Ever since Massachusetts first started feeling the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, the state’s restaurant industry has been in trouble, with restaurants struggling to stay in business during a months-long shutdown of dine-in service and now strict guidelines about social distancing, cleaning protocols, and more.
It’s been almost a year of conceptual pivots, shifts to takeout and delivery, expanding patios, and other attempts to maintain business without being able to operate fully. For an increasing number of restaurants, permanent closure has been the only option. But for several others — thanks to cooperative landlords, sibling restaurants to which employees can shift over, and other factors — shutting down temporarily, perhaps just for the winter, is a plausible solution.
Here’s a running list of local restaurants that have announced that they are going into “hibernation” for at least the next few months or “closing until further notice” with hopes of reopening at some point.
This roundup was initially published on October 9, 2020; it is updated as new information becomes available. The most recent update was on March 4, 2021, removing Cambridge Brewing Company, Cityside Tavern, Flatbread Somerville, Puritan & Co., and Reign Drink Lab, which have all reopened in some capacity or another.
4th Wall Restaurant & Bar
228 Tremont St., Theater District, Boston
4th Wall Restaurant & Bar general manager Diky Melville told the Berkeley Beacon that shuttering the space for an indefinite period of hibernation felt like the last day of school. “People are bummed,” he said of 4th Wall’s final night of service before hibernating. “Last night, a lot of people that we hadn’t seen in a while came and showed face, spent a couple bucks, it was nice. It’s kind of a bummer that it takes till the end before you get some of that extra patronage that could have kept us alive, perhaps.”
A&B Kitchen & Bar
101 Beverly St., West End, Boston
The Boston location of A&B Burgers — now called A&B Kitchen • Bar — is temporarily closed as of the end of business on November 25, according to an announcement from owner Thomas Holland. “We have fought the good fight and rolled with each and every punch thrown our way since March, but after careful consideration and looking at every possible scenario with our management team, investors, accountants and landlord we’ve all come to the agreement that going into hibernation gives us the best chance,” he wrote, noting that the recently implemented curfew on table service “was the final straw.”
“We expected with each of these new restrictions put on our industry that there would be support coming our way from local, state and/or federal stimulus,” Holland continued. “We were sure that as our ability to generate enough revenue to pay our employees, vendors, rent and taxes kept getting restricted by those entities that reasonable expectations would be they would step up and help us to do that which we no longer could. Unfortunately those reasonable expectations have not been met, and do not look to be happening anytime soon. We aren’t looking for a free handout, we would much rather be supporting ourselves through hard work as we have since we opened the first A&B in 2013, but if our ability to do so through no fault of our own is hindered then we need financial support.”
He thanks the restaurant’s Boston landlord for allowing the restaurant to “wait it out.”
All Boston employees have been offered hours at the Beverly location, but Holland acknowledges that it’s not a viable option for everyone. He encourages supporters of the restaurant to reach out to local, state, and federal representatives to demand that they come up with a plan to support the restaurant industry.
255 Tremont St., Back Bay, Boston
The Theater District restaurant plans to close for the winter “at most,” due to the lack of a patio and lack of theatergoers in the area. Chef and owner Jason Santos’ other restaurants — Buttermilk & Bourbon and Citrus & Salt in Boston, as well as the recently opened B&B Fish in Marblehead, continue to operate.
Sibling Irish pubs the Asgard and the Kinsale, open for around two decades each, broke a lot of hearts when they put out seemingly permanent closure announcements on October 3. The closures might actually be temporary, though: Co-owner Peter Sarmanian told Boston.com that the team is still evaluating options — “We haven’t made a final decision as of yet but we hope to do so within the next week.”
Sarmanian reportedly cited the lack of office tenants and people staying in hotels as a reason for a significant financial hit in the month since the restaurants reopened.
“Once we’re past this pandemic, if the office buildings come back, there’s a chance we could reopen,” he told The Boston Globe. “I’m not going to say at this point that we’re permanently closed.”
Indeed, a representative for the restaurants announced on October 29 that the restaurants will officially reopen, probably in the spring. “The landlords and vendors were graciously willing to work with us, so it made a return feasible,” he said. “We will go into hibernation for the winter and target a 2021 reopen date which will depend on the course of the pandemic, state mandates, building occupancy...and whatever surprises 2020 wants to keep throwing at everyone!”
Michael Serpa’s Parisian bistro-inspired restaurant, Grand Tour, opened in late January this year, only getting in a month and a half of regular business before everything got shut down. Although the restaurant experimented with takeout, outdoor dining, and indoor dining in recent months, Serpa closed it again on September 30 with the intention of reopening in spring 2021.
“Grand Tour was designed to be a cozy, European-style bistro,” the restaurant announced on social media, “and with the cooler weather, indoor dining doesn’t make sense for the space. We look forward to seeing you on the other side.”
The restaurant remains available for small private events; email firstname.lastname@example.org to book one.
In late November, Serpa also announced the hibernation of Select Oyster Bar and Atlántico, the latter of which only opened a little over a month before. Both will close after dinner service on November 28.
“The second wave of the pandemic has slowed business drastically,” announced Serpa. “We have fought the good fight ... At some point when you are getting pummeled, it’s time to throw in the towel so you can fight another day. We are doing what we can so we can survive the winter and be here in the spring to re-open. We need some help. We need the RESTAURANTS act to pass. We need city and state support and relief. Many staff members have already used their unemployment benefits. Many staff members can’t get unemployment benefits. We are starting a Gofundme for the team for anyone that wants to support them.”
838 Beacon St., Fenway, Boston
The Audubon Circle bar and restaurant is closed temporarily as of December 1.
“While the winter looms ahead, we have decided to do our part and shut our doors for a bit to keep our family and friends safe,” Audubon announced. “We recognize that this would not have been possible if not for our incredible guests and friends that have stopped in and said hello, dined with us, grabbed takeout, funded meals to the hospitals, or even reached out to see how we are doing. Please stay connected via Instagram or with us personally. We hope to throw some cocktail pop-ups during this time away — not goodbye just see you later. Stay safe and see you in the spring. Thank you for the bottom of our hearts.”
Back Deck and French Quarter
Back Deck, 2 West St., Downtown Crossing, Boston; French Quarter, 545 Washington St., Downtown Crossing, Boston
As of December 14 and December 20 respectively, sibling spots Back Deck and French Quarter have temporarily closed, according to owner Brad Fredericks.
“We tried earnestly to remain open since our restart in late June, and reached a level of stabilization in October, but recently just too much damn COVID,” the team posted to the restaurants’ Facebook pages. “We will continue to monitor COVID cases, vaccine implementation, returning activity in our downtown neighborhood, potential government stimulus…and will reopen when we determine it prudent.”
Nearby sibling spot Fajitas & ‘Ritas remains open at this time.
The Bacon Truck
50 Terminal St., Charlestown, Boston, and mobile
The bacon-focused Charlestown cafe and food truck shut down operations (at both the cafe and the truck) for the winter, announcing the news on October 15 with a list of final dates for truck appearances and limited hours for the cafe. The truck’s last appearance was at Brigham and Women’s Hospital for lunch on October 23.
“Well folks, not gonna sugarcoat this one,” the team wrote. “2020 has been a really rough year for the food industry as a whole, and food trucks were no exception. After what’s felt like one seven-month long confusing, frustrating, and ultimately unsuccessful pivot, we’ve decided to shut down for the winter and wait for spring 2021 to reopen. ... And while we’re closed this winter please continue to SUPPORT THE EVERLOVING CRAP OUT OF YOUR LOCAL INDEPENDENT SHOPS AND RESTAURANTS! We’re not gonna get through this without your continued help.”
Tiki bar Shore Leave opened its patio, aka the Life Raft, in the warmer days of the pandemic, but closed for the season after summer, and the basement-level bar remains closed as well. “We’ll be spending the winter gearing up for the best spring we’ve ever had, and we can’t wait to see you all then,” the venue posted on its website. Merch is still available for purchase, including coconut-shaped tiki mugs and fancy aprons.
Sibling restaurants Bar Mezzana and Black Lamb will follow suit, closing temporarily as of December 23. “Despite everyone’s best efforts and support from the City of Boston and the Federal Government, our businesses’ revenue has plummeted, our losses have mounted, and what cash we have has dwindled,” the team wrote on a Gofundme page aimed at helping the restaurant group’s staff. “Bar Mezzana and Black Lamb will unfortunately have to join Shore Leave in hibernating for the winter months. It’s the right decision for our employees, our guests, and our businesses so we can hope to reemerge when the time comes to do so.”
1 Bennett St., Harvard Square, Cambridge
In a December 17 newsletter to fans, the Harvard Square restaurant announced that it will be closed from December 20 until spring 2021:
“We’re writing to let you know that, like so many of our restaurant colleagues, we’ve determined that the many unprecedented pandemic-related challenges we are facing have made restaurant operations nearly impossible for the next few months. ... We are tremendously thankful for our talented and dedicated team. With determination and resilience, they re-opened Benedetto after the mandated closure this spring. We were able to enjoy a vibrant patio season and continue to support our local purveyors. But with winter upon us, and widespread vaccine distribution still a few months away, we’ve decided to cease indoor dining and focus on preparing for the future. We are hopeful that the Spring of 2021 will begin a rejuvenation of our small business community. We are committed to being leaders in supporting a robust and diverse food system, diversity and equality in the workplace, and providing our unique blend of gracious hospitality and spirited cooking to our friends and neighbors.”
Anthony Caturano put his group of restaurants into hibernation, effective December 14, “due to the current rise in COVID cases, new government restrictions, and overall consumer confidence in dining out.” The restaurants will remain closed at least until the end of the year, at which point the situation will be “reevaluated as to when best to reopen all locations.”
“Rest assured this was not an easy decision to make, but one we feel will put us in a much better position to operate when we return.”
70 Union Sq., Union Square, Somerville
The Union Square bar shut down temporarily in mid-December. “We don’t know exactly when we’ll be back, but it will likely be with another crazy concept to get us through the cold winter months. Stay tuned for more on that in the coming weeks. It has been our pleasure to provide a fun, comfortable, safe outdoor space for friends & neighbors to gather during this harrowing time. ... We are so grateful for your support over the past nine months. Thank you for coming out and letting us serve you.”
Brewer’s Tap & Table
256 Moody St., Waltham
“This has been the toughest decision we’ve had to make,” announced the Waltham restaurant. “As of 12/16, we will be hibernating for the winter. We’re optimistic about the spring and hope to see you then! Until we see you again, take good care of yourselves and each other. Thank you for all your support. We will miss you!”
The Brownstone and Clerys
111 Dartmouth St., Back Bay, Boston; 113 Dartmouth St., Back Bay, Boston
A popular bar for after work drinks adjacent the Back Bay MBTA station began hibernating in December, according to a Facebook post. Brownstone’s wrote, in part: “This year has been a challenge and we wish to thank you for your support throughout these difficult times. We are very appreciative of the times you have dined with us since reopening and the words of encouragement many of you have sent our way. Unfortunately, this pandemic continues to play havoc with our industry, and we have made the hard decision to ‘hibernate’ for the winter. We are looking forward to welcoming you back in the not-too-distant future.”
Brownstone’s sibling restaurant, Clerys, is also hibernating.
Burro Bar Brookline, Burro Bar South End, the Painted Burro, and Rosebud American Kitchen & Bar
Burro Bar Brookline, 1665 Beacon St, Brookline; Burro Bar South End, 1357 Washington St, Boston; the Painted Burro, 219 Elm St, Somerville; Rosebud American Kitchen & Bar, 381 Summer St, Somerville
The quartet of restaurants from Joseph Cassinelli’s Alpine Restaurant Group announced on their respective Facebook pages that they will be closing their doors “for the time being” after dinner service ends on New Year’s Eve. Each restaurant posted some version of the same message, which stated in part: “We aren’t calling this a hibernation because that feels cute and sounds natural and this is anything but that . . . We need aid and relief from our city and government that we just aren’t getting right now.”
435 South Huntington Ave., Jamaica Plain, Boston
“With fast rising Covid numbers and outdoor seating no longer viable we have again made the difficult decision to close after service on Saturday night and will remain shuttered until this gets better,” the restaurant announced on December 4. “It’s the right thing to do. It’s been extremely difficult to navigate through this time but we did a good job with it and I’m proud of my team. We took safety seriously and had zero Covid infections or outbreaks in our 5 months of being reopened. I’m also proud of that. Thank you to all the guests who came out and showed up. It meant a lot. It gave us purpose. We needed it. We love you guys. Thank you.”
Cask n’ Flagon
62 Brookline Ave., Fenway, Boston
In more ordinary times, this Fenway Park adjacent bar was a popular destination for thirsty baseball fans before and after Red Sox games. It announced on its website that it is hibernating for the winter, and will reopen in the spring or sooner.
300 Technology Sq., Kendall Square, Cambridge
In a November 27 newsletter to customers, Catalyst announced that it is hibernating for the winter.
“We plan to take this time to curate unique and thoughtful pop-up experiences ... We would like to thank all of our guests who have supported us during our reopening but unfortunately Covid-19 is still going strong and it simply makes sense for us to circle the wagons and wait this out for the safety of our guests and staff. During this hibernation period, we are still available for catering and continue to book future events. If you would like to plan an event or an intimate gathering, or order catering for your holiday celebrations, you can view the catering menu here and please contact Robyn Yee, our Director of Events, at email@example.com with event and catering inquiries.”
Watch Instagram for updates on pop-ups and a reopening.
5 North Square, North End, Boston
The North End restaurant announced on Christmas Eve that it was closing for a little while, but that it would be back some time soon.
1924 Massachusetts Ave., Porter Square, Cambridge
“Thank you for your unfailing support over this very unusual and challenging year. We have been grateful to serve you and share all those special moments with you since reopening last Summer,” Colette announced on December 6. “Unfortunately, we have made the decision to hibernate for the next few months. Tonight was our last dinner service in 2020. This decision has not come lightly, this year has been the toughest we have ever faced as a company but as individuals as well. We look forward to seeing you soon when we reopen after the peak of winter. If you wish to support us, please consider buying a gift certificate on our website or going to our sister restaurant Frenchie. Thank you for this beautiful season, take all great care of yourself and your loved ones.”
40 West 3rd Street, South Boston, Boston
A gigantic Southie restaurant that will eventually be swallowed up by impending development in the neighborhood announced on Instagram that it is hibernating for the winter. Coppersmith’s Instagram post read: “To our friends and family, after much consideration we have decided to go into hibernation for the winter months. Thank you for your continued support, especially these past dreadful months. We look forward to seeing and serving you again in the early spring.” Caught In Southie reports that Coppersmith has plans to re-open in mid-February.
11 Broad Canal Way, Kendall Square, Cambridge
Steve “Nookie” Postal’s seven-year-old Cambridge restaurant, market, and event space began its temporary shutdown on September 20, and it will continue “‘‘til this shit is over,” as Postal told Eater last month. “I know what Kendall Square looks like in November, December, January, and February in the best of times, with holiday parties. .... We are not in the best of times. Those are gone. So when it gets dark at 4:30 p.m. and it is 30 degrees with 40 mph winds whipping around Kendall and no one is working from their offices until 2021 at the earliest? Yeah, I’m all good with that.”
“Hibernation is what it is, and survival is what it is all about,” he continued. “These last six months have been an emotional rollercoaster, but I am at peace with this decision, as I know it’s the best course of action so that we can become bigger, better, and stronger when this is all over.”
525 Medford St., Magoun Square, Somerville
Magoun Square’s neighborhood Greek restaurant and bar, which has not been offering indoor dining during the pandemic, is shutting down its takeout service for December through March “because we are going into our slow season in a normal year ... Mentally and financially we need to be able to go into patio season strong, excited, and better.”
Still available during the shutdown: catering, holiday trays, meal kits, and merch; order online.
45 Mt. Auburn St., Harvard Square, Cambridge
This Harvard Square restaurant known for its roof deck announced on November 22 that it would be going into hibernation the following day, “until further notice.”
“We want to thank all of our customers for their continued support this year. We look forward to being your outdoor dining destination in 2021. Updates on an exact reopening date will be posted on our website and social media channels. Stay safe and see you soon!”
415 Washington St., Somerville
“As of Sunday, December 6th, Dali will be on HIATUS until March or April due to financial and health concerns,” the restaurant announced. “We hope this sacrifice assures our future survival and that we can enjoy each other’s company as soon as it’s safe to venture out again. Please check our website and this [Facebook] page for future updates and our deepest thanks for protecting each other. Until then we wish you a memorable day!”
Darryl’s Corner Bar & Kitchen
604 Columbus Ave., South End, Boston
“Beginning December 20th we’ll be taking a break,” the restaurant announced on December 11. “When we return in 2021 our doors will only be open for takeout. We hope this model will get us through the winter so we can return in full bloom this spring.”
100 Chandler St., South End, Boston
The South End favorite known for its unpretentious comfort food (which is cooked in an impossibly small kitchen) and exceptional beer list recently announced on Instagram that it is “temporarily closed until further notice.” The post wished all of Delux’s patrons happy holidays, and said it hopes to see everyone again soon, so this appears to be a temporary closure.
35 Temple Pl., Downtown Crossing, Boston
The worker-owned brewpub closed temporarily in November 2020, announcing that sales have been way down during the pandemic, and staff had to be cut from 32 employees to five. “With the pandemic on the rise and our revenue shrinking, we need to protect our business’ long term viability and the health of ourselves and our community,” the team wrote, noting that they had been fortunate to negotiate a “significantly reduced rent” from April 2020 until June 2021. “This will allow us to hang on, hibernate, and reopen in better times.”
During the temporary closure, Democracy Brewing will continue to offer beer delivery.
189 Washington St., Salem
“2020 has been a doozy to say the least and unprecedented restrictions imposed by state and local officials have made it next to impossible for local restaurants to survive this pandemic,” the Derby wrote, announcing a temporary closure as of December 20. “Every other week restaurants, more than any other industry, face a new rule or restriction, without aide, guidance, or precedence, leaving us searching for the answers and a way to build around our new obstacles, while we, the restaurants, are portrayed to be the cause of spikes and spreading of this awful virus. That is just not the case. Business continues to decline for every restaurant and dark decisions need to be made in order to survive the winter months.”
Dos Diablos and Two Saints Tavern
52 Gainsborough St., Fenway/Symphony, Boston
The connected bar and taqueria are hibernating for the winter and running a Gofundme campaign for the employees who have been laid off. “Unfortunately due to Covid-19 and the restrictions put forth by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Two Saints Tavern has been forced to temporarily close its doors,” reads the campaign page. “As you may know, we tried to bring some normalcy back to to 52 Gainsborough St., and the Northeastern University community, but at the end of the day we just couldn’t survive in these difficult times.”
Elm Street Taproom, Five Horses Tavern, and Worden Hall
Elm Street Taproom, 256 Elm St., Davis Square, Somerville; Five Horses Tavern, 400 Highland Ave., Davis Square, Somerville, and 535 Columbus Ave., South End, Boston; Worden Hall, 22 W. Broadway, South Boston
The Hawkeye Hospitality group closed its restaurants the last week of December, and plans for them to remain closed into March. Announcements on the restaurants’ social media accounts read, in part: “Unfortunately the current advisories and state regulations do not allow us to provide the level of hospitality that we feel meets our standards. ... Although 2020 has been challenging in many ways we are excited and hopeful for the upcoming year. Together we can take the next few months to remain safe and focus on better days ahead.”
21 Beacon St., Beacon Hill, Boston
This relative newcomer arrived on Beacon Hill in July 2019, with owner Andy Kilgore (No. 9 Park, Stoddard’s) wanting to make the former Scollay Square space feel like “a party, just like being in someone’s home,” especially at the chef’s counter. After shutting down in March, the restaurant reopened for indoor and outdoor dining in July, but now it is closed “until further notice.”
“We are hoping to reopen in the spring of 2021,” the restaurant announced on social media. “Hopefully by then, the world will be in a better state and we can bring the Emory back!”
The sibling restaurants are closed temporarily as of December 13, citing “safety concerns for our staff and customers, legislative rollbacks, and the growing vacuum of business in downtown Boston.” Stay tuned for a reopening date.
Sibling spots Franklin Cafe and Our Fathers closed on March 16 and will not reopen until “a later date once appropriate and safe,” per a message posted to the restaurants’ websites. “Our restaurant group has been in business 25 years and has weathered many challenges. As we are surrounded by uncertainty, we choose to be calm, hopeful and make decisions that put the health and safety of all people first.”
Their sibling restaurants Citizen Public House and Tasty Burger remain in operation in various capacities.
467 Moody St., Waltham
The Waltham bar is “on hold” as of November 28.
“As we come to the end of outdoor dining on Moody Street, it has become more and more clear that we will not be able to survive the winter with the few tables we’ll be allowed to use inside,” the Gaff announced on Facebook. “Due to the rising risk of Covid-19, our extremely small footprint, the lack of viable tables and an unforgiving increase in government restrictions, we will be putting our business on hold after almost 12 years. ... This was not an easy decision to come to terms with but we know that if we don’t face the facts then it will only be a matter of time before we would close our doors permanently.”
720 Centre St., Jamaica Plain, Boston
As of Christmas Eve, one of the city’s great dive bars is closed for the winter. Galways House posted the following to its Facebook page: “With a ton of sadness I write this: as of today the Galway House is taking some time off. The current situation we are all going through is not possible for us to remain viable. Until it is safer for my staff and patrons, with all the question marks, it has to be this way. It’s going to be a long dark winter for us all. Want to thank my incredible staff, all of [whom] went way beyond what they promised in August. Also our loyal customers, thank you. We will be back as soon as we can. Have the best Christmas you all can. It’s different but we will get through this. Sincere thank you all.”
82 Lansdowne St., Fenway, Boston
“But no matter where you do go, please tip your servers well. It’s tough times out there for them. Thank you for all your support this season! Stay healthy and we’ll see you all in the spring!”
615 East Broadway, South Boston
The wine bar from the American Provisions team opened at the close of 2019, only getting a few months of regular operation in before everything shut down. The intimate bar opened up some patio seating during the pandemic, but it’s taking a break for now, according to an October 21 post: “After Sunday 10/25 we will be taking a break for the pandemic season. We can’t wait to see you again in the spring, when we’ll be ready to serve you all the wine and cheese and fried potatoes.” Watch Instagram for updates on potential pop-ups and takeout opportunities in the meantime.
Both locations of American Provisions (Dorchester and South Boston) remain open, with modified schedules, for specialty grocery shoppings — meats, cheeses, wines, and such.
The Greatest Bar
262 Friend St., West End, Boston
The bar is closed until further notice “because trying to stay open under the challenges created by tightening Covid-19 restrictions was financially impossible. The fact is, it’s in the best interest of the Greatest Bar’s longterm survival that we shut down — TEMPORARILY — and open up when the heightened pandemic recedes, butts are back in the TD Garden seats, and life is somewhat back to normal.”
247 Essex St., Salem
Owners Marie Feldmannova and Steve Feldmann first opened their eccentric cafe — named for the cafe at which they met in Prague — in Lynn in 2005 before moving to Salem in 2007. Known for its craft beer list and excellent coffee, Gulu–Gulu Cafe went into hibernation on January 3, and will reopen sometime in the spring.
“I can’t in good conscience just shut the doors without giving my staff a chance to make a little money,” Feldmann wrote on the cafe’s Facebook page. “Christmas is coming and they all have bills to pay. So if you come in please consider tipping heavily.”
According to Feldmann’s post, Gulu–Gulu’s sibling restaurant Flying Saucer Pizza Company (which is right next door) will remain open for the winter in one capacity or another.
“Due to the recently-imposed city and state mandates, we have no choice but to go into hibernation for the foreseeable future,” announced Guy Fieri’s Tequila Cocina and Versus in mid-December, referring to the hibernation as “involuntary” and encouraging donations to parent company Big Night Entertainment Group’s B Strong fund to support its furloughed employees.
The sibling wine bars are closed temporarily after December 23 and 20 respectively. Per announcements on Instagram:
“We’ve clawed, fought & pushed through the first part of this pandemic with calculated steps to keep us in survival mode. We’ve been safe. We’ve been vigilant. We’ve been desperate. Unfortunately however, optimism & determination can’t save you from the reality of daunting business numbers; from rising COVID cases, to nights of zero sales, to looking out on a lonely, darkened street with no pedestrians. The pandemic has been unforgiving & unapologetic; unbiased and stops for nearly no-one. There aren’t many answers to be found for something so uncomprehending in nature. ... These challenges are forcing us into an involuntary closure ... We imagine, due to the uncertainly of federal aid, COVID vaccinations & our community, that this closure will last through February or March. It’s hard to determine a timestamp for reopening when so much hangs in the balance. One thing we can say for certain is that we are all in this predicament because of the choices made by poor leadership with the abilities to do better. Period.
We hate the word ‘hibernating’...it sounds ‘cute’...and that’s not at all what this is. That term is meant for the natural, seasonal trajectory in an animals life and there isn’t anything natural about this. It’s heartbreaking on every level. What we will gain from coming through this pandemic is the knowledge of empathy, resilience & perseverance. We all need one another to survive. There is certainly a light at the end of this tunnel. We’ll get there soon & we’ll see you on the other side.”
25 Union St., downtown Boston
The bar is “closed until further notice” as of December 13. “We refuse to call this hibernation as we are not a seasonal restaurant. Our family and staff will not be taking a quiet slumber. Hibernation is a term that invokes a pleasantness, nothing about this decision is pleasant. Our wings have been clipped by new regulations put forth on our industry. Closing for the winter is our form of a tourniquet, slowing the bleed so that we can open again in the spring. Until we open again we wish you all a great holiday a safe and healthy new year.”
150 Highland Ave., Somerville
“We are extremely sad to say we have made the difficult decision to hibernate through this winter,” announced Highland Kitchen, which had its last shift (for now) on December 13. “This was not an easy decision to make and we have tried to hold on as long as possible. We have been unable to get any rent relief and we all know @mass.gov is not helping restaurants. Hibernation is the only way Highland Kitchen can get through this winter with the hope of reopening in the spring.” The return will come as Highland Kitchen, the pandemic-era Highland Chicken (with a pared down menu focused on fried chicken sandwiches), or some combination. “As soon as we can fully reopen as Highland Kitchen we will absolutely do so.”
Sibling restaurant Highland Fried, located in Inman Square, Cambridge, will remain open for takeout throughout the winter.
387 Chelsea St., East Boston
The nearly century-old Italian restaurant Jeveli’s closes for the winter after service on November 10, with owner Eric Jeveli — the grandson of the restaurant’s founder — citing the ongoing pandemic.
“We tried. There’s not enough customers to stay open right now,” Jeveli told The Boston Globe. “It’s the whole COVID thing right now. I think everyone’s paranoid to come out.” He also noted that many of his regulars are older and more likely to be staying home, and some of his employees are worried about safety.
476 Commonwealth Ave., Kenmore Square, Boston
In late 2019, the Kenmore replaced longtime Fenway haunt the Lower Depths, serving burgers, hot dogs, and plenty of other comfort food, along with beer and wine. It’s part of the Red Paint Hospitality Group, which also includes the Westland near Symphony Hall, the Corner Tavern in Back Bay, and a handful of Allston-Brighton bars.
In an October 3 announcement, the Kenmore told fans that it would be going into winter hibernation after service that night. “We appreciate your business and you’ll be the first to know when we’re firing up the kitchens!”
Sibling spot the Corner Tavern is newly reopened, and Hopewell Bar & Kitchen, White Horse Tavern, the Avenue, and Harry’s Bar & Grill are also currently operating, but the Westland remains closed for the time being.
594 Massachusetts Ave., Arlington
The Arlington cafe announced on Facebook that it will hibernate through January, stating in part: “Kickstand is going to make like a bear and hibernate for the rest of January. This was a hard decision because we love you, our loyal customers, so much and we love seeing you and feeding you and caffeinating you and we hate leaving you in the lurch. But with the surge in COVID cases and the inevitable (and unpredictable) cold and wintry weather that makes our operations significantly harder, the responsible thing to do is close down so that we can keep ourselves as safe as possible.”
41 Lafayette St., Salem
The Asian fusion restaurant in Salem is not fully going into hibernation — just closing up its space for the winter. The menu will temporarily move over to nearby sibling restaurant Bambolina (288 Derby St.), which will serve both the Bambolina and Kokeshi menus for dine-in and takeout. “We have every intention of reopening the Kokeshi space once Mother Nature deems outdoor dining viable again,” the team wrote in its social media announcement.
The Lansdowne Pub
9 Lansdowne St., Fenway, Boston
The Fenway bar announced on November 28 that it is hibernating for the winter and planning to reopen in March.
“From our family to yours we wish everyone a safe and healthy holiday season and new year. We sincerely appreciate your patronage and can’t wait to see you all soon.”
669a Centre St., Jamaica Plain, Boston
After brunch service on November 15, the space-themed Jamaica Plain diner went into hibernation for the winter, although keeping the space open for takeout pop-ups “in an effort to provide opportunities for local chefs, staff, and old friends to work on their craft.”
“It has not been an easy decision to make, but we see closing temporarily as our best option to survive the colder months of the pandemic,” the restaurant announced.
Watch Instagram for updates on the pop-up schedule, which will begin in November with a vegetarian menu by Tres Gatos chef Peter McKenzie. Tres Gatos is a sibling restaurant of Little Dipper, as is Casa Verde; both are currently slated to remain in operation for the winter.
505 Massachusetts Ave., Central Square, Cambridge
“This year has been the toughest of our careers,” wrote co-owners Jamie Bissonnette and Ken Oringer in a December 1 announcement. “We miss the extended table side visits, the friendly compliments to the kitchen from across the pass, and, most of all, we miss the community that we create within our walls. Since March, we have been fighting for our staff, their health, their well-being, and so they can continue to do what they love. At every turn we have requested, demanded, and eventually begged for help from our leaders, and at every turn we have had to make these decisions on our own, with no financial safety net to keep our business afloat. Now we pivot again. Little Donkey will go into a ‘hibernation’ today in order to reopen the business on the other side. We would like to thank our staff for their continuous grit, their determination, and their perseverance through all of this. You inspire us every day. If you’d like to help please ... donate today. We’d also like to ask that you contact your representatives and request they pass the RESTAURANT ACT.”
3 North Square, North End, Boston
This upscale Italian fine-dining restaurant in the North End recently announced on Facebook that it will be hibernating for winter. “For now, our team has decided to hibernate until we can ensure a safer environment for both our employees and guests. Please keep an eye on our website for new opening dates. Don’t worry ... we will be back soon!”
Mexcito Street Tacos
350 Kendall St., Kendall Square, Cambridge
The Kendall Square taco spot announced on Instagram that it is closing for winter, but that it will reopen in the spring — with a sangria garden.
Milk Street Cafe
50 Milk St., downtown Boston
Milk Street Cafe, a longtime catering staple among the offices of downtown Boston, is pausing operations for now. “We are temporarily ‘hibernating’ our cafe and catering department until more of our customers are able to return to their offices,” the business noted in an October 27 announcement. “We are so grateful for the support we received from all our loyal customers and look forward to serving you again soon!”
Miracle of Science Bar & Grill
321 Massachusetts Ave., Central Square, Cambridge
The Cambridge bar, open since 1991, plans to stay closed until there’s a vaccine, or at least until spring. The restaurant announced on October 23: “Starting November, for the health of the community and our team, we are hibernating for the winter. See you in the spring. Be safe. Stay positive. Test negative.” A follow-up on November 2 channeled Robert Frost: “Time is neither wrong nor right. I have been one acquainted with the night....See you someday.”
27 Columbus Ave., Back Bay, Boston; 425 Summer St., Seaport District, Boston
“We are temporarily closing for the winter — we look forward to seeing you again in the spring,” announced the Back Bay location of the pub on December 21. “We are so proud of our team for their ongoing dedication and resilience. Your understanding and support through these challenging times is greatly appreciated. We look forward to seeing you again very soon!”
The Seaport location closed during the initial indoor dining shutdown in March and remains closed, with its website noting that it is temporary.
67 Prince St. #1827, North End, Boston
During the summer, Monica’s co-owner Frank Mendoza said in a now infamous viral video that he hadn’t “social distanced in three months” and that “If I have to give up my business that I worked 25 years for, sacrificed my life for, for coronavirus … I’ll take coronavirus over losing my business!” He tagged the post with an anti-Chinese hashtag that we will not publish here.
Flash forward several months, and Monica’s Trattoria has gone into hibernation. According to Boston Restaurant Talk, a sign posted to the front of the restaurant lists “COVID and the COVID restrictions of the state of Massachusetts and the City of Boston” as the reason for the temporary closure. Vinoteca di Monica, Monica’s Pasta Shop, and Monica’s Mercato will all remain open.
Night Shift Brewing at Lovejoy Wharf
1 Lovejoy Wharf #101, North End, Boston
The popular brewery temporarily closed its Lovejoy Wharf location on January 23.
“We’d like to give an enormous thank you to our amazing Lovejoy staff, as well as everyone who has visited us over the last two years. We feel enormously grateful for your support. When we’re ready to open doors again, we’ll absolutely let you know on this channel. We hope to see some of your faces in Boston over the next few days, and after that, you can always find us in Everett.”
Not Your Average Joe’s
Multiple locations, including Arlington, Burlington, Methuen, and Randolph
The local chain is closing four of its 12 Massachusetts locations, as well as one location in Bethesda, Maryland. The restaurant’s website states: “In order to maintain the viability of Not Your Average Joe’s for our guests, staff, and partners, we are temporarily closing our lower volume restaurants.” It plans to reopen the closed locations “as conditions around the pandemic improve.”
Oak Long Bar & Kitchen
138 Saint James Ave., Boston
In a December 10 post to social media, the Fairmont Copley’s restaurant announced:
“In response to the pandemic, we made the very difficult decision to temporarily close OAK Long Bar + Kitchen through the winter. We are ‘hibernating’ with a tentative reopening date of April 1, 2021. We greatly appreciate your understanding during this challenging time, and look forward to seeing you next year. ... This certainly isn’t goodbye, it’s farewell for now. Stay safe and be well.” Gift cards are available for purchase.
The restaurant noted that the hotel remains open for overnight stays, room service, and private dining and other events (as allowed by state guidelines).
Oak + Rowan
321 A St, Fort Point, Boston
A message on the restaurant’s Facebook page confirms the temporary closure, which will last until some time in March: “Since we reopened this past spring, we have strived to deliver the same level of hospitality and delicious food you know and love from us. We are so proud of the many challenges our team has overcome and we are incredibly grateful to our loyal friends, partners, suppliers and guests for your ongoing support.
That said, we have some news: after service on Thursday December 31, will be hibernating for the winter months. It’s a decision that we make with heavy hearts, but it is the right decision for our employees, our guests and our business to reemerge as strongly as possible in March 2021.”
Olde Main Street Pub
121 Essex St., Salem
“We feel the challenges we are all facing at this time are too much for us to remain open. Our hope is to get through the Winter and to welcome you back in the Spring. ... Until we meet again, take care of yourselves, and there is some light at the end of this long tunnel. Best from us all.”
1391 Boylston St., Fenway, Boston
Tiffani Faison has closed one of her Fenway restaurants for the winter, as of November 1; there was no way to reconfigure the interior to capture enough business in the cold months to come. “I’m deeply aware that I don’t just get a mulligan,” Faison told The Boston Globe. “This is a decision I’ll be paying for for a very long time, but I don’t find myself in a place where I feel like I have a choice.”
Sibling spots Sweet Cheeks and Fool’s Errand remain open in some capacity: Sweet Cheeks is currently offering patio seating and takeout, while Fool’s Errand serves as a pop-up wine shop on Wednesdays and a space for small private event rentals. Tiger Mama, which was initially included on the hibernation list, is also open for takeout and delivery, including some Orfano dishes.
56 JFK St., Harvard Square, Cambridge; 22 Harvard St., Brookline Village
Latin American restaurant Orinoco, which is particularly known for its Venezuelan food, has temporarily closed two of its three locations — Brookline Village and Harvard Square. The location in Boston’s South End remains open for takeout, indoor dining, and catering.
“As you can imagine, this is a very difficult decision,” the restaurant posted on Instagram on November 17. “Our hearts are heavy considering the impact to our wonderful staff and to all of you in our Brookline and Cambridge communities that we’ve loved serving for so many years. As we move to colder weather, it adds to the complications and uncertainty. For our business to make it through this extended pandemic, we need to strengthen our bottom line, and this can only happen by managing our expenses. It is our cherished hope that when the clouds begin to lift, we will be opening both locations as soon as we can. We want to thank all of you for your patience, love, understanding, and support.”
514 Medford St, Somerville
The home of perhaps the best porchetta sandwich in Greater Boston announced on Instagram that it is hibernating for the winter.
Navy Yard Hospitality Group put its waterfront restaurants — Pier 6 in Charlestown and Reelhouse in East Boston and Quincy — onto winter break as of November 1, per messages posted to the restaurants’ websites. “We are forever grateful for your patronage, and it has been a pleasure to serve you all this season. We wish you a very happy and prosperous new year. See you in Spring 2021!”
342 Moody St., Waltham
The Waltham sports bar announced on December 19 that “it happened a little quicker than we anticipated, but after last night we decided to make the difficult decision to hibernate. Just like the other 6 restaurants/bars on this street the costs are greater to run a restaurant than the sales coming in. We lose less by hibernating. Obviously this is a difficult decision, especially when it felt like we were getting some momentum. But, as we say here in NE, ‘It is what it is!’ We don’t have a definitive date of return, but hopefully it’s soon and you all will embrace us with open arms!”
The staff has been offered positions at In a Pickle, which remains open.
Ring Road, Boston
The Back Bay spot from James Beard award-winning chef Jody Adams known for its Mediterranean-inspired seafood will reopen when the weather is warmer sometime in Spring 2021, according to its website.
31 Water St., Newburyport
“The Poynt will be hibernating for the winter after December 23rd,” the restaurant announced. “We will look forward to welcoming you all again as the spring approaches.”
96 Guest St., Brighton, Boston
“Due to the rising cases in the City of Boston and our local community, out of the abundance of caution for our staff and our guests, we have made the decision to temporarily pause our operations, effective Sunday, December 13,” announced the Boston Landing restaurant. “This move to ‘hibernate’ has not been made lightly, but one we feel is ultimately necessary at this time. We have plans for reopening by the early spring season, and we will surely be counting the days until then.”
3 Nagog Pk., Acton
“It is with a really heavy heart that we have decided to put the Raven into full hibernation for the beginning of winter” as of December 14, the Acton restaurant announced. “We are not sure how long this will last, but feel this is the best decision for our staff and to protect the viability of the restaurant.”
661 Assembly Row, Somerville
“Due to the on-going Covid-19 crisis, for the health, safety and well being of our staff, guests and community, River Bar has decided to temporarily close until such time that it is once again safe to reopen,” the restaurant announced on December 21. “Thank you to all our staff and guests that have contributed to a memorable season. We look forward to seeing you all again as soon as possible.”
Rooted Armory Cafe & Farmstand
191 Highland Ave., Somerville
The cafe inside Somerville’s Arts at the Armory is closed from December 24 to March 1 “due to financial hardship,” resulting in the furloughing of most of the staff. “It has been our absolute pleasure to serve you during this challenging time, and we are proud to have offered quality, local goods to the community,” Rooted wrote in a recent newsletter to supporters. “But, like so many businesses right now, we’re just not getting the volume we need to support our overhead expenses. So far we’ve been able to stay afloat through a combination of ROOTED sales, a PPP forgivable loan, grants, sponsorships and individual donations. The good news is that we have several grant requests pending and are hoping for a new round of PPP loans. ... This isn’t goodbye forever— just good night for now, as we hibernate. Our great big bear of an operation will be awake again and foraging for the best ROOTED food before long.”
Arts at the Armory is accepting donations here.
(The Somerville Winter Farmers Market at the Armory will continue to operate on Saturdays.)
77 Charles St., Beacon Hill, Boston
It’s not exactly a winter hibernation — the Sevens has been temporarily closed since March — but the Beacon Hill pub posted an update on social media at the start of November, reflecting on the long months that have passed since March and indicating that its reopening won’t happen until at least the start of 2021. “As the winter approaches, and restaurants brace for the colder weather, be mindful of your choices. The soul of the Boston food and beverage scene is at your mercy. We will see you in the New Year.”
Shay’s Pub & Wine Bar
58 JFK St., Harvard Square, Cambridge
Shay’s is hibernating for the winter, according to a December 7 announcement; December 13 was the final day of service. “We want to thank all of our loyal customers who have supported us through the pandemic. We appreciate you so much. ... Don’t worry, we’ll be back next year. Cheers!”
9 Tyler St., Chinatown, Boston
The loud, energy-packed, and beloved Asian fusion spot recently announced its hibernation on Instagram. The post states:
“With much frustration and difficulties to operate successfully we have made the decision to temporarily shutdown Shōjō and go into hibernation. Unfortunately the odds during the pandemic have been stacked against us repeatedly despite our best efforts. With significantly reduced enforced business hours and extremely limited seating restrictions (that keep getting smaller and smaller), we’re unable to sustain staying open at this time.
“Safety and health is a huge priority for us. As this pandemic spreads more and more, we think it’s best to pause and reconvene when things will hopefully be safer for all. Staying healthy is paramount. Businesses and restaurants all over are greatly impacted by the events of the last year with very minimal assistance from our government. As tough as it is, and as much as we would love to stay open to give our people the Shōjō experience, we will be closed until further notice, with plans to return once patio season is back in April.”
237 Elm St., Davis Square, Somerville
The snowy Halloween weekend marked the temporary end of Sligo; the dive bar — too small to operate under pandemic restrictions (and without its own food) had been running a patio out back in conjunction with nearby pizzeria Dragon Pizza, but the plan was to only keep it open through the end of October and then hibernate until March. Weather ended up shaving off the last couple of days of planned operation.
“Due to Covid numbers rising and this shit weather we have decided to not open today and unfortunately tomorrow,” the pub wrote on Facebook on October 30. “We value the safety of our customers and look forward to seeing you when we reopen in March!! We’re so thankful for Charlie and Dragon Pizza for teaming up with us to make this awesome patio happen. Thanks to all our loyal friends for supporting us these past three months! All your generosity has helped us going forward! Thanks to the City of Somerville for taking a chance and helping a family owned business get through this challenging time. We love you all and look forward to partnering with Dragon Pizza in March!”
(Dragon Pizza remains open for takeout and delivery at 233 Elm St.)
Spoke Wine Bar
89 Holland St., Davis Square, Somerville
“It is disheartening to say, but it has come time for Spoke Wine Bar to hibernate for the winter,” wrote owner Mary Kurth in an email on November 30; the restaurant remained open for a few days following.
“Thank you friends, family and partners who have supported us during this turbulent year,” Kurth wrote in part. “Thank you for your encouragement and your financial support as we pivoted over and over to protect our staff, business and neighborhood. Thank you for dining in our parklet in the rain, the cold and the bitter cold in these recent days, but the good times can’t last forever. We need to rest for awhile so we can return in the spring as a healthy independent restaurant. ... Your dollar has power. Please continue to support independent business as long as you can.”
During the holiday season, Spoke will still be offering some gift baskets for pickup. Watch for updates on social media.
Squeeze Juice Company
53 State St., Downtown, Boston; 15 Channel Center St., Seaport, Boston; 399 Revolution Dr., Somerville
The juice and smoothie mini-chain announced the temporary closure on its Facebook page, stating: “Due to the new government restrictions and guidelines, we have served our last smoothie for the time being. We have made the gut-wrenching decision to take our business into involuntary hibernation until we can see our path toward reopening and staying open. Due to where our locations are, and the clientele we rely on, we no longer see a way for us to remain a viable operating and sustainable business during this time.
“Throughout this year we have done what we could to remain open and make sure our staff could earn a paycheck. At this time, we no longer see our ability to employ our team as a possibility as we have run out of options. We appreciate everyone who has supported our business and rest assured we will see you all on the other side of this.”
569 Columbus Ave., South End, Boston
The Venice-inspired restaurant began hibernating following service on December 20, looking to reopen in 2021, “after the peak of winter.”
“While this decision did not come lightly,” the restaurant announced on December 6, “the reality is that this has been the most challenging year we have faced, as it has been for many others in the restaurant industry. We have worked hard and found new creative ways to do what we do, provide hospitality and a place for you all to celebrate, relax, and come together safely. The health and safety of our staff and guests has remained top of mind as we made the decision to hibernate. ... We’ll be looking forward to celebrating life’s special moments with you on the other side of our reopening. We’ll be paying close attention to public health recommendations and updates to decide on the timing, and we will share that reopening info in our Instagram feed and on our website as soon as we have it.”
One Kendall Square Building 300 Lower Level, Kendall Square, Cambridge
A popular Kendall Square bar known for its beer list, hot fried chicken sandwich, and excellent jukebox has shuttered for the winter. State Park announced the news on its Facebook page.
State Street Provisions
255 State St., downtown Boston
The waterfront restaurant, sibling to Russell House Tavern and several other venues across the river in Cambridge, is closed “for the rest of the winter,” as of mid-December. A note on the restaurant’s website, attributed to owner Patrick Lee, anticipates a 2021 reopening and thanks customers and staff for the support during the summer.
Cambridge siblings Park, Russell House, Temple Bar, Grafton Street, and the Hourly remain in operation.
50 Dalton St., Back Bay, Boston
Summer Shack is closing its Back Bay location until spring.
“We want to thank our amazing guests and staff who have supported us through these challenging times. Please stay safe and healthy and we look forward [to] seeing you all back in the spring of 2021!”
The Cambridge location (in the Alewife area) remains open, and Summer Shack is also shipping lobster pot pie nationwide.
T & B Pizza
251 Washington St., Union Square, Somerville
22 Adams St., Chelsea
Jose Duarte opened this Peruvian restaurant just two weeks before restaurants shut down for indoor dining in March 2020. Now, it will be shutting down for hibernation after service on December 20, according to an announcement by Duarte on Facebook.
“As the New England winter rolls in, patios shutter, and Covid surges again, we have made the difficult decision to temporarily close our doors once again,” wrote Duarte. “We do not make this decision lightly. We love our staff, customers, and our home away from home. We plan to reopen when we feel it is safe and practical to do so. Updates on our reopening will be shared when available. Make no mistake about it, Tambo will be back, stronger and better than ever! ... If you want to further support us and the restaurant industry, we urge you to visit saverestaurants.com/letter and sign the letter to Congress. We need relief.”
Time Out Market Boston
401 Park Dr., Fenway, Boston
The Fenway food hall announced via press release on December 7 that it is in hibernation as of December 20, including outdoor dining, takeout, and delivery.
“This year has been a tough one — not only for Boston, but for the world,” according to the release, in a statement attributed to general manager Josh Hubbard. “It’s been a year of challenges and uncertainty, and we have gotten through it together. In these times, it is our duty to provide the most safe and enjoyable experience for our guests, while also being a financially viable business place for us and our concessionaires. We have experienced significant reduction in guests with concerns of escalating covid rates and local government pleas to limit gatherings. In such conditions, our take-out and pick-up business are unable to compensate for the gap. ... Rest assured, Time Out Market Boston will return with mouth-watering cuisine, craft cocktails and amazing cultural activations when going out and partying like 2-0-1-9 is possible without fear. This will set the conditions for all of our businesses to succeed and our guests to have fun without worry again.
Time Out’s vendors include Cusser’s Roast Beef, Taqueria el Barrio, Bisq, Michael Schlow’s, Anoush’ella, Monti, Nu Burger, Gelato & Chill, Mamaleh’s, Revolution Health Kitchen, and Union Square Donuts.
1153 Broadway, Teele Square, Somerville
Somerville’s decade-old upscale vegan dining destination closed “until further notice” after brunch service on September 6.
“The best way that you can take action to protect independent restaurants is to contact your local representative about the Restaurants Act and ask that they pass this business-saving legislation,” the restaurant wrote, noting in a follow-up comment that True Bistro could reopen “if/when a stimulus package is passed that can help us reopen. Don’t give up completely just yet!”
Warehouse Bar & Grille
40 Broad St, downtown Boston
The downtown sports bar and grill recently announced on Facebook that it is closing for the foreseeable future. “We have made the difficult decision to take a winter break starting Monday, December 21,” stated the post. “We’re not sure what the future holds but are so grateful for the support we’ve received over the past few months. We will do everything in our power to reopen once it’s feasible for us to do so.”
White Horse Tavern
116 Brighton Ave., Allston
The bar is closed as of December 8, with plans to reopen sometime in the new year when there are fewer restrictions.
350 3rd St., Kendall Square, Cambridge
Za paused operations as of December 23 — “the word ‘hibernating’ sounds too cute for such a painful decision,” writes owner Steve Kurland, noting that the Arlington location will remain open.
“Ultimately, pausing now will allow us to reopen when the time is right. We hung in there as long as we could and we appreciate the outpouring of support from our guests and the incredible performance of our staff. ... If you are looking for ways to help us or other restaurants, please continue to patronize all of us in any way you can and to back programs that will aid in small business recovery.”