The restaurant scene is changing rapidly. Closures are beginning to ramp up. We’re tracking them while interviewing the chef-owners behind the decisions. We’ll modify this list routinely with more insights, updates, and maybe even some hopeful news along the way.
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.