The restaurant's phone rang to no answer during typical business hours today, and the voicemail box is full. A disgruntled Facebook user reported a failed attempt to order from GrubHub earlier this month, which suggests Royal might have been shuttered for a couple weeks.
The American/French bistro served "sexy plates," as chef Rachid Kourda described them, and it had a lounge vibe with red walls, leather couches, and vintage touches. But Royal never got a liquor license. In a late-June Facebook post, the team implored its fans to support bringing BYOB laws to Watertown, saying, "We continue to lose business because we don't serve alcohol and BYOB is not allowed."
The restaurant was chef Rachid Kourda's first ownership venture, along with partner Melanie Nye. It started out serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner, but Royal dropped mid-week breakfast by April, the Improper Bostonian reported.
A new spot going into 45 Lexington St. will focus on breakfast, but with something unique: BRT notes Power Cafe is slated to open in the vacant Royal space, and the coffee shop will be run by people with physical and/or developmental disabilities. Founder Galit Schwartz is collaborating with Triangle Inc. to staff the new venture.
According to its website, Power Cafe will offer organic, fair trade coffee; assorted teas; fresh smoothies; bottled drinks; and bakery items, like muffins, rolls, and cookies.
If all goes smoothly, Power Cafe could open next month, according to BRT.