October 23, 2012
Landmark Boston restaurant Locke-Ober on Winter Place, a small street off Winter Street in Downtown Crossing, opened in 1875.
Dina Rudick/Globe Staff
One of the city's oldest restaurants, Locke-Ober quietly shut down Saturday night with no notice except a sign on the door.
Essdras M. Suarez/Globe Staff/File 2011
The main dining room featured polished hardwood tables and elegant chandeliers.
Polished silverware in the dining room at Locke-Ober.
The restaurant was long a meeting place where the city’s power brokers made their deals and political luminaries made appearances.
“It was the place to go in the day,” said Gina Schertzer, 90, who has worked at Durgin Park, another venerable Boston restaurant, since 1975.
Over its 137 years, Locke-Ober has attracted film and television stars such as Paul Newman, James Cagney, and Jackie Gleason.
In its heyday, the dark, stately dining room would be abuzz with patrons savoring their thick-cut steaks and signature lobster stew.
In 2001, celebrity chef Lydia Shire and business partner Paul Licari took over Locke-Ober and embarked on a much-lauded restoration
Locke-Ober struggled in the recent economic downturn, suspending lunch service in 2009 and closing briefly in 2011 after Shire’s departure.
“It’s a national historical monument, if you ask me,” said David Artiano, 40, who briefly served as Locke-Ober's executive chef in 2011.
“It’s a national historical monument, if you ask me,” Artiano said. “My greatest hope is that someone can save it and pull it from the ashes.