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Todd English shutters Beacon Hill cupcake bakery

Todd English’s Beacon Hill bakery, Isabelle’s Curly Cakes, had closed for renovations in January but has now permanently closed.ESSDRAS M SUAREZ/GLOBE STAFF

Restaurateur Todd English has closed his Beacon Hill bakery, Isabelle’s Curly Cakes, the latest setback for his shrinking culinary empire.

Curly Cakes had closed for renovations in January. But the shop at 81 Charles Street remains shuttered and a spokeswoman for Todd English Enterprises confirmed Friday that it will not reopen.

Jim Fay, a property manager for Street & Company, said the shop’s lease will expire in July and “they have indicated that they want to be out before then.” Fay said English has not paid the shop’s $3,400 rent for months. “We hope that they will pay it,” he said.


The shop’s closing is the most recent business setback for the celebrity chef. Two years ago, English closed his Kingfish Hall restaurant at Faneuil Hall Marketplace amid eviction proceedings. He was slapped with $1 million lawsuit from the landlord over unpaid rent.

English also shuttered his award-winning flagship Olives restaurant in Charlestown in 2010 after a grease fire. Olives reopened two years later, but the business struggled. Last year, the restaurant’s landlord obtained court approval to close Olives as he battled with English to recoup $723,000 in back rent.

Earlier this month, a new company took over management of Olives in New York from Todd English Enterprises.

The new operator, the Gerber Group, said English is no longer involved in the restaurant at all.

The liquor license at Figs in Charlestown was temporarily seized earlier this year by the Rouse Co., which said English owed past debts related to defunct Kingfish Hall. Around the same time, Curly Cakes suddenly closed.

“He’s certainly a talented chef and he’s always been able to sell his next idea and get people to believe and invest in him,” said Mike Tesler, president of Retail Concepts, a Norwell consulting group. “There are some people who have made money with him over the years, but many more who haven’t.”


The restaurateur’s website lists eight active concepts, including Olives restaurants in Las Vegas, Mexico City, and the Bahamas.

His Boston empire has shrunk to just three restaurants. English continues to operate two Figs restaurants in Beacon Hill and Charlestown and licensed his name to a restaurant at Logan International Airport, Todd English’s Bonfire.

Curly Cakes opened in 2010 as a project for English and his then-16-year-old daughter, Isabelle.

The manager of the property said English sunk more than $50,000 in the property to install marble counters and refrigeration systems.

The menu featured a variety of cupcakes from a Boston Cream with vanilla cake and chocolate buttercream frosting dipped in dark pate de glace to a Gum Drop made with orange cake and orange frosting topped with sugar and gum drop candy. The shop also served coffee and tea.

It is unclear how involved his daughter was in the day-to-day operations. English was listed as the owner of the business.

The shop’s website still features a statement that says the business closed for a three-week “complete makeover.”

The company said it was creating a new neighborhood hangout, promising delicious brews and scrumptious treats to come. But circumstances changed by Friday.

“The Curly Cakes brand will live on and continue to be served through our other outlets, but the retail store will not re-open on Charles street,” the company said in a statement sent to the Globe.

A spokeswoman for Todd English Enterprises declined to provide additional comments.


Street & Company is seeking a tenant for the space on Charles Street.

Taryn Luna can be reached at taryn.luna@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @TarynLuna.