The Fireplace will not close after all. Owner Jim Solomon has called off the deal with Pepe's Pizza, a famous New Haven-based chain that was slated to take over the space after the first of the year.
In a newsletter, Solomon writes, in part: "Ever since deciding to close the restaurant I have been overwhelmed with requests (some very emotional!) to remain open. So many loyal supporters have asked me to stay, to cater for them, to drop by their houses with lobster rolls, and even to sell our homemade potato bread through a local bakery. I love serving the community in which I live and have decided to keep running my restaurant." No word yet on whether Pepe's will continue its search for a Boston-area location.
UPDATE: Solomon tells the Globe that all is not lost for Pepe's fans — the chain is still scouting around the Boston area, including Brookline, and intends to open "several" restaurants.