A meticulously-designed South End spot for Southern food like smoked sausages, pulled pork, and fried chicken will close permanently after dinner service on New Year’s Eve. Southern Proper (600 Harrison Ave., Boston) — owned by chef Jason Cheek, who is an alum of Toro and the defunct KO Prime — is closing after just under two years in operation. Cheek announced the news in a December 29 Instagram post, which read:
Today is a very sad day for me. Southern Proper’s last day of operations will be the 31st [of December]. I am so fortunate to have accomplished this dream of mine and to have met so many amazing people during this time of my life. I will continue to grow in my career and will continue to build the relationships I’ve made through this wonderful restaurant. Thank you everyone for all your support through the last few years.
Southern Proper opened in the Girard Building in February 2018. Despite being housed in a contemporary building made from steel and glass, the Southern Proper space felt warm and inviting, as if one were inside a country home or a barn that had been dressed up for a wedding. Making guests feel comfortable was the point.
“The best way I knew how to do that was to use a lot of raw woods and to incorporate a lot of plant life,” Cheek told Eater just before the restaurant opened. “Relaxation is about getting away from the metal and glass. Smell the pine, smell the flowers, smell the smoke in the air.”
Southern Proper was notable for its space — which was designed by local firm RODE Architects, and was one of the city’s most stunning and most distinct — as much as for its food (which critics loved, for the record). The bar was built from wood recycled from antique tabletops and was wrapped with tin rummaged from an antiques dealer in Brimfield, who sourced it from a turn-of-the-century theater in upstate New York. The lamps were all antique; the wood — mostly pine — was mostly sourced from North Carolina, Cheek’s home state.
Cheek was not immediately available for comment regarding the restaurant’s closure; this story will be updated if more information becomes available.
If you haven’t made it to Southern Proper yet, there’s still a bit of time. Go eat some hot wings — which are very, very hot — and drink a whiskey cocktail (or two) before it’s too late.
• Southern Proper in Boston’s South End Is Closing [BRT]
• Southern Proper Will Feel Like North Carolina, Right Down to the Scent of Pine [EBOS]
• The Most Beautiful New Boston Restaurants of 2018 [EBOS]
• Critic Finds Proper Southern Food at Southern Proper [EBOS]
• Boston’s Top Restaurant Newcomers of 2018: Celeste, Chickadee, and More [EBOS]