Popular South End bakery and cafe the Wholy Grain (275 Shawmut Ave., Boston) has closed, and the business has been sold to Jamaica Plain-based Mexican street food restaurant Chilacates, according to a Facebook post by the cafe’s owners and confirmed by Eater via telephone.
Wholy Grain owner Ken Hassett told Eater they’d “run their course” in the South End and that it was simply time to sell the business. The Facebook announcement read, in part:
[Eight] years ago we decided to open a bakery cafe called The Wholy Grain based on our artisanal family business in Cork, Ireland. We picked a local residential property and redeveloped it into a cozy hideaway that so many have come to love.
So it’s with great sadness that we have to let you know that we have sold The Wholy Grain as we prepare for our next adventure. We will miss you terribly as you have become such great friends, but we hope to see you all day to day in the neighborhood.
“We have a great, loyal clientele in the South End, and they’ve been forthcoming with their compliments,” said Hassett. “It’s been overwhelming, in fact. But we got into a discussion with Chilacates, and we got an offer we couldn’t refuse. And it’s allowed us to give our staff a reward for all the hard work they’ve put in over the years. They don’t have to rush out and find another job immediately if they don’t want to.”
Hassett said the folks behind Wholy Grain have another project in the works but declined to comment further at the moment.
This is one of several expansions in the works for Chilacates: The beloved Mexican eatery, which currently boasts two locations in Jamaica Plain, is set to open two more locations, in Mission Hill and Chestnut Hill, some time this year. Owner Socrates Abreu told Eater there’s no opening timeline for the South End outpost yet.
“We want to make sure the community is cool with everything we’re doing first,” said Abreu. “It has to be when they’re ready, when they’ve accepted us. And we want them to know that we really want to be there, we really want to be a part of the South End. Whether that’s one, two, three months from now, we’re willing to put in the time.
“We’re not trying to push ourselves on anyone,” Abreu continued. “We want the community to feel like we’re a good fit.”
Abreu said he wasn’t aggressively searching for an expansion property but that the Wholy Grain space fell in his lap and it was “doable.”
“The rent is great, and the location is great,” said Abreu. “I feel like the South End has the same community vibe that JP has. People are very involved in what’s going on around them.”
Abreu also told Eater the build-outs for the Mission Hill and Chestnut Hill locations are underway, but he did not provide official opening dates. He also didn’t rule out future expansion but said if he did go that route, he’d only open one more Chilacates after opening in the South End.
Keep an eye out on Shawmut Avenue this year for burritos and Mexican street food.