Welcome to the winter 2021 edition of the Eater Boston restaurant closings roundup; this page is updated regularly, with the most recent updates at the top, highlighting restaurants that have bid farewell to the Boston area in recent weeks (and some 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,” without announcing an official closure, but only restaurants that are confirmed to be permanently closed are included in this roundup.
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The fall 2020 closure archive is here, including Stoddard’s Fine Food & Ale, Taqueria el Barrio, Gaslight, House of Siam, Cafeteria, and more, with most restaurants citing COVID-19 as a factor, if not the main factor, in their closure.
February 11, 2021: Border Cafe Is Closed for Good, and Somerville Loses a Pair of Restaurants
A cafe known for Mediterranean food such as falafel and hummus recently closed. Andre’s Cafe opened in Worcester Square a decade ago.
A popular Harvard Square destination for fajitas and massive margaritas has closed for good. Border Cafe — a chain specializing in Tex-Mex and Cajun cuisines — first opened in Cambridge in 1987 before expanding to include locations in Burlington, Saugus, New Jersey, and Delaware. Border Cafe planned to reopen after a fire caused significant damage to the building in 2019, but the pandemic ultimately halted those plans.
Also in Cambridge, a Brazilian restaurant in Inman Square called Tapiocarias House of Flavor recently shuttered. The restaurant, which opened over the summer, has a sibling in Everett that remains open.
Two Davis Square restaurants — Snappy Kitchen and Punjabi Grill, which were neighbors on Elm Street — closed recently. Snappy specialized in Japanese cuisine (sushi and ramen, mainly), while Punjabi Grill featured Indian and Pakistani cuisine.
January 27, 2021: KO Pies Is Up for Sale, 4A Coffee Is Closing, and the Suburbs Lose More Restaurants
While it’s been inevitable for a while, it doesn’t make it any less sad: KO Catering & Pies has been listed for sale, and it will close some time in 2021. Owner Sam Jackson originally planned to sell the business in 2019 and return to his homeland of Australia, but the pandemic uprooted those plans. Instead, he extended his lease through the end of 2021. Jackson told Boston.com that potential buyers have two options when purchasing the business.
“You either get a little piece of my soul, and all the recipes and all the secrets that I have around the meat pie world [to continue the business],” he said. “Or the second thing would be to purchase the beer and wine license, which is a fully transferable, seven-day Boston beer and wine license, and all the applicable assets that we have, plus a tried and tested location that has become, dare I say, a bit of a legendary landmark in the Greater Boston dining scene. I’m comfortable either way.”
4A Coffee, which has its roots in Kazakhstan, is closing in February. The Harvard Street spot, which was just about equidistant from the convergence of Commonwealth Avenue and Harvard Avenue in Allston and Coolidge Corner in Brookline, opened its Brookline location in 2012, and was a popular spot for cappuccino and espresso.
According to Boston Restaurant Talk, the Talk Restaurant in Watertown has been seized by the state for nonpayment of taxes. Typically when this happens, a business is given the opportunity to work out payment with the state, which can lead to its eventual reopening (see: Gourmet Dumpling House). We’ll update this post if and when more information becomes available.
Cafe Sorelli is shuttering on January 29. The restaurant, which was a popular breakfast and lunch destination, posted the news on Facebook on January 25, writing:
“Due to financial difficulties caused by the pandemic and despite our best efforts, it is with great sadness that we are writing to tell you that Cafe Sorelli will be closing its doors forever. Our small family owned and operated business will open for the last time on Friday, January 29, 2021. Our family has been proud to call Woburn our home for generations. We want to thank each and every one of our loyal customers, our friends and our family who have supported us over the last 17 years.”
January 15, 2021: Revere Beach Loses an Ice Cream Shop, Hanover Loses an Eating Establishment, and More Suburban Closures
According to the Patriot Ledger, the Eating Establishment closed its doors on Christmas Eve. The restaurant was owned and operated by Alice and Steve Matheny for 14 years.
The Ledger writes: “Owner Stephen Matheny said the restaurant was just barely hanging on for the past nine months of the pandemic as the small restaurant moved to takeout only. The inside was too small to allow for indoor seating under the state’s guidelines ... and there was no room in the parking lot for outdoor seating.”
7-Eleven reportedly owns the building, which used to be the Assinippi General Store. Matheny told the Ledger that he tried to get 7-Eleven to agree to a rent reduction, but that the convenience store chain never responded.
A popular decades-old ice cream shop on Revere Beach has closed. Banana Boat Ice Cream Shop, which first opened in 1977, shared the news on Facebook, with owners Amora and Avri Schena writing: “It is with a heavy heart we have made the tough decision to close Banana Boat Ice Cream. Words will never be enough to express our gratitude to our family, hard-working employees, dedicated customers, suppliers, and each person who has supported us over the years.”
Amora Schena told the Boston Globe that after 43 years in business, it was time for them to enjoy their summer, something they “were never able to do because we were always at the business, seven days a week. And then with COVID this year, that was just the cherry on the top that really made the final decision.”
The Saugus Advertiser reports that an Italian restaurant that opened in 1997 recently shuttered. La Vita Mia announced its closure on Facebook, stating in part: “This past year has been tough for everyone, especially small businesses, like ours. It breaks our hearts to have to do this but we feel it is the right thing to do at this time.”
January 5, 2021: Chinatown Loses a Restaurant Known for Its Peking Duck, Revere Loses a Decades-Old Chinese Restaurant, and More Suburban Closures
China King closed its doors for good after dinner service on New Years Eve. The restaurant was perhaps best-known for its take on Peking duck, which came served three ways, including with house-made udon noodles and pancakes to wrap around savory bits of duck meat and crispy bits of duck skin. Owner Doris Huang told Boston.com that the pandemic precipitated the closure.
“The past months, [there’s been] no business,” she said. “It’s empty. Every day there’s not enough business in Chinatown. So I just wanted to sell [China King] and take a break and take time.”
According to Huang, the closure may only be temporary — she said she could see reopening the restaurant in the South End or somewhere in Cambridge. Here’s to hoping, because China King’s was the best Peking duck in the city.
Financial District sports bar Finn McCool’s Public House closed at the end of December 2020. McCool’s, which opened in 2017, announced the news on Facebook, writing in part: “It is with the heaviest of hearts that we must announce Finn McCool’s has closed for good. Like many of our friends with other restaurants and bars, sustaining sales during this pandemic has been near impossible. We held on for as long as possible and now, faced with even more uncertainty, it is time to bid you farewell.”
Anthony’s, a restaurant that was popular with workers in the Cummings Center — an office park in Beverly — has closed. Owner Anthony Prizio, who opened the popular lunch spot 11 years ago, said on Facebook: “It is with a heavy heart that I have to share this news with all of you. The time has come for us to [move on]. After 11 years here at the Cummings Center and 35 years in Beverly.”
An Irish pub called Teddy Gallagher’s closed toward the end of December 2020. Co-owner Joe Gallagher told the Country Gazette that the pandemic made it impossible to operate the business. “The pandemic has basically taken our business,” said Gallagher. “We can not serve 30 people and make any type of profit . . . We have minimums we need to order from our providers; it simply will not come close to working. We are down to 15 employees. We have single moms, and young people that rely on working here.” A Facebook post from the pub indicated it could try to make a comeback, however.
Mystic Coffee Roaster closed its cafe in December 2020, but its wholesale business remains open. The business announced the news on Facebook, stating in part: “I have a bittersweet announcement to make. First, the bitter: Unfortunately, Mystic Coffee Roaster will cease to exist as a café by December 24. This has been extremely difficult due to the pandemic. All restaurants are suffering, and for us, the decrease in foot traffic and sales has been unsurmountable. I realize the situation is temporary and a vaccine is in sight but realistically, it’s not going to get rolled out in time to make much of a difference for 2021. I’ve tried to offset the decrease [in] sales by cost-cutting measures as much as I possibly can, but at this point, the café just isn’t sustainable under these conditions.
Now for the sweet: Mystic Coffee Roaster as a coffee roastery will continue. I’m going to focus on my true passion of coffee roasting and will continue to service our wholesale customers, contract roasting customers, mail order customers, and other avenues yet to be discovered. The outlook for the roasting business is much more positive than the retail café and I am very optimistic about the company’s future as a roastery.”
A Chinese restaurant that has been open in Revere for 65 years is closing. According to the Revere Journal, China Roma owners Paul and RoseAnne Musto are retiring, and the space left vacant by their restaurant will eventually be filled by a Peruvian restaurant, though no further details were provided.
Black and Orange Bar and Grill owner Michael Palmer recently announced on Facebook that his restaurant was closing on December 31, 2020.