When Todd English's Charlestown flagship, Olives, closed in late June, few were surprised. It had only reopened a year earlier after a two-year closure due to a grease fire, and English was promptly sued by landlord William Carey for more than $700,000 in back rent. In June, Carey shuttered the restaurant and seized the assets, and now, he's about to get the liquor license as well.
The rumor mill has begun churning regarding what will go into the Charlestown space. English's lawyer told the Boston Licensing Board that Carey would use the liquor license to attract a new restaurant; Boston.com's Restaurant Hub has heard that Legal Test Kitchen is a possibility, while a tipster told Eater Boston in May that a hotel could be slated for that location. At that time, Olives was still in the equation, hypothetically, so even if a hotel were to be built there, a restaurant could still end up in the Olives space.
Meanwhile, an anonymous commenter known only as "Joe" left a tantalizing rumor in the Charlestown Patch comment section: "Ok you heard it here first. Guy named Mario Batali is interested, large group took a tour this evening. Not sure what he cooks, rather large imposing fella." Sure, it sounds fake, but could the space be right for Batali's next attempt at a Boston-area project? (Hat tip to Chowhound user Capeannetoo for spotting the comment.)
As for Olives, it will supposedly be reborn all "new and shiny" (shiny, perhaps, because all of the old assets have been seized) at a yet-to-be-announced location in the greater Boston area.
· All coverage of Olives on Eater [~EBOS~]
· Is the former Olives ready for a new life? You bet [Charlestown Patch]
· Deal in works to get City Square new high-end, English-free restaurant [UHub]