Vegan restaurant Plantpub has permanently closed down its sprawling Fenway location just eight months after it opened to the public last summer.
The 8,000 square-foot, 250-seat restaurant — run in partnership with vegan celebrity chef Matthew Kenney — opened in July 2022, steps from Fenway Park. Co-founder and chef Mary Dumont put vegan renditions of beer hall favorites like pizza and fried chicken sandwiches on the menu, and it appeared to be well-received at the start. In December, the Boston Globe named Plantpub Fenway the top restaurant opening of the year.
However, signs of trouble have been brewing. The team temporarily closed the restaurant last winter with plans to reopen at the start of the next Red Sox season, they said. By February, the restaurant had sold off its liquor license and South Boston Mexican restaurant Loco Taqueria & Oyster Bar is now reportedly taking over the space.
According to a Plantpub press representative, Plantpub terminated its partnership with Kenney in 2022 and remains the sole owner of Plantpub’s original Cambridge location, which is still open. The representative did not respond to further questions about the Fenway closure, but said that more Kenney-less Plantpub locations were on the way. “PlantPub expects to announce plans to independently open new locations in Q1 2023,” the representative said in an email.
Meanwhile, a representative for Matthew Kenney insists that the place was never supposed to be permanent. “We opened it as a short-term location for the baseball season, and have since vacated,” the representative said in an email. The representative did not respond to further questions about whether it was ever publicly disclosed that the Fenway location was apparently intended to be a pop-up.
Plantpub got its start in Kendall Square in 2021. The restaurant has been hailed as a vegan bar food haven that has counted celebrity Ben Stiller among its customers. Co-founder and chef Dumont was also tapped to prepare a meal for the royals when they visited Boston last year.