Below, find notes on the restaurants that have bid the Boston area farewell this season (and those that have announced a closing date but have not yet closed), including a French restaurant in Boston’s South End, Vietnamese restaurants in Dorchester and the Financial District, and more. This roundup is updated regularly throughout the season.
January 14, 2022: Southern soul/Asian fusion in Dorchester, an Irish pub in Brookline, and more
In Dorchester, 50Kitchen has announced that it will close on February 12. “This was a difficult decision to make, but a necessary one,” the restaurant posted on social media. “We understand that many of our fans will be sad to hear this news, but we would not like to focus on the negatives. Although we are sad that we will soon close our doors, we are grateful for what we were able to do and accomplish in just two years. A small restaurant in Dorchester was able to be part of some really big things, and give back in some really important ways. ... It was thanks to our customers that we were able to stay open and help provide meals to those in need throughout this pandemic. ... This is not the end of our story, but merely the end of this chapter of it.”
The Fields Corner restaurant — which serves a fusion of Southern soul food and Asian cuisines, a nod to Dorchester’s large Black and Vietnamese communities — celebrated its grand opening in February 2020, just a few weeks before the initial COVID shutdown, but it was a long time coming. Chef and owner Anthony Caldwell started the business as a private chef and caterer, ultimately crowdfunding and winning a local pitch event to jumpstart the transition into a permanent restaurant space.
From the beginning, Caldwell intended the restaurant to give back to the community in various ways, such as forging partnerships to give leftover food to local shelters, providing mentoring for youths, and hiring Dorchester residents. (He grew up in Dorchester himself.) He’s been open about his past, spending time incarcerated, where he learned to cook, and battling alcohol addiction. He stopped drinking in 2011, saying that God told him he’d give Caldwell his own restaurant by 50 years old if he gave up alcohol, hence the name 50Kitchen.
There’s about a month left until closing day; watch Instagram for notes on scheduling and other pertinent updates.
In other Boston news, longtime breakfast and lunch place High Spot Deli has closed on Beacon Hill, and in Roxbury’s Nubian Square, Haley House Bakery & Cafe is taking a hiatus as of January 14 due to construction in its parking lot as well as “the ongoing implications of the pandemic on [the] business.”
Popular Irish pub Matt Murphy’s has closed after a quarter of a century; it closed its doors seemingly temporarily earlier in the pandemic and had yet to reopen, but signage came down recently and a town hall spokesperson confirmed to the Globe that the restaurant’s license was not renewed. Earlier in Matt Murphy’s lifespan, Jason Waddleton — who went on to open the Haven in Jamaica Plain — turned it into a beloved destination for live music and jam sessions of various genres. In later years, Matt Murphy’s dropped the music, but it was still a neighborhood favorite for solid pub fare, hospitality, and free oyster Mondays.
Also in Brookline, Coolidge Corner Indian restaurant Curry House is now closed after 14 years, although a sign reportedly tells fans to keep an eye on the restaurant’s Facebook page for eventual updates on a new location.
January 5, 2022: French in the South End, Vietnamese in Dorchester, and more
In the South End, excellent French restaurant Bar Lyon — which highlighted Lyonnaise cuisine — has closed after about three years; though young, it gained a lot of fans quickly for its relatively affordable menu and somewhat more casual vibe than its big siblings in the Columbus Hospitality Group, including Mistral and Mooo. In particular, dishes like the French onion soup and duck frites will be missed.
“After much thought and consideration by our team, it is with a heavy heart that we share that Bar Lyon will be closing its doors after dinner service this Friday, December 31st,” the restaurant shared on social media. “We are so appreciative of all of our guests and the South End community who have offered their support to us over the years.”
Dorchester saw the closure of beloved Vietnamese restaurant Anh Hong in Fields Corner at the end of December, although owners Dino and Victoria Nguyen are reportedly hoping to reopen elsewhere near Fields Corner later this year under the same name. The closure was the result of a landlord-tenant dispute, according to Dorchester Reporter. The restaurant had operated for over 20 years, with the Nguyens at the helm for the past six. It was a good place to eat dishes like bun rieu; steamed whole sea bass with ginger and scallions; rare beef in lime juice salad; and bò 7 món, a seven-course beef combo meant to serve two.
“We regret to inform you that Anh Hong Restaurant is closed permanently,” the restaurant posted on social media. “Thank you for being a valuable customer and always supporting us for all these years.”
And in Boston’s Financial District, casual Vietnamese restaurant Sa Pa has closed after nearly a decade in business serving banh mi, pho, and bun. During its tenure, the restaurant expanded briefly to Cleveland Circle and also launched a food truck. Founder Ky Nguyen’s Vietnamese chile sauce, Lucky Chili Saigon Sate, lives on.
From the Columbus Hospitality Group (see Bar Lyon note above), Tuscan-inspired restaurant L’Andana closed on January 1 after 14 years in business. The group is renovating and rebranding it into another location of their upscale steakhouse Mooo, targeting an early spring 2022 opening. (The original Mooo on Beacon Hill is being joined soon by a location in Boston’s Seaport District, too.)
Near Tufts, the decades-old Espresso Pizza announced its closure on December 21; current owner Patty Moore is retiring after “nine great but long and exhausting years.” Her brother Anthony Salvato Jr. bought the pizzeria in the 1970s, and Moore took over after his death in 2010 “to keep his legacy alive.”
Longtime Somerville restaurant Pini’s Pizzeria is moving from Magoun Square to take over the Espresso space.
The Assembly Row location of Neapolitan-style pizza chain Midici, which opened in early 2018, has closed; operators Sean and Sue Olson are rebranding it into their own independent restaurant, Salt & Stone, which could open as soon as February 2022. This was the first New England location of Midici, a Los Angeles-based chain that also operated a location at Dorchester’s South Bay development for a time. The chain has described itself as “fast-fine,” offering speedy counter-service pizza alongside beer and wine and an ambiance a bit more akin to a full-service restaurant.
On January 4, the management of Molti on Moody (formerly Moody’s) and Pollo Club announced that both restaurants had closed: “It is with heavy hearts that we announce that [the restaurants] will be closing their doors effective immediately. Along with the entire restaurant community, COVID-19 has had a direct impact on our businesses and we have made the difficult decision not to reopen after a challenging several years. We want to thank our amazing team and our wonderful community who have been so supportive through the years. Both Molti on Moody and the Pollo Club were special additions to the Waltham dining scene and we are proud of what we created for the neighborhood and our guests. If you have a neighborhood restaurant that you enjoy, please visit and show them some business during these challenging times.”
Moody’s Delicatessen & Provisions first debuted in 2013 to much acclaim, later adding an adjacent wine bar, the Backroom, and a Mexican restaurant, El Rincon de Moody’s. In 2019, management shifted following the departure of founder and chef Joshua Smith, and the remaining Moody’s team eventually rebranded the delicatessen into Molti on Moody and El Rincon into Pollo Club. Molti continued to serve deli classics as well as grab-and-go salads, pizza, and more, with full-service dining continuing in the Backroom space, while Pollo Club featured fried chicken sandwiches.