Jim Solomon, chef-owner at Brookline’s long-lived restaurant The Fireplace, won’t close his establishment to make way for New Haven’s iconic Frank Pepe’s Pizzeria after all. Solomon announced plans to close his Washington Square restaurant in July and had intended to serve his final meal in December to focus on catering.
“There was a tremendous outpouring of feelings and support for the restaurant,” he told the Globe. “People were asking my parents to plead with me to keep the restaurant open. My in-laws were approaching me; a hairdresser I knew on Newbury Street was asking me. It was nice to hear that my restaurant meant as much to so many people as it means to me,” he said.
It’s not all sentimentality: Solomon noted that the negotiation process with Pepe’s took longer than planned, though he remains on good terms with the Pepe team. (Solomon is originally from New Haven and is a personal fan of the pizzeria.)
His fellow fans shouldn’t despair. Solomon said that Pepe’s team does plan to open “several” pizzerias in Boston and that they’re currently scouting other locations, possibly elsewhere in Brookline.
As for The Fireplace, Solomon said he’ll retain the same style of “New England food with integrity” that he loves. Said Solomon: “I’m rededicating myself to the restaurant.”