Merrill & Co., which has been open for a little over a year in the South End, has gone through some changes in its short life, including a bit of a philosophical revamp in January and a lot of staff turnover. Now, the restaurant will close this Friday, according to a post on its Instagram account, as reported by Boston Restaurant Talk via @TheDrewStarr. But its closure is a bit unique — there will apparently be a competition to find the right person to take over the space.
Some initial details are spelled out on the aptly named website WhoWantsToBeARestaurantOwner.com, which reads:
"By now, we all know that there are t.v. shows that give talented chefs the chance to prove themselves worthy of a restaurant, or at least worthy of winning the money required to open a restaurant. But what about those who have a great concept, a passion for the restaurant industry, the knowledge to run one, but not the means? This is your opportunity. Experienced or not. We believe everyone should have a chance to pursue their dream. If you think you can take over a restaurant and run it successfully, prove it to us and we’ll let you do just that. A nationwide search for the next restaurant owner will begin soon. The top five contenders will get a chance to compete live by hosting a series of pop up dinners for a panel of judges. Winner takes all."
The website also notes that more information, including fees and rules, will follow, and applications will be accepted beginning on July 1. It's unclear what exactly the competition or the prize entails, and owner Babak Bina declined to provide any additional details to Eater at this time. Keep an eye on the newly launched Twitter account @wwtbro for updates.