Ester, a Lower Mills restaurant in operation since mid-2014, will shutter on February 11, according to the Dorchester Reporter. Eleanor Arpino, Ester’s owner, told the Dorchester Reporter that the hyper-competitive Boston restaurant market is largely responsible for her restaurant’s impending closure.
“It’s not what I had hoped,” she told the publication. “But, unfortunately, too many restaurants with much deeper pockets and connections have come online...I have no regrets. I’m not going anywhere, I love this neighborhood. But, unfortunately, I could not stay on.”
Ester was reportedly sold to a group of investors led by Julian Bolger. Bolger is familiar with the Dorchester food and beverage scene; he has a stake in Lucy’s American Tavern, which opened in Adams Village in August 2016. Bolger is also invested in several restaurants in South Boston (and beyond), including the Punk & Poet.
Located at 2261 Dorchester Ave., Ester’s replacement will be called the Bowery, according to Boston Restaurant Talk.
Prior to Ester’s opening, the space had been home to Ledge Kitchen & Drinks, a project on which Arpino — formerly the vice president and director of operations at Davio’s — had once consulted and fell in love with, eventually proposing to buy it, as reported in 2014. She intended Ester to have a “happy neighborhood vibe” with a seasonal menu that made use of produce from a rooftop garden. In its incarnations as Ester and the Ledge, the space has also featured a sizable patio.
Stay tuned for updates on the forthcoming Bowery, and in the meantime, there are still a couple weeks left to visit Ester.