Welcome to the Eater Boston restaurant closings roundup; this page is updated regularly, with the most recent updates at the top, highlighting all the restaurants that have bid farewell to the Boston area in recent weeks and the ones that have announced an upcoming closure but haven’t yet closed. Note that due to the pandemic, many restaurants have closed “indefinitely” or “until further notice,” but only restaurants that are confirmed to be permanently closed are included in this roundup.
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Check out the winter 2020 archive here.
June 18, 2020: A Longtime Jamaica Plain Restaurant and Music Venue
JP institution Bella Luna & the Milky Way announced yesterday that it will not reopen post-COVID. The Facebook note was attributed to cofounders Kathie Mainzer, Carol Downs, Charlie Rose, and Pierre Apollon, as well as Kathie Mainzer’s daughter Megan Mainzer, who later joined the ownership team.
“After several months of considering all options, we have concluded that we cannot reopen Bella Luna & The Milky Way,” the note read, in part. “We are heartbroken to announce that we will remain closed permanently. The mission of our business is to gather people together in groups, to foster social closeness — the opposite of social distancing. Gathering in groups is not going to be a safe activity until there is a widely-available vaccine or treatment. We are not comfortable putting our team members and guests at risk of contracting the virus while working and dining in our space. Also, the public health hazards of Covid-19 will exist for over a year; and without being able to operate at full capacity, our business is not financially sustainable.”
Open for the better part of three decades, the restaurant and music venue has evolved over the years and over several locations. It originally opened as a restaurant, Bella Luna, in JP’s Hyde Square neighborhood in 1993, with the founders asking family and friends to contribute $1,000 or $2,000 — “person-to-person crowdsourcing before there was such a thing,” notes the venue’s website. The original Bella Luna served pizzas, sandwiches, and such.
Six years later, the Bella Luna team took over the JP Bowl candlepin bowling alley, which dated back to 1914, in the basement, adding a bar and stage. Milky Way Lounge & Lanes was born.
But in 2008, a major rent increase forced Bella Luna & the Milky Way to find a new home, unfortunately without bowling, but still in Jamaica Plain. The team settled into the brewery complex on Amory Street. In its final incarnation, Bella Luna & the Milky Way continued to be an active host to public and private events of all kinds, featuring countless local musicians, artists, and many others over the years and serving a popular menu of “cosmic” pizzas, “celestial” salads, and lots more, with plenty of options for vegan, gluten-free, and other diets.
“Thank you for making Bella Luna & The Milky Way your second home, for becoming friends with us and our team, for celebrating life’s most precious moments with us. It has been our honor to serve you all. We are proud of having created a vibrant and safe space for all, founded in the values of generosity, inclusivity, creativity and respect,” read the note.
June 16, 2020: A Tiny Chinatown Banh Mi Shop, a French Bistro in a Fancy Hotel, and More Restaurant Closings
Deep Ellum (477 Cambridge St.) — a 13-year-old gastropub known for its excellent drink list, elevated pub fare, and cozy patio — closed on June 7, making way for its sibling and neighbor, Lone Star Taco Bar, to expand into its space, including the patio. The change was in the works for a while but accelerated by changes in business caused by the pandemic. Read more.
Celebrity chef Daniel Boulud will close his only Boston restaurant, Bar Boulud (776 Boylston St.), on June 17. The restaurant opened at the Mandarin Oriental in 2014. A press release cites the pandemic’s “negative impact on business levels, which has impacted operations.” The release notes that another Bar Boulud location remains in operation at the Mandarin Oriental in London and hints at future Boulud/Mandarin Oriental collaborations, but whether that means another Boulud project at this location in Boston is yet to be seen.
Bar Boulud’s Boston location served what it described as “classic French bistro fare with a New England touch,” featuring lots of charcuterie and wine. Boulud had a daughter attending Tufts when he opened the restaurant, he told Eater in a 2015 interview, and he found Boston to be a “vibrant, happy” city. “I don’t know if it’s the right comparison, but sometimes I compare the spirit of the city of New Orleans and Boston — they’re very different but very animated,” he said at the time. “[Boston is] a really fun town.”
“Bar Boulud is very much a French brasserie but with an American spirit in cooking,” he said. “Of course the meaning of French cooking has often been seasonal and local, so we embrace that quite well.”
Banh mi shop New Saigon Sandwich (696 Washington St.) is permanently closed as of June 14, per an announcement on Facebook that reads:
Thank you for your business and support over the last 16 years. Chinatown as we know it has changed drastically. We are proud to have been a part of the community for almost two decades. 16 years ago my parents took a chance and started a new business. My siblings and I have a great deal of respect for them living out their American Dream. Thousands of customers were fed, numerous people and businesses became regulars, life long friendships were built ❤️ New Saigon Sandwich will miss you all.
The tiny shop was a popular choice among Boston’s banh mi fans. It also served bubble tea, spring rolls, and a few other items.
Abbott’s Frozen Custard — a decades-old chain of dessert shops based in Rochester, New York — lost one of its local franchises. The Brighton shop (360 Washington St.) has closed after about a decade, although other locations remain open in Arlington and Lexington, both close to the bike path, and in Needham. “We will miss the Allston Brighton community, all of our amazing staff, our loyal customers, and all the children we have watched grow up over the years,” the Brighton shop posted on Instagram, announcing a closing date of June 14.
Battery Park (33 Batterymarch St.), a Financial District restaurant with a popular patio that snakes between buildings, is no more — but the space has promptly reopened as Lily’s Garden & Patio, under new ownership and a new chef. Lily’s is currently serving lunch and dinner on the patio on weekdays, with pizza, salads, burgers, and such.
Conor Larkin’s Grill & Tap (329 Huntington Ave.), a favorite of Northeastern students, has closed after nearly 20 years. Owner Christopher Walsh told Boston.com that the closure is permanent and a direct result of the pandemic. His landlord was understanding, he said, and they were discussing the possibility of rent abatement, but the financial loss of the dining-in shutdown and students leaving campus months early was too much to overcome. “It was so unexpected and happened so fast,” Walsh told Boston.com. “No one was able to prepare for this.”
In other Fenway news, the neighborhood’s location of the Bar Louie chain (121 Brookline Ave.) apparently closed earlier in the month, per several tips. It’s also marked as “closed” on the Bar Louie website, and its location-specific Facebook page is no more. At the beginning of the year, nearly 40 other locations of the Chicago-founded, Texas-based chain closed amid a Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing. The Patriot Place location in Foxborough remains open.
Cookout-inspired Backyard Betty’s (170 W. Broadway) — which opened in 2018 with boozy shakes, wings sauced table-side, and Americana vibes — is now closed. The restaurant posted a goodbye message on Facebook, noting that the team had been “hopeful to bounce back [post-COVID] to burgers, gamedays, and summertime fun in the backyard” before deciding to close permanently.
“It is with an extra heavy heart that we share Backyard Betty’s will not be re-opening,” the note continued, adding that fans will “be able to still get a bite of Betty’s again” at sibling South Boston restaurant Publico, which remains in operation.
Subterranean Harvard Square icon Cafe Pamplona (12 Bow St.) — open since the late 1950s — has filed for bankruptcy and closed as of mid-May, owner Nina S. Hovagimian told The Harvard Crimson, citing the major decline in business brought on by the pandemic.
From its opening until 2007, with a short hiatus in 2004, Cafe Pamplona was owned by Josefina Yanguas, who ran it until her death at age 90. She had modeled it after cafes in her hometown of Pamplona, Spain, and in its early days, it functioned as a salon for Cambridge’s intellectuals and artists to gather over coffee and conversation. In its later years, it was more of a typical modern-era cafe, offering light meals (sandwiches, soups, salads) and a lengthy selection of teas by the pot. Tucked away at basement level on Bow Street, it provided a quiet respite from the bustle of the neighborhood’s louder sections.
In other Harvard Square news, Boston-based seafood chain Legal Sea Foods is down a location; the longtime 20 University Rd. (Charles Square) outpost is gone as of early June, although it was reportedly slated to close at the end of June anyway, with the pandemic accelerating the planned timeline. It was located at the Charles Hotel. The company reportedly hopes to find another Harvard Square space.
Sister-owned pierogi company Jaju Pierogi closed its storefront at Bow Market (1 Bow Market Way, Somerville) at the end of May; Jaju was one of the original tenants when the market opened in 2018. But that wasn’t the beginning for Jaju founders Vanessa and Casey White: They launched the company back in 2015, popping up at breweries and other Greater Boston establishments over the years.
The storefront is gone, but the company continues to grow as an ever-expanding wholesale business, distributing packs of pierogi throughout the Northeast, including to select Roche Bros. and Brothers Marketplace locations, as well as to numerous independent specialty grocers. Packages of Jaju’s pierogi will still be available at Bow Market, at the shop formerly called In Season Food Shop, now Picnic & Pantry. Look for flavors such as jalapeno cheddar; spinach and feta; and sweet potato and caramelized onion.
Jaju’s Bow Market storefront will soon be home to Perillas, the bibimbap shop that previously popped up in a different space at the market. (This time, Perillas is a permanent vendor rather than a long-term pop-up.)
CAPE & ISLANDS
For restaurants in seasonal tourist destinations, the impact of COVID-19 shutdowns is especially difficult — if these restaurants miss peak season, there may be no recovering. As such, some restaurants on the Cape and in other coastal areas that rely heavily on summer tourism are shutting down permanently.
A June 2 article from the Cape Cod Times names a couple of restaurants that have already announced they will not be reopening: Hyannis’ Seaside Pub on Main (615 Main St.) is closing for good after over a decade, and the Bean on Nantucket (4 India St.) is closing after about 20 years, with owner Wes Van Cott telling the Cape Cod Times that he could “see the writing on the wall” with all the major summer events canceled.
In a May 18 post on Facebook, the Seaside Pub announced its closure, noting that “regardless of the challenges we face as a community due to COVID-19, it has been a wonderful 11-year voyage!”
Halibut Point Restaurant & Pub (289 Main St.) is now closed after nearly 40 years — another spring loss for Gloucester, which also saw the closure of decade-old favorite Market earlier this spring (see May 11 update below). (Market was quickly replaced by Talise, which has debuted with various takeout options this month.)
Halibut Point owner Dennis Flavin told Gloucester Daily Times that the closure “has absolutely nothing to do with [the pandemic]. It’s just time. I knew it was coming. I just had a gut feeling that we wouldn’t open again. So this is it.”
Open for 24 years, Joy Asia (735 Boston Post Rd.) — which featured a buffet and a wide-ranging menu of Chinese and Chinese-American fare — is now closed.
Andiamo Restaurant & Bar (24 Winter St.) has closed its Newburyport location, which was open since 2013, but the Chelmsford location of the Italian restaurant remains in operation. In a June 4 Facebook post, the restaurant announced that the pandemic “continues to have a devastating impact on the restaurant industry and small businesses. We are thankful that our Chelmsford location will remain open!”
Comedor (105 Union St.), a Chilean-American small plates restaurant that was open for nearly six years, is now closed, with the restaurant announcing on Facebook that “all good things must come to an end.”
“It was a difficult decision to make, but we have decided to close the restaurant and allow for a talented couple to come into the space and share their vision with you,” the note continued, referring to chefs Kate and Trevor Smith, who will open a restaurant called Thistle & Leek in the space. The Smiths met cooking at Craigie Street Bistro (the restaurant that eventually moved and became Craigie on Main) and also worked at Toro (Kate) and Coppa (Trevor).
“They will be in touch with you about their plans and we hope you welcome them with open arms and big appetites!” continued the note, adding that Thistle & Leek will honor Comedor gift cards up to one year from its opening date.
When Comedor opened in 2014, it melded owners Fernanda Tapia and Jakob White’s backgrounds: “I’m from Chile, and there are some really cool flavors that are from that area,” Tapia told Eater at the time. “We’re going to do a new take on them and really come up with some fun dishes using Jake’s American background.” The duo met in culinary school and later married.
The pandemic wasn’t a factor in the closure. Tapia told Boston.com that she and White split up several years ago and decided it would be best to sell the restaurant and move on, but the selling process has taken quite some time.
Stoughton House of Brews (28 Porter St.) — a music venue, coffeehouse, and bar — is closing, with a Facebook post from the venue, dated June 2, noting that the closure will be “soon” — but maybe not permanent, if the right buyer exists.
“It’s been amazing for us to have had this experience and we will treasure the memories forever,” read the note. “We’ve been trying to find a buyer to keep the place going. If anyone knows of someone who would like to own a fun, unique establishment and make it their own, please send them our way! We’d love to see its spirit stay alive. The HOB may have been the place, but it’s all of you who made the atmosphere so awesome.”
Northern Italian restaurant Il Capriccio, open since 1981, is now closed at 888 Main St., with the owner planning on leaving the restaurant business “after a lifetime in the kitchen.” However, it may reopen elsewhere under different ownership; stay tuned. A message posted to the restaurant’s Facebook page on June 11, signed by owner and executive chef Richie Barron, noted that Il Capriccio “had been operating as tenants at will for several years, and with the emergence of COVID, it essentially ended our lease. In addition, the landlord has expressed other plans for the space.” Barron also thanked founder Maurie Fox-Warren, partner Doug Macrae, and all the staff and diners over the years.
The only local outpost of Florida-based chain Miller’s Ale House has closed; it was located at 617 Arsenal St. and served typical pub fare, such as burgers, wings, and big entree-style salads.
The Chateau, a local red-sauce Italian chain (despite the French name), reportedly closed its Westborough location (95 Turnpike Rd.) on May 30; other locations remain open in Andover, Norwood, Waltham, and several other Boston-area suburbs. This location had been open for 13 years, but the overall chain dates way back to 1933 and has been owned by four generations of the same family over the years.
May 21, 2020: Italian on Beacon Hill and Comfort Food in the South End
The 25-year-old Beacon Hill location of Italian restaurant Artu (89 Charles St.) officially closes on May 30, per an announcement on Facebook, although its slightly older sibling in the North End, which dates back to 1992, remains in operation.
Restaurateur Donato Frattaroli is behind Artu as well as Il Molo in the North End, Victory Point in Quincy, and more. “As much as we love Beacon Hill, it’s a small space,” he told the Globe. “After 25 years, it’s time.” He also reportedly confirmed that the pandemic is behind the closure. The North End location, though, is very takeout-friendly and carries on.
Artu joins several other longtime Italian restaurants in closing this month. See below for details on Stella in the South End and Dante in East Cambridge, as well as the Morano Gelato shop in Chestnut Hill.
Coda Bar & Kitchen (329 Columbus Ave.), a comfort food mainstay, is now closed. An announcement on the restaurant’s website reads:
After 13 years of serving the South End neighborhood we have decided to close our doors. We are so thankful for you welcoming us into your community. A big thanks to the teams of Coda past and present for all their amazing work.
The lease was reportedly set to expire at the end of the year, without a renewal option, but the group closed early after weighing the costs involved in the COVID-19 shutdown and probable reopening timeline.
Coda siblings SRV, a Venice-inspired restaurant in the South End, and Salty Pig, a pizza-and-charcuterie hot spot in Back Bay, remain in operation.
May 18, 2020: Two 15-Year-Old Italian Restaurants, a Quirky Kendall Square Bar, and More Restaurant Closings
Washington Street icon Stella Restaurant and Bar closed on May 15, announcing the news on Facebook:
It is with a heavy heart and tears in our eyes that we announce the closing of Stella Restaurant and Bar. Today will be our last night. It has been nothing but a pleasure to serve Boston and especially the South End these last 15 years. We have made so many friends with employees and guests and will miss everyone of you. Please know that this was not in our control we had hoped to come out of this stronger. We will miss all of you very much.
Chef and owner Evan Deluty served an Italian-inspired menu that included grilled pizzas, pastas, entrees like pork Milanese and braised short ribs, and more. The Newton native spent time working at Le Grenadin in Paris and Lutece in New York City before returning to Boston as executive chef of the now-closed Harvard Square landmark Upstairs at the Pudding. He went on to open Bistro 5 in West Medford (which still exists, under different ownership) and the now-closed Restaurant Torch on Beacon Hill. He opened Stella, named for his daughter, in 2005.
Deluty also purchased Charlie’s Sandwich Shoppe in the South End, reopening it in 2016 after its 2014 closure after 87 years in business. The following year, though, he sold it to Damian and Sheree Marciante of Victoria’s Diner.
A Stella employee relief fund has been set up via Gofundme with the goal of helping the restaurant’s undocumented workers, who have limited access to other means of relief.
Cuchi Cuchi (795 Main St.) has closed after 19 years, the restaurant announced today in a self-described “obituary” on Facebook:
Watching a horror movie is more soothing than having to announce that Cuchi Cuchi will no longer exist. The fundamental purpose of socializing w/food/wine/good company has been obliterated overnight by an unlucky fluke of nature which gives new meaning to “survival of the fittest.”
On the bright side, perhaps humans will now be more nurturing towards each other and the planet and less prone to feeling unabashedly special/invincible.
We deeply thank all our employees/friends/guests who’ve made the past 19 years so memorable. What an honor it’s been to spend quality time w/all of you. But when we can no longer live up to our maxim of “2 Kisses & a Hug,” it’s time to say Good Night.
The announcement also tells fans to stay tuned for a “self-published photo book of Cuchi reflections on beauty as soon as the next creative spurt hits.”
The restaurant served globe-trotting small plates and creative cocktails in an eclectic, highly decorated space meant to evoke la Belle Époque and early Hollywood through carefully sourced vintage art and furniture. Likewise, the staff wore vintage clothing and jewelry. Cuchi Cuchi also regularly hosted tarot card readings.
Fernanda da Silva, Barbara Dollar, and Tamara Bourso opened the restaurant in mid-2001; Dollar later moved on to pursue other projects. The Cuchi Cuchi team was always vocal about their food not being referred to as tapas, which are specifically Spanish small plates. Bourso also cofounded Dalí in Somerville, which is a tapas restaurant. “The concept of ‘small dishes’ was borrowed from Dalí,” according to the Cuchi Cuchi website, “but this is where the resemblance ends. (Dalí opened in 1989 and remains in operation.)
Royal Sonesta mainstay Restaurant Dante (40 Edwin H. Land Blvd., Cambridge) has closed after 15 years, according to an announcement posted to the Dante website and social media over the weekend, attributed to brothers and co-owners Dante, Damian, and Filippo de Magistris.
Dante was the chef. The Belmont native spent time cooking in Bologna, Florence, and the Amalfi Coast before returning to Boston to work with Michael Schlow, Lydia Shire, Michela Larson, and others, eventually opening Dante with his brothers in 2006. The restaurant features fresh pasta and other Italian cuisine.
“In so many ways life happens in a restaurant,” the team wrote. “They are extensions of our homes and centers for our communities, they are packed with powerful memories and prized moments. Restaurants are currently facing an immense challenge and what’s at stake are those moments of togetherness and the powerful bonds restaurants forge within their communities that enrich our lives. When you are able to support your local restaurant — safely — do so with an open heart and a big smile because when you wrap your arms around a restaurant you are giving your community a huge hug. And that’s what’s going to get us all through this.”
The brothers also own Il Casale in Belmont and Lexington and the Wellington in Belmont; all three remain in operation and will soon reopen for takeout and delivery. “So this is not goodbye, this is...we’ll see you soon at our takeout tent in front of the restaurants!”
The Automatic is now closed at 50 Hampshire St. in Cambridge.
Open since late 2016, the Automatic was the perfect neighborhood pub with a bit of a trendy spin — the kind of place where you could drink throwback cocktails like frozen mudslides and sex on the beach while listening to good music (on vinyl) and eating comfort food with a twist, including a killer Korean fried chicken sandwich; “freaky” fries with bone marrow, parmesan, and “meat debris”; and a popular flat-patty burger.
The project had strong Cambridge roots: It was a collaboration between Chris Schlesinger, who founded the now-closed East Coast Grill, and Dave Cagle, a notable alum of the now-closed B-Side Lounge. (Cagle later bought out Schlesinger’s share of the Automatic, as the Globe notes.) They intended for the Automatic to be a “fun neighborhood place ... the kind of spot we want to hang out at on our days off,” as Cagle told Eater in early 2016, and it was the culmination of over a decade of talks — at first, jokes — between Schlesinger and Cagle. (Schlesinger owned the building in which the B-Side Lounge was located. Cagle started working there back in 1999.)
While the Automatic had a strong fanbase, “winter was tough,” Cagle told the Globe, and the pandemic is essentially canceling patio season. “This is the time of year when our sales double because of the patio. We’re missing out on that, and it carries the whole year, so there’s no way we can reopen,” he continued.
The Tumble Inn Diner (488 Lincoln Ave.) is now closed, according to co-owner Laurie Cunha, who cited COVID-19 and an “uncooperative” landlord. Cunha and Rich Scirocco purchased the diner in 2013, but its history stretches back over 60 years.
The Tumble Inn served typical diner fare for breakfast and lunch, including gigantic pancakes, omelets, and the like, and also offered dinner service several nights a week.
May 11, 2020: Gelato in Chestnut Hill, Tasting Menus in Cambridge, and More Restaurant Closings
Boston has bid farewell to one of its longstanding rock clubs, Great Scott, after 44 years, with the landlord reportedly declining to renew the lease and instead trying to find a restaurant or market to replace the popular bar and music venue. Read more.
The Table at Season to Taste has closed after four years, with owner Robert Harris citing the “new normal ... in the midst of a global pandemic” as the reason he had to “make very difficult decisions,” including closing the restaurant and pivoting his catering service, Season to Taste, to a home delivery and takeout service (at least for now). Top Chef alum Carl Dooley, who previously worked at Craigie on Main, was at the helm of the award-winning restaurant, serving upscale tasting menus in a convivial, intimate setting that featured an open kitchen. Read more.
Morano Gelato — operating inside the Shops at Chestnut Hill since 2015, a convenient (and excellent) dessert option next to Frank Pepe Pizzeria Napoletana — is now closed. Owner Morgan Morano, who apprenticed with a Sicilian gelato maker, wrote a book on gelato-making at home, and opened the original Morano Gelato location in New Hampshire back in 2010, once hoped to franchise the shop nationwide.
But the pandemic put a stop to it all, with Morano posting on her website that the closure of both locations is “permanent,” and this is her “final decision.” Morano goes on to detail the “many weeks of troubleshooting, projecting, and weighing all options,” ultimately finding that the “opportunity to return to normal business operations anytime in the near future dwindle[d] day by day.”
She considered the PPP loan but found that it wasn’t the right fit for her shops. Plus, the new COVID-19 safety requirements would “require additional capital from already strained businesses” for equipment, training, implementation of new protocols, and such.
I, like many business owners, am no stranger to obstacles. Business ownership comes with operational challenges on a consistent basis. These new COVID-19 restrictions are another large hurdle and can be overcome through the resilience and tenacity most entrepreneurs possess. That being said, when you limit the number of guests allowed to enter establishments that depend on heavy foot traffic and lines to generate revenue, it’s clear that more economic hardships will be endured by many businesses for months to come. Our company depends on long lines in the summer season to carry us through the colder months. We have simply lost this opportunity and there is no recovering. I started this business 10 years ago at a young age with no money to fund my dream of a gelateria. Like many small business owners starting a company or seeking funding to grow, my dreams came at a price of personally guaranteeing anything and everything I signed. Many small business owners will put everything on the line to get the opportunity to serve their community yet are significantly undervalued for their effort. While I am not sure where Main Streets will go from here, if we want more small businesses, we need to fully support them and their pricing (often determined by their higher operational costs), while also encouraging a fair shot at their start.
Talking to the Globe, Morano made clear that the gelato chapter of her life is over. “I’m not into being a small business owner,” she said. “It’s extremely difficult. It can be fulfilling, but we’re all reminded of how fragile this industry is.”
A Gloucester icon, the Market Restaurant, is now closed after a decade serving seasonal crowds on the waterfront. “Although this coincides with the closing of many restaurants due to the ongoing pandemic, this was a decision we made some time ago,” the Market team posted on its website. “Our priority right now is to create a lifestyle more conducive to raising a family.”
The Market’s seasonal, local, sustainable ethos was rooted in owners Nico and Amelia Monday’s time spent working at California’s legendary Chez Panisse.
For now, the team is cooking at sibling restaurant Short & Main, which is also in Gloucester and focuses on wood-fired pizza, but they are “working out the details” to launch Market Catering, serving “Market-inspired food” for onsite catering, private chef services, and consulting.
Orta Restaurant, an Italian restaurant open a little over a decade (and under the current ownership since 2012), is closed, at least in its current iteration at 75 Washington St. In an announcement posted to Facebook, chef and co-owner Brett Williams described how the plan at the beginning of the pandemic was to spend the time working on renovations and reinventing the restaurant, coming out on the other side “with a new strategy that would be able to adapt to what was going to be the ‘new normal.’”
But on April 1, Williams writes, he received an email from the landlord that the rent was past due and the restaurant appeared to be closed; “well of course, we were ordered to close by the government,” notes Williams. He went to the restaurant the next day to find that his keys no longer worked.
“We had been unlawfully locked out of our restaurant,” wrote Williams. “After eight years of hard work, blood, sweat and tears and more rent than you could imagine, my dream was ripped away from me. We are now taking steps required and hope to find some answers soon but everything is very uncertain. One thing I do know is that Pembroke is a very special place to me. I have taken great pride and joy serving this wonderful community. We will look for another building for our Pembroke location but for now we wait. ... Stay tuned because this fairy tale is far from over.”
Update, May 28, 2020: Orta landlord Melissa Costa shared the following statement in response:
With only several months left on its lease, Orta, which had not given any notice to its Landlord of its intentions after the Governor’s Orders or paid rent as of April 1st, had closed, apparently electing not to offer take-out or curbside pick-up, and removed essential furniture, fixtures and equipment necessary to reopen. Orta and Williams were given the option in writing of remaining in the premises and reopening after the termination or relaxation of the Governor’s Orders or closing and removing all of its furniture, fixtures and equipment, all under a complete reservation of rights. Orta and Williams elected not to reopen and to remain closed and removed all of its remaining property as of May, 4, 2020.
A year ago, Don Owen (of Owen’s Poultry Farm in Needham, which closed in 2016) founded Owen’s Ice Cream in Sandwich, taking over the thirty-year-old Ice Cream Sandwich shop. Owen’s wrapped up its first season at the end of September 2019 but announced this week that the shop will not be reopening “due to unforeseen circumstances.”
“It was an absolute honor to serve the Sandwich community last year,” read the shop’s farewell announcement. “We had amazing support throughout the community and by so many family and friends. Thank you to everyone from the bottom of our hearts, especially all of our amazing employees.”