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Fire Hits Building That Houses Very Old German Restaurant in the Theater District

Plus, a Brookline restaurant owner allegedly secretly recorded patrons in the bathroom, and more news

Jacob Wirth interior
Jacob Wirth
Ándrea Pentabona/Eater

Welcome back to AM Intel, a round-up of mini news bites to kick off the day.

What Happened Last Week?

Catch up on last week’s most-read stories, including the updated Heatmap, featuring a dozen hot new restaurants to try in June; a deep dive on the state of the minimum wage battle in Massachusetts; a map of dining recommendations on Cape Ann; and more.

And from our international big sister, A variety of tributes to the late Anthony Bourdain, including remembrances from chefs and food writers, a look back at how he rewrote the rules for food and travel shows, a collection of his most memorable quotes, and more.

Temporary Shutter

Jacob Wirth (31-37 Stuart St., Boston) — a downtown German restaurant that dates all the way back to 1868 — is temporarily closed following a fire in the building on June 9. No injuries were reported, but water damage means that the restaurant will have to do some repairs before reopening. Owned by the Fitzgerald family since 1975, Jacob Wirth has been up for sale since earlier this year.

Bathroom Camera Allegations

Tze Ping Chung, the owner of kosher Chinese restaurant Taam China (423 Harvard St., Brookline), was arraigned last week on charges that he allegedly made secret video recordings of patrons using the bathroom at the restaurant. The Brookline police department wants to hear from anyone who may have visited the restaurant and used the bathroom on a series of specific dates between May 2015 and February 2018; check the police department’s blog for additional details.

This isn’t the first Brookline restaurant to be hit with bathroom camera allegations — back in March 2015, Zaftigs landed in hot water with Brookline police following allegations that an employee had planted a camera in the handicapped bathroom about seven months earlier, and the restaurant never reported the incident to the Brookline police department. The BPD found out about it thanks to an inquiry from a local news agency.

Neighborhood Restaurants

Two classic neighborhood spots in the Boston area get nods from Bon Appétit in a series of essays celebrating America’s favorite neighborhood restaurants. For one, Eater Boston alum Korsha Wilson praises the comfort of Neptune Oyster in the North End. “Neptune manages the impossible task of being a destination restaurant that feels like a neighborhood restaurant thanks to the familial warmth of the staff and a menu of local seafood and dishes that please both regulars and tourists,” Wilson writes, recounting how it was just the meal she and her partner needed after they both lost jobs within a week of each other.

Meanwhile, Oset Babür covers Trina’s Starlite Lounge in Inman Square, where it’s the bar fridge — covered with “clunky, colorful magnetic letters” — that ties everything together. “It blesses awkward first dates with a conversation starter,” Babür writes, and its daily mantra sets the tone for the pregamers and the postgamers who wear different levels of optimism or exhaustion depending on how late it is.”

Got a news tip for the Eater Boston team? Email

Neptune Oyster

63 Salem Street, , MA 02113 (617) 742-3474 Visit Website

Trina's Starlite Lounge

3 Beacon Street, , MA 02143 (617) 576-0006 Visit Website

Jacob Wirth

31 Stuart Street, Boston, MA 02116 617 338 8586