Tables: Erbaluce will close at year’s end, MET Natick opens, and a retro arcade debuts
Closings: Bay Village’s lovable Italian restaurant Erbaluce will shutter after a decade in business. The building will undergo a residential renovation starting next spring. The new landlords offered to renovate a smaller restaurant space for Erbaluce in the same location, but co-owner Charles Draghi says that the move seemed impractical given construction concerns and rent issues.
“With Boston’s untenable rent situation, the impossibility of acquiring a liquor license, and the staffing issues that currently plague our industry, we are uncertain what our next step will be, or when it may happen,” he writes in a farewell message.
Many chefs in similar situations decamp to the suburbs, but Draghi says that he’s skeptical about that idea because it’s harder to be creative.
“One chef who did that told me that when people are in the city, they come to try what it is you’re doing. In their town, they come to eat what they want for dinner. You’re on their turf,” he tells me.
Erbaluce will serve its last meal on New Year’s Eve.
“It has been our great pleasure to serve, and come to know, so many of you so well over the past 10 years. We hope to see each of you over our final three months in business,” Draghi writes.
Openings: Natick’s The MET Bar & Grill reopens as the MET Natick (1245 Worcester St. at Natick Mall Road), inside the Natick Mall. It’s the latest from restaurateur Kathy Sidell (Saltie Girl), with an all-day menu of burgers, salmon and tuna tartare, and bucatini bolognese.
Retro arcade Versus has opened downtown (42 Province St. at Bromfield Street), the latest from Big Night Entertainment Group (Explorateur, The Grand, the forthcoming Mystique and Mémoire at Encore Boston Harbor). Play “Donkey Kong Jr.” and “Ms. Pac Man” while munching tater tots and jumbo pretzels. It replaces GEM, run by the same group.