A fried chicken and barbecue joint in Cambridge, a decades-old pizzeria downtown, a food market in Brookline — these are the restaurants and food businesses that have closed in the Boston area this fall (or closed earlier during the pandemic but have just officially announced that the closure is permanent). This roundup will be updated throughout the season in the unfortunate event that more businesses shut down. (See the summer 2021 list here.)
This list was most recently updated on October 21, 2021, adding notes on Shanghai Gate and Le’s, both in Allston, and Dock Square Cafe in Boston’s Financial District.
Shanghai Gate (204 Harvard Ave., Boston), a longtime Allston favorite for Chinese food, closed recently, replaced by a restaurant called BOS’ Sichuan Taste that reportedly has the same chef but different owners, decor, and menu. Highlights at the now-closed Shanghai Gate were the Paradise Mountain chicken, a dry hot chicken dish heavy on ginger and garlic; the sizable lion’s head meatballs; the pork-filled soup dumplings; and garlicky baby bok choy.
Also in Allston, Vietnamese restaurant Le’s (137 Brighton Ave., Boston) has closed after about 15 years; it’ll be replaced by Dalongyi Hot Pot. The Harvard Square location of Le’s remains in operation, serving a variety of pho options, vermicelli dishes, and other Vietnamese cuisine.
Magnolia Bakery (4 S. Market St., Quincy Market, downtown Boston), the New York City bakery famous for its cupcakes and banana pudding, opened its only Boston location at Quincy Market in March 2018. It closed temporarily at the start of the pandemic — but a rep now confirms that the closure is permanent. The company continues to operate locations in New York, California, Illinois, Asia, and the Middle East, and shipping is available throughout the United States for Bostonians and others missing that pudding. (You can even get it in a 64-ounce tub.)
Elsewhere downtown, Theatre District restaurant Abby Lane (255 Tremont St., Boston) — which opened in 2012 — has been on hiatus since late 2020, but now it’s clear that it won’t be reopening and will instead be replaced by a new restaurant, Nash Bar & Stage (“bringing a lil bit of Nashville to Boston”), from the same owner, chef Jason Santos. Nash Bar & Stage will open around December 2021, per its nascent Instagram account. Santos is also behind Buttermilk & Bourbon in Boston and Watertown, Citrus & Salt in Boston, and B&B Fish in Marblehead.
More bad news downtown: Financial District Indian restaurant D’Guru (187 Devonshire St., Boston), open for over a decade, is no more. Its original location in Somerville (which is named Guru the Caterer) remains open for individual orders as well as catering, and the company also continues to make farmers market appearances, too. The Somerville location delivers locally.
Plus, Haymarket Pizza (106 Blackstone St., Boston), a pizzeria near the Haymarket MBTA station and the Haymarket outdoor food market, has closed after an impressive 50-year run (28 under the current ownership).
“Many of our patrons are lifelong customers who grew up visiting the market as children and have made Haymarket Pizza a part of their family tradition,” Haymarket Pizza wrote on Facebook. “With such a meaningful history in the heart of Boston, we’ve been blessed with countless friendships and memories over the years at Haymarket Pizza. Anyone who’s ever had Haymarket Pizza knows there’s nothing like it, and that we’ve always done our best to keep our prices reasonable, even during tough times. With deep gratitude, we thank you for your loyalty and support during our long time in business.”
And one more downtown: Financial District cafe Dock Square Cafe (60 State St., Boston) has closed as of mid-October, citing “circumstances beyond our control.” Sibling spot Boston News Cafe and Catering remains open across the street at 28 State St. as well as at 80 Arch St., serving sandwiches, soups, salads, and customizable rice bowls.
It was announced over the summer, but as of late September, the Turtle Swamp Beer Garden at the Roslindale Substation (4228 Washington St., Roslindale) is officially closed due to “the impacts of COVID.” The original Turtle Swamp Brewing location in Jamaica Plain, though, remains in operation. The Roslindale beer garden was open for a couple years, following Trillium’s stint in that space.
Allium Market (1330 Beacon St., Brookline), a four-year-old Coolidge Corner specialty food market filled with cheese and lots more, officially closed on October 3, as planned. Owner Talia Glass had announced in August that the shop would close in October if a new owner couldn’t be found. Still, she’s happy to hear any serious inquiries via email. “And who knows — maybe the right new owners are still out there and Allium will come to life again!” she posted on Instagram. (Meanwhile, Instagram’s the best place to watch for updates on future Allium delivery/pickup opportunities and other news.)
Highland Fried (1271 Cambridge St., Cambridge) — Inman Square’s home of fried chicken, barbecue, and tiki drinks — has closed permanently. Sibling to Somerville’s popular neighborhood joint Highland Kitchen, from wife-and-husband duo Marci Joy and Mark Romano, Highland Fried opened nearly four years ago in the longtime East Coast Grill space. (For a year prior to Highland Fried’s opening, Joy and Romano operated it as a revival of East Coast Grill before turning it into the chicken-focused spinoff of Highland Kitchen.) In recent weeks, Highland Fried was closed on various days, citing staffing issues and such, but in early October, the team publicly announced that the restaurant would not be reopening.
A few days earlier, The Boston Globe had published a feature on Highland Kitchen and noted that its sibling would not be reopening. “It’s just me and Marci and we can’t do two restaurants this way,” Romano told the Globe. “It’s too much with everything going on, the latest mask mandate or fears of Delta. To keep our sanity, it’s best for our family to downsize to one place.”
Fans of the restaurant’s excellent fried chicken can still find it where it began: at Highland Kitchen on Monday nights.