Closings: Cambridge’s Loyal Nine (660 Cambridge St.) marks its final day of service on Saturday, Dec. 18.
“I’d certainly say that COVID to a slight degree played a role. The old version of Loyal Nine ended in March 2020, and we’ve been operating in a pivot,” says owner Marc Sheehan. “Every time we felt about to turn the corner, we’d lose an employee. We were just trying to keep everyone’s schedules consistent and not overburden them.”
Loyal Nine opened in 2015, offering a Before Times menu — literally. The restaurant is named for a group of Bostonian distillers who organized protests against the Stamp Act of 1765. The original menu featured roasts, sourdough, fried soldier beans, and porridge.
But continuing in this niche proved, well, taxing. The offerings evolved over the years, and Loyal Nine became a popular café hangout, too. And yet, “We always had the moniker of ‘strange’ attached to us,” Sheehan says, laughing.
On a happier note, his other restaurant, Canton’s Northern Spy (4 Rolling Mill Way), hums along. There, he serves New England food — chowder, baked stuffed haddock, baked beans — at the Paul Revere Heritage Site.
As for Loyal Nine, “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,” he says.
Openings: The Boston Public Market (100 Hanover St.) welcomes several new vendors: Design your own greens-and-grains bowls with Rootastes; enjoy bibimbap and other Korean dishes at Perillas; and stock up on Sardinian gnocchi, rigatoni, and other Italian delights at Seven Hills Pasta Co. Meanwhile, House of Possibilities sells cooking stones, slabs, coasters, and more designed by artisans with disabilities. They also operate American Stonecraft within the market, offering employment opportunities for disabled workers.
Coming soon: Nash Bar softly opens in the Theatre District this month in the old Abby Lane space (253 Tremont St.), with private parties and a New Year’s Eve bash. By mid-January, things should be in full swing. Expect live country music on the stage and catfish sliders, chicken and waffles, gumbo, and burnt-end chili fries on the plate.
Lunch: MIDA Newton (261 Walnut St.) launches weekday lunch service on Monday, Dec. 13. Graze on Italian wedding soup, chicken Caesar salad, and roasted salmon with winter veggies.
Kara Baskin can be reached at email@example.com. Follow her on Twitter @kcbaskin.