Welcome back to AM Intel, a round-up of mini news bites to kick off the day.
KO Pies Sets a Closing Date
KO Pies — the extraordinarily popular Australian meat pie shop on East Boston’s waterfront — has been slowly marching toward a closing date since late 2018, when owner Sam Jackson announced plans to leave the city, first taking his time to try to sell to someone who might carry on the business in some way. The timeline stretched a couple extra years, but the day has almost arrived: Jackson has announced the restaurant’s “pie-nal countdown.” It’s open this Thursday through Sunday, August 19 through 22, and then again for one last hurrah on August 28, noon until sellout.
While Jackson is off to new adventures, the closure of KO Pies doesn’t mean the end of the meat pies. Andrew and Greta Platt (of the Biscuit in Somerville) are opening Seabiscuit in the KO space and continuing to serve the pies alongside their own lineup of sandwiches, salads, soups, baked goods, and more.
“Greta and Andrew are very experienced operators and bakers,” Jackson told Eater earlier this year. “It means a lot to me personally knowing the product is in such good hands.”
Farewell to Russo’s
Over the weekend, news swept the internet that beloved Watertown grocery store Russo’s will be closing this fall as Tony Russo retires after working for the family business for over 70 years. (The business itself is over a century old; it began as a small Watertown farm in the early 1900s.) It’s the kind of store where you can find 10 different types of eggplant, fresh baked goods, any kind of cheese you could ever need, and much, much more.
The Russo’s statement reads, in part:
It has been Tony’s privilege to serve our many wholesale and retail customers for seven decades ... Throughout the years, Tony has worked in all areas of the retail and wholesale business including trimming vegetables, driving trucks, loading and unloading trailers, putting up wholesale orders, sweeping the floor, buying produce and overseeing the most subtle details of the retail store. At any time, customers can find him involved in the displays of the fruits, vegetables, flowers, bakery, deli, cheese and garden departments. His days begin around 3:30 AM and end after 8 PM. Tony has treasured watching generations of families shopping together as they choose their first spring vegetable plants, or the first local apples of the season and as they shop for Christmas trees (with classical music playing in the background, of course).
Keep an eye on social media for updates on an exact closing date as fall approaches.
In Other News...
- Boston Public Market lost several vendors during the pandemic and is doing a big push to add at least five prepared food vendors to its roster. Local food producers can find more information here.
- Here’s a nice interview with Shawn Bulman, who has worked at Tony’s Clam Shop in Quincy for nearly 40 years. Fun fact: He doesn’t eat seafood.
- Also in the realm of longtime seafood industry human interest stories, here’s a cool profile on Virginia Oliver, a 101-year-old Maine lobsterwoman who is still working.
- Eater.com examines what happens when the online anti-vax mob comes after your restaurant. Tracy Chang of Pagu in Cambridge is one of several restaurant owners interviewed.
- Here’s a garlic roast chicken recipe to try this week.
Got a news tip for the Eater Boston team? Email firstname.lastname@example.org.