Welcome to the Eater Boston restaurant closings roundup; this page is updated regularly, with the most recent updates at the top, highlighting all the restaurants that have bid farewell to the Boston area in recent weeks and the ones that have announced an upcoming closure but haven’t yet closed. Note that due to the pandemic, many restaurants have closed “indefinitely” or “until further notice,” but only restaurants that are confirmed to be permanently closed are included in this roundup.
Something missing? Email [email protected]. (Looking for info on recent restaurant openings? Find that here.)
Check out the winter 2020 archive here.
May 11, 2020: Gelato in Chestnut Hill, Tasting Menus in Cambridge, and More Restaurant Closings
Boston has bid farewell to one of its longstanding rock clubs, Great Scott, after 44 years, with the landlord reportedly declining to renew the lease and instead trying to find a restaurant or market to replace the popular bar and music venue. Read more.
The Table at Season to Taste has closed after four years, with owner Robert Harris citing the “new normal … in the midst of a global pandemic” as the reason he had to “make very difficult decisions,” including closing the restaurant and pivoting his catering service, Season to Taste, to a home delivery and takeout service (at least for now). Top Chef alum Carl Dooley, who previously worked at Craigie on Main, was at the helm of the award-winning restaurant, serving upscale tasting menus in a convivial, intimate setting that featured an open kitchen. Read more.
Morano Gelato — operating inside the Shops at Chestnut Hill since 2015, a convenient (and excellent) dessert option next to Frank Pepe Pizzeria Napoletana — is now closed. Owner Morgan Morano, who apprenticed with a Sicilian gelato maker, wrote a book on gelato-making at home, and opened the original Morano Gelato location in New Hampshire back in 2010, once hoped to franchise the shop nationwide.
But the pandemic put a stop to it all, with Morano posting on her website that the closure of both locations is “permanent,” and this is her “final decision.” Morano goes on to detail the “many weeks of troubleshooting, projecting, and weighing all options,” ultimately finding that the “opportunity to return to normal business operations anytime in the near future dwindle[d] day by day.”
She considered the PPP loan but found that it wasn’t the right fit for her shops. Plus, the new COVID-19 safety requirements would “require additional capital from already strained businesses” for equipment, training, implementation of new protocols, and such.
I, like many business owners, am no stranger to obstacles. Business ownership comes with operational challenges on a consistent basis. These new COVID-19 restrictions are another large hurdle and can be overcome through the resilience and tenacity most entrepreneurs possess. That being said, when you limit the number of guests allowed to enter establishments that depend on heavy foot traffic and lines to generate revenue, it’s clear that more economic hardships will be endured by many businesses for months to come. Our company depends on long lines in the summer season to carry us through the colder months. We have simply lost this opportunity and there is no recovering. I started this business 10 years ago at a young age with no money to fund my dream of a gelateria. Like many small business owners starting a company or seeking funding to grow, my dreams came at a price of personally guaranteeing anything and everything I signed. Many small business owners will put everything on the line to get the opportunity to serve their community yet are significantly undervalued for their effort. While I am not sure where Main Streets will go from here, if we want more small businesses, we need to fully support them and their pricing (often determined by their higher operational costs), while also encouraging a fair shot at their start.
Talking to the Globe, Morano made clear that the gelato chapter of her life is over. “I’m not into being a small business owner,” she said. “It’s extremely difficult. It can be fulfilling, but we’re all reminded of how fragile this industry is.”
A Gloucester icon, the Market Restaurant, is now closed after a decade serving seasonal crowds on the waterfront. “Although this coincides with the closing of many restaurants due to the ongoing pandemic, this was a decision we made some time ago,” the Market team posted on its website. “Our priority right now is to create a lifestyle more conducive to raising a family.”
The Market’s seasonal, local, sustainable ethos was rooted in owners Nico and Amelia Monday’s time spent working at California’s legendary Chez Panisse.
For now, the team is cooking at sibling restaurant Short & Main, which is also in Gloucester and focuses on wood-fired pizza, but they are “working out the details” to launch Market Catering, serving “Market-inspired food” for onsite catering, private chef services, and consulting.
Orta Restaurant, an Italian restaurant open a little over a decade (and under the current ownership since 2012), is closed, at least in its current iteration at 75 Washington St. In an announcement posted to Facebook, chef and co-owner Brett Williams described how the plan at the beginning of the pandemic was to spend the time working on renovations and reinventing the restaurant, coming out on the other side “with a new strategy that would be able to adapt to what was going to be the ‘new normal.’”
But on April 1, Williams writes, he received an email from the landlord that the rent was past due and the restaurant appeared to be closed; “well of course, we were ordered to close by the government,” notes Williams. He went to the restaurant the next day to find that his keys no longer worked.
“We had been unlawfully locked out of our restaurant,” wrote Williams. “After eight years of hard work, blood, sweat and tears and more rent than you could imagine, my dream was ripped away from me. We are now taking steps required and hope to find some answers soon but everything is very uncertain. One thing I do know is that Pembroke is a very special place to me. I have taken great pride and joy serving this wonderful community. We will look for another building for our Pembroke location but for now we wait. … Stay tuned because this fairy tale is far from over.”
A year ago, Don Owen (of Owen’s Poultry Farm in Needham, which closed in 2016) founded Owen’s Ice Cream in Sandwich, taking over the thirty-year-old Ice Cream Sandwich shop. Owen’s wrapped up its first season at the end of September 2019 but announced this week that the shop will not be reopening “due to unforeseen circumstances.”
“It was an absolute honor to serve the Sandwich community last year,” read the shop’s farewell announcement. “We had amazing support throughout the community and by so many family and friends. Thank you to everyone from the bottom of our hearts, especially all of our amazing employees.”
Source: Thanks https://boston.eater.com/2020/5/12/21254852/boston-restaurant-closings-spring-2020