The Seaport’s march to becoming the shiniest neighborhood in Boston — a place where only new and hip businesses thrive — took another step this week when No Name Restaurant abruptly closed.
The Fish Pier stalwart, which had operated in one form or another for 102 years, filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, according to an attorney representing the restaurant. It is unclear at the moment what will occupy the space in No Name’s absence.
Nick Contos opened No Name on the Fish Pier in 1917. What began as a stand intended to serve hungry fishermen eventually grew into a full-service restaurant. Contos never named the place, though, taking an “if it isn’t broken, don’t fix it” sort of stance.
No Name management left this note on the restaurant’s Facebook page on December 30, 2019:
To our many loyal customers, employees and our longtime community,
After over 100 years, we had to make the difficult decision to close the No Name Restaurant.
We want to thank our generations of customers for all the years of loyal patronage, and for helping make the No Name a landmark location.
To our employees, many of whom have been with us for decades, we cannot thank you enough — we thank you for your tireless dedication and hard working service.
It has been an honor to be part of your celebrations and your everyday lives for so many years. We will miss you all.
No Name represented a mostly bygone version of the Seaport. Its interior was filled with buoys hung from wood-paneled walls and exposed beams; placemats were made from paper and printed with the restaurant’s logo and facts about various crustaceans; there was no fancy entryway, no curbside valet. The menu was simple and honest, and No Name sourced its food locally — from the waters visible from its dining room — before sourcing food locally was a consideration.
No Name was a perfectly normal place for perfectly normal people to enjoy a plate of fried clams. But perfectly normal places for perfectly normal people are vanishingly rare in neighborhoods like the Seaport, where the annual median household income is nearly $90,000 greater than the city’s average (listed in the linked document under “South Boston Waterfront.”) The Seaport doesn’t do perfectly normal; the Seaport doesn’t do restaurants without names.
• No Name Restaurant Announces Closure After 102 Years [BG]
• After 102 Years in Business, Boston’s No Name Restaurant Is Closed for Good [WHDH]
• Boston’s No Name Restaurant Closes After a Century in Business [BH]
• Where to Eat Fried Clams in and Around Boston [EBOS]