We started this list as the restaurant scene was changing rapidly, with closures ramping up because of COVID-19. We’ll modify this list routinely with more insights, updates, and maybe even some hopeful news along the way.
Jan. 13, 2022
Claim to fame: Asian-Southern food in Fields Corner from chef Anthony Caldwell, who learned to cook in prison, going on to line-cook positions around the city before becoming a sous chef for Harvard University’s dining services. He won funding through a neighborhood small-business contest for minority and women-owned businesses.
Farewell message: The restaurant will sign off on Feb. 12.
“A small restaurant in Dorchester was able to be part of some really big things, and give back in some really important ways. It is thanks to this community that we were able to share our story with thousands of people, whether at our restaurant, in interviews, or on Chopped. It was thanks to our customers that we were able to stay open and help provide meals to those in need throughout this pandemic. We want to say thanks to every article writer, food blogger, social media sharer, and every single customer and supporter that kept coming into our restaurant to share a smile and enjoy some good food,” they wrote on social media.
Silver lining: “This is not the end of our story, but merely the end of this chapter of it,” they promised.
Jan. 10, 2022
Matt Murphy’s Pub
Claim to fame: Irish pub grub
Farewell Message: The sign for Matt Murphy’s on Harvard Street in Brookline Village has been taken down, according to a photo of the restaurant circulating Twitter. A spokesperson for the town hall confirmed the restaurant did not renew its license. The popular Irish pub shut down indefinitely in the early stages of the pandemic, and apparently never reopened.
Jan. 4, 2022
Molti on Moody and Pollo Club
Age: 1 and 2, respectively
Claim to fame: Molti used to be Moody’s Delicatessen, which opened in 2013 and specialized in husky sandwiches and cured meats. The new iteration rebranded in 2020 and served grab-and-go salads, sandwiches, and pizza. At one time, their adjacent Backroom was a big-night-out place with excellent meatballs and Bourbon-bathed pork belly. Pollo Club, which opened in 2019, specialized in fried chicken.
Farewell message: “It is with heavy hearts that we announce that both Molti on Moody, formerly known as Moody’s, and the Pollo Club in Waltham 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 Moody’s 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,” their rep e-mailed in a statement from management to the Globe.
Silver lining: To be determined.
Jan. 3, 2022
Claim to fame: Excellent Vietnamese food in Dorchester’s Little Saigon, with a seven-course beef tasting menu.
Farewell message: “We regret to inform you that Anh Hong restaurant is closed permanently. Thank you for being a valuable customer and always supporting us for all these years,” they wrote on Facebook.
Silver lining: Little Saigon remains a bustling food neighborhood, but this one hurts.
Jan. 3, 2022
Claim to fame: Pizza, subs, and calzones. A go-to spot for Tufts University students.
Farewell message: Owner Patty Moore announced she was retiring in a Dec. 17 Facebook post: “My brother, Anthony Salvato Jr. bought Espresso Pizza in the 1970s. Espresso Pizza has been a staple in the community for decades. Anthony worked hard to create an established business and provide for his cherished family. He went above and beyond for the community and those in need. When he passed away, I was determined to keep his legacy alive. After 9 great but long and exhausting years, I will be retiring and Espresso pizza will be permanently closing.”
The post continued: “Espresso Pizza and its employees would like to extend our gratitude to our family, friends and valued customers. It has been a pleasure to serve our community over the years but we are getting old and tired. Thank you for your continued support. We will miss everyone!”
Silver lining: Pini’s Pizzeria, a Somerville pizza establishment, will be moving into the Espresso Pizza location at 336 Boston Ave., Medford, according to a Dec. 21 Facebook post.
Dec. 28, 2021
Claim to fame: French food in the South End, from the team behind fine-dining bastions such as Mistral and Ostra.
Farewell message: “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. We are so appreciative of all of our guests and the South End community who have offered their support to us over the years,” they wrote on social media.
Claim to fame: Old-fashioned New England fare.
Farewell message: “It was time. The restaurant opened with ambitious goals. Some we accomplished; others we didn’t. And we’d rather close it out on our terms rather than sneaking off into the night,” owner Marc Sheehan told the Globe.
Silver lining: Sister restaurant Northern Spy, in Canton, lives on.
Claim to fame: Rooftop bar, projection screen, on-site food trucks, and cocktails from an Airstream in Southie.
Silver lining: Through January 16, Coppersmith will still operate weekly from Wednesday through Sunday serving drinks, an all-day menu, and weekend brunch. The space will be repurposed for a new development.
Claim to Fame: It was the sister restaurant Bergamot, and it also sold excellent fried chicken in Inman Square.
Silver lining: Sister restaurants Taqueria El Barrio and BISq live on at Time Out Market Boston.
The Asgard, Central Square; and the Kinsale, Government Center
Ages: 20 and 23, respectively
Claim to fame: Classic Irish pubs
Farewell message: “We just don’t have the customer base to run a viable business. In other parts of the city, people are doing better. It’s a location by location basis,” said co-owner Peter Samarian.
The Glenville Stops
Farewell message: “Sadly, The Glenville Stops is closed for good. On behalf of all our owners and employees, thank you for allowing us to serve the community for the last 7 years,” according to the restaurant’s Facebook page. “We appreciate the support, especially during these impossible times for a restaurant. We are particularly thankful for your help during the pandemic shutdown, when we could only do to-go orders. It has been a pleasure, hope to see you all soon.”
Claim to fame: Chile jam clams and crispy chile potatoes
Farewell message: “It goes without saying, Tiger Mama will always have a special place in my heart,” owner Tiffani Faison said in a release. “I want to continue to introduce exciting new concepts that our city will love.” Faison plans to open a different restaurant in its place in 2022.
Claim to fame: The crust
Farewell message: “With deep gratitude, we thank you for your loyalty and support during our long time in business,” they wrote.
Claim to fame: Italian food at Somerville’s Assembly Row.
Farewell message: “Due to unforeseen circumstances, LA CUCINA is closed permanently as of Monday 13 September 2021. We appreciate your patronage over the years,” they wrote on Instagram. A rep tells us that a new restaurant will replace it soon.
Craigie on Main
Claim to fame: Bastion of fine-dining
Farewell message: “As much as I love cooking food for people, I don’t have to do it for the rest of my life. I’m exploring all the options I currently have in front of me, because I can right now,” chef-owner Tony Maws said.
Silver lining: Maws said he may continue operating in the space with a different concept but that he’s committed to doing so in a different frame of mind, after taking time off.
Claim to fame: Beloved South End gastropub run by Rebecca Roth Gullo (Banyan, Blackbird), known for poutine.
Farewell message: “The Gallows is permanently closed. Thanks to all of you for supporting the whole team over the past 11 years. The Gallows will always be my first baby, and I will forever be grateful,” she wrote.
Eastern Standard, Island Creek Oyster Bar, Hawthorne
Claim to fame: Eastern Standard opened in 2005, helmed by gregarious restaurateur Garrett Harker, and was a date night favorite for many, a special place to celebrate milestones, or just eat, drink, and be merry with friends. Harker has been locked in negotiations with UrbanMeritage, the real estate group that owns the Hotel Commonwealth’s retail properties, for years. In an interview with the Globe in June, he said the landlords “don’t seem to acknowledge that there’s anything special about these restaurants.”
Farewell message: In May, Harker posted what many interpreted as a foreboding farewell message, when Eastern Standard officially marked 15 years at the dawn of the pandemic. “I just never could imagine for a second that I wouldn’t have ES in my life,” he wrote.
Claim to fame: No-frills Tex-Mex and Cajun joint with lines almost always going out the door.
Farewell message: “It was a fun, friendly, welcoming place,” Denise Jillson, executive director of the Harvard Square Business Association, told Boston.com. “And it was accessible — and by accessible, I mean the price points were right where they needed to be. …You know, you need your upscale restaurants like Harvest and Benedetto, places like that, and you need the burrito place like El Jefe’s [Taqueria], and then you need the larger, boisterous, noisy, family-friendly place like the Border was. I think that’s why we’re seeing such an outpouring of people lamenting the loss.”
The People’s Republik
Claim to fame: A beloved bar with Communist-themed decor and stark red and yellow paint outdoors
Farewell message: “We had a good run,” owner Robert Blair said. “I’m not happy that we’re closing, but I can look back at those 23 years with pride and a lot of love for the people.”
Claim to fame: Charlestown spot well known for its blend of coastal Italian-seafood
Farewell message: “We have ceased operations, and we thank you for your support throughout the years,” a recorded message on the restaurant’s phone said.
Claim to fame: Popular daytime brunch spot also serving entrees like burgers, tacos, and calamari.
Farewell message: A “for lease” sign was posted in the window of the Newbury Street restaurant.
Claim to fame: Loud music and strong drinks, set to a backdrop of DJs and live bands who played every genre imaginable.
Farewell message: “As everyone probably already knows, Wonder Bar will not reopen due to the coronavirus and the resulting government shutdowns,” owner Noah Eisendrath shared social media. “It has taken me a while to write this because after 15 years it is difficult to put to words. I want to thank all of my staff over the years and of course the patrons! We had a great run and I will never forget all the amazing people and incredible events.”
Claim to fame: Classic French fare like steak frites and coq au vin in the South End.
Farewell message: “Gaslight has been a Boston restaurant institution for 15 years and with our lease expiring, we have decided to close our doors and look to the future,” Seth Woods, chef and founder of The Aquitaine Group (Gaslight, Aquitaine Boston, Aquitaine Chestnut Hill, Metropolis Cafe), said in a press release.
Stoddard’s Fine Food & Ale, Downtown Crossing
Claim to fame: Comfort food and craft cocktails in a Temple Place building from 1868, which once housed a corset shop.
Farewell message: “It’s time to say goodbye. You were once simply a thought with so many layers, so much history deeply rooted in our wonderful city. From the original railroad tracks we used as footrests, to the steel mezzanine we pulled out of the original Filene’s Basement, to the multitude of artifacts we dug out of the floorboards when this wonderful revival building had to be unearthed, to John L. Sullivan’s original signature. I truly will miss this place,” wrote partner Frankie Stavrianopoulos in a message to the Globe. “Stoddard’s Fine Food & Ale will be remembered by many, and will be the embodiment of Old World Boston in a New World, forever.”
Silver lining: Still looking.
Post 390, Back Bay
Claim to fame: A hospitable, cozy spot for American food from the Himmel Hospitality Group, the team behind Grill 23 and Harvest.
Farewell message: "With the current pandemic causing unprecedented uncertainty and change in our industry, we are sorry to share with you that Post 390 will not reopen its doors. We want to thank our entire team, many of whom have been with us since day one, for making Post 390 such an incredible place for over 10 years.
We are sad to say goodbye to Post 390, but we appreciate the endless support from our guests over the past decade. We will miss seeing you for business lunches, post-work drinks, dinners honoring farmers and fishermen, and everything in between. Most of all, we thank our incredible team and you for your patronage and love for Post 390," they wrote on Facebook.
Silver lining: Grill 23 and Harvest are open, and HHG plans to turn the space at 406 Stuart St. into a “new and exciting” concept down the road.
Taqueria el Barrio, Brookline
Claim to fame: Tacos and birria, Jaliscan goat stew, from the team behind Cambridge and Time Out Market Boston’s BISq.
Farewell message: "It’s official. Permanently closed. We lost our beautiful little taqueria. We tried. I’m sorry. I honestly don’t have the right words to say what I need to say. It never got a chance,” Tweeted owner Alex Sáenz. He tells the Globe that, no surprise, the closure is COVID-19-related.
Silver lining: Taqueria el Barrio popped up at Time Out Market Boston over Labor Day weekend. Maybe it could do another residency?
True Bistro, Teele Square
Claim to fame: Vegan and vegetarian food in sophisticated surroundings on a quiet block of Somerville’s Teele Square.
Farewell message: The restaurant announced on social media that they’d served their final brunch (for now) on Sept. 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. If you’re interested, more information on the Restaurants Act is available at saverestaurants.com. Thank you!” they wrote.
Silver lining: Still looking for one.
Lir, Back Bay
Claim to fame: An Irish pub with a large bar downstairs and a winding staircase leading to an expansive space upstairs. Popular among Boylston Street bar-hoppers.
Farewell message: “We are sad to announce that after seventeen years of business we will be closing our doors for good. Since the day we opened we felt a strong connection to the Boston community, and we would like to say thank you to our loyal patrons who stood by us along the way.
To the Arsenal Supporters Group thank you. To the Duke Basketball fans, thank you. To the Irish Rugby supporters, thank you. To the Aer Lingus flight staff and the Seattle Seahawks Fan Club, thank you. To our amazing staff, thank you. To everyone who walked through our doors and, for a brief period, made this place your home, thank you.
We have all witnessed some amazing things together. Title winning championships, marathons, parades. The list could go on forever.
Our mission has always been to make Lir your home away from home, whether you’re Irish, American, or a little bit of both. It pains us to leave you, but we can assure you that these memories will live on.”
Silver lining: Honestly, it’s hard to find one. Lir is among the last in a cluster of Boylston Street bars to close; Whiskey’s, McGreevey’s, and Pour House have also announced their closures. Bar-hopping — when it’s allowed again — along the Back Bay thoroughfare just won’t be the same.
The Pour House Bar & Grill, Back Bay
Claim to fame: A no-frills pub with an all-day breakfast menu and late-night snacks like poutine tots and mini-sliders. A classic bar in the best sense.
Farewell message: “Due to COVID, the ownership of The Pour House will be changing hands. We want to thank each and every one of you very much. The heart and soul of The Pour House has always been our staff and our customers. ... And so it is so very sad to say, “Sorry, we’re closed.” Thank you for your loyalty, dedication and patronage over the years. We will miss you all. And a special thanks to the many staff members over the years for all their hard work and effort. This all wouldn’t have been possible without all of you. Be safe and be well,” management wrote on Instagram.
Silver lining: Stay tuned about new ownership details. Could a similar Pour House rise again? Let’s hope so.
The Fours, Canal Street
Claim to fame: A legendary Boston sports bar.
Farewell message: “Once they closed the Garden down [in March], it was just a matter of time because that was basically why we were here in the first place,” owner Colton told the Globe. “The Garden’s basically our business plan.”
Silver lining: It just might make a comeback.
The Friendly Toast, Kendall Square
Claim to fame: A vast breakfast menu, including breakfast sandwiches made from doughnuts and lots of pancakes.
Farewell message: “We are saddened to announce we will not be reopening our Kendall Square- Cambridge, MA location. We cannot thank you all enough for the overwhelmingly positive support over the years,” they write in a Facebook post.
Silver lining: You can spend your dough at other Friendly Toasts in Boston and Burlington, as well as in New Hampshire and Vermont.
Aug. 19, 2020
McGreevy’s, Back Bay
Claim to fame: Owner Ken Casey of the Dropkick Murphys, and a loyal fan base who appreciated the just-divey-enough baseball bar vibe.
Farewell message: “We had 12 great years. It was an honor to be a part of unearthing such an important part of Boston baseball history. In addition to being Boston’s original baseball bar, it was the hangout for Dropkick Murphys fans. The staff, the regulars, the fans are family to us and always will be,” Casey said through rep Jeff Castelaz. “Rest in peace McGreevy’s: another loss at the hands of COVID.”
Silver lining: Casey says that McGreevy’s staff will move to sister restaurants Yellow Door Taqueria and Lower Mills Tavern, which continue to operate.
Aug. 18, 2020
Cheers, Faneuil Hall
Claim to fame: Sam Malone, Carla Tortelli, Cliff Clavin, Norm Peterson, and Frasier Crane.
Farewell message: ”It is with a heavy heart that I have to announce the permanent closure of CHEERS Replica Bar at Faneuil Hall Marketplace. Our last day in Faneuil Hall Marketplace will be August 30, 2020.
CHEERS Replica Bar has had a wonderful 20 years in the iconic Faneuil Hall Marketplace, one of America’s most cherished historic landmarks. I have faced, and pulled through, many kinds of downturns and upticks in the economy within the last 20 years CHEERS Replica Bar at Faneuil Hall Marketplace has been in business. Sadly, the COVID-19 pandemic, combined with no assistance from our landlord (Ashkenazy Acquisition Group), has made this current challenge insurmountable,” Cheers CEO Tom Kershaw wrote in a statement sent to the Globe.
Silver lining: The original Beacon St. Cheers, which served an inspiration for the TV hit, remains open.
Aug. 16, 2020
Taranta, North End
Claim to fame: Sustainable Italian food with Peruvian influences.
Farewell message: Owners Jose and Anna Duarte shared a farewell note on Facebook: “Many restaurants in the North End rely heavily on tourism, sporting events, concerts, conventions, and our location has lost all of our corporate business, functions and graduations, operating at 30% of its capacity due to seating restrictions. Without all of this we cannot survive. Since March, our liabilities have accumulated to more than we can sustain and unfortunately we were not able to reach an agreement with our landlord to make things work.” They’ll close for good on Aug. 29.
Silver lining: Visit Thursday through Sunday until then, and continue to visit their sister restaurants: Chelsea’s Tambo 22 and Norwell’s Trattoria San Pietro. They’ll also continue with Taranta-themed pop-ups and classes.
Claim to fame: Friendly, accessible Italian food (especially homemade pasta) before Watertown became a dining destination.
Farewell message: “The reasons we are closing will come as no surprise to anyone: the persistent presence of Covid19 and the limited seating required to keep people safely distanced make operating Stellina untenable.
Over the years we’ve withstood many challenges: new restaurants opening around us; the 2008 recession, the reputation of being an old restaurant. In every case, we’ve prevailed by sticking to our model of excellent service and the freshest ingredients in our innovative and/or traditional dishes. But times are different,” wrote owner Ginnie Curcio in a farewell email.
Silver lining: The restaurant will serve dinner from Aug. 18 until Aug. 22, and Curcio will be there nightly to say goodbye.
The Frogmore, Jamaica Plain
Claim to fame: Lowcountry cuisine in Jamaica Plain.
Farewell message: “The Frogmore is closing at the end of the week,” the restaurant shared on social media.
Silver lining: Fans can visit from Wednesday until Sunday from 4 p.m. until 11 p.m. for a final feast.
Aug. 3, 2020
Bukowski Tavern, Inman Square
Claim to fame: A classic post-college hangout with lots of cheap beer and satisfying snacks like wings and nachos from Brian Poe (Parish Café, the Tip Tap Room).
Farewell message: “Bukowski Tavern was a successful bar. The pandemic took it,” Poe says. “This is much more than a grind, and far from being a new normal.”
Silver lining: His other restaurants, located in Boston, are slated to come back. “We’ll continue in a holding pattern with the Tip Tap Room and Parish Café and plan to reopen those locations when we feel it’s safe for our customers and staff,” he says.
July 17, 2020
Regina Pizzeria, Allston
Claim to fame: Perfectly oily, sooty pizza in a prime locale.
Farewell message: Regina rep Stu Thompson says that the Allston branch will close on Tuesday, July 21, due to a non-renewal of the property’s lease.
Silver lining: Plenty of other Regina outposts endure, including the iconic North End location.
July 17, 2020
Age: 35-plus, switching from pasta to barbecue in 1994
Claim to fame: Beloved Back Bay dive bar.
Farewell message: Longtime manager Becky Caloggero confirms the closure, as rents increase. “It’s not how I wanted this to end,” she says.
Silver lining: Just your hazy, booze-fueled memories.
July 17, 2020
Claim to fame: A comfortable spot for a quaff in Central Square, with a great patio.
Farewell message: “We are sorry to say we are closing our doors after 25 years serving the community (literally). Sadly, COVID-19 has impacted this industry. We are unable to maintain our establishment. Over the the years we have enjoyed the wonderful staff, community members, students and the various vibrant visitors that have visited our pub. It has been a second home to many. We will miss everyone in the community that visited for a day, a semester or for years.We apologize for the short notice, but times as they are we have to use our limited time left in the area to close up. As of now our doors are closed to the public,” they wrote in a farewell social media message.
Silver lining: See Whiskey’s, above.
July 15, 2020
Flat Top Johnny’s
The Kendall Square pool hall that serves craft beers, cocktails burgers, and other pub noshes announced on Twitter they would close August 14 after becoming “extra vulnerable under the ‘new normal.‘”
Farewell message: “2020 has been a hell of a year and has set everything upside down. While we thought this day would come years from now, we are here to announce the end of 27 years of pool, cocktails, pinball, food, and fun at Flat Top Johnny’s,” the Twitter post read. The announcement went on to thank the regulars, “who showed up in the heat and snow, during rough times and great times,” its neighbors, vendors, cleaners, and tradespeople who kept it running.
Silver lining: The post noted the restaurant would remain open for the next few weeks for outdoor service and takeout, and encouraged patrons to come in for a burger, a beer, and some “swag” to celebrate its run.
July 10, 2020
Claim to fame: Italian food in the old South End Rocco space from the team behind neighborhood hits including Aquitaine and Gaslight. The restaurant suffered a water main break in April.
Farewell message: A message on Cinquecento’s website says that the water main break made the restaurant inoperable. “It is with great sadness that we have to announce the restaurant will not be reopening. Cinquecento was many of our most beloved restaurants. We leave Cinquecento with the fondest of memories as we look back at the wedding celebrations, holiday parties, many a baby and wedding shower, a relaxing dinner on the patio and a refreshing drink at the Rosso Container Bar,” they write.
Silver lining: Get many Cinquecento signatures, such as bolognese, down the block at sister restaurant Gaslight.
July 2, 2020
Claim to fame: James Beard award-winner Tony Maws flipped his famous burgers at this walk-up stand inside Time Out Market Boston in the Fenway alongside partners Michael Leviton (Lumiere) and Nick Zappia (The Blue Room). People loved the sophisticated sandwich: brisket, cheddar, pickles, celeriac slaw, and ketchup on a griddled sesame bun.
Farewell message: Maws told the Globe that without the Red Sox playing nearby, and without Boston’s usual influx of students, it wasn’t possible to stay open.
Silver lining: You can still order the meaty creation at Central Square’s Craigie on Main.
June 26, 2020
Uno Pizzeria & Grill
Claim to fame: Deep-dish pizza in the shadow of Fenway Park; the Uno chain launched in Boston in 1979.
Farewell message: A rep for the restaurant confirms the closure; they served their final pie on Father’s Day. They say a host of factors went into the decision to shut down.
“We are saddened that after 30 years of proudly serving the Fenway community in Boston, our Kenmore UNO Pizzeria & Grill location closed its doors on Sunday, June 21. There were a number of factors that went into this decision. Our lease is expiring soon, the Hotel [Buckminster] has closed its doors, the Red Sox aren’t playing and this restaurant thrives on those fans as well as the students at BU. The timing just made sense. Every employee who wished to stay with the company has taken a new position at one of our other 18 Massachusetts restaurants, and we are thrilled to continue to work with them in serving up our legendary deep dish pizza to our valued guests ongoing,” reads a statement sent to the Globe.
Silver lining: Other Uno pizzerias remain throughout the region, including in Braintree, Dedham, Framingham, Revere, and Swampscott.
June 24, 2020
Claim to fame: A prime location overlooking Harvard Square’s Winthrop Park in the old UpStairs on the Square space, plus innovative New American food with Filipino twists from “Chopped” contestant Jeffrey Salazar.
Farewell message: “Given the way people have changed their habits of living due to the global health crisis, they didn’t think they could reopen and have a viable business at this point in time,” says a spokesperson for the restaurant.
Silver lining: “They’ll have other ideas once this is over for that beautiful space,” according to the rep.
June 23, 2020
Claim to fame: Sophisticated Argentinean food in Arlington Center, started by Ricardo and Nancy Mermet.
Farewell message: The restaurant will officially close on June 28. “To our friends, customers, and those who have become like family, please know that we have cherished every birthday, anniversary, wedding, and all those special occasions you chose to spend with us. From the many batches of chimichurri, to the double kisses on the cheek from Armando, to the cocktails poured by Gabriel, we have enjoyed every moment, and it has been our true honor to have served you. These last few months have been difficult in so many ways. But our hearts were filled by the outpouring of support from our customers, and the dedication and perseverance of our staff,” the Mermet family wrote in a farewell Facebook message.
Silver lining: It could return in another incarnation. “So while we say goodbye for now, I hope one day we might be able to bring it all to life again,” they say.
June 22, 2020
Claim to fame: The Inman Square cocktail bar offered live music, intensely competitive trivia nights, Taco Tuesdays, games, and bar snacks. Until recently, it also offered coronavirus antibody tests.
Farewell message: A farewell video states that “the impact of such an extended shut-down was just too great to overcome” and encourages regulars to “keep the Wit’s spirit in mind. . . . leave your pretenses at the door, be true to yourself, and enjoy the time with your friends and loved ones.”
Claim to fame: The Brookline Irish pub is a beloved neighborhood watering hole, known for unpretentious, hearty meals and live music.
Farewell message: ”After much conversation as a family, and many tears shed, we are announcing that the beloved O’Leary’s restaurant will not be reopening. While COVID-19 is definitely a factor, overall it is the best decision for our family as a whole to make at this time. This was not an easy decision to make, as this has been our livelihood for almost 30 years. Words can’t explain how much we will miss you all,” they posted on social media.
June 19, 2020
Claim to fame: Progressive American fine dining on the far fringes of Inman Square.
Farewell message: “Once COVID came in, it was pretty much the nail that sealed the coffin,” says owner Servio Garcia. The style of food isn’t suited to takeout or delivery, he says. “Bergamot is no longer going to exist, as we know it. All the support we have had in the last 10 years means a lot to us. The numerous accolades and memories will be put in a box to be brought out at some drunken walk down memory lane. We are going through a time in which most of us never envisioned.”
Silver lining: Happily, there’s a big silver lining here: The Bergamot team will transform the space into B2 gastropub, serving pub food and beer from FAB Brewery. The space will also serve as an art gallery. Expect takeout and delivery to start in the coming weeks. “We are excited with all the new twists in a familiar space. This is not a new chapter, but rather a new book. We look forward to sharing new and unforgettable moments with everyone,” he says.
June 18, 2020
Bella Luna & The Milky Way, Jamaica Plain
Claim to fame: A neighborhood mecca for pizza, family-friendly service, candlepin bowling, drag nights, themed DJ nights, dance parties, weddings, and more.
Farewell message: Co-owner Megan Mainzer told the Globe that a restaurant revolving around large group gatherings simply couldn’t continue to thrive amid social distancing protocols.
“We don’t see how we can operate in this COVID world. We’re about social closeness, groups, music. Distancing isn’t our thing,” she said.
Silver lining: There doesn’t appear to be one, at the moment. “I feel so lost,” Mainzer said. “This has been my life.”
June 17, 2020
Il Capriccio, Waltham
Claim to fame: One of the suburbs’ first fine-dining restaurants.
Farewell message: Owner Richie Barron posted a farewell message on social media, saying that the emergence of COVID “essentially ended our lease,” noting that he’s also spent 46 years in the kitchen. “This is a good time for me to personally step away from the restaurant business,” he wrote.
Silver lining: Il Capriccio is reopening in November under new ownership, just down the road at Waltham’s Merc apartment building.
Bar Boulud, Back Bay
Claim to fame: Celebrity chef Daniel Boulud at the helm.
Farewell message: "We’ve had six wonderful years at the Mandarin Oriental in Boston and have built an amazing community there. The fact is, we are in the midst of a very challenging time for restaurants, one that we never could have expected and one that has affected all of us deeply. While the doors to Bar Boulud Boston will unfortunately be closing, we continue to work with the Mandarin Oriental at Bar Boulud London and look forward to sharing other projects together in the future,” chef Boulud said in a statement.
Silver lining: Boulud has plenty of other restaurants around the world, including one in Dubai set to open in September.
May 30, 2020
Deep Ellum, Allston
Claim to fame: Delicious poutine, strong drinks, and a mellow patio.
Farewell message: Co-owner Max Toste tells the Globe that he needs to “streamline” the business, meaning that the beloved cocktail, craft beer, and comfort-food lair will sign off on June 7.
Silver lining: Sister business Lone Star Taco Bar (with locations in Allston and in Cambridge) will expand into the space.
Artu, Beacon Hill
Claim to fame: One of the longest-lived restaurants in the neighborhood.
Farewell message: The Italian restaurant will close permanently on May 30, confirmed restaurateur Donato Frattaroli. (Mom Nancy runs the restaurant.) “As much as we love Beacon Hill, it’s a small space. After 25 years, it’s time,” he said, noting that the closure is COVID-19-related.
Silver lining: Artu in the North End continues on. “Artu in the North End is built for takeout,” he says.
The Automatic, Cambridge
Claim to fame: Spicy bar snacks (beef heart skewers, anyone?) and creative cocktails from Dave Cagle, who ran the late, lamented B-Side Lounge. East Coast Grill legend Chris Schlesinger helped with the launch.
Farewell message: “Winter was tough. This is the time of year when our sales double because of the patio. We’re missing out on that, and it carries the whole year, so there’s no way we can reopen,” Cagle told the Globe. “I think this will be a correction for the hospitality industry around town: survival of the fittest."
Silver lining: Cagle also told the Globe that he’s an industry lifer. Hopefully, he’ll resurface elsewhere else (and serve Frito pie).
Coda, South End
Claim to fame: Comfort food in a prime location, within quick walking distance of the Back Bay and the South End.
Farewell message: According to a rep, the space’s lease was set to expire at year’s end without an option for renewal. “The group made the difficult decision to close their doors earlier than anticipated,” the rep told the Globe, after considering operating costs and the timeline for a safe reopening.
Silver lining: Sister restaurants SRV and the Salty Pig remain open.
Cuchi Cuchi, Cambridge
Claim to fame: Global tapas, moody surroundings, potent drinks, excellent first date potential.
Farewell message: “The fundamental purpose of socializing with food/wine/good company has been obliterated overnight by an unlucky fluke of nature which gives new meaning to ‘survival of the fittest,’” they wrote on social media. “When we can no longer live up to our maxim of ‘2 Kisses & a Hug,’ it’s time to say goodnight.”
Silver lining: The restaurant is selling the unique floral sculptures from its front facade. If you’d like to own a bit of Cambridge restaurant history, visit them on Facebook to inquire.
Claim to fame: A gorgeous waterfront patio and an ultra-convenient hotel location.
Farewell message: "Summer is a busy time for us, with the patio. And the hotel business has always been a big part of our business, especially with the bar. We would have been happy to work on a deal to stay after the 15-year mark,” owner Dante De Magistris told the Globe. “We couldn’t make the numbers work in the short term.”
Silver lining: He’ll continue to operate his suburban restaurants: Il Casale and The Wellington in Belmont, and Il Casale in Lexington center.
Morano Gelato, Chestnut Hill
Age: 10, with 5 years in Chestnut Hill
Claim to fame: Creamy, authentically Italian desserts.
Farewell message: Owner Morgan Morano leveled with the Globe: COVID-19 did the business in. “Our gelato is a little more premium because of the quality. The prices are slightly higher, but still, selling $3, $4, $5 cups of gelato? You make money on volume. If you’re a business that needs lines to generate revenue, it’s tough to pull yourself out of a two-month hole. Some businesses can adapt and thrive, but some businesses won’t be able to change their business model," she said.
Silver lining: Unfortunately, there isn’t one. Morano told the Globe that she won’t reopen elsewhere.
Stella, South End
Claim to fame: Chic Italian food for South End sophisticates.
Farewell message: “It is with a heavy heart and tears in our eyes that we announce the closing of Stella Restaurant and Bar,” the restaurant said in a Facebook statement. “Today will be our last night. It has been nothing but a pleasure to serve Boston and especially the [S]outh [E]nd these last 15 years. We have made so many friends with employees and guest[s] and will miss everyone of you. Please know that this was not in our control we had hoped to come out of this stronger. We will miss all of you very much."
Silver lining: Chef-owner Evan Deluty also brought restaurants such as Bistro 5 and Charlie’s Sandwich Shoppe to life. He’s prolific, so stay tuned.
The Table at Season to Taste, Cambridge
Claim to fame: Accessible fine dining served from an open kitchen, courtesy “Top Chef” personality and James Beard semifinalist Carl Dooley.
Farewell message: “When we shut down a month ago, two months ago, we thought it was going to be a short little break, and we’d get back at it. [COVID 19] has become more and more of an issue, more serious, affecting all of us,” Dooley told the Globe. “It was really special, but now we’re in a much different landscape. It will take time to figure out what the restaurant landscape will look like going forward.”
Silver lining: Dooley hopes to open a restaurant on the North Shore. Meanwhile, Season’s takeout and delivery arm, Season to Go, remains open. So does their new sit-down restaurant, Season to Taste, in the same space.
Globe correspondent Diti Kohli contributed to this report.
Kara Baskin can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter @kcbaskin. Brittany Bowker can be reached at email@example.com. Follow her on Twitter @brittbowker and on Instagram @brittbowker.