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Frozen pipes serve up frustration for Boston restaurants

jm Curley has been closed due to a burst sprinkler.Barry Chin/Globe staff/file

A handful of Boston restaurants have been forced to shut their doors since Sunday because their pipes burst due to the recordbreaking cold.

City officials said that inspectors temporarily suspended the licenses of six restaurants, each of which was ordered to clean up after pipes burst.

The six restaurants are: Boston Beer Garden in South Boston; Broadside (formerly Barney Fanning’s) in the Financial District; Pagliuca’s Restaurant in the North End; The Upper Crust Pizzeria in the South End; Viga in downtown Boston; and Whiskey’s in the Back Bay


At least two of those locations, Broadside and The Upper Crust, have had their licenses reinstated, clearing them to reopen, officials said.

Another restaurant, jm Curley in Downtown Crossing, tweeted about its closure Tuesday.

“A frozen sprinkler head BURST above our beloved Curley’s, and it’s keeping us busy... we will be CLOSED until further notice, sorry folks!” the message said.

Zo Boston also tweeted Tuesday that due to a burst pipe its Center Plaza location would be closed.

William Christopher, commissioner of Boston’s Inspectional Services Department, said most of the incidents at restaurants have involved fire sprinkler pipes bursting, and some caused several thousand dollars in damage.

In such cases, the businesses must fix the sprinkler system, clean up any water damage, and pass a food health and safety inspection before they can reopen, he said.

Christopher said that since the weekend, his agency has responded to just under 100 calls for weather-related issues, including burst pipes and broken heating systems at both commercial properties and residences across the city.

“The spike in the temperature obviously challenged the integrity of a lot of systems,” he said. Boston temperatures swung 63 degrees in a relatively short span, from -9 degrees early Sunday morning to 54 degrees by Tuesday evening.


“We’ve had a lot of calls, but we’ve been able to solve a lot of them fairly quickly,” he said.

The Boston Fire Department said on Twitter Sunday that it was dealing with a sharp increase in the volume of calls, most of which were caused by broken pipes.

A pipe burst at a Newton Hotel on Monday, forcing the evacuation of about 250 people.