily closing following brunch service on March 15. “The safety of our staff, our business and especially you, our guests, is what’s most important right now. We want to give our team the necessary time to prepare for the road ahead, and the best and most fair thing that we can do is make sure that safety and stability are our number 1 concern. In addition, it is important for us to know that every employee who works for us has a job to come back to.” Meanwhile, gift cards can be purchased online. 1166 Cambridge St., Inman Square, Cambridge
  • Rancatores: Closing all three locations for two weeks, as of March 13. 36 Leonard St., Belmont; 1752 Massachusetts Ave., Lexington; 333 Walnut St., Newtonville
  • Shore Leave and No Relation: Both temporarily closed following service on March 14; see statement from sister restaurant Bar Mezzana above. Gift cards available for purchase online (Shore Leave, No Relation). Existing reservation holders for No Relation will have first priority on rescheduling when it reopens. 11 William E. Mullins Way, South End, Boston
  • The Table at Season to Taste: “In the interest of the community’s health and safety we are making the very difficult decision to close for a minimum of two weeks,” starting March 14. 2447 Massachusetts Ave., North Cambridge
  • Time Out Market Boston: The food hall is temporarily closed as of March 16 “for as long as required to fully support the local and global efforts to contain the spread of COVID-19.” 401 Park Dr., Fenway, Boston
  • Tres Gatos: As of March 14, closed for at least a week. (Check for weekly updates on its website and Facebook page.) Gift cards are available for purchase online. “Our book and record store may open for limited hours on certain days in order for our customers to be able to pick up special orders or shop for a book or record: helpful for staying sane at home,” says owner David Doyle; keep an eye on social media for more info. Sister restaurants Little Dipper and Casa Verde currently remain open with normal hours and will ramp up takeout capabilities. Tres Gatos, 470 Centre St., Jamaica Plain, Boston [closed]; Little Dipper, 669 Centre St., Jamaica Plain, Boston [open]; Casa Verde, 711 Centre St., Jamaica Plain, Boston [open]
  • Trina’s Starlite Lounge: “Family looks out for one another, especially when times get tough. Well, times are tough and we had to make the hardest decision of our life — in order to keep our family, and extended family (you!) safe and healthy, we will be closing this Monday [March 16] until further notice. Many of you have asked how you can help support our staff through all of this — instead of doing Monday brunch, we will be cooking off any leftover food we have, boxing it up to go, and giving it away for free, with a suggested cash donation, that will get divided amongst our kick ass staff.” Sister/neighbor spot Parlor Sports is also temporarily closed. 3 Beacon St., Somerville
  • Veggie Galaxy: Closing “indefinitely” as of March 15. “The time for containment is over, according to the experts, and to save lives and avoid overwhelming our inadequately prepared healthcare system, social isolation RIGHT NOW is crucial. We can’t in good conscience stay open and provide a space for folks to congregate … Our staff will be able to apply for unemployment immediately. And we will use this time to work on projects that we haven’t had time for (website, menu updates, repairs, etc.), so we’ll be in great shape to welcome our staff and you, our guests, back when it’s once again safe to all be together.” 450 Massachusetts Ave., Central Square, Cambridge
  • Whole Heart Provisions: The Harvard Square location is closed as of March 13 and will remain closed until Harvard resumes classes; the Central Square location is temporarily closed as of March 14. The Central Square location remains open, and takeout, delivery, catering, gift cards, and merch are available online. Smith Campus Center, 1350 Massachusetts Ave., Harvard Square, Cambridge [closed]; 298 Massachusetts Ave., Central Square, Cambridge [closed]; 487 Cambridge St., Allston [open]

  • Abby Park and Novara: The sister restaurants in Milton have suspended their Sunday buffets in favor of plated meals. 550 Adams St., Milton; 556 Adams St., Milton
  • Drink: Closing on Sundays until further notice. 348 Congress St., Fort Point, Boston
  • Fuku: Operating limited hours (11 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily at press time, but check the website for updates). 43 Northern Ave., Seaport District, Boston
  • Galit’s Treats Cafe & Bakery: Open but only offering takeout for now. Gift certificates are available for purchase at the cafe. 749 Beacon St., Newton Center
  • Prairie Fire: Brunch service is canceled until further notice (the hope is for it to restart in April); dinner is still available. Also see delivery/takeout section below for notes on a special takeout package. 242 Harvard St., Coolidge Corner, Brookline
  • Shanti: The Indian restaurant group is temporarily halting its lunch buffet service at all locations. Limited dine-in is still available, as well as takeout and delivery. Gift cards and online ordering are available. 7 Broad Canal Way, Kendall Square, Cambridge; 1111 Dorchester Ave., Dorchester, Boston; 4197 Washington St., Roslindale, Boston
  • Steel & Rye: Increasing hours, opening daily at 11 a.m. starting on March 16. “Our goal is to create a safe and spacious public place to use your laptop, enjoy a coffee, a full lunch or simply some time out of your house.” See seating alterations and delivery and takeout sections below for more information on Steel & Rye’s plans. 95 Eliot St., Milton

  • Abby Park and Novara: The sister restaurants in Milton have pushed tables farther apart. 550 Adams St., Milton; 556 Adams St., Milton
  • Big Night Entertainment Group venues: Mémoire is temporarily closed (see above), but other venues remain in operation. The group is lowering occupancies and spacing tables apart, as well as increasing delivery and takeout options at several venues. Check individual websites for more information. Empire, 1 Marina Park Dr., Seaport District, Boston; Guy Fieri’s Tequila Cocina, 110 Causeway St., West End, Boston; The Grand and Scorpion Bar, 58 Seaport Blvd., Seaport District, Boston; Mystique at Encore Boston Harbor, 1 Broadway, Everett; Red Lantern, 39 Stanhope St., Back Bay, Boston; Versus, 42 Province St., downtown Boston
  • Bondir: Eliminating two tables in order to put a meter of space between tables. 279 Broadway, Cambridge
  • Cambridge Brewing Company: The brewpub is “seating alternate tables to maximize social distancing.” Growlers, cans, and bottled beers continue to be available for purchase, and food delivery is available via Uber Eats. Note: The upcoming Sour Fest has been postponed. 1 Kendall Sq., Kendall Square, Cambridge
  • Foundry on Elm: The Somerville restaurant (and siblings Saloon and the Independent) currently remains open, with groups seated at alternating tables at least six feet apart. (Sibling Brass Union is closed for at least the weekend of March 14-15.) 255 Elm St., Davis Square, Somerville
  • The Gallows: A few tables have been removed to space out the dining room more. 1395 Washington St., South End, Boston
  • The Independent: The Somerville restaurant (and siblings Saloon and Foundry on Elm) currently remains open, with groups seated at alternating tables at least six feet apart. (Sibling Brass Union is closed for at least the weekend of March 14-15.) 75 Union Sq., Union Square, Somerville
  • Jack’s Abby: “We are switching from our community seating model to a table seating model. This will allow us to sanitize spaces more thoroughly between guests.” 100 Clinton St., Framingham
  • Saloon: The Somerville restaurant (and siblings the Independent and Foundry on Elm) currently remains open, with groups seated at alternating tables at least six feet apart. (Sibling Brass Union is closed for at least the weekend of March 14-15.) 255 Elm St., Davis Square, Somerville
  • The Smoke Shop: “We have removed a number of tables and chairs in our bars and dining rooms to provide more physical space between guests.” All location also offer takeout as well as delivery via Caviar and Doordash. 1 Kendall Sq., Kendall Square, Cambridge; 343 Congress St., Seaport District, Boston; 325 Assembly Row, Assembly Row, Somerville
  • Steel & Rye: The restaurant has removed 30% of tables and bar stools; there are currently at least four feet of space between each table. See delivery and takeout section for information about special takeout packages. 95 Eliot St., Milton

  • Loyal Nine: Not a special package, per se, but Loyal Nine is now on Caviar with a special delivery-friendly menu. 660 Cambridge St., East Cambridge
  • Pagu: Offering a variety of DIY “survival kits” for pickup and delivery via Caviar (or call (617) 945-9290 for pickup). For example: one quart of suckling pig congee ($13) comes with a half pint of pork, two 62-degree Celsius eggs, four ounces of crispy shallots, and four ounces of scallions. 310 Massachusetts Ave., Central Square, Cambridge
  • Steel & Rye and Prairie Fire: The sister restaurants are offering “a nutritious and complete family meal each night, available for carry-out at the best value we can offer.” For example, on March 14, each restaurant served salad and wood-roasted chicken with accoutrements for $15 per person, available in multiples of four, six, and eight. Visit the Steel & Rye website for each day’s menu and call (617) 690-2787 to order; visit the Prairie Fire website for each day’s menu and call (617) 396-8199 to order. Steel & Rye, 95 Eliot St., Milton; Prairie Fire, 242 Harvard St., Coolidge Corner, Brookline
  • True Bistro: The Somerville vegan restaurant plans to add delivery and takeout services, including takeout specials, starting the week of March 16. Stay tuned for updates. 1153 Broadway, Teele Square, Somerville
  • The Varano Group restaurants: Now offering free delivery to residents of Boston’s North End, Seaport, South Boston, East Boston, Back Bay, West End, and Downtown Crossing. The special menu includes a selection of appetizers, salads, entrees, and pizzas. See here for the full menu and instructions. Strega North End, 379 Hanover St., North End, Boston; Rina’s Pizzeria, 371 Hanover St., North End, Boston; Nico’s Ristorante, 417 Hanover St., North End, Boston

  • Alpine Restaurant Group: All of Alpine’s restaurants are offering free lunch or dinner for children, according to founder Joe Cassinelli. Posto, 187 Elm St., Davis Square, Somerville and 158 Great Rd., Bedford; Osteria Posto, 99 3rd Ave., Waltham; Rosebud American Kitchen & Bar, 381 Summer St., Davis Square, Somerville; Painted Burro, 219 Elm St., Davis Square, Somerville; Burro Bar, 1357 Washington St., South End, Boston and 1665 Beacon St., Washington Square, Brookline
  • Rochambeau: For every $100 in gift cards purchased, received a $20 bonus gift card. Order online. 900 Boylston St., Back Bay, Boston

  • Alden & Harlow, Longfellow Bar, and Waypoint: Michael Scelfo’s restaurants are extending their employee food discount of 50% to all restaurant industry professionals. A&H and Longfellow: 40 Brattle St., Harvard Square, Cambridge; Waypoint: 1030 Massachusetts Ave., Harvard Square, Cambridge

  • Beantown Taqueria: “If you are a financial aid student forced to move from campus and have nowhere to go and no means to getting a decent meal, come over to Beantown for a free burrito.” Available 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. daily until further notice; show a student ID and this Instagram post. 245 Massachusetts Ave., Central Square, Cambridge
  • Daddy Jones: Raising money via GoFundMe to be able to cook food for local families in need who are having trouble feeding children during school/work closures. “Leftover donations will be coordinated with the city of Somerville for families and businesses in need.” 525 Medford St., Magoun Square, Somerville
  • Trina’s Starlite Lounge: “We are following the lead of our friends Daddy Jones Bar and reaching out to our community to help anyone in need. If you, or anyone you know is struggling to feed your family during this crisis, we will personally bring you food. Please DM us, and if you don’t feel comfortable messaging the restaurant, you can DM any one of the owners directly. Feel free to email as well.” 3 Beacon St., Somerville

  • Bondir: “As a voluntary procedure, we are recording our body temperatures each shift. Any deviation of .3 degree C (or .5 degree F) above the employee’s average body temperature will trigger a paid sick leave to address the condition with local health care professionals and the Cambridge Inspectional Services Department.” 279 Broadway, Cambridge
  • Loyal Nine: “We are taking the temperatures of all staff members to ensure that they are asymptomatic. We offer a health insurance plan and paid sick leave to our staff, accordingly.” 660 Cambridge St., East Cambridge
  • Tanám: “Worker ownership isn’t rhetoric or empty words for us. It’s a continuing practice of examining where the traditional hospitality industry fails workers and making strides to unlearn and replace those practices with ones that prioritize works as people, and not property. Paid sick leave and comprehensive health insurance have always been and will be a core component of worker ownership at Tanám.” 1 Bow Market Way, Bow Market, Union Square, Somerville
  • The Varano Group restaurants: As of March 13, compensating all servers and bartenders for gratuity lost for the next two weeks. Strega North End, 379 Hanover St., North End, Boston; Rina’s Pizzeria, 371 Hanover St., North End, Boston; Nico’s Ristorante, 417 Hanover St., North End, Boston

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