Just three weeks after two Kendall Square restaurants merged to form one entity, the whole enterprise has closed down. Ames Street Deli, which merged with neighbor and sibling restaurant Study to form Study at Ames towards the end of June, posted a sign in the window yesterday that read: "Ames Street Deli is closed until further notice. We’re sorry to disappoint [sic] you," according to a tip Eater received.
Study and Ames Street Deli were operated by the same team that’s behind Journeyman and Backbar in Somerville’s Union Square. Owners Tse Wei Lim, Diana Kudayarova, and Sam Treadway recently merged the two in an effort to combat a shortage of cooks, according to a rep who told Eater there was a shortage of talented kitchen staff to produce the kind of menu featured at the restaurants.
Journeyman and Backbar are staying open, the rep confirmed, noting that Ames Street Deli and Study would remain closed for "the foreseeable future."
Update, 4:30 p.m.: Here's a letter from the team:
July 1st: Ames Street Deli wins Best Cocktail Bar 2016 from Boston magazine! Holy smokes! In such a great drinking city with so many amazing bars, how is it possible that the award goes to a "deli" in Kendall Square???
July 12th: Ames Street Deli and Study Restaurant (aka Study at Ames) has to close its doors for the foreseeable future.
Wait, what? How is THAT possible? Restaurants close all the time. What's the statistic? Nine out of ten restaurants fail in the first two years? While it's painful to be on the wrong side of that statistic, it happens. Most people think it's due to the wrong concept or that the restaurant group didn't comprehend the area or community, or simply that management didn't try hard enough. But there are a lot of factors lurking in the numbers. We could blame the contractors who delayed our opening or the "Great Cooks Shortage" as Boston magazine refers to it. Or maybe we simply priced things wrong, or sold the wrong type of food. There are too many incidents of "could’ve," "would’ve" and "should’ve" to count.
Our guests will shrug their shoulders and think it's a shame we're no longer around. But for us, it's tragic. It's the loss of a life. Restaurants are truly abuzz with life and energy and it is our great pleasure to be a part of it. We and the staff put our all into making this restaurant duo great. We worked crazy hours, we kept making changes and improvements. We even recently changed our menu and approach to be "Study at Ames" where you could have one amazing menu in either room with more variety on it than ever before! But it still wasn't enough to make the numbers work.
We want to publicly thank everyone who worked with us at 73 Ames Street for their hard work and outstanding hospitality. We also want to thank our guests for making us their go-to coffee spot, cocktail bar, and fine dining restaurant. We are sad that we'll no longer be able to serve you.
It is unclear what the future holds, but for now we are closing the doors of the award-winning deli until further notice.
Please come see us at backbar, Journeyman Restaurant or Heat by Journeyman in Union Square in Somerville.
Tse Wei Lim, Diana Kudayarova, and Sam Treadway